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Guide t    Studying in

FRANCE French Higher Education

Supported by



The French specificity Living in France

Introduction The Malaysia-France University Centre.......................................................3

Studying in France An introduction to modern France.........................................................5 The French Excellence..................................................7 The French specificity....................................................9 The French graduation system...................................11 Research and doctoral programmes........................12 Programmes in English.................................................14 Funding your studies in France...................................16

Preparing to live in France..........................................50 French culture and cuisine.........................................54 Student life in France...................................................56 Popular tourist destinations.........................................58

Institution profile Cetia............................................................................. 36 IESEG School of Management, Lille/Paris, France................................................... 33 Sciences Po.................................................................. 45 Toulouse Business School............................................ 32 Universiti Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia France Institute (UniKL-MFI)................................................ 23

Areas of study Engineering...................................................................18 Information and Communication Technology (ICT).................................................... 26 Business..........................................................................28 Hospitality & Tourism.....................................................34 Architecture & Arts.......................................................39 Science.........................................................................42 Mass media...................................................................43 Political Science/International Relations/ Humanities...............................................................44 Studying French Language........................................46


Studying French Language


Student life in France

Images in this publication are courtesy of Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes (MAEE), Y.J. Chen/MAEE, Citroen, CNES/ESA/Arianespace, 2005, P. Delbourgo/CEA, P. Dupont/CEA, F. Ebenhardt/CEA, D. Felix/Sanofi Aventis, F. de la Mure/ MAEE, Office de Tourisme de Marseille, Phototheque/Polytechnique, PSA Peugeot Citroen, D. Rapaich/SICN MairieLille NordPas-de-Calais, Conseil General du Rhone, P. Stroppa/CEA, P. Stroppa/Renault and STC Ville de Toulouse.

Guide to Studying in France

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Welcome to this guide on higher education in

FRANCE Since its inception in 2006, the Malaysia France University Centre is fostering the relations between Malaysian and French higher education institutions. We understand that there is a growing interest in French higher education among Malaysian students. In fact, it took much less time than anticipated to distribute the first edition of the Guide to Studying in France. Today, France is the third country in terms of number of foreign students (after the USA and UK). 278,000 foreign students are registered in French Higher Education institutions, i.e. 12% of its 2.3 millions students. 718 come from Malaysia, a number that is growing year after year. France has a very old tradition of academic teaching that dates back to the 12th Century. The university of Paris started then, and in 1257, Robert de Sorbon opened the first college that would become La Sorbonne university, renowned worldwide. 88 universities, 240 engineering schools, more than 200 business schools, 120 public art schools, 20 schools of architecture and more than 3,000 specialised or vocational schools are ready to welcome you. French Higher education in public institutions is highly subsidised by the state. As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that “higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit”. There is no difference made between French and Foreign students. You can enroll in a French public university for a few hundred euros per year, the cost of the tuition fee is borne by the French Republic.

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If most of the programs are conducted in French, over 600 courses are now taught in English, notably at master’s level and most of French doctoral schools will accept PhD dissertation written in English. Even if speaking French helps a lot in being accepted in a program or in daily life, in many cases, language wouldn’t be a problem. You will also discover some of the dozens of collaborations between French and Malaysian Higher Education and research institutions. You can learn French at Alliance française in Kuala Lumpur or in Penang. You can pursue French programs in management at Mantissa College, in Tourism, Hospitality or Culinary Arts in Taylor’s University, Help University-College or KDU, Chemistry at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Petronas or Biology at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. This guide will give you the tools to identify the program that suits you the best and provide you with useful tips for your stay in France. Its main purpose is to make your French experience a success.

Dr Mathieu Guérin French Co-Director

Datuk Prof Dr Md Zabid Hj Abdul Rashid Malaysian Co-Director


The Malaysia-France University Centre

How we work

Who we are

University The Malaysia-France established Centre (MFUC) was -government on a government-to a link to ng ildi initiative. By bu and sian lay Ma the ct nne co At MFUC, we help stu s, MFUC tem sys dents by: tion uca French ed • finding programm glon the es es that effectively reinforc best match their nee between ds and standing co-operation expectations higher of d fiel the in s tion the two na • identifying joint PhD rch. opportunities education and resea and/or Master’s degre m made tea a by es that are ed ent res Rep tau ght in English as well up of French nationals • providing advice pe ve firstrtaining to as Malaysians who ha application procedu nch Fre the of res nce erie hand exp • fa cilitating the students UC is here ’ education system, MF preparation for their o wish to stay in to assist students wh Fra nce France. pursue their studies in We have become a mainstay at education fairs and other related events in high schoo ls, colleges and universities. We also provide oneto-one counseling to students in our centre by appointm ent.

