Overseas education: France is in fashion
Posted on June 4, 2012
While even a few years ago ‘studying abroad’ used to refer to students taking off to either the United States or the UK, the current trend has students exploring their options in other countries as well. Among the European nations, France ranks high in attracting foreign students thanks to its picturesque setting, vibrant culture and not to mention, some of the most-established institutes in the world. Nishit Jain, country (India) manager of Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) institute, one of the top schools in France, reasons why France becomes an ideal study destination for students in India.
UK and the visa problem
The UK government recently introduced a new set of rules for student visas that allows only students who upon graduation manage to fetch a job offer of at least 20,000 pounds to stay in the country.
This is one of the reasons why students are no longer interested in UK education, according to Jain.
“Who wants to gamble?There was a point when students would opt to study in the US or UK because they were English-speaking countries. But people in India are becoming more aware of education in other countries as it is becoming nearly impossible to get a job in the US or UK,” says Jain. Yet another reason why Indian students are more aware of French institutions: they frequently collaborate with Indian schools.
“When you look at partnerships between Indian and foreign institutions, the French have a strong presence. Also, French institutes rank high in global ranking systems. All these factors have made French education quite popular,” he says.
The French government usually lets students who complete their graduation to extend their stay up to 6 months while trying to find a job.
Fees and the cost of living are factors that may force many a student to pause and re-consider the overseas education option. But Jain promises that studying in France—though is bound to pinch your pockets—will be considerably cheaper than UK or the US. “France is quite economical as the cost of living is not that high.” According to him: A student can survive in France with 500 or 600 euros per month and that includes rent and food. Undergraduate courses usually cost something between 6,000 to 10,000 euros.
“So, it is actually about 20 per cent lesser than what it would cost in UK. Post-graduate courses cost between 15,000 and 20,000 euros,” he adds.
Fashion management and luxury management courses are amongst the most-sought-after courses at the post-graduation level in France.
“Many students also opt to study International Business as it has takers with several companies who want to deal internationally,” adds Jain.
Also, contrary to the popular belief, most of the instruction in French institutions is in English. So, fluency in French is not a must and almost all of the post-graduation courses offered in France are in English.
Lyon, Lille, Toulouse and Montpellier and of course Paris are popular choices among students. École Centrale de Paris, Université d’Orléans, Université Lille 1, Sciences et Technologie, American University of Paris and Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris are some popular institutes students opt for.
Websites such as studyineurope.eu and indobase.com provide a comprehensive look at popular and reliable institutes in Europe.
Two of the most popular scholarship options are Charpak Scholarship of Excellence Programme and Eiffel Scholarship. The Charpak Scholarship that literally translates to incentives, is given to about 250-300 students annually. Depending on the student’s resume, the scholarship either provides students with free books and supplies, monthly allowance, travel charges or all of the above. The Eiffel Scholarship provides students with about 1,100 euros per month. Students interested in applying to French universities ought to start preparation a year in advance.
1 Jun 2012