Preparing your project
You’ve made your mind up to continue your studies in one of the six Schools of Management that are members of the Pass-World alliance.
However, in order to hit the ground running you are strongly revised to fine-tune your project right down to the last detail in order to ensure you kick off your studies on the right foot.
Fine-tune your study project
Beyond just registering for a given institution, you must also develop a relevant and carefully thought-out study project:
What are your professional objectives?
In what sectors, types of activity and/or geographical area do you plan to aspire later on?
What specializations must you take in order to reach your goals? What do you need or wish in order to accomplish this?
Which schools and tracks are the best meet these criteria?
Help on these points and many more can be found via the Campus France website and network, providing answers to your questions and direction in completing the required steps.
Raise your level in French
Certain projects and/or tracks require a generally high level of proficiency in French, in some cases even the successful passing of certain qualifications (the TCF French Knowledge Test, the DELF French as a Foreign Language Diploma, or the DALF Advanced French Language Diploma). Taking the TCF awards a grade of 400 points, the DELF requires a B2 level and the DALF a C1 level. These are all recommended in order to correctly pursue studies in France and/or carry out certain aspects of daily life.
In order to feel quickly at ease living in France, have your linguistic level checked and, if required, work on raising it prior to your departure for France. You should also be aware that Campus France can help you via the preparatory training programs it makes available, known as “pre-France training”. Another option is a linguistic refresher course, which runs from a few weeks to several months in length, organized in partnership with diplomatic bodies, French alliances and French high schools abroad.
Work out your budget
No stay abroad is guaranteed to be a success if the budget is not carefully managed. Below are a few helpful tips:
According to a recent survey conducted by the CSA Research Institute in May 2018 the average budget dedicated to higher education studies by a French family is €7118 per year and per student. However, larger gaps in expense exist between families based in Paris and outside, as well as depending upon the type of study track taken. A year spent in a business school, for example, carries an overall annual cost of €10 735.
The French dedicate almost €300 per month to food on average. Significant gaps in this type of expenditure also exist between Paris and outside of Paris.
For a bedroom or studio apartment, you should budget €300-500 per month outside of Paris and almost double the amount for the capital (cf. our article “Looking for accommodation”).
Opt for sector 1 doctors offering rates (usually in the region of €25) that are almost entirely reimbursed by the Social Security. You will pay less and receive a better rate of reimbursement. You are also advised to find a good private top-up health policy (a student one or your parents’ policy). It is also a good idea to consult the university health prevention and promotion service, which is free for all students.
Depending upon the distance between your home and your school, your transport budget may vary significantly. In general you should budget €250-350 a year on public transport (subway, regional train, bus, tram) at the student rate. Self-service bicycles are now available for use in all university towns, which will cost you a lot less (€20-30 per year on average). If you would rather use a motorized vehicle then note that the price of a liter of fuel in France is now over €1.6. For long-haul trips within France, either by high-speed TGV train or by plane, it is wiser to book as far ahead as possible in order to obtain the best prices. The SNCF and Air France are among those offering attractive prices to young people.
- Leisure activities
This part of your budgeting will vary enormously according to your desires, from evenings out in a restaurant and going to bars to clubbing and various purchases during the day. Everything comes at a cost, so it is advisable to set yourself a budget prior to your departure for France.
Do not overlook any administrative steps
6 months -1 month prior to departure
- Scholarship application
Check with the authorities within your country or origin and your original institution as well as the French government services in order to establish what help you may be able to claim depending upon your situation. Campus France can help you with this.
Find out more: cf. “Steps to take with Campus France”.
Search for accommodation
Prior to your arrival in France you should start looking as soon as possible for accommodation by starting your search at distance. If you are not planning on looking actively until your arrival then remember to organize temporary accommodation to begin with.
Find out more: cf. article “Your search for accommodation”.
- Visa application
Are you from a non-EU country, a country that is not a part of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway) or from Switzerland? If so, then at least one month before your arrival in France, as soon as you have received confirmation of admission, then you must take the necessary steps to obtain your visa via the Consulate or the French Embassy if your country of residence.
European Health Insurance Card application
This step only concerns European students. You should request this card from the health services of your country of origin a few weeks prior to departure for France. It will help you in receiving healthcare in France and with the same cost conditions as French students.
One week before departure
Below is a mini checklist of the steps that must not be overlooked, a few days before leaving your country for France:
- Confirm your arrival with your host institution and your potential landlord.
- Pack your cases, making sure you include clothing that is appropriate for all weather conditions and depending upon your destination.
- Organize all the required documents for your journey and getting settled upon arrival:
Birth certificate (translation and certified copy);
Driving license (where required).
Documents relating to your studies in France:
Language certificate(s) for English, French etc;
Previous qualifications (translation and certified copy).
Documents relating to travel:
Train or plane tickets;
Route from airport/train station.
Documents relating to settling in:
Printed accommodation reservation;
Documents required to enter accommodation;
Contact list in France.
Items relating to daily life in France:
Bank card valid for use in France (or, by default, cash to cover initial expenses);
Original or copy of health records.
Tip: keep a scan or photocopy of all your documents on you and back them up digitally (by email or cloud).