France is one of the most popular study destinations in the world, with nearly 300,000 foreign students due to relatively low tuition fees and the chance to live in France. As the fourth most popular study destination in the world, and with 12 percent of the student population hailing from abroad, there is often a dynamic cultural diversity on French campuses. France is home to more than 200 engineering schools and 220 business schools, including the extremely prestigious grandes écoles. Paris ranks as the best city to study in beating out London, Singapore, Sydney, Zurich, Boston and many others. It was declared the best student city for academic resources, bustling nightlife, educational and cultural hub for students from across the globe.
If you want to study in a country that is diverse, has an excellent academic reputation, and offers a culture that is revered by almost every other nation, you need look no further than France. One of the most popular destinations for studying abroad, France is an excellent choice for any prospective international student. There are currently more than 250,000 international students in France. In fact, around 10% of enrollments at French universities are international students; many of whom study at graduate level (masters and doctoral studies). The country offers an excellent environment for all international students when it comes to quality of education, lectures and research opportunities.
The French higher education system is one of the best in the world. With dramatically reduced tuition fees in comparison to other leading study abroad destinations, studying in France is more economically viable for international students. Consistently appearing near the top of internationally renowned rankings, French universities offer an academic pedigree that easily competes with other countries. France is particularly a good choice for those wanting to study business related subjects. The country is somewhat of a hub for international business and management education as it has lots of business schools in the worldwide rankings.
France has 83 public universities and they are all funded by the national government, offering excellent education at a very affordable price to all students, domestic or international. There are also a number of private universities. The academic year begins in September or October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and institution. There are two semesters, divided by a break following final examinations at the end of the first semester.
When it comes to degrees, French universities use a format popular throughout EU: license, master, doctorate. License refers to undergraduate studies and it lasts for 6 semesters (3 years), with 180 ECTS earned. Master studies last for an additional 4 semesters (2 years), for a total of 5 years of study and 300 ECTS earned. Doctorate is usually obtained after the additional 6 semesters (3 years). Higher education includes several systems:
To begin higher studies in France, foreign students must have a French baccalaureate or foreign equivalent and be able to prove that their command of French is good enough for them to take the course of their choice. Entrance procedures vary depending on the educational institution and the chosen training course. For the Classes préparatoires for entrance to the Grandes écoles, IUTs (polytechnics) and Instituts universitaires professionalisés – IUP (professional university institutes) students are to enroll directly with the institution concerned. For Premier cycle enrolment at a university, students are required to file an entrance application before the start of the academic year. Students are required to take a written examination and an oral to test their command of French.
Small tutorial sizes and heavy instructor intervention are two of the positive attributes that you will find while attending a college in France. The smaller class sizes and involved instructors mean that you have the time and the attention needed to learn, ask questions and get the help that you are seeking. Many colleges in other countries have overcrowded classrooms and it is often hard to find the personalized attention that you need to make the most out of your educational experience. This is not the case with the college and universities that are located in France.
The major industries in France are aerospace, motor industry, pharmaceutical, industrial machinery, food and drink, and tourism. In recent years, the areas with most jobs were in science and engineering, research and development, tourism (including hotels, restaurants, catering), care giving (home, medical, psychiatric, childcare), retail and agriculture. English-language teaching is also an option.If you’re a graduate, you’re most likely to find work with a multinational or large national employer that has many companies, for example AXA, BNP Paribas, Carrefour, Crédit Agricole, EDF, Michelin, L’Oréal, Orange, PSA Peugeöt Citroen, Renault, Saint-Gobin, Sanofi, Total and Vivendi. You can also try looking for work with a company in your home country that has offices in France.
Work experience is considered vital so if you’re a graduate consider an internship or stage. Be flexible and be prepared to take on a job that you might not consider back home to get you started working in France, give you a chance to brush up your French, and allow to make as many contacts as possible. By gaining more local experience and networks, your job opportunities in France will improve with time.France has a strong tourism industry – it’s actually the most visited country in the world, with over 75 million tourists heading there each year. If you are interested in working in the tourism industry, jobs are available all year round.Each winter, thousands of jobs become available in hotels, restaurants and bars. There’s also a great demand for qualified sports instructors in both the summer and winter seasons.
