Is France Good For Indian Students?

Updated :
| By : Christine
I’m a retired 65 years old and I live in western Paris. Born in Alsace, I have always lived in this beautiful region of eastern France. Passionate about travel, culture and literature. Find me on Linkedin.

Bonjour les amis,

Do you know my last destination just after COVID crisis?

I spent one month in India and I met very nice people.

I discussed several evenings with Kiran and his two twins about France of course.

They will become students in a year and they would like to travel for studies so they asked me: is France good for Indian students?

When I go back at home, I decided to build a file, and of course I share my research and reflections with you in this article.

Have a nice day!

Christine

Read Also : 15 Most Popular Sports In France In 2023

Introduction

In recent years, India’s expanding global aspirations and its growing middle class driven Indian students pursuing higher education abroad.

Students are exploring diverse international destinations in purpose to find quality education, global exposure, and better career prospects.

For me, France is known for its rich history, culture, and world-class education system.

During my research I discovered that France is becoming a popular destination for Indian students.

Our country offers a plethora of courses in various disciplines, and presents an attractive option for those seeking an immersive learning experience, vibrant student life, and a gateway to Europe.

With this post, I would like to give the students a guide to taking decision about studying in France.

I have quickly examinated factors such as:

  • education quality,
  • affordability,
  • language and cultural integration,
  • employment opportunities.

Quality of Education in France

Overview of French higher education institutions

10 of World-renowned universities and “grandes écoles”

France is home to numerous world-renowned universities and prestigious grandes écoles, which offer a diverse range of programs in fields such as engineering, business, and humanities.

These institutions put forward a strong academic tradition, highly qualified faculty, and a commitment to research and innovation.

Here is the list of 10 of them:

  1. École Normale Supérieure (ENS Paris)
  2. École Polytechnique (l’X)
  3. Sorbonne University
  4. PSL Research University Paris (Paris Sciences & Lettres)
  5. HEC Paris
  6. CentraleSupélec
  7. Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies)
  8. University of Paris (Université de Paris)
  9. INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires)
  10. École des Ponts ParisTech

Building of the economy faculty of Rennes 1 university in RennesSource: creative commons

Specializations and areas of expertise

French higher education institutions excel in various specializations and areas of expertise.

If you are an Indian student, you have the opportunity to delve into their chosen fields.

You will benefit from cutting-edge research and industry collaborations.

For example in:

  • engineering,
  • business management,
  • political science
  • arts,
  • humanities,
  • culinary arts.

Research opportunities and facilities

As a student, you can expect to thrive in France’s dynamic research environment.

France provides exceptional research opportunities and facilities.

Students can gain valuable hands-on experience and contribute to groundbreaking research.

France’s strengths in this area are:

  • state-of-the-art laboratories,
  • extensive resources,
  • collaborative projects with leading research organizations like CNRS, INRIA, and CEA,
  • interdisciplinary approaches and fostering innovation.

 International recognition of French degrees

A degree from a French institution can open doors to prestigious careers and networks, both within Europe and worldwide.

French degrees are internationally recognized for their high academic standards, ensuring that Indian students’ qualifications are well-regarded globally.

France adheres to the European Higher Education Area’s (EHEA) Bologna Process, which promotes comparability and compatibility among degrees across Europe.

So you can easily transfer your credits and you can have facilitates further studies or employment opportunities in other countries.

Créateur : Constant Formé-Bècherat | Crédits : Constant Formé-Bècherat
Droits d’auteur : Constant Formé-Bècherat

 Affordability and Financial Aid

Tuition fees for international students in France

Tuition fees for international students in France are relatively affordable compared to other popular study destinations like the US or UK.

Public universities offer low tuition fees and private institutions and grandes écoles may charge higher fees.

Source Image: publicdomainevectors.org

Comparison of cost of living in France to other popular study destinations

The cost of living in France is generally lower than in other popular study destinations like the US, UK, or Australia.

In my opinion, as an indian student can expect to spend €600-€1,200 per month on living expenses.

Of course, larger cities like Paris can be more expensive, but smaller towns and cities offer more affordable options.

Scholarships, grants, and financial aid for Indian students

Everybody in the world knows that France is THE country of grants and financial Aid, isn’t it?

The changes of political regimes in our country in the course of our history have even made people believe that we were socialists. I wrote a funny article on this subject!

I write a list for you on the main scholarships:

  • Eiffel Excellence Scholarship:

This scholarship targets top international students pursuing Master’s and PhD programs in France.

  • Charpak Scholarships:

Provided by the Embassy of France in India, these scholarships support Indian students at various academic levels, including Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programs, as well as research internships.

  • Erasmus+ Programme:

This European Union program offers financial assistance to international students studying in Europe, including France, for a limited period.

  • French Government Scholarships:

Various regional governments in France offer scholarships for international students based on criteria such as academic excellence, financial need, or specific fields of study.

  • Institut Français Scholarships:

Offered by the Institut Français network, these scholarships are available to international students pursuing French language and culture courses, as well as higher education programs.

  • Campus France Grants:

The official French agency for international mobility, Campus France, provides a comprehensive database of scholarships and grants available to international students.

  • University-specific scholarships:

Many French universities and grandes écoles offer scholarships to international students based on merit or financial need. Be sure to check the websites of your target institutions for more information.

Language and Cultural Integration

Importance of learning French for Indian students

Courses and language programs

To help you integrate linguistically, French institutions offer various language courses and programs.

For example:

  • Semester-long programs
  • Language support alongside academic courses
  • Dedicated language support
  • Buddy programs where foreign students are paired with French-speaking peers.

Some Indian student associations in France also provide language assistance and cultural events to facilitate integration.

