France is one of the most preferred higher education destinations of the world. It houses 83 public universities, all of which are funded by the national government owing to which the fee here is low as compared to other leading study abroad destinations. The education in France is quite affordable for both domestic as well as international students. The country has many of its business schools in the worldwide rankings, is considered a hub for international business and management education which is why it is looked up to by students wanting to study business related subjects.
Talking about the academic year, it begins in September or October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and the institution. There are two semesters; each ends with a break followed by examination. Large lecture courses and section & labs are the two main types of courses offered at the French universities. In the former, the professor gives lectures and students take notes, while in the latter, the course taught in lectures is in great details.
Already mentioned that the fee in France is comparatively low, the reason behind this being the affordable tuition rates that are set by the government. Moreover, the best part is that the rates at France's public institutions are same for both domestic and international students. And if the foreign students still find the rates high, there are scholarships and mobility schemes, some of which are granted by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, some are sponsored by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), some are the awards from regional councils, Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programs. Further, Indian student have an edge over others as the French government honors 500 meritorious Indian students with 7.1 Crore Indian rupees (1.1 million Euros) for higher education in France. Students wanting to do Bachelor's and Master's can be benefitted by the Charpak Program, run by the Embassy of France in India. There is also a program for PhD candidates "Raman Charpak Program", which is jointly run with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
But, like the tuition fee, cost of living in France is not low. Though for the students, the condition is a bit different, how, you ask? Well, they have access to subsidized rates at restaurants and transportation, can also avail specialized housing, which is specially meant for students. The cost is further low if you move towards smaller towns.
As far as Indian students are concerned, they have the privilege of extending their stay in the country after completion of their studies for acquiring work experience. This is as a result of the agreement signed between India and France during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country in 2015. According to the scheme, Indian students can stay in France for 24 months: a 12-month visa renewable once for a further period of 12 months.
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