France is one of the best countries to complete higher education because the French higher education system is one of the best in the world. It is also one of the most accessible ones. With dramatically reduced tuition fees in comparison to other leading study abroad destinations, studying in France is more economically viable for international students. Consistently appearing near the top of internationally renowned rankings, French universities offer an academic pedigree that easily competes with other countries. France is particularly a good choice for those wanting to study business related subjects. The country is somewhat of a hub for international business and management education as it has lots of business schools in the worldwide rankings.
France has 83 public universities and they are all funded by the national government, offering excellent education at a very affordable price to all students, domestic or international. There are also a number of private universities. The academic year begins in September or October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and institution. There are two semesters, divided by a break following final examinations at the end of the first semester. There are two main types of courses offered at French universities: large lecture courses, where the professor speaks and students take notes, and sections & labs, designed for smaller groups of students where the material covered in lectures is explored in greater detail. Usually, attendance in sections & labs is mandatory. Some career-oriented programs also require internships and practical training.
It's also important to know that every university has an internship referral system and a career services 0.office, so you will always know of the most recent internship and job opportunities available to you.
France uses the Euro (€) for its currency. Tuition rates at public institutions are set by the government and they are very affordable. In fact, tuition rates at France’s public institutions of higher education are identical for domestic and international students. Students are often required to pay certain administrative fees which raise tuition costs a bit. Despite these fees, studying in France remains one of the most affordable options for international students who seek a quality higher education.
There are also certain scholarships and mobility schemes available for those who wish to study abroad in France. Some of the most popular ones include grants from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, funding made by National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), awards from regional councils, Erasmus and Erasmus Mundus programs.
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. Annually, the French government awards 7.1 crore Indian rupees (1.1 million Euros) to more than 500 meritorious Indian students who will pursue a degree in France. This programme is run by the Embassy of France in India for students at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels (“Charpak Programme”), as well as PhD candidates (“Raman Charpak Programme”, run jointly with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India).
Unlike tuition rates, costs of living in France tend to be higher than neighbouring countries. Luckily, students are often eligible to subsidized rates at restaurants and transportation. There is also specialised housing for students which is even available to internationals who wish to study in France. Costs of living are significantly lower in smaller towns, so this is another thing to keep in mind when deciding on where to study in France.
Applicants from outside the EU: You will need to obtain a visa, which includes a residence permit (VLS-TS). It is valid for one year and can be renewed later if necessary. In order to obtain this visa you have to complete an application form as well provide OFII (the French Office of Immigration and Integration) passport photos, proof of your qualifications, a police certificate attesting that you don’t have a serious criminal record, a proof you can speak French (if your course is in French) and a proof you have sufficient financial means. Once you arrive in France you will need to contact OFII (they may request that you undertake a medical examination).
2-year Visa Extension Indian students in France can extend their stay in the country beyond the completion of their studies in order to acquire a work experience. An agreement was signed between the two nations during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. This allows Indian students in France to stay for a period of 24 months: a 12-month visa renewable once for a further period of 12 months.
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