HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014
French scholarships for Indian students
Aanchal Bedi, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 26, 2014
First Published: 11:46 IST(26/3/2014)
Last Updated: 12:12 IST(26/3/2014)

The French government is planning to announce 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 are 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,” said a spokesperson from the embassy. 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, amaster’s programme), Eiffel scholarship programme which provides benefits like living expenses (1,200 euros/ month), travel expenses, health insurance and accommodation.

Today France is a much sought after academic destination as far as Indian students are concerned. Small classroom sizes, well developed research facilities and an internationally  acclaimed academic heritage are  the major attractions of this country . “With over 800 courses being taught in English, there has been a spurt of 50% in the number of Indian students going to study in France in the last two to three years. Today, more than 2,600 students opt to study in France and we hope to see this figure doubled over the next five years,” said Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India.

Visa rules simplified
Indian students can go to France on a student visa that is valid for the entire Schengen area. After finishing their course, students can stay for up to one year if they are seeking employment.

“Earlier, international students were allowed to stay for just six months. The French government however, extended the period in June last year to foster cooperation. And finally, it was decided that any Indian student who has a graduate or postgraduate degree from a French institute of higher education will be automatically eligible for a short stay tourist and business Schengen visa with five-year validity. Even if one has obtained a degree prior to this decision, he/she can still apply for the alumni visa. This visa can be extended to spouses and children,” informed the ambassador.

Job opportunities
International students have a temporary work permit for 60% of the normal work time, which amounts to 18 hours a week. “Studying in France stands one in good stead when it comes to securing placement. A French degree is valued by corporate sectors  and countries across the globe. Thus, many Indian students who’ve graduated from French institutions go on to work with MNCs in the UK or the US,” said Richier.

Why study in France?
Classroom sizes are small and students get focussed attention 
The country offers a wide range of scholarships across a bouquet of academic disciplines. 
Today there are nearly  800 courses that are taught in English in french universities
Visa rules have been made easier and students can now stay for an additional year in the country after completing their course 

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