What we do

ul Forming fruitf s ip sh er partn

laysian and MFUC assists Ma institutions of ion French educat advising their by ng rni lea r highe helping d an es tiv representa best parties the fy nti ide m the We also lend a for partnerships. t n universities tha sia lay hand to Ma in rt pa g kin ta are interested in in France. education fairs

Guide to Studying in France

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Networking on a common platform MFUC offers a networking platform for Malaysian alumni of French institutions of higher learning. We have developed a social interface called Le Direktori which enables alumni to view, edit and update their information. This, in turn, helps them re-connect with their former classmates and get to know other alumni. Le Direktori also features job offers from French companies in Malaysia.

Linking with partners MFUC works closely with its partners from the education field as well as from the French community in Malaysia, namely the Ministry of Higher Education and the French embassy in Malaysia. MFUC’s partners include:

Campus France Operating in 90 countries around the world, CampusFrance is the national agency for the promotion of French higher education abroad. In Malaysia, the CampusFrance office was officially opened in 2009 and has been to carrying out support and counselling activities since then.

Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur Alliance Française has a foothold in Malaysia since 1961. The Alliance is visible in Kuala Lumpur and Penang: Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur and Alliance Française de Penang. In Kuala Lumpur, AFKL operates from 3 centres: Lorong Gurney (main centre), Bangsar and Lake Side Campus of Taylor's University. The Alliance Française is not only a unique language centre whose reputation is firmly established but also an exceptional social and cultural environment, with multiple events throughout the year.

French University Graduates Association of Malaysia (FUGAM) FUGAM is another important partner of MFUC. Through their activities, the alumni is able to keep in touch with their French connections even after returning to Malaysia.

Malaysian Students’ Association France (MASAF) MASAF is a students’ organisation located in France. It organises events and other activities to assist Malaysian students to integrate in France. Malaysian French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MFCCI) The role of the MFCCI is to represent and bring together the French business community in Malaysia and contribute to its development. Through joint events with the MFCCI, the alumni has been able to network with representatives of French companies in Malaysia.

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Studying in France

An introduction to

modern France


rance is the 20th most populous country in the world, with an estimated population of 65.8 million people as of 1st January 2011. Playing host to 270,000 international students, including 26,000 doctoral candidates, France is growing in terms of numbers of students and is today the world’s third largest host country, after the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and one of the most studentfriendly.

France and its administrative regions

France is divided into 27 administrative regions, 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, situated in the west of Europe. The remaining five are overseas regions: Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana, Mayotte

and La Réunion. These overseas regions enjoy the same political status as the metropolitan regions, sending representatives to the French National Assembly and French Senate. As integral parts of the Republic of France, and hence the European Union, these overseas regions use the euro (€) as their currency.

Government and politics

France is a unitary semi-presidential republic. The executive branch itself has two leaders: the President of the Republic and the Government. The President is head of state and is elected directly by universal adult suffrage

for a five-year term. The Government is led by the Presidentappointed Prime Minister, who has political responsibility towards the Parliament. French politics largely run along traditional lines: the leftwing centered around the French Socialist Party, and the right-wing, centered around the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). The executive branch is currently composed mainly of the UMP.


France is ranked as the world’s fifth and Europe’s second largest economy in terms of nominal GDP. It is a member of the G8 group of leading economies. In fact, France was the originator of the G8 forum concept – in 1975, it invited the heads of government

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Studying in France

of Italy, Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and West Germany to a summit in France. As one of the leading players in the European Union, it launched the Euro to completely replace the French Franc in January 2001. France possesses a mixed economy which combines private and state enterprises with substantial government intervention in key sectors, such as infrastructure, transport, energy and telecommunications.


