France which is one of the European Countries is a sovereign state, extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It occupies 640,679 square kilometers (247,368 sq mi) and has a population of 66.6 million. Paris, being a capital city is the nation’s largest city owing to its cultural and commercial status. Apart from Paris, the other major cities are Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Lille, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Bor deaux. French people enjoy and exercise their freedom of religion since its Constitution establishes the country as secular and democratic.
The French education system
France is increasingly becoming a most popular study destination for International students. This is owing to the following reasons:
Although French is its first official language yet the universities provide courses in English as well. However, those students whose courses are in English are required to learn French which is taught free of cost.
The eminent universities across the world expect the students to have at least one semester in French Business School.
Moreover, the accommodation and food expenses of the International students’ including the non- European nationals’ are borne by the French government.
Post completion of studies, students are offered work permit for five years in order to attract Indian students.
The higher education institutions in France are broadly categorized into three types.
Public universities – Government-funded and open to everyone with the required qualifications.
Grandes écoles – Considered more illustrious and require candidates to clear exams.
Technical institutes – Part of the university system and cover vocational subjects.
Umpteen French universities are ranked in the QS World University Rankings , including the École normale supériere, Paris and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau.
Advantages of Grandes Ecoles:-
Relatively Low tuition fees since higher education is funded by the state, the tuition vary from €150 to €700 depending on the university and the different levels of education.
Health insurance is free for students until the age of 20.
The grandes écoles of France is a program which has been formulated to offer admissions especially to the overseas students who are keen in studying abroad.
French public universities may accept the candidates who hold a baccalaureat, an academic qualification which the French and the International students can take at the end of secondary education. In contrast, some Grandes Écoles also have an admission process open to university students (bachelor or master).
Following are the list of prestigious and selective Grandes Ecoles
List of graduate engineering schools (grandes écoles d’ingénieurs)
Numerous engineering schools recruit students after scientific preparatory class. Many are also joint graduate schools from several regional universities, sometimes in association with other international higher education networks.
Some of the engineering schools within Paris Tech:
the Arts et Métiers ParisTech (École nationale d’Arts et Métiers )
the École nationale supérieure des télécommunications (TELECOM ParisTech)
the École nationale supérieure des mines de Nantes
the École centrale de Marseille (ECM, EC-Marseille, or Centrale Marseille)the École nationale supérieure des mines de Saint-Etienne
the Institut d’Optique Graduate School (IOGS)
the École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI ParisTech) ;
the “Ecole des Hautes Etudes d’Ingénieur” (HEI)in Lille;
the École nationale supérieure d’ingénieurs de Bretagne sud (ENSIBS);
the École supérieure d’ingénieurs en électronique et électrotechnique d’Amiens (ESIEE Amiens).
the Ecole des ingenieurs de la Ville de Paris (EIVP) ;
the Institut Supérieur de Mécanique (SUPMECA) ;
the École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’État (ENTPE, nicknamed TPE, civil engineering);
List of Business schools (grandes écoles de commerce)
Most French business schools are partly privately run, often by the regional chambers of commerce. Like engineering schools, Business schools will recruit most of their students through preparatory classes
In Financial Times ranking of European business schools in 2014, 2 out of the top 10 European business schools (and 6 out of the top 20 business schools) were French.
Some of the prominent Business schools are as follows:
Audencia School of Management
Burgundy School of Business
École supérieure de commerce de La Rochelle
EDHEC Business School
EMLYON Business School
ESCE (École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieur)
Grenoble Ecole de Management
Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier Business School
ICN Business School
INSEEC Business School
KEDGE Business School
Telecom Business School
Job Prospects after study:-
Engineering students have various career opportunities after graduating in France. They may work with the multinational companies or work as a teaching assistant. Universities offering masters training are becoming increasingly focused on employability. In science and engineering Masters, placements are a part of the programme and students will be going to private and public sectors. Universities now will have an office (Bureau d’Aide à l’Insertion Professionnelle – Office for Employability) specializing in helping students finding placements opportunities and to help them at the end of their study with job searches. Grandes Ecoles and universities often host employers on campus or organise job fairs.
