Study in France

France is probably known best for its high quality living. On an average, the working hours here are about 35 per week only, making it one of the most desirable places to live in the world. France also remains to be one of the founding countries of the European Union and is an active and strong member of the Schengen Agreement. However, do keep in mind that most of the courses here are taught in French, France loves it language and their motto is to focus on the same with passion. But considering the increase in number of international students coming here each year, they have made an attempt to include more of English based courses. This popular educational destination for international students from Europe and other regions has close to 250000 international students in the year 2009. That's nearly 12% of all the student body in France.

You have an option to choose from a variety and range of courses in France. Be it food or culinary arts or even something more extensive as doing your master in sociology or studying international law. There is something here for everyone. The courses include the standard bachelor's ("Licence"), master's or PhD ("Doctorat") degree. One also has the option to enroll in a summer study abroad program. On the whole, the French educational system has been created in a way to provide students with a wide range of study opportunities. Those who want the classic and theoretical education option, universities in France might be the most appropriate type of institution for you. But there are also lots of opportunities for a vocational approach like the Grandes Ecoles or University Institutes of Technology.

With plenty of international students coming to the country, you can enjoy a cosmopolitan culture here. However, it is best that you try and get some basic knowledge in the French language before heading here. The same is suggested because a chunk of the population here converses in French. Knowing the basics of the language would give you the ease to communicate. Especially with abundant public transport available here, it makes sense to make use of the subways and the trams rather than spending on expensive cabs.

Tuition Fees in France

The major benefits of studying in France are that you will note relatively low tuition fees at public universities. Agreed that the overall cost of living in France, especially in the major cities is quite high but then education and tuition fees do go low if you are lucky enough to get a seat for the majority of courses at most public universities in France. The approximate cost here is about EU€189 (around US$210) for a year for a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may be more expensive than the others .So the average tuition fee costs here are about US$1,000 per year for domestic and international students alike.

Applications and Student Visas

The application process and visa requirements to study in France are based on the country you come from. For example, if you are a student coming from an EU country then, your requirements are different. Even countries like Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are treated or have same visa requirements like the EU students.

Applicants from the EU

  • You will not need a student visa. But for those commencing the first year of a program or hold a French baccalaureate, you must use the online application system used by French students (APB – admission post-baccalaureat). For higher studies, one can apply directly to the institution at which you want to study.

  • For students who have different high-school qualification because of studying in countries outside the EU, they should get in touch with the institutions you want to apply to. In such cases, you can be asked to apply directly to them, rather than through the centralized system.

  • Grandes ecoles and grands etablissements have their own application procedures. It is best to get in touch directly to find out what it is required. Some preparatory classes may be needed additionally.

  • If the course you are taking is in French, then you will need to prove your fluency in French.
    There are options for exam such as the TCF DAP (Test de Connaissance du Francais, Demande d’Admission Prealable), DALF (diplome approfondi de langue francaise) or CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). In the same way, you need to prove you can speak English if that is the language of tuition. The common tests like TOEFL or similar work. But its best to check what language test scores are accepted or preferred by your university.

Applicants from outside the EU

  • The application procedure for students coming from other countries, outside the EU depends on whether or not you are from one of the 31 countries, including the U.S, in which CampusFrance runs the CEF procedure. If you are from one of these countries, then you are obliged to use the CEF online application system.

  • If you are not from one of these countries listed in CEF, you will need to submit a preliminary application at your local French embassy before applying to one or more French universities. You should ideally get in touch with your French Consulate or check the specifications with your local embassy. The application for the visa can be done via agencies or directly too.

  • Once you are accepted by a French institution, you’ll need to apply for a visa, which also includes a residence permit, called the VLS-TS. The same stays valid for a year at a time. For this one has to provide a completed application form, passport photos, your passport, proof of your previous qualifications, a police certificate attesting to your lack of a serious criminal record, proof you can speak French to an appropriate level or even English (depending on your course).

  • Once you arrive in France, you will need to contact the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFFI), who may request that you undertake a medical examination.

Multiple Programs

Students who are planning to study multiple courses or complete two consecutive programs (such as a program in French as a foreign language, followed by an academic program), then you would need to get admission to both programs before applying for your visa. Once you have the application letter from both the universities and institutes, you can then make your visa application. You would have to go through the same procedure as above and there is no extra visa free for applying for two courses at the same time. Nevertheless, you have to keep the embassy informed about the same and get separate letters and stamps required for proceeding for the two courses.

Geography

In France, you can do either a graduates of Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in Geography. With many successful career options and intensive focus on research, one can work as cartographers, environmental consultants, town planners or even landscape architects. There are also masters programs available in the same, where you can go on to specialize in particular subjects post the course is done.

On the whole, the course for graduation takes about 3 years and includes practical experience. The masters degree is for 2 years and there is an option to follow up with higher courses in the stream too.

Top universities include-


  • Sorbonne Paris Cite - Universite Paris Diderot
  • Universite Nice Sophia Antipolis
  • Universite Lille 1 Sciences et Technologies

Teaching

If you want to explore your cultural horizons and share your culture and experiences with both French and international students then there are a variety of courses available in France. The most popular of them perhaps is the Teaching Assistant Program in France that offers you with the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages. There are more than 1,100 American citizens and permanent residents who come to France and take up teaching in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France as a profession. There are job opportunities in the overseas departments of France too such as Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion.