The French climate varies according to the region: • The northern coastal regions, such as Calais and Normandy, have temperate climates with mild winters and warm summers. The weather is unpredictable and rain is reasonably frequent all year around • The south-west of France, for example Aquitaine and Dordogne, has mild winters and warm to hot summers. It enjoys substantially less rainfall than the northern parts of the country, although thunderstorms are common in the summer • Central France, which includes the picturesque Loire region, has a continental climate with harsher winters and hotter

summers, and less rain than the coastal regions. The southern regions are significantly drier and warmer than the northern regions • The south-east coast, more popularly known as the French Riviera or the Côte d’Azur, enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate. Nice, Provence, Cannes and Antibes are the playgrounds of the rich and famous, with hot summers and short, mild winters. This region enjoys the most days of sunshine per year in France • France has two mountainous regions. The Pyrénées lie to the southwest, forming a natural border with Spain, while the French Alps lie to the east, bordering Italy and Switzerland. At high altitudes, the winters are long and cold, with substantial snowfall that does not clear until late spring.


Farms and forests cover 48 million hectares or 82% of the total area of France. Nearly 30% of French soil is covered with forest, placing France third in the EU in terms of land under forest, behind Sweden and Finland. In order to conserve and develop France’s natural heritage, the government has established seven national parks, 156 nature reserves, 516 designated areas for protected species, 429 protected coastal areas and 43 regional parks covering more than 12% of the country. France is party to many international treaties and conventions on the environment, climate change, biodiversity and desertification. France has 3,427 kilometers of coastline and shares borders with eight countries: Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain and Switzerland.

Facts and Figures

National Name Political System Land area Largest City The French National Ant hem National Day Coastline Monetary unit

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République Française Semi-presidential Republic 674,843 km2 Paris (Capital) La Marseillaise Bastille Day, 14 July Bordered by the North Sea , the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea) € (Euro)

Studying in France

The French Excellence el to study ow would it fe orld’s first w e th of in one well-known e Th universities? a founded circ Sorbonne was tions ra ne ge en s se 1253 and ha nts pass tions of stude upon genera tes over the ga ed w llo through its ha centuries.


tradition Centuriesthoeftradition of a

Imbued with rship, ars of schola thousand ye ork of tw ne d fie rsi France’s dive of 500 institutions more than 3, public and th bo – ng ni higher lear lly its internationa private – and s re nt ce search renowned re nal tch educatio deliver top-no k or tw ne e . Th programmes 0 universities, 22 comprises 83 0 schools 20 s, ol ho sc engineering ent, 120 d managem of business an hools sc 20 hools and public art sc n, more tio di ad In e. of architectur ols ecialised scho than 3,000 sp instruction e id ov pr s te and institu social ctors such as in specific se tourism, g, in in tra edical work, param n, and io at ysical educ sports and ph n. desig fashion and

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Studying in France

cation Effective edu ilt and

learn Spending to ending education sp

er In 2008, high d research cellence bu d €24.9 bil an ex he of ac cy re ga le This n 07% of 2. tio ta or l, pu bi build a re is spending €40 continues to ary percentage rti is te Th . h DP nc G Fre s e’ at Franc e of the for quality th ag er d. av ye jo e th en to s long very close e the education ha nce es, and abov this legacy, Fra OECD countri ajor m Together with in n d io tage registere elite certificat ees, percen carries out an gr . de es its tri l al un re that European co rt policy to ensu r the most pa onne to Aix-en Financing is fo m fro es d m an from the Sorb co ality to 86.9% e of equal qu public. 78.3% mes from co Provence, ar % 69 ch hi w the State, of one. value. Education al emic system e Ministry of th France’s acad investment e g in th m in st co be up nth The future d €22 bil to is ranked seve es has allocate ing to the Tim programme search. world, accord re d e. ation an ion magazin tertiary educ rnment Higher Educat es, ve Tim go l al ra ci nt an ce the Fin France’s e According to ter’s e share of th agement Mas ars a very larg be ic bl pu the best man at e n d fiv ucatio is French, an true cost of ed ,000 and programme €9 r’s n te ee as tw M t be emen stitutions – – French manag ’s top 10. in dent per year e in the world e 5,000 per stu €1 BA institutions ar M burden of th st e be th e ng th ci of du six s thereby re registration France also ha , ct fa . In ld n. or in the w student’s tuitio tutions programmes e’s public insti its economic fees in Franc France owes , t in the world city es pa w lo ca e ch th ar g rese are amon ional success to its ading l and internat d to world-le for both loca gh hi e which has le th g s or makin ts in the sect students, thus lue for achievemen va n, ee tio gr rta de po e e, trans quality of th of aerospac ations, . lecommunic s money indeed th electronics, te al he of the nation’ otechnology, e magnitude bi Th , ry ist em n is io ch at uc ed to t atics. commitmen and mathem w e value and ment of a ne arantee of th gu a . The establish er gh gree earned hi d de e an th ch sear integrity of network of re e th s m fir usters reaf education cl maintain termination to country’s de e dg le ow kn as a its high profile PRES (pôles as n ow Kn economy. nement e et d’enseig de recherch esent a pr re rs e cluste supérieur), th emic ad France’s ac new way for to s itie un m m co and scientific ledge. d share know cooperate an

