Frequently Asked Questions About France
- Do I need to know French to study in France?
No. There are many courses, especially in engineering (all branches), management, hospitality, fashion studies, economics, etc that are taught in English. However, it is a good idea to learn basics of French language, to ensure a smooth stay.
- Where can I learn French?
One can learn French at any Alliance Française center spread across 21 towns and cities in India. For further information visit:www.afindia.org
- Are there any qualifying tests to take while applying?
Mostly GMAT is required for the MBA programs, and certain other management programmes. However, there are several MBA programs that also accept candidature without the GMAT score. GRE is certainly not required. Most institutes are comfortable with the level of English and do not necessarily ask for a TOEFL or IELTS, with some exceptions. If a course is in French then a standard test like the DELF, TCF or DALF may be required.
- How long does it take to learn French?
Language learning varies from person to person. Normally, a minimum of six months is required to acquire a very basic level of French and a year of French learning takes one to an intermediary level at institutes like the Alliance Françaises.
- Are Indian degrees recognized in France and vise versa?
A Bachelor degree in France is obtained after 3 years of studies after the baccalaureate, a Master is 5 years after the baccalaureate and a Doctorate is acquired after 8 years of higher education post baccalaureate. This is quite the same for the Indian system of education too.
- What is the Baccalaureate?
The Baccalaureate is recognized to be the equivalent of the 10+2 in India , this equivalence is established by the Association of Indian Universities in India.
- Is it necessary to have 16 years of education to get a master degree?
No. One can get a master degree after 15 years (that is 12+3 years of Bachelor Degree). However, in Engineering courses16 years of education is a pre –requisite to access an MSc or an M-Tech.
- Is the Diplome the same thing as a Diploma?
No. The word “diplome” is used to signify a qualification in France. The word degree does not exist in French. A “Diplome d’Ingenieur” for instance, is a title that is equivalent to the M-tech degree. Thus a diplome does not mean a diploma.
- Is a Polytechnique in France a good institute to enroll in for a masters or a diploma?
Unlike in India , a Polytechnique in France usually regroups several specialist colleges and awards Bachelor degree in Science, Btech, Master degree in Science, the M Tech and the PhD. However, in India the Polytechnics usually confer vocational diplomas. Polytechnique are thus excellent colleges of advanced technology.
- Where can I find out University or college rankings?
The French government does not follow a policy of ranking universities and professional colleges. The government ensures that the quality of instruction and facilities are at par in all institutes that are accredited by the state. However informal rankings of management schools, engineering schools are routinely carried out by magazines like the L’Etudiant or the Nouvel Economiste. Also, most engineering colleges in France specialize in one domain rather than all branches of engineering. hence for such reasons colleges or universities cannot be compared against each other.
- What kind of scholarships are available to study in France?
France offers many scholarships. 1 out of 7 candidates get some form of financial aid. The French Embassy in India offers the incentive scholarships, the French ministry of External affairs offers the Eiffel grants of excellence, the institutions in France themselves may waive certain fees, there are corporate scholarships offered by Thales and so many more.
- Is it necessary to get any medical check-up done before leaving for France?
One will be required to undergo a medical test by a French doctor on reaching France, at the time when one applies for the “carte de séjour” or the temporary resident permit. However, it is advisable to carry a certified copy, of one's immunization schedule from India, by a registered medical practitioner.
- What kind of Insurances are needed to study in France?
To get a French VISA, the student has to take an insurance for a minimum duration of three months. The insurance should start from the date of departure and should cover medical expenses and repatriation. An approximate cost for subscribing to such an insurance plan is between INR 3500 TO INR 4000. It also guarantees a cover of up to 50000 US dollars. Companies like TATA AIG, Bajaj Allianz, New India Insurance, ICICI Lombard and the like, provide these kind of insurances.
- Is French VISA granted for the entire duration of the course?
If the student is taking the long stay student VISA, then from India you only get a three month validity of the French VISA with the words “carte de séjour à solliciter” written on your passport. It means that once in France, the student must contact the international relations office of your university or institute, and apply for the “Carte de Séjour”, a Temporary Resident Permit. For Temporary Resident Permit, the student must submit several documents at the local “Prefecture de Police”. The Carte de Séjour is, in such a case, renewable for the whole stay. The Carte de Séjour enables the student to benefit from the French Social Security.
- What Visa status will I have as a student?
International students coming for programmes more than 6 months duration, from countries outside the European Union, must get a long term students visa from the French consulate.
- Is it true that the French government gives all students a lodging assistance allowance?
The students who are entitled to the Carte de séjour may benefit of the lodging assistance allowance offered by the French state depending on the family resources. The candidate's international office at their respective university, will guide the student for the application process.
- What documents should I get translated and from where?
You should get your birth certificate, either the hospital record, or the one from the Birth and Death Registry Office, issued by the Municipal Corporation for cities / Gram Panchayat for those born in villages. The birth certificate must contain the name of both parents. This document must be translated from the Alliance Française (visit www.afindia.org for the list of authorized and French government recognized translation centers in India). The tenth grade certificate or the passport will not serve as Birth Certificates in France.
- What is the use of an International Student Identity Card?
An international student identity card enables you to access youth hostels for short stays while traveling at discounted prices. You can get this from any office of the STIC Travels.
- What is a “carte orange”?
It is the monthly travel pass valid in the Metro and the Buses.
- What are the documents that one needs to get a “Carte de Séjour” or the Temporary Resident card in France?
Following documents are required:
- A valid passport (original and 2 photocopies of the first two and last two pages)
- Valid visa
- Certified Proof of academic records (originals and photocopies)
- Certified proof of address in France (gas or electricity bill, or university Hostel’s letter, or if you are staying in someone’s house then a letter from that person and proof of his electricity or gas bill in original as well as resident’s card or identity card of that person)
- Financial proof, that is 430 euros per month of living expenses
- Birth Certificate
- 3 recent black and white photos (of size 3.5cm x 4.5cm)
- One self addressed and stamped envelope
- What is the procedure to obtain the Carte de Séjour?
With the requisite documents, one has to appear at the local “Prefecture de Police”. One can get this address from the international relations officer at one's institute. After submitting the completed application form and the necessary documents, the students will receive an acknowledgment receipt, conveying the date stipulated for the collection of their card. A payment of 55 euros has to be made. Students must appear personally to collect this card. Once the student obtains this resident card or the carte de séjour, a copy of this card must be submitted to their university’s admissions office, so as to be get the student card.
- What is the address of the Indian Embassy in France?
15, rue Alfred Dehodencq
75016 – Paris, France
Tel.:00 33 1 40 50 70 70
- Is it possible to work in France while studying?
International students can work part time if their timetable permits as long as they are registered at an institution approved by the French social security system. Even first year students coming to France for the first time have the right to work part time 20 hrs per week.