The French agriculture and industrial sectors are always looking for new recruits to fill a wide range of jobs, many of which are seasonal. The French government is alert to ecological concerns and, as a result, many eco jobs are being created. Jobs involving the environment, or ‘green jobs’ as they are often known, look set to be the future of this sector. Healthcare professionals are in high demand due to an increasing need for medical treatment. One factor causing this increased demand is a rise in life expectancy. France is also influential in the production of aircraft, cars and pharmaceuticals
Students are legally allowed to work up to 19.5 hours per week during the semester and full-time during the holiday period. You can work up to 964 hours a year on student visa. The minimum hourly wage in France is 8,27 Euros gross, that is, before withholding of mandatory social-benefit taxes, which come to approximately 20 percent of the gross payment. Non-EU citizens no longer need to apply for a separate work permit, and can work as long as they hold a valid student visa or residency card, except for Algerian students, who are covered under a separate agreement. Students who have completed a Master’s are also eligible to apply for a six-month temporary work permit to allow them to find a job after their studies, but this provision was recently tightened and many applications were refused.
Anyone who wants to attend college in France must complete the application process. The application is reviewed by the college once it is received to determine whether or not the applicant is a good fit for the school. Often, a college will look at backgrounds, so it is important this be free of any questionable incidents. If you are interested in attending college in France but do not currently reside in the European Union, below are the procedures that should be followed in order to attend a college in the country.
First, an application to the school that you wish to attend should be completed. You can find the appropriate application on the website of the college that you wish to attend. You will need to download and print this application and mail it back in with the documentation required to be considered for admission into the college. Transcripts must be provided from all institutions that you have attended in the past. This includes both high school transcripts as well as those from any colleges that you may have attended in the past.
International students wishing to attend a university in France must also provide a copy of their passport as well as a photograph of passport size to the school in which they are applying for admission into. If the college that you are attending is for duration of longer than three months you will also need to apply proof that you have a Visa in addition to the passport.
Some colleges require that essays be written. If this is a part of the application process, ensure that you write the essay to the best of your ability as it is a critical part of your acceptance or denial into the college. You are required to complete the essay on various topic, although you should always do research. State facts in your essay and prove that you can write well thought out information. This will do well in your favor when you want to get into a college.
You will also be required to submit proof of English proficiency. This can be obtained through a TOEFL test. This test can be completed online, on the computer or through a printed exam sent via postal mail. You should complete this test well in advance of applying for college. The results of this exam should be submitted along with your application.
A copy of your birth certificate is needed when you apply to a French university, as well as a certified translation showing the birthplace of both of your parents. This is something that all international students are required to have regardless of their country of origin. It is also a requirement of French law to provide proof that you have enough money to cover all of the expenses you will incur while attending college. They want to make sure that you attend college and can live comfortably.
If you want to study in France, you may be required to get a French visa or permit depending on your nationality and situation. Different application procedures apply depending on what you will be studying in France, and how long you will need to live in France in order to complete your studies. This can be applicable to students studying a degree, taking a short course, or enrolled in a French language class.
There are different types of student visas in France:
Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa)
Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams)
Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa)
Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa)
The extended stay VLS-TS’ visa is for all international students who wish to enroll in a course at a French institute of higher education. You have to provide information on your academic background, French language proficiency and adequate financial resources (approximately EUR 615 per month).
On your arrival in France, you must contact the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII), send them the official form issued by your consulate, possibly have a medical examination and pay a fee of EUR 58 in the form of a tax stamp. Some universities have an agreement with the OFII, whereby you do this through them rather than the OFII (check with your own school or university).
Extended stay research scholar visa
If you have a Master’s degree or higher and want to come to France to take part in research or teach at university level, then the institution can bring you over on an extended stay research scholar visa VLS-TS. You need a hosting agreement from the institution, describing the work you will be doing and its duration, which needs to be stamped by the local prefecture. You then send this to the consulate in your home country along with your visa application.
Like the normal extended visa, you must report to the OFII on your arrival in France. Two months before the visa expires, you must apply for a residence permit which lasts between one and four years. With this visa, family members (spouse and minor children) are automatically entitled for a residency permit marked vie privée et familiale.
France is a beautiful country with a long history of higher education. Located in Western Europe, it occupies a geographically diverse area from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea and the English Channel. This gives France stunning natural beauties you may wish to explore. Culturally, France is a country with a long history as well as rich artistic, philosophical and scientific tradition. France is one of the major centres of culture, cuisine and literature. All these reasons make it an exciting destination for international students across the world.
There are many extra-curricular activities and social events organised by student unions, or bureau(x) des étudiants (BDE). As the fourth most popular study destination in the world, and with 12 percent of the student population hailing from abroad, there is often a dynamic cultural diversity on French campuses. Most universities make an active effort to welcome them; with international students’ offices, student associations and buddy programs to help ease the transition for international students.
Students attending a France university are exposed to the amazing French culture in their daily student life. While studying, students can look forward to a wonderfully interactive environment that brings students together from across the globe. With the many different people from all around the world attending college in France, it is certainly a new experience that can provide you with a plethora of fun and adventure.