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Studying in France

y t i c fi i c e p s h c n The Fre Universities

France’s system of higher education absorbs 2.4 million students, two-thirds of whom attend the country’s 83 public universities. Most of the Universities in France are publicly financed universities and are well distributed around the country. They award national degrees which provide assurance of a uniformly high level of educational quality, regardless of where they were earned—from the famous Sorbonne to the alpine campuses of the universities of Grenoble and Chambéry and the island campus of the University of Corsica. The universities offer programmes in all disciplines, including the sciences (mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology), technology (computer science, engineering, electrotechnics, materials), literature, languages, the arts, the social sciences, law, economics, business, health and medicine, and physical education. The universities offer programmes at every level. Their graduates receive nationally regulated degrees: the Bachelor or Licence (three years), Master’s (five years), and Doctorate (eight years). Deeply committed to their corporate, academic, and research partners in France and abroad, the nation’s universities daily demonstrate their dynamism and their ability to respond to change. • More than 2,000 career-oriented licence degrees, known as licences professionnelles, are available

• Technical programmes are offered in 24 specialty areas in university-based institutes of technology (IUTs or instituts universitaires de technologie) • Management programmes are available in universitybased institutes of business administration (IAE or instituts d’administration des entreprises) • Political science and economics programmes are conducted in university-based institutes of politics (IEP, instituts d’études politiques) and Sciences Po Paris (or Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris) • Journalism and communication are taught in specialised institutes in several universities. Examples include CELSA at the Paris-Sorbonne University and the Centre Universitaire d’Enseignement du Journalisme at the University of Strasbourg. Energised by 97,000 research faculties, 285 doctoral departments throughout the nation’s universities passionately manage research programmes in close cooperation with more than 1,200 universitybased laboratories. France’s doctoral departments have always been open to international exchanges: of the 65,000 doctoral candidates in French institutions in 2010, more than 26,000 came from outside France.

Grandes Écoles

Unique to France, the first Grandes Écoles (literally ‘great schools’) were established in the early 19th century to operate in tandem with the universities. Their distinction then, as it is now, lay in offering professional education at a very high level. The Grandes Écoles remain very selective. All Grandes Écoles offer fiveyear degrees recognised by the government, which are equivalent to the European Master’s. They may also offer intermediate specialised degrees, among them the Bachelor’s (in three or four years), the Master of Science (MSc) (in four or five years), the Master of Business Administration (MBA), and the specialised Master (MS) (six years). The traditional path into the Grandes Écoles is by competitive examination following two years of preparatory classes. Students then earn their degree in three more years of increasingly specialised study. However many schools offer admission to a five-year curriculum directly from high school. To accommodate international students, many Grandes Écoles offer admission on the strength of the applicant’s academic record. The Master degree may be earned in two to five years, depending on the amount of credit the applicant receives for his or her prior academic work. Engineering and management schools dominate the majority of the Grandes Écoles, but one can also find programmes in public administration, military sciences, veterinary sciences and agronomy.

