The number of Indian students choosing France as a destination for their higher studies is on the rise. In the year 2008, 1757 Indian students went to France. The number increased to 1945 in the year 2009. And this year, till August, 1513 students have departed for France, says Golda Malhotra, senior education adviser NCR and events coordinator, CampusFrance, the organisation, which under the guidance of Embassy of France in India, helps Indian students go to France. And according to Daniel Rignault, attaché for cooperation in education, French language and education section, French Embassy in India, the number may well increase to 2000 or more, given that there are still some days before the intake of students close this year.
According to Malhotra, the reasons are manifold:
a) World class teaching facility
b) Fee structures are a lot more reasonable when compared to higher education in other countries
c) A foreign student in France enjoys the same advantages as would a French student
d) The cultural richness that France offers
e) Growing number of courses that are available in English.
As for learning French to study in France, it is not compulsory. For programmes in the fields of management and engineering the medium of instruction is mainly English. Courses in architecture, fine art and a few other disciplines are offered in French. If the medium of instruction is French, at least “an intermediate level of French is mandatory,” says Malhotra. However, it is always good to learn French if you are going to France for higher studies. “Even if the medium of instruction is English, learning French is recommended,” says Rignault. Students then will gel well with the French society and its rich culture.
The most sought after programmes are those in the field of management, engineering, nuclear energy, life sciences and fine art.
The intake for at least 95 per cent of the programmes in France happens in September/October. The rest takes place in January.
When to apply
The best time to start the application process is in September/ October of the previous year, says Malhotra. For example a student applying for the intake in September/ October 2011 will do well to get started right away. “Admission seekers could start applying in October and that can go on till early May,” says Malhotra.
How to apply?
It is highly recommended that students get in touch with the closest CampusFrance office where s/he would be guided through the requisite procedures. All applications are to be made via the portal www.india-campusfrance.org by creating an online interface describing the study project, wherein all details of marksheets and subjects etc need to be uploaded. However, other routes of admission are open. “Students, if they choose so, can directly apply to institutes instead of opting to make a single online application through the CampusFrance website,” clarifies Malhotra.
Deadlines — UG and PG
UG: First-half of January for the September intake in the following year
PG: First-half of April for the September intake in the following year
a) Single online CampusFrance form/ Direct application form to various institutes
b) Curriculum Vitae
c) Statement of purpose
d) Academic certificates (beginning from Class X)
e) Two recommendation letters (academic and/or professional)
f) Work experience certificate, if any
g) Language competence certificate, if required.
Average annual tuition fee
Tuition fee varies depending on the course and the language of instruction. However average tuition fee could be pegged at ¤6000, per annum, in a grandes ecoles and ¤350 to ¤400, per annum, in public universities.
It could be either student residences provided by the universities, or staying with a French family or renting your own accommodation close to your college.
A 15 sq mt room with kitchen and bathroom can cost you around ¤200 but cheaper options like CROUS residences (difficult to obtain) or staying with a French family may cost you anything between ¤100 to ¤300, says Shilpi Tyagi, who has recently completed her management degree and is currently working with DCNS in France. CROUS is an organization that provides accommodation to students, mainly international, anywhere in France.
What to eat?
Those living in private residences may cook their own food. Otherwise you may eat in the cafeterias, which cater to the international community, in the university campus. “More than 265,000 international students are enrolled in France’s institutions of higher education,” says Rignault.If you are a vegetarian like Shilpi, do not worry. “There are small outlets where you can go and eat vegetarian food,” says Malhotra.
Scholarships are offered by the Embassy of France in India and French companies. These funding opportunities are normally announced in November. Regional governments in France also offer funding. All these details may be sought from the closest CampusFrance office.
Part-time job policy
A student can work for 20 hours a week, on or off campus, during the term time and full time during vacation.
The international relations offices of the French institutions keep the students informed of job opportunities and the students are then required to follow up. “After completing their studies graduates are allowed to stay on, in France, for six months to hunt for a job and depending on their work contract and if they find a job matching their qualifications, they can stay in France for at least two years,” says Malhotra.
Three steps to your French visa
With online facility in place, obtaining a French visa has become easier now
. Part of the work to obtain a visa can be done online now. Schedule a visa interview by telephone or e-mail with your closest CampusFrance office in one of the
nine cities across India.
The interview is conducted either by the director of the Alliance Francaise or the French language or university cooperation attaches in various cities.
. A no objection certificate is then issued and transmitted to the respective consulate in Delhi, Mumbai or Puducherry.
(More details at www.india-campusfrance.org).
. The student has to personally visit the consulate on a given date and deposit the passport for the visa. The mission charges Euro 50 as visa processing fee.