Being an international student, there are many countries across the globe where you can school and work simultaneously (of which France is a top choice). It is not enough to aspire to a good life there, what is more, important is what are the things you must do and know before proceeding to France? In regard to the latter, this article has been deeply researched and put together to help you know the important things about working and schooling in France as an international student.
Everyone going to school to study in France has the right to work while they study in the country. This also applies to every student in France. However, if you are a citizen of a non-European Union country it is required of you to have a student resident permit.
France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, having a long history of higher education. Situated in Western Europe, France occupies a geographically diverse area from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the English Channel.
25 Things You Did Not Know About Studying In France
All these features are what give the country such stunning natural beauty, which you may want to explore. In respect of culture, France is one of the western countries with a long history that is rich in arts, philosophy, and science. France is one of the most known centers of cuisine, culture, and literature which makes it an exciting and interesting destination for all international students across the globe.
That being said, read through the next lines and discover what you should know for fulfilling schooling and working experience in France.
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Work in France
The French law allows international students to work for a short time for about 964 hours annually (which is equivalent to about 60% of the legal work year). This implies that work in France can only be a side income.
As a foreigner working in France (either as a student or not) you are legally entitled to a minimum wage which is often referred to as the Salary Minimum Interprofessional de Croissance- the minimum wage (SMIC). This minimum wage was 9.76 Euros gross per hour (by January 2018).
Also, the wage is gross, this means you will have to take out the mandatory social charges (around 20%) to discover the amount would be taking home with you (€7.61/hour). On the other hand, if you work for 10 hours each week, you would have earned not less than 78 Euros net.
Lastly and interestingly about working in France as a student is that you will no longer need the Autorisation Provisoire de Travail (APT – Temporary Work Permit) to work in France while you study.
Study in France
France has a remarkable and amazing level of living, thus studying in France will undoubtedly be a life-changing, great, and amazing experience for all international students. France makes programs and standards of living available to everyone of all races and colors, so if you desire a bustling environment, relaxed atmosphere somewhere on the Mediterranean shore, or quiet mountains, France caters to all of these.
Everyone will find a desirable destination that suits their needs. Paris has a unique metropolitan vibe which it offers to tourists and students alike in a charming environment. Montpellier and Marseille are directly out of the Mediterranean coast; not excluding summer beaches. Nantes or Rennes are also very close to the rough Atlantic coasts. And from Lyon or Grenoble, the Alps are not out of reach.
Higher institutions in France come at a low rate. A lot of these schools charge tuition fees usually as low as S400 USD, which is very cheap you will agree that aside from the low tuition, being able to work to support your education is another added advantage of studying in France as a student.
In most cases, students are allowed to work part-time so that they can support their education. However, if you have fewer funds to pursue your study in the United States or the United Kingdom where the tuition fee is high then you can consider an enrolment to study in France.
Undergraduate Application Process
The process of applying for undergraduate study in France is mostly done via the French consulate office, therefore you might have to visit a French consulate office close to you in your home country to get started.
Also, the basic requirements are but not limited to an international passport, your O` level results, and a French-language certificate (if you have any).
Always keep in mind that applicants who have no knowledge of the French language will be required to undergo French language training in the destination country which will cost about 500 USD.
Postgraduate Application Process
Every postgraduate admission is handled by distinguished universities in France. In that regard, applicants might not need to go through the consulate office as it is in the case of undergraduate applications.
All that would be required of them is to know the school they would be applying to (basically to know the school offering their course), get their supporting document ready, and start their application (a lot of French universities accept online applications).
It is crucial that you keep in mind to send and attach notarized copies of your transcripts as well as other results to the school upon completion of the application. Also, know that all the aforementioned documents must be presented in either English or French language.
When to Apply
The time of application usually varies as it solely depends on the school you would be applying to. Hence, it is advised that you start the application process early enough because many European universities do not accept applications from July to September. Also, to be sure when to apply check through the institution’s website to know when they would start (and stop) accepting applications for study.
Things You Must Know Before You Work and Study in France
Undoubtedly, France is a beautiful country, hence, studying in France will be an unforgettable experience. In truth, there are certain hiccups that might surface, however, that is just another norm of every society. That being said, this section has been outlined to help you know the most important things to keep in mind before proceeding to study in France. While this section cannot fix it all for you, it will however keep your mind ready and get you familiar with what lies ahead. The following are the things to know as an international student heading to France to work and school.
1. Do Not Delay Your CAF Application
You may have heard about CAF or Caisses d’Allocations Familiales. it’s going to sound confusing, the concept is comparatively straightforward. CAF is just a sum of cash allocated to students by the govt to assist with student accommodation.
2. You Can Travel Everywhere
One of the simplest things about studying in France is having the ability to travel. France is arguably home to a number of the world’s most beautiful cities, so don’t forget to do your homework and explore!
France is undoubtedly a gorgeous country, and selecting to study abroad here means having the ability to understand local history and culture each day of the week. For EU citizens under the age of 26, entry is liberal to most major museums, galleries, and historical attractions. So get your cameras ready and don’t pass up this guaranteed good way to explore on a budget!
The French love an honest public holiday, so you’ll have many opportunities to travel.
3. Be Prepared to Work Hard
French universities operate less of a work-hard-play-hard attitude and more of a work-hard-then-work-even-harder approach. So if you would like to be a student at a French university, you’ve got to work hard.
4. Don’t Expect to be Fluent Straightaway
Learning a language may be a process; it takes time. once you arrive in France, don’t be surprised if you forget just the way to speak. But don’t forget, fluency requires two things: time and practice.
So achieving this, you’ve got to stick in with clubs and activities, take a language-learning course at your local university, or maybe become involved with volunteering.
5. Be a Wise Shopper
Be warned, food shopping in France may be enough to interrupt the bank. If you’re looking to save some money and still get away with some great quality grub, markets are an excellent place to start.
6. Make Friends
Making friends is the key to happiness. it’s going to seem overwhelming to try your French with a gaggle of natives, it’s undoubtedly the simplest approach to getting involved. So give yourself an opportunity and don’t be scared of making mistakes because you’ll be corrected.
7. Open a Local Bank Account
Opening a small and local bank account should be top of your to-do list. this may avoid you stacking up unwanted foreign transaction fees and various ATM withdrawal costs. Unlike in the United Kingdom or other European countries, you can’t simply walk into your local branch and request to talk with a member of staff. In France, bank account queries are run on a meeting on the only basis, so remember to book yourself in nice and early to avoid long waits.
Conclusively, it is expected that this context has fully informed you and helped you understand what is expected of you as you proceed to study and work in France. Also, keep in mind all the aforementioned guidelines and have a memorable stay in the French countryside.