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Cities and Courses
Why Study in France?
France is an EU country that excels in multiple fields, including biology and pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy and research, automobile and aviation, food and cuisine, high fashion, art etc. The French have such multifaceted development in such varied fields that they have some of the best schools throughout the country. France has been a melting pot of cultures since the conception of La Sorbonne, the first French University, which was more than 800 years ago, Medicine, law and Theology was taught to students who came from all over Europe. However with the coming of modern times the French have opened their doors to the rest of the world and it has become a true mixture of races. Since France is such a country with a population that comes from a myriad of countries, foreign students fit right in, and the warm French demeanor only eases the process. The French government in 1998 made multiple changes in the education system so as to ease the availability of French education to foreign nationals who come to France to get educated. The country is utterly elegant in every imaginable way, and something that one must experience. Some of the world’s best restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues are only the tip of the iceberg as far as what the country offers. If you happen to attend a college in Paris, you can experience the wonder that the Eiffel Tower is.
The government offers medical insurance to students (including international students) under 28 years of age for free and for anyone above the age, a nominal fee of 211 euros an year would make them eligible for the insurance scheme. Besides this lucrative detail, the government also allows students to work for 20 hours a week, if the student is enrolled for a full time course to help the students sustain themselves during their stay in the country. The students may employ themselves informally with a minimal pay of 9.61 euros (pretax)/hour. An average student requires about 600-650 (may change based on the city of residence) Euros to sustain the expenses of the month, excluding tuitions, and a part time job should be able to cover these expenses without any problems.
There are a plethora of reasons why attending an institution in France is an interesting proposal for a student who is not of French origins, these include the lowest tuition costs, the chance to explore the amazing country that France is and the benefit of receiving some of the most valued education and training from top notch tutors. The benefits that come with a European degree, and a French one at that, extends way beyond what can be listed in this article. Don’t think twice, the French will welcome you with open arms, and it will without doubt be the best decision that you make if you choose France for your higher education
Cost of Studying in France
Tuition fees at public universities:
Tuition fees at public universities in France have variable prices, depending on the level of the course (graduate/post graduate/doctoral)
A contribution to campus and student life of 90 EUR is mandatory for students.
Tuition fees at other types of institutions
Most affordable universities in France
Here is a list of French universities with the most affordable tuition fees:
Books or other stationeries average at 50 EUR/month;
Average living costs in French cities and towns
The overall living costs in France depend on your lifestyle, but, most of all, they depend on your chosen location, mainly the French city you live in. It is estimated that you will need around 430 EUR per month to survive while you attend college in the country, but this is a no frills or bare minimum figure. All of the things that we’ve talked about above do not include that many things that will be needed while you study, such as clothing, entertainment, school testing fees, etc. If you are an international student, the laws in France allow you to work part-time up to 20 hours per week while you study in France. While this money can certainly help, it may not be enough to cover all of the things that you will need.
Check the average budget you would need for each of the large cities in France:
Prices for accommodation are usually above the international average of 200 – 300 EUR/month.
The main housing options for students in France are:
International students also have access to VISALE, which offers free rent deposit. It allows students to give a guarantee on the payment of rents t and increase their chances to quickly find accommodation.
One person can expect to spend on average about 250 – 300 EUR/month on groceries in Paris, or less in the provinces. The average price for a meal in the least expensive restaurant costs between 10 and 15 EUR. A more affordable option where you can have a meal anywhere in France are the bistros, brasseries and crepe stands. Some bistros serve substantial meals, and a crepe can take the place of lunch and prices are from 5 to 8 EUR.
You will get the best value if you buy from the supermarket; the cheapest supermarkets in France are Leclerc, followed by Géant Casino. Affordable places to have dinner include the Courtepaille restaurant chain, Buffalo Grill, or inexpensive restaurants in Paris, like Michi. Besides this a student can also have lunch at the university cafeteria for as little as 3 EUR.
