Following article was written by Priyank.
France as an education destination, is quite different from it’s European counterparts. And a lot different from the US.
For one, most of the cutting edge research that happens, is carried out in the French govt centers. There are several govt units that contribute to their research.
Moreover, in Europe, just like the EMF which created the Euro treaty, there is also a European board for innovation and technology called as “eit”, wherein various research programs are being carried out.
So it presents a wonderful opportunity for graduates. France, and especially Paris is a hot destination among students.
My reason for choosing France:
- Money Factor
- My area of interest
- Student visa issues and work visa
In France, most of the university fee is paid by the French govt. However in the US, university fee is very high. Since I belong to a very basic middle class family, I had to take decision considering this factor in my mind.
My area of interest
I’m currently working with Schneider-Electric India Ltd as an R&D engineer. I’ve been working on technologies such as IEC61850 etc.
My interest in the field of Smart Grids has been for quite a while now. And in France, a lot of universities offer master’s courses with specialization specially in smart grids.
Which I couldn’t find in many universities in the US (I may be wrong).
Also, a lot of universities have tie-ups with large industrial groups such as AREVA, SCHNEIDER, ALSTOM, Air-Liquid, SaintGOBAIN etc, wherein internships can be easily converted in to full time jobs.
Since i have relevant industrial research experience with respect to my area of interest, I felt it was a more relevant choice.
Student visa issues and work visa
Current situation in France is that student visa is relatively easy to obtain. Also it is easier to get a green card.
Although a lot of international students come to France for studying, situation is still much better as compared to other countries.
So the student to faculty ratio in french universities is far better. Work visa cost is also less and companies hire you on the basis of your previous experience, which I have with Schneider-electric.
Students, usually while selecting universities, lay a lot of emphasis on the world rankings (QS world Rankings). But I would like to make a very interesting point here, that the ranking is based on the amount of research work that goes on at the university level.
It is highly inclined towards the academia research, which by no means should lower the status of French universities. As a matter of fact, France has a beautiful academia-industry relationship, which i found very interesting.
About the Application Process
Well, most of the universities have a single admission window, Winter semester, which starts from Sept/Oct. The application window starts from as early as November of the preceding year (eg- for 2012 Sept intake, application window started from Nov2011) till April mid for most of the universities.
The admission is profile based.
GRE is not required for applying to French universities.
Only TOEFL is required, which means a lot of emphasis is given on your overall profile. This is where your professional experience comes in handy.
Admission process differs from university to university, but in large the required documents remain the same.
Although some universities even ask for your official School leaving certificate.
Overall, the application process is quite smooth, and I would prefer students to apply through campus France website. It’s an official website sponsored by French embassy in India.
The counselors there are really helpful and do cater to all your needs very cordially.
I would love to write more in this regard. Kindly let me know, if you require more information.
Keep up the good work HSB.
I think you have initiated an excellent forum for students to actually learn from others experience about education abroad.
I believe there are many students like me, who have benefited from the resources available on your blog to actually realize their dream of studying abroad…..and not just USA…hehe….lol..!!!
I hope that people will start understanding the real purpose/objective of such a blog and would soon start replying with contributory responses and not just blatant excuses and criticism.
HSB fan by heart…!!!
Other Post by Priyanka – Don’t Be a Dumb Decision Maker About Higher Education