Friday, 6 November 2015


France has an extremely distinctive image in our minds regarding its history and urban lifestyle. The country is widely loved by tourist for the spectacular sceneries, world renowned heritage and extraordinary culinary skills. Apart from these, France is also listed amongst the best cities to migrate for completing higher education.
Today, France has become the 3rd leading host country for international students after USA and UK. It is reported that more than 130,000 foreign students flock to France every year. French universities enroll over 1.5 million students. International students make up about 10 percent of total enrollments, one of the highest percentages among OECD countries. 
French universities were initially not on the radar of the Indians, although many of them were aware of the French excellence in science, medicine, business studies and liberal arts. The main reason was the language. Over time, the Alliance Française, now called the Insitut Français, has spread its net all over India, and the French have also started accepting the use of English, particularly in their renowned business schools. However, the advantages of a bilingual education cannot be ignored as it is a long-term investment which opens the gates to a much larger job market worldwide.
To encourage international students, the French embassy offers specially crafted scholarship programmes for all type of courses. Furthermore, The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs also launched Eiffel scholarships mainly for masters, engineering and PhD courses.

The advantages of studying in France
·         High Standard of Education

French universities regularly fall under the list of top 100 universities in the world .

France is technologically-advanced and is renowned for technological and scientific innovations. Thus students can take advantage of the many research and development institutes and facilities that are available within the country.
France's universities are public institutions. The universities offer academic, technical, and professional degree programs in all disciplines, preparing students for careers in research and professional practice in every imaginable field. The universities offer dozens of different national diplomas. 

of France's specialized schools are public; others are private. Specialized schools are selective in their admissions and enroll far fewer students than the universities. They train students for careers in engineering, management, art, and architecture, to name just a few. Specialized schools prepare students for professional practice. France's famous grandes écoles fall into this category. They are unique institutions, prestigious and very selective. Many are devoted to training high-level managers and engineers. Their programs are so well attuned to the needs of industry that their graduates are in very high demand.

·         Affordable tuition fees and subsidized living costs

Studying in France is relatively inexpensive because the government funds a significant share of the cost. Annual tuition in a public university is between 126 and 692 Euros, depending on the program. Costs in private institutions are higher.
Barring a couple of top French business schools, the rest are much cheaper than their American equivalents. Good food and medical care are other benefits-at a fractional cost of what it would be in the US.
Standard Tuition fees in French universities was about £200 per year in 2011 and 183 Euros (for a first degree), and 254 Euros (per year for Master’s degree) in 2013-2014 as compared to 9000 Euros per year in UK. Further, student residences, restaurants, public transport are highly subsidized. This makes French education much more economical than studying and living in UK.
Note that the standard tuition fees apply in all French universities; they do not however apply in the "Grandes Ecoles" (specialist undergraduate or postgraduate schools), in schools of commerce or other private institutions authorised to award degrees or their equivalents.

·         Merit based scholarships and financial aid packages
The French government announced more than 300 excellence scholarships worth over one million euros for the academic year 2014-15. Students from all fields and subjects at the bachelor’s, master’s and PhD levels were eligible to apply for these scholarships.
The French government is keen to welcome Indian students in a wide range of fields like engineering, management, and design. The benefits of these scholarships include a monthly stipend to cover daily expenses, free student visa, medical insurance coverage and assistance in finding affordable accommodation in France.
Other offers are the Charpak scholarship programme which offers three types of funding (research internship programme, exchange programme, and master’s programme), Eiffel scholarship programme which provides benefits like living expenses (1,200 euros/ month), travel expenses, health insurance and accommodation.
The French Embassy in India and the Department of Science and Technology announced the launch of 2014/2015 Raman-Charpak fellowship. This scheme offers PhD students the chance to complete 3 to 6 months of their thesis in a French or Indian laboratory. 9 Indian students were selected to go to France, and 5 French students to do part of their research in India.The major areas of research included: Atmospheric and Earth Sciences, Life Science and Medicine, Chemistry, Material Science, Engineering Science, Mathematical and Computational Sciences and Physical Sciences
Applicants taking on the following disciplines are advantaged in consideration of scholarship:
Architecture: All fields of architecture studies
Biotechnology: Health, plant, agriculture, food processing, pharmaceutical sciences
Smart grid engineering: Electricity network, digital technology, net metering, energy independence, emergency resilience
Civil Nuclear: Nuclear technology, nuclear physics, nuclear safety, radiation protection
European Studies: All fields

Mathematics: All fields of fundamental and applied mathematics

Nanotechnology: Nanosciences applied to any field or domain.
Water Sciences: Agriculture, climate change, conservation, technology & engineering, purification, supply of drinkable water, treatment & health.