Transportation in France:
Education System in France
The French educate 1.5 million pupil in a year ( graduate and post graduate levels) and whopping 10 % of this is composed of international students from all around the globe. With a diverse platter of courses that the French universities have to offer, one is sure to be able to find the specific course that one desires. The higher education system in France is the similar to the pan European style of administration, called the Bologna system, which eases the international mobility as the degrees are valid in most EU countries. France utilizes the same three-level higher education system as do the rest of the 29 European countries involved in the Bologna system. The ‘Licence’ and ‘Licence Professionnelle’ degrees are undergraduate, recognized throughout the world as a Bachelor’s. Post graduate courses include Master’s and Doctorate (PhD). The French implement a credit-based system whereby each module within the course is given a certain amount of ECTS (European credits). These credits are usually transferable within courses. Once a student is able to acquire 180 ECTS, he/she will earn a Licence, and a further 120 ECTS must be acquired for a Master’s qualification. The low tuition fees are a hallmark of universities that are government institutions (most are government run). However, the most prestigious of the French institutions are the Grandes Écoles. These are private institutes that offer degrees that are sought after by the top most organizations in the European Union. Students must have completed 2 years of validated study after graduating the Baccalauréat (Secondary education, a degree like the 12th std in the Indian educational system) or equivalent - an addition that public universities bypass.
Choosing a course and University in France:
Choosing a University is just a matter of choosing ones with lower ROI ranks. Besides that, one has to look at the fact that the university has the course you are interested in as well as other factors like the tuition fees, living expenses in the city and whether the institution gives out scholarships.
Research and dive into every aspect of the course. Study the course content over the duration of the degree. One must go through the modules covered in each course thoroughly and identify the ones that are necessary for enhancing one’s employability. If you as a student do not understand the significance and the brief contents of the modules that each course has to offer, then it may lead to the realization that the course is not the one that you can cope with or you have interest in. Changing courses or repeating first year can become an extremely pricey affair so research, and research well. It is simple to look up the institutions’ web pages for a complete breakdown of each module and its learning outcomes. Find peers and seniors who are enrolled in the same courses through the tool (Yocket) and through third party networks like LinkedIN and facebook, clarify all doubts that you have about the course, with questions that are specific and to the point (how many students failed the course, how many were recruited last year, Is module X taught by professor Y difficult or easy, do you get to have real world internships and professional experience). In the end you have to get your doubts cleared and weigh your options, and choose the course that suits your needs.
Life in France, Health and Safety
Life for an international student is a blast. After a tired day of absorbing knowledge and doing the additional reading that one’s tutor has asked one to do, one can unwind and relax in multiple ways. The country has some of the best restaurants and museums (with the best renaissance artisans’ work ). Most of the museums are free for students ( students ID is a must therefore). The French are very proud about their history and culture, therefore even if you are enrolled in a course that is taught in English (Courses are taught in French and English), knowing the language and the history of the country would be advantageous as French tutors (unequivocally ironically) are known to draw references from their own cultural and historical histories while teaching almost anything. Universities in France maintain many modern sports facilities accessible to students. In most cases this access requires that you pay a small fee for joining. Sports is something that’s encouraged in France. You can find a full range of sports and sporting events offered at the colleges in France including track and field, cricket, rugby, baseball, football, basketball, and many others. Most of the colleges and universities in France offer students the chance to stay connected to the world with the help of wireless internet access provided at no cost. If you are not on campus, you might have to pay for your own connection or use it at the library. Apart from the library, a lot of public places including coffee places offer free WiFi. To help students who work part time while studying at university, most Universities allow very flexible schedules for courses. The students can pick and choose the times and the dates of the course that they will attend. There will be plenty of tests and exams given while you are attending college in France. These exams are not meant to scare you or make you fail; they are designed to ensure that you are learning all of the information that is being taught to you. It is essential that you understand these things to work in your career. Be prepared to take these tests. It is safe to say that once things get started you will have some sort of test or exam each week with at least one of your classes, and sometimes even more than this. French universities have a love of oral presentations. So if you have a fear of talking in front of large groups of people, then this is your chance to practice.
There are lots of different options for accommodation. The most common choice is student residences, which is good to meet other students and is normally a simple process done through your university. However, you can also stay with a host family, which is good for practicing your French and diving in to the local culture and cuisine. Some find host families through Welcome2France.com. Flat sharing or collocation is also a very viable possibility, which is a great way to meet new people – not just students. There are numerous websites for you to search for available rooms, including Roomlala.com or Leboncoin.fr. The climate of France is generally cold in winter and mild in summer, but mild winters and hot summers are usual along the Mediterranean Sea (French riviera) and in the South West of France. Along the Rhône Valley an occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind blows known as the mistral. Its best therefore to carry clothes that help against the cold, at least till one gets acclimatized to the weather of the locality.