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Studying in France

Higher education and research clusters (PRES) Specialised Grandes Écoles Engineering More than 220 schools of engineering, both public and private, offer the whole range of engineering sciences. They are emblematic of the solid quality of the Diplôme d’Ingénieur, a venerable French degree that is fully equivalent to the European Master’s. The diplôme d’ingénieur is a national graduate qualification that entitles its holder to apply to a doctoral programme. Public schools of engineering charge tuition fees of approximately €550 per year. Business and management France’s Grandes Écoles of business and management, about 200 in number, are recognised by the national government and may boast other distinctions as well, such as membership in the management section of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles. They offer programmes geared to current economic requirements and new management practices. Internships and international exchanges play a large role in many programmes, and many schools are affiliated with local chambers of commerce and industry. The annual tuition fees vary widely but generally range between €2,000 and €30,000.

France’s higher education and research clusters, known as PRES (pôles de recherche et d’enseignement supérieur), were created to bring together universities, Grandes Écoles, and research organisations located near one another, enabling them to coordinate their activities, and pool resources and skills in the areas of research, training, and international cooperation. Shared mechanisms include: • Thematic centres of excellence in research and innovation with close ties to local companies • A single point of contact for foreign researchers and doctoral candidates • Formation of and support for doctoral departments that confer doctoral degrees in the name of the PRES and provision of career-related services for junior researchers • Support of local, regional and international projects • Forging links with international academic communities • A one-stop shop for international student services

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• Streamlined publication of academic and scientific work • Gathering and pooling the collective goodwill of the respective member institutions. Seventeen PRES have been formed since 2006. For example, the present University of Bordeaux was established in 2007, and is made up of the original University of Bordeaux, Victor Segalen University, Michel de Montaigne University and Montesquieu University, along with various local technical schools. By entering into a consortium with other schools and universities, in addition to pooling the resources and skills into a collective centre of research and education, the resulting PRES may increase its visibility and enhance its attractiveness at a national and international level. A PRES brings together disparate parts of the academic circles, and enhances important ties with local businesses and communities.

Studying in France

The French graduation system


he system of degrees awarded in French higher education reflects a common basis in Europe. The LMD system — for Licence (Bachelor’s), Master’s, and Doctorate — is based on the number of semesters completed after leaving secondary education and their equivalent in European credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS): • Licence = 6 semesters/180 ECTS (Baccalauréat or equivalent + 3 years) • Master’s = 10 semesters/300 ECTS (Baccalauréat or equivalent + 5 years) • Doctorate = 16 semesters (Baccalauréat or equivalent + 8 years) The Baccalauréat, or le Bac, is an academic qualification required for entry into French universities. French students must pass an examination at the end of their final year in high school to obtain this qualification. This corresponds to A-Levels, STPM, Matriculation or UEC.

The degrees conferred in French universities and other institutions of higher education are certified by the French government. THE LMD SYSTEM

LEVELS Universities


Grandes Ecoles School of art School of business Schools of architecture Schools of engineering Other institutions (lycees, specialised schools)

18 semesters • State degree (+9 years) of doctor of medicine DOCTORAL DEPARTMENTS


DOCTORATE • Doctorate/PhD 16 semesters (+8 years)

7 6

5 4 3

2 1

12 semesters • State degree (+6 years) of doctor of dental surgery • State degree of doctor of pharmacy MASTER • Master by Research 10 semesters (+5 years) • Professional master 300 ECTS • Engineering degree

• Specialised Mastere - MS • Master of Business Administration - MBA

• HMONP (professional credential for independent practice architecture

• Engineering degree • Master of Science MSc • Business school diplomas • Degrees of Grandes Ecoles

• Degree of art school (DNSEP) • State diploma of architect • Degree of specialised schools (health, social work, tourism...)