·         Availability of Part-time job opportunities while studying
International students may work half-time as long as they are registered at an institution approved by the French social security system. Even first-year students and students coming to France for the first time have the right to work half-time. The minimum hourly wage in France is 8,27 Euros.
·         Paid Internship opportunities
Courses with paid internships are very popular in France and a lot of overseas students opt for these courses

·         Excellent post-graduation work placement opportunities
Indian graduates from French universities will be eligible to be a part of the “France-India Job Opportunities” network, which will partner them with ongoing networking within French companies and those working in partnership with them, in India.
The India-France Job Opportunities Board was launched on the occasion of the Indo-French Technology Summit (23-24 October 2013) in answer to a growing need to help Indian alumni having acquired a master or doctoral degree from France to find suitable placements.
The Board had emerged as the direct result of two important developments. First, a growing number of Indian students had been opting for a French "Grande Ecole" or university for pursing higher studies – or a part of their programme. Management and engineering were top choices.
Second, French companies have invested massively in India: the approximately 350 French companies present in India, with 400 subsidiaries, account for a total investment stock of $ 18 billion - which makes France one of the top investors in India.
Ambassador Richier decided to undertake a series of measures subsequent to these developments to further encourage both these steady, encouraging trends:
           formulating a visa-friendly policy for Indian students wishing to study in France;
           granting long-term visas to France for all Indian citizens holding post-graduate degrees from a French university or "Grande Ecole" so that they may freely travel between France and India;
          extending the alumni networks that have recently expanded in Europe and America but still need to develop in India;
           providing all Indian students having studied in France access to the network of French companies operating in India, as well as their Indian partners. Furthermore, all Indian post-graduates from France (Masters to PhD), will be able to seek assistance in finding the companies most suitable for their qualifications and talents, via the India-France Job Opportunities Board.
·         Work Visa
If you want to stay in France to find work after graduation, it is now easier to extend your student visa on to a work visa; and if you’re a graduate of a French business or engineering school, even better.
All Indian citizens who have studied in France and graduated from a French higher institution will now be given a longer validity visa for any subsequent trip to France (tourist or business) – up to 5 years if the studies were at the Masters or PhD levels in France.
·         Excellence of culture, economy and social experiences

Though the French government is struggling slightly recently with the trouble of the Euro, France’s cultural and social experiences continue to amaze and enthral. France is the place that invented the term savoir-vivre, which means ‘the art of living well’, and the place certainly lives up to it! When studying in France, take advantages of its many touristic, cultural and sporting activities that you would be able to enjoy at student prices!
The greatest advantage in going to a French school is perhaps its mix of academic excellence and cultural richness. The wall between academic learning and mainstream life is much more porous in France. Many of the Parisian universities don't even have a campus; it's just buildings in the city allotted to universities, and a majority of the students rent city accommodation. The cultural and social life of the city-cinemas, theatres, bookshops, art galleries, museums, and also the social turmoil-permeates the mind of the university student. In that sense, French education is more composite, more wholesome and less monastic.

·         High quality and standard of living

 France offers a very high standard of living that would prove to be excellent to study in, all the way from its transportation and education systems to its health and political systems. This republic is well-managed, and would be a pleasure to live and study in

·         The Bilingual experience gained.

After 3 years in a French university, you'll be virtually bilingual – a skill that is very useful in a country like the UK where so few people speak a second European language properly. Besides, if you want to get a job with international prospects and travel, experience of living in at least two countries for good lengths of time is always a bonus on any CV.
·       French universities and business organizations work in close collaboration
 French businesses participate in the development of university curricula and  more and more majors are added in accordance to business practice.
·         No differentiation made between international students and local French students

Under the French law, requirements for admission into French universities are similar for both sets of students. The degrees awarded are the same as well.

·         Foreign students enjoy the same rights as French students

International students also enjoy housing subsidies, and student discounts on social insurance, university catering, public transport, cinemas, and theaters just like the local French students.
·         French higher education is more accessible
 French university registration fee is very reasonable. In addition, the French government university scholarship recipients may be exempt from registration fees.
·         Courses taught in English Language

 Grande Ecole institutions provide Bachelors and Master courses in English. They are very highly recognized courses all over the world. In 2012, 2,600 Indian students went to study in France and at present the numbers have increasing. As a result the number of courses taught in English at French universities has crossed the 700 mark.

·         No IELTS/TOEFL required

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