Many Ukrainian students are thinking of studying abroad, but most of them do not realize this opportunity. The reason - the presence of stereotypes, many believe that only very smart or very wealthy people can study abroad.
This article, aimed at highlighting the main points of the education system of France, will dispel the prevailing stereotypes.
Why studying in France is preferable?
There are many solemn reasons to study in France:
- The size and power of the French University system is proved by the third place in Europe in the 2009 QS World University Rankings and the seventh place in the world. In general, 21 French universities are in the top 500 of the mentioned ranking.
- Education in public universities in France is free. Students pay only for the residence housing and meals, as well as, depending on the University and specialty, make a small fee for use of the library, laboratories, infrastructure etc.
- There is no need to pass exams to enter the University, a decent certificate of secondary education and a good command of the French language are required. Knowledge of the language shall be confirmed by the certificates DELF/DALF.
- French law allows foreign students to work while studying at the University. The total number of working hours should not exceed 884, i.e. 19.5 hours per week or 84.5 per month. A work permit should be obtained at the University.
- The French government partially compensates students housing expenses (20% to 40%). For this purpose, you should contact the “Family assistance fund” (CAF).
How to prepare yourself for studying in a French University?
Students of any year of the University can get education in France. Namely, you can enter after the eleventh form, but first you need to enter the domestic University by the specialization which you want to study abroad. The year effects only on the admission procedure and the list of documents required for submission.
When entering the first year, you must apply directly to the University. Prior registration for submission of the documents is required. Third-year students and Masters should apply directly to the University to clarify the special rules and list of the documents.
In addition to the usual universities, there are so-called high schools in France. Such schools are more prestigious; they give more attention to the practical training of their students. The schools involve a limited number of students that ensures an individual approach for everyone. The schools have established partnerships with companies ensuring a high level of practical training and opportunity of further employment.
The tuition fees in schools are much higher than in universities. To enter the higher school you need to have a good secondary school certificate and a certificate of completion of special pre-study courses that last two years. To enter the school, the entrance exams are to be passed. For the Ukrainian students it is possible to enter the higher school only from the fourth university year. Each school has its own rules, so to clarify all the details of entering you should contact the institutions directly.
Where to live while studying?
It should be noted that there are no residence housings at the universities in France. The student should take care of the accommodation himself. There are few good options:
The resettlement of students is carried out by the state organizations. To get the hostel you should apply a few months before the start of study. However, it should be clear that the number of places is much less than applicants and priority shall be given to students from socially disadvantaged sections or scholarship holders.
If you cannot get a place in the hostel it's possible to rent an apartment. Usually the apartment is rented by the groups of students, it is more economically. The available special websites could make your search for apartment easier.
Some special aspects
The main condition for living in the country is a student visa. Minimum EUR 5,000 should be booked on the student's bank account to obtain visa. When lack of money there is another option - to get a scholarship. The scholarship programmes are administrated by the special public service. The scholarship could cover all expenses of the student. However, it should be borne in mind that the number of potential scholarship holders is much bigger than the granted scholarships.
To summarize - the organizational process of entering is quite complicated. Besides all the documents should be submitted on time and legalized properly.
Legalization means giving the documents legal force on the territory of another state. Legalization may include apostille and nostrification. The company Jur Klee will help you with registration, apostille and nostrification of the documents, that will significantly reduce the time for their submission to the Universities of France.