Studying in France - Education System in France
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Full country name: French Republic
Official Name: République française
Languages: French, Catalan, Basque, Breton, Corsican, and English is spoken in tourist areas but French is the chief language, so knowledge of French is useful. (Read: Popular French terms)
Currency: Euro (€)
Time zone: 3.5 hours behind Indian Standard Time (IST)
Worldwide, students choose France for their higher education. Many opt to study in France from India too. Currently there are more than 4,000 Indian students studying in France. This number is nearly double of the Indian student strength in France 5 years ago.
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- The universities here offer extensive flexibility to students in terms of course selection, schedule and timings. You have the option of pursuing either a full time course or a part time course. You can choose the course and the university depending on your schedule. Irrespective of what you choose, the quality of education that you get is always world-class.
- Tuition fee in France is quite affordable compared to other popular study abroad destinations: Cost of Study in France
- You can select the medium of instruction either as French or English.
- Educational institutions in France provide financial assistance that can help you in paying for your education. You can apply for various loans as well as grants that are provided by the French Government and other financial institutions. The government even offers to offset some of your education costs. The French government has developed an ambitious programme with 300 scholarships for the best Indian students.
- The tuition fees are also quite low.
- Apart from these, you can also choose to take up a job while you study. You can even choose a university of France that offers online courses.
- France welcomes students from all countries with open arms. It is quite easy to get a French Student Visa.
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Also read: Why Choose France for Higher Studies?
Public Universities Vs Grand Écoles
Higher education in France is imparted either by public universities that are funded and managed by the French government or by Grand Écoles (a French word that literally means a "Grand School" or an "Elite School".)
Public universities are located in most cities of France and there is no entrance examination needed for admission to these universities. Some of them offer a mix of courses without specialization in any particular subject, but there are also some that offer specialized courses of study - Sociology, Sciences, Engineering or Medicine.
On the other hand, many students join a preparatory course known as CPGE that prepares them for admission in a Grand Écoles. Grand Écoles are very elite institutions of higher education in France and specialize in specific fields such as Sciences, Engineering, Business or Mathematics.
Top 5 universities in France
- École Normale Supérieure
- École Polytechnique
- Pierre and Marie Curie University
- Paris-Sud University
- Paris Diderot University – Paris 7
When not studying
It is quite easy to spend your weekends as there are many wonderful tourist places in France. The country is full of historic cities and going through a brief history of France will help you learn more. The country is teeming with monuments - from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe. Modern architecture such as the Georges Pompidou Centre competes with Notre Dame on nearby Ile de la Cité. Museums abound, from the vast Louvre to the Musée Picasso.
The beautiful countryside is bound to capture your heart and the beaches are quite exquisite too. The mountains in Pyrenees and the Alps offer a whole lot of winter sports that can help you have a good time. The food is quite exotic here and the country is popular for its cheeses and wines.
France has a combination of fast-paced cities, traditional villages and above all its capital, Paris, which attracts millions of visitors every year (15.6 million in 2013.) Other popular destinations include Cannes, Corte (Corti), Monaco, Nice, Provence & Saint-Tropez
- February: Nice: Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday); children throw eggs and flour in the streets while adults party.
- March: Paris Fashion Week in the fashion capital.
- April: Erquy, Brittany: Scallop festival, with many of the edible delicacies on show in different guises and sauces.
- May: Cannes: World famous film festival in this posh resort on the French Riviera.
- August: Carcassone: Medieval festival in the amazing fortress, setting for Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.