The role of English in French higher education

Many universities and grandes écoles now offer English-taught programs across various disciplines.

So you immerse yourself in French culture.

Programs enhance the appeal of French higher education and promote a diverse global learning environment for all students.

Embracing French culture

Cultural immersion programs and extracurricular activities

Napoleon courtyard of the Louvre museum at night time, with Ieoh Ming Pei’s pyramid in the middleSource: wikimedia commons

Many universities and student associations organize activities to facilitate cultural integration:

  • guided tours,
  • museum visits,
  • cooking classes,
  • language exchange events
  • Buddy Programs
  • Cultural Excursions

These programs offer opportunities to explore French history, art, cuisine, and traditions, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the host country’s culture.

Extracurricular activities are numerous in France and you can live funny moments with your french friends.

For example by playing sports or music in club.

Participating in these activities not only enriches your time in France but also helps you build a strong support network and adapt more easily to your new environment.

Success stories of Indian students in France

During one of our discussions, the twins told me about a famous person in their country who had studied in France: Deepak Ramola.

He was an Indian student in Paris who pursued his Master’s in Applied Imagination at Central Saint Martins.

He went on to become a successful artist, educator, and the founder of Project FUEL, a global life lessons education initiative.

 Employment Opportunities and Alumni Networks

Job prospects for Indian students in France

Internships and part-time job opportunities : 10 major companies

In france, you can apply your theoretical knowledge in real-world settings because Universities collaborate with industry partners and major companies to offer internships.

International students can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, allowing them to gain insights into the French work culture.

Here is the list of 10 possible partners for your studies:

  1. Airbus
  2. L’Oréal
  3. Renault
  4. Sanofi
  5. BNP Paribas
  6. TotalEnergies
  7. Capgemini
  8. Danone
  9. Schneider Electric
  10. AXA

Post-study work visa options

If you really fell in love with France during your studies, I have good news for you!

You can apply for the APS (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour) post-study work visa, valid for 12-24 months.

Networking and alumni associations for Indian students in France

Professional connections and resources

Here is a list of professional connections and resources in France for Indian students:

  1. Campus France: Offers networking events, workshops, and job fairs for international students.
  2. Indian student associations: Provide platforms for networking and sharing job opportunities.
  3. Alumni networks: Connect Indian graduates with industry professionals and mentors.
  4. LinkedIn: A powerful tool to connect with professionals in France and expand one’s network.
  5. Career centers at universities: Offer job placement services, networking events, and career counseling.
  6. Chambers of Commerce: Indian or bilateral chambers, like the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), provide networking events and job opportunities.
  7. Professional associations: Joining industry-specific associations can offer networking opportunities and access to resources.
  8. Internships and part-time jobs: Serve as valuable sources for establishing professional connections and references.
  9. Conferences and seminars: Attending industry events can help build connections and stay informed about trends.
  10. Networking events and meet-ups: Participate in local events to meet professionals in your field and make connections.

Challenges and Support for Indian Students in France

Identifying common challenges faced by Indian students in France

Adapting to the French lifestyle and customs

Here is the funny part of my post.

I can’t give you all the French habits and the differences with the customs of your country, India, but here are 5 of them

  • Bread etiquette: In France, bread is an integral part of meals, and it’s customary to place it directly on the table, not on a plate. Also, breaking bread by hand instead of using a knife is the norm.
  • La bise“: The French custom of greeting with cheek kisses (faire la bise) might be amusing and unexpected for Indian students. It’s common among friends and acquaintances, so be prepared to pucker up!
  • Long lunches: The French take their lunch breaks seriously, often spending an hour or more enjoying a leisurely meal. You should be ready to slow down and savor their food, along with engaging conversations.
  • Fashionably late: While punctuality is important for professional appointments, social gatherings may follow the “15-minutes rule” where arriving slightly late is considered polite.
  • Strikes and protests: Demonstrations (manifestations) are a common part of French culture, seen as an expression of civic engagement. You may find it amusing to witness the passion with which the French participate in these events, and it could be an interesting cultural experience to observe or even partake in them.

Academic expectations and requirements

My daughter having studied for a long time, I can summarize the expectations and requirements of the French educational system in 3 important points:

  • Rigorous Academic Standards: This includes active participation in classes, submitting well-researched assignments, and maintaining good academic performance throughout their studies.
  • Independent Learning: French higher education emphasizes critical thinking. You are expected to take initiative in their coursework, conduct in-depth research, and actively engage in discussions or group projects.
  • Language Proficiency: Depending on the program, You may be required to demonstrate proficiency in either French or English.

Support systems and resources for Indian students

Indian student associations and organizations

I found two associations that you can contact when you arrive in France as an Indian student:

Association of Indian Students in France (AISF): Aims to provide a support system for Indian students in France, offering guidance, events, and networking opportunities.

Bharati: A student organization based in Paris that focuses on promoting Indian culture and fostering connections between Indian and French students through various events and activities.

In my mind, many universities and “grandes écoles” have also their own Indian student associations.

conclusion

Here is what I would like to write to the twins of Kiran if I still had to motivate them to come and study in my beautiful country: France!

My Dear (future Indian students),

picture yourself strolling along the Seine, munching on a buttery croissant, and debating the merits of Impressionist art – all while pursuing a world-class education.

France beckons you with its rich history, enchanting landscapes, and a perfect blend of work and play.

As you dive headfirst into the land of baguettes, berets, and bises, get ready to expand your horizons, challenge your intellect, and be charmed by the French joie de vivre.

So, pack your bags and say “Bonjour” to an unforgettable adventure in the captivating world of French higher education!


Visiting France :

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