Living on a budget is possible only when you cook your own food, this is very well possible because the French still believe and use the concept of local markets. French students normally do not like to socialize with non French speaking students; however, if you do want to make French friends, the best way would be to join clubs that you are interested in, where one can interact with others with similar interest. The best way to befriend the French is to immerse yourself in their culture.
The crime indices in French cities are comparatively low:
Marseille 55.55, Paris 52.00, Toulouse 42.78, Lyon 42.69
Popular Cities and Courses
France is a vibrant country in western Europe. With more than 800 english programs and numerous french programs in business, engineering, technology, arts, literature, music etc. the city has seen large numbers of international students flocking to be a part of french education & culture. Paris has been ranked world’s no.1 student friendly city by QS but there is more to France than just the capital city. a list of top 10 such cities in the country based on the parameters like presence of schools, student mix, affordability and employment opportunities are presented here
Popular Universities In France:
France has three universities that have been listed among the top 100 universities in the world. Most of the universities are concentrated in and around the capital city of Paris, however other cities also offer distinct advantages that universities in Paris can’t offer like cheaper rents and proximity to industrial sectors. Below are some of the French universities that stand out. The three universities that have been briefed about are listed in the top 100 universities of the world.
University of Paris 11
The University of Paris 11 has the largest college campus in the entire country, with locations in five of Paris’ suburbs- Sceaux, Orsay, Chatenay-Malabry, Kremlin-Bicetre and Cachan. The University specializes in human sciences, with five facilities offering Sciences, Law and Economic Sciences, Pharmacy, Medicine and Sports Sciences, three Institutes of Technology and one School of Engineering. A strong 30,000 students attend this university every year, with general education courses accounting for 43% and another 57% in professional training courses. Additionally, there are 4,800 students attending the university from a total of 132 different countries. There are around 1,800 tutors at the institution.
University of Strasbourg
Three universities merged in 2009 and gave rise to the University of Stasbourg. This amalgamated university therefore offers a wide variety of courses. It is the largest educational institution in the country, with more than 41,000 students enrolled. Of those students, the international student population is a big 20%.
Ecole Normale Superieure Paris
Ecole Normal Super Paris a school that is well-known for its research work, with 14 academic departments that grant their degrees after completion of masters and doctoral research has been completed.
With more than 70 different colleges there is certainly something there for everyone. While the above colleges are the most prestigious in the country there are numerous other college choices available that will provide you with a quality education based on your desires for your future career.
Paris Tech is another amazing college in France. The school focuses it education on Science and Technology industries. There are programs offering 4, 3 and 2-year degrees in related fields,graduates from this school enroll in various engineering and research organizations within the EU. With around 4,600 students in attendance at the school, the school is well equipped to handle international students as well. The institution offers a number of extracurricular activities for students, as well as affordable tuition costs and an array of financial assistance programs.
American University of Paris
American University of Paris is a top ranking college that was founded in 1962. It is an Arts and Sciences University offering a plethora of disciplines to students. Students who attend this university will find it offering about 17 major courses and 36 minor courses. The Paris chapter of the school teaches all of their courses in English.
Universite Pierre et Marie Curie
Universite Pierre et Marie Curie has been a leading institution in France since it was formed in 1971. It It has played a central roll in research in the country. There are 125 laboratories inside of the university, with areas such as modelling and engineering, matter and new materials, living earth and environment and life and health.
Louis Pasteur University Strasbourg I
Louis Pasteur University Strasbourg I is a collaboration school that formed between Louis Pasteur University and the University of Strasbourg. The faculty here has consisted of Nobel Prize winners and many top names.
