France, which is also known as Republique Francaise to the French and French speaking populace of the world is an expansive country in the continent of Europe. France is one of the most sought after study-abroad destinations, inviting abundant number of students every year from all over the world. In addition to a good educational experience, studying in France leads to good career opportunities internationally after graduation. France is better known for its high level of technological development, culture and reputation in the education system, which attracts number of young aspirants here every academic year. For many years, France has held its prominent place in subjects like Mathematics, Astrophysics, Biology, Medicine, Genetics, Physics and other science subjects. The past record of the country in relation to its contribution to science and research field, its achievement is tremendous. In fact, it is well known that the French are adamant in proclaiming their passion about education. This can be attributed to the fact that the French education system has been known to produce the best there is. France is perhaps one of the most traditionally rich countries in Europe with a rich flavour of art and tradition. France holds different meanings for different people. France is number one tourist destination in the world for many different reasons. While some connect it with romanticism, most adore it for its deep and vast art and culture. French architecture is unparalleled in the world with its unique style. Magnificent pieces of architecture still erected, have the influence of different periods in history from the Eiffel Tower, to the Ave de triumphe. This ranges from the most modern to the antique buildings. In the Information Technology sector, France ranks second in Europe and fourth in the world. France is in the forefront of technological progress in several fields. France is responsible for the monitoring and technical management of the European space program Ariane, the operational launcher of several dozen communications and observation satellites.
French Education System
France is a country that has always attracted foreign students and has captured the imagination of many youngsters. It has always been a popular tourist destination with its unparalleled wine, food and the amazing natural beauty. According to the United Nations, it is the most popular tourist destination in the world. But it is also a place of learning and education. Higher education in France is one of the most alluring aspects of its popularity. France has a rich heritage of thinkers and philosophers. It has produced world famous authors, innovators, filmmakers and artists. Not only that, several scientists, researchers and mathematicians have been from this nation. With forty nine Nobel Laureates, France ranks fourth in the list of the highest Nobel Laureate winner countries in the world.
Even today, France has a tradition of academic excellence. French universities are ranked amongst the top universities of the world. Not only do the universities in France are the best in the world, but they are also the most affordable. The tuition fee at the leading universities in France is one of the cheapest all over the world.
French Universities and Grande Ecoles are now increasingly using English as the medium of instruction especially in areas like management, engineering, political sciences to name a few for international students. For students lacking proficiency in French, it is usually taught as a subject in their curriculum during the course time.
The French educational system is highly centralized and organized. It is divided into 3 different stages:
In France, kids start school very early, school starts at 3 and children spend 3 years in kindergarten, schooling is compulsory until age 16.
For secondary education age is from 11 to 15 which is known as BEPC equivalent to 10th in India, then the students who complete secondary school in France receive a diploma known as the Baccalaureate which is equivalent to 12th in India.
Higher education is offered in different institutions. There are two different types of educational institutes that International Students usually choose from Universities and Grande Ecoles.
There are about 88 public Universities spread throughout the country. They cover the entire range of academic disciplines from the sciences, including Mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology to technology, covering computer science, engineering, material science and electrical engineering through to literature, language, the arts, the social science, law economics, management, health, sports and more. The universities cover all disciplines and trains students for research.
The Grande Ecoles are uniquely French institutions, created in the early 19th century in parallel to the university system; they are extremely selective and offer education of a very high standard. There are over 300 Grande Ecoles in France covering different subject areas. The fee structure can sometimes be higher but students benefit from smaller class sizes, better support systems and excellent networks. These can be either Public or Private Institutions or part of both.
Working in France
International students are entitled to work part time upto 20 hours a week off campus. French legislation now authorizes foreign students to work a maximum of 964 hours per year.
Once an international student obtains a degree equivalent to a Master's or higher degree, he/she may request a temporary residence permit after expiration of his/her "student" residence permit. The temporary residence permit is valid for six months and is non-renewable. This permit authorizes student to work in any kind of salaried job he chooses, up to a limit of 60% of the legally permitted number of working hours. At the end of studies, a student can also be recruited by a company even if he is not an EU national.