When doing the 3 year graduate or bachelors program, one can gain valuable teaching experience, improve language skills, and experience French culture too. Alongside, it is also possible to first finish your education and specialize in a subject of your choice and then sign up for the teaching program. This way you can pursue your favorite subject and also teach at a higher level to the students.

Sociology

Sociology is extensively focused on human society by analyzing and investigating it using several methods of empirical research. France has been known best for its diverse courses in sociology and the theoretical approach to this stream of humanities. With a rich culture and diverse historical background, one can do a graduates program in the stream and then move on to the masters too. Aspects of sociology taught here include social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, law and religion. One can further take up additional subjects along with their major like anthropology, social psychology, or philosophy.

Top universities include-

  • Sorbonne Paris Cite - Universite Paris Diderot
  • Universite Paris Dauphine
  • B.Sc. Sciences sanitaires et sociales
  • Sorbonne Paris Cite - Universite Paris Descartes
  • Universite Paris 13

Science and Technology

With advancement in technology, France too like other countries, matches steps with the latest educational and reform methods. The benefit here is that you can pick from a range of vocational courses in the science stream too, especially when it comes to biotechnology or engineering. The idea of offering diverse and varied courses is to create a balance of manpower along with having students with strong theoretical knowledge of these subjects. Foreign students may have to take some entrance examination tests for the same. With state of the art laboratories and contemporary learning methods, science is emerging as very popular subjects for students here.

Top institutes and universities include-
  • Ecole Polytechnique (ParisTech)
  • Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC
  • Universite Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)
  • Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris (ENS Paris)
  • Sorbonne Paris Cite - Universite Paris Descartes
  • Aix Marseille University
  • Universite de Bordeaux
  • Universite Montpellier II Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc

Linguistics

If you want to pursue a career in linguistics, then there is nothing better than learning French in France. The vast scope of linguistics degrees here means that you will learn about language through a wide range of diverse disciplines. On the whole this will help you in specializing and making an attempt to understand how language works. The focus here would not be on just the modern French but also to analyze differences and relations over the years. Linguistics is often accompanied with social sciences.

Top universities include-


  • CLLE-ERSS – Universite de Toulouse - Le Mirail
  • Laboratoire Cognition Langues Langage Ergonomie
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle
  • ENS-LSH
  • ENS-LSH and University of Mannheim Cotutelle Program
  • Ecole Normale Superieure
  • Cogmaster (Master in cognitive science)
  • Lingmaster
  • Grenoble Institute of Technology (Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble)
  • Mathematics-Computer Science (Mathematiques-Informatique)
  • Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales

Fashion

There is perhaps no subject as satiating as learning fashion in France, which is known for its beautiful, and stimulating environment. Being the fashion capital of the world, students gain hands-on knowledge of all aspects of the fashion industry — design, marketing, manufacturing, merchandising and retailing. The degree course for fashion designing and related streams includes both theoretical and practical knowledge along with seminars being conducted and most classes are taught in English. Students are accepted from all across the world but you will have to provide you worth for getting into the top institutes. Ideally, one has to send a portfolio and also take a drawing and written test here for getting admission.

One can study Fashion design, Fabric and color, Fashion illustration, Fashion promotion, Marketing, Retailing and Merchandising programs to its students. Here you will learn about a combination of French fashion heritage with the latest technological changes and developments. On the whole, innovative teaching methods backed with practical workshops, personal researches, experimentation, peer to peer presentations, etc. students are known to explore their creative and pragmatic, curious and analytical, imaginative mind for learning fashion.

Top universities include-


  • Paris Fashion Institute
  • Fashion School Of Luxury And Design
  • Ecole De La Chambre Syndicale
  • Esmod

Law


International law is the primary focus of France and foreign students are eligible to study law here. There is a special examination needed to pass the Bar here and your course would include Private international law, public international law and supranational law. Once you finish your basic degree you can move on to specialisation. With an International Law degree students are prepared for careers in government, international relations, international business, and more. The faculty of law at a French university is referred to as Faculte de droit or Universite de droit (University of Law). France has law schools affiliated with various existing French law faculty, called Ecole de droit, College de droit or Academie de droit. Both the state government and private universities manage the exclusive institutions too.

Top universities include-

  • Sorbonne Paris Cite - Universite Paris Descartes
  • M.Sc. Droit International et Europeen Public et Prive (Professionnel) - M2
  • Sorbonne University

Food and Culinary Arts

Some of the best chefs from across the world come from France and students flock here to study culinary arts. You can take up a range of degrees in the food department that give you a comprehensive view of the culinary field. It can be baking, pastry, cooking, etc. All in all the concept is to provide the students with an international view of the food safety regulations and standards, along with learning the basics of the food industry.

Through these degrees one can set up or work with systems like HACCP, BRC,IFS, SQF, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. They can audit about food and even cook. Professionals of the sector provide a practical view of food industry management via lectures and seminars. Overall sense of food management is taught. Along with this, students can pursue short term baking and cooking courses to enter the chef line too.

Top universities include-

  • ISA
  • Audencia Nantes
  • Institut European d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation, Universite de Tours (France)
  • Universite Francois Rabelais
  • Le Cordon Bleu

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