Major industries:- Aerospace, Automotive, Information Technology, Architecture, industrial machinery, Civil, Telecom.
Major companies: Renault-Nissan, PSA, Michelin, Vinci and Lafarge, EADS, AXA Group, BNP Paribas, Carrefour Group, Crédit Agricole, EDF, GDF SUEZ, L’Oréal Group, Orange, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Saint-Gobain, Sanofi, Société Générale, Vivendi, Alstom, Avera, Artelia, CGG, Constructions industrielles de la Mediterranee, Coyne et Bellier, Crepelle, Creusot-Loire, Dresser-Rand Group, Egis Group, Gimar Montaz Mautino, Jeumont-Schneider, Leroy-Somer, Mecachrome, RCP Design Global, Salmon, SEMT Pielstick, SOFRETU, Sovam, SYSTRA, Spie Batignolles,Societe d etudes techniques et economiques, Societe des usines Chausson, Technip, Thales Group, Vergnet.
Roles in Companies:- Flow assurance engineer, project manager production, project engineer drilling fluids, Floating systems engineer, Senior Consultant, Cloud technologies engineer, System analyst, Hydraulic engineer, groundwater modeler, , Safety analyst, solution designer level 3, data consultant, production planner, Firmware engineer, solution architect, unix/linux production engineer, Network Engineer, Application support Engineer, Wan support engineer, Infrastructure architect, Civil and structure engineer, Platform Architect, Storage consulting system engineer, Aero defence sales account Engineering Global Account Manager, Enterprise security engineer, Telecom Engineer and many more.
France which is world’s fifth-largest economy is now drawing more international Business candidates and this positive trend will continue in the following years. Myriad career opportunities especially in Business are attracting youth to France. Also, in the last few years, more and more French companies are hiring foreigners to internationalize their workforce. For example, about 40 percent of INSEAD MBA alumni working in France are non-French nationals, with half being non-Europeans, and tend to join a variety of French companies.
Major Industries:- Consulting, FMCG & Luxury, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Retail, Insurance.
Major Companies:-France is home to some of the world’s largest companies in key industries, such as BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Capital, HSBC, AXA, PPR, Accor, GDF-Suez, Total, 3M, Bayer, British American Tobacco, LMVH, Nestle, Carrefour, GlaxoSmithKline, Accenture, KPMG, BCG, Bain & Co, Booz & Co, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Mckinsey & Company, Groupon, CapGemini.
Roles In Companies:- Business consultant, Integration and Development advisor, Supply chain executive, Business analyst, Business manager, Account executive, Manufacturing analyst, Sales Executive, Lead Planner, Operational excellence analyst, Solution specialist, program manager, Field Marketing Consultant and many more.
Working while you’re a student
As long as the student has a valid residency permit and is enrolled in recognized institution, he can take on paid job for about 60 percent of full time employment in a year in a single year. On campus work in the university or other educational institutions may be another option which may long for 670 hours from September to June and up to 300 hours July- August
After graduation, the student can stay for one year to search for job related to the course of study pursued. Once he finds a job, he needs to apply for work permit and attach a confirmation letter from the employer. Afterwards, he is eligible to apply for resident permit. If one is offered a salary of atleast 1.5 times the minimum wages then he may file a request to change his status from student to employee and work full-time.
One holding at least a Master’s degree can apply for a further one year, non-renewable temporary residence permit, (APS, autorisation provisoire de séjour) valid for 12 months beyond the date of expiration of the student’s residency permit. which allows working in any job up to 60 percent of a normal working week.
All non EU/EEA students need an APT (Autorisation Provisoire de Travail), in order to avail authorized temporary employment. You should apply personally at a DDTEFP ( Direction Départementale du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle) office
You are required to have the following documents (original and a photocopy):-
Passport with visa and residency permit
Student card for the current academic year
Attestation of the affiliation of your academic institution to the French social security system
Working contract, which should mention: nature of contract, qualification, start and finish dates, work place and working hours
Self-addressed stamped enveloped.