University education in France
THE FRENCH UNIVERSITY SYSTEM
For any international student that is planning to experience what it is to study abroad their country of choice might have become France. And rightly so! Not only has the academic system in France some of the best and most innovative programmes in the world. The schools here have become breeding grounds for some of the most brilliant and finer graduates, postgraduates and researchers that our planet has known. France is currently the fourth most popular study destination in the world, and it’s no wonder with its excellent culture, highly rated university system and the draw of relatively low tuition fees. Every year, nearly 300,000 students travel to France in order to study in its public or private universities and grandes écoles or to get their degree. English is becoming more and more the most spoken language on any international campus.
French universities are known as one of the academic systems on the forefront of the global digital and industrial revolution. France is one of the key players in the European political and economic landscape. Being the border between the Iberian peninsula and mainland Europe area, France has long been a cultural hub of Europe. Paris, for example, is the top of the bill in terms of fashion and luxury, and many of the world’s leading fashion influences come from Parisian fashion houses. The country has also produced some of the world’s most celebrated writers, including names like Rousseau and Voltaire. With its connections to Germany, France served as one of the leaders in uniting Europe and creating the European Union. You will see that life here is an enrichment for any young, less young student or researcher.
THE GRADUATE PROGRAMS
Even though studying abroad is a great opportunity for a student’s personal development. Higher education in France can be a bit confusing. The system is standardised in a three-level hierarchy, which makes it a little easier to understand. Today, students will begin by pursuing a licence, which is similar to a bachelor’s degree. This is followed by master’s level courses. The final level of training is the doctorate. The licence takes three years to complete, with two years required for a master’s degree. A PHD programme usually requires three additional years. They also have the opportunity to specialize by completing different modules. INSEEC guides all of its students them through their studies: from undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and even researchers.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE PRACTICAL SIDE?
Depending on the country where the student originates from he or she has to be able to prove that a diploma, degree or study credit was acquired at their previous academic institute. French educational institutions always have the right to decide on the admission of any student. Sometimes you have to have your local diploma officially recognised before registration. In France, the Centre international des études pédagogiques (CIEP) is in charge of this. An application for recognition has to be filled in online and the procedure can take up to 4 months. Documents in a foreign language must be submitted with a sworn official translation. Students with scholarships have to make sure to transfer the necessary documents when they apply. Within the French system private institutes are allowed to decide what fee they ask following the different courses.
If you are coming to study in France from a country based within the European Union, you will not need to apply for a student visa. It’s important that you have proper health insurance. If your country is outside the EU, then you will need to visit a French consulate to get a student visa prior to travelling to the country. Your visa will serve as proof of your residence status during your first year of studies. After one year, you will need to apply for a Carte de Sejour which gives you official permission to be active and be domiciled on French territory. Also, you need to register at the local immigration office within 30 days of your arrival in the country to be in par with the local entry requirements.
The cost of living in France is on a par with most European countries. However, Paris, where many top universities are located and a high number of options are available in terms of courses, has a slightly higher cost of living. Also, the chance of finding accomodation in Paris can be smaller due to the high population density. If you know you are going to study in Paris, find your housing early, before the start of the autumn race for available places. Be sure to check out some of our info sessions!
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