Some of the other top universities and colleges in France include:
Job prospects in France
Working part time with full time course:
International students who have received a student visa (student resident permit) for long stay in France are eligible to employ themselves on a part time basis. French law allows foreign students to carry out part time (part time is mandatory) work of 964 hours during the year, the equivalent of 60% of the legal work year. A part time employee is at least eligible for the minimum wage decided by French law, which is commonly called the SMIC (Salaire Minimum Interprofessionnel de Croissance - the minimum wage). It is 9.76 Euros gross per hour as of January 1st, 2018. This wage is gross; you have to deduct mandatory taxes (about 20%) so as to get €7.61/hour. If you work 10 hours per week for the minimum wage, you will earn about 78 Euros net
University as a place of study and work:
French universities may employ international students within the campus. These work contracts for students last at most twelve months, from September 1st to August 31st. The various jobs include: receiving students at the start of the academic year, tutorials, cultural or sport activities, assistance for students with disabilities etc. In order to help students succeed and find work afterwards, student work in a university is adapted to their timetables and classes. For the same reason, students who work in French universities may not work more than 670 hours from September 1st to June 30th, and no more than 300 hours from July 1st to August 31st.
Carrying out a mandatory internship:
As part of some degrees, the student must do an internship. French and foreign students are subject to the same rules:
In the event that the internship lasts more than two months, the student must be paid 577,50 Euros per month (as of 1st January 2018).
France Application Process
Before you jump into conclusions based on your bias, it is always better that you make a list of universities that you would want to get into depending on variables such as preferred course/supervisor, tuition fee, availability of scholarship, cost of living in the particular city, availability of informal employment, proximity to known relatives etc.
Each university requires at least two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and the copy of your passport for applying for a normal course. Applications for different institutions with multiple courses can be filled online and uploaded using the CampusFrance website. This centralized application process makes it easy on the student. After filing the application, the candidate will be allotted a Student ID. This ID must be mentioned in the all the supplementary documents that we are going to upload ( transcripts, passport copies etc.) .
Apart from this the candidate also needs to prepare a list of documents required for the visa process once the candidate receives admittance into one’s university of choice.
Depending on your eligibility you may get admits into multiple universities and this is great, because now you can go back through your university shortlist and compare the pros and cons of the universities that you got admission in to. Normally, it would be best to consider the ROI ranks of the university in such a situation to improve one’s chances at employability and naturalization in France. Along with this one can also contact peers who used Yocket and have been inducted in such programmes; other Indian nationals who are alumni or are currently pursuing their education in that particular institute either through linkedIN or facebook.
Applying for a student visa is a bit time taking as it may take up to 8 weeks in certain cases, and requires some form filling and documents.However, CampusFrance makes it relatively easier for the student; helping them with the documents required and serving as a mediating party between the student and the French Government. It is important that one must make a judicious and quick decision regarding the university that one wants to choose so that the visa applications may proceed as quickly as possible. The complete details for visa applications can be found here (link to self).
It is recommended to book flight tickets well in advance so that one reaches at least 15 days prior to the commencement of the course. Advance booking is best recommended when chances of getting admits to the chosen course is very good.
Apart from this one requires to make preliminary preparations like converting some amount of money to euros, carrying a international roaming supported sim card or activating international roaming on your present cell phone service, learning about the French culture so as one doesn’t come off as rude as soon as one lands in the country.
Steps to apply for France Student Visa
Visa Application for international students from India is a fairly simple process. The student has to go through CampusFrance, an organization (French national agency) that helps international students to ease the process to get higher education in France. CampusFrance serves as an information resource for you in planning every stage of your stay in France – helping you define your study plans, choose and apply to programs, and assist you with the visa processing. Campus France does take a fee of Rs. 8500/-.The student has to deposit Rs. 8,500/- (Cash/Demand Draft - drawn in favor INSTITUT FRANCAIS EN INDE, at a BNP PARIBAS branch) by filling a deposit slip available in the bank. The receipt of this fee payment is very important as it is one of the mandatory documents required during the academic interview that is carried out prior to applying to French institutions. The following are the basic steps for the application of a French student’s long term visa.
The following documents are required for the academic interview by CampusFrance:
has been accepted for an internship program
The following documents are required for the visa application: (along with a visa application fee of 50 EUR in Indian currency)
Applications earlier than three months before the scheduled date of departure will not be accepted for verification at the VFS-France office. The whole process can take anywhere between 4weeks to 8 weeks. In case of rejection, one can apply again and contest any unjust rejection and the reapplication results will be announced passively ( no reply) or actively within 90 days.
Read the below articles to know more about studying in the France