LICENCE • Licence (bachelor) 6 semesters (+3 years) • Licence professionnelle 180 ECTS (professional bachelor) 4 semesters • University (+2 years) diploma in technology (DUT)

• Degree of art schools (DNAT - DNAP) • Architecture degree

• Admission to the first year of Grandes Ecoles program • Preparation for admission to Grandes Ecoles (CPGE)

• Diploma of art schools (DMA) • Higher technical certificate (BTS)

Completion of secondary school + Baccalaureat or equivalent (eligibility to enter higher education in home country) = access to French higher education

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Studying in France

R e s e a rc h and doctoral p ro g r a m m e s

41% of doctorates in France


tudents holding European Masters or equivalent qualifications may apply for admission to doctoral program mes in France. Candidates who prepare, and successfully defe nd, a thesis or dissertation after generally three years will rece ive their doctorate. There are two main options for doing a PhD at a French univ ersity: do a joint PhD or register for a French doctorate. Doctoral training takes place within research teams or units affiliated with doctora l departments. Candidates work under the supervision of a dissertation adviser. About 300 university doctoral departments organise research teams arou nd scientific and scholarly them es. They also coordinate doctora l programmes and ensure the coherence and efficiency of scientific projects.

Scientific research is a top priority in France

France devotes €14.6 bil for public research activities. Sinc e 2005, several new mechanisms to support research coopera tion, financing, and assessment hav e been developed, attesting to both the flexibility and the vitality of the French research enterprise. Some of these developments include: • a new National Research Age ncy (ANR) which manages financing for research projects

are earned by international stu

• new tools for co-operation in research including research and higher education clusters, known as Pôles de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur (PRE S) • increased public support for corporate research and development.

Financing doctoral study

Several financing options are available.

Doctoral contracts


The minimum guaranteed gross compensation ranges from about €1,300 to €1,700. Doctora l departments are responsible for recruiting candidates.

CIFRE: Research training agreements with industry

Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la Recherche (CIFRE) enable young researchers to complete their dissertation whil e working for a firm. Participants agree on a research and development programme that is pursued in cooperation with a research team based outside the firm. CIFRE-funded candidates must hold a Diplôme d’ingénieur, or an equivalent qualification such as a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Doctoral contracts are new public mechanisms for financing doctoral education that emp hasise professional research experienc e, an essential part of doctoral education. They have replace d the old systems of research alloc ations and teaching assistantships. Anyone holding a Master’s deg ree International joint doctoral or equivalent, regardless of age , programmes may apply. Most joint degree programmes Doctoral contracts are for are accompanied by dedicat three years and offer all of the ed financial aid, the main purpose benefits of a formal employm of ent which is to defray the candida agreement. Contract terms are te’s travel costs. identical at all French institution s Governed by an agreement of higher education and rese arch. between a French institution of Each doctoral contract spec ifies higher education and a part ner the objective and the duration of institution outside France, joint the mission of a particular doc toral doctoral programmes allow candidate, as well as the type of candidates to work on their activities in which the candida te dissertation in two countries will be engaged under the according to defined conditio contract. Contracted candida ns tes such as time spent in each cou have the right to paid vacatio ntry, n dissertation defense, financing and accumulate seniority, just and like so on. other civil servants.

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Studying in France

The basic terms of such agreements are as follows: • candidates perform their work under the supervision of a dissertation adviser in each of the countries involved • candidates divide their time between the participating institutions • the language of the dissertati on is specified in the agreement • the dissertation is defended only once, but successful candida tes receive two degrees • joint supervision of dissertati on research is not, in itself, a mechanism of financial assistance, but it may be (and often is) accompanied by such assistance. The recent creation of joint doctoral colleges by French and foreign universities has enabled more joint-supervision arrangements to obtain finan cial support for programmes desi gned to foster international mobility in science and academia.

If you wish to do a joint PhD or to complete a three year PhD in France, come to the MFUC with a thesis proposal. We will be able to help you find a suitable research depa rtment in a suitable university according to your research project.

For more information about findin g financial aid for your studies in France, pleas e see pages 16-17.

Brain Gain Malaysia grants

Malaysian researchers can also apply for Brain Gain Malaysia grants, sponsored by the Mala ysian Ministry of Science, Technolo gy and Innovation (MOSTI), whic h enable scientists or PhD stud ents to gain research exposure and build networks at the international level. Selected scientists are granted a scholarship in order to con duct research within a university or a research institute overseas. The programme is divided into two distinct programmes : the International Fellowship programme and the Post-Doc toral programme.

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Studying in France

Programmes in English Deciding where to study is a strategic decision. With internationally renowned programs taught in English, France is highly attractive to foreign students.

a new online sea

rch engine

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Studying in France


rance’s success in attracting students from around the world also stems from the fact that students no longer need to be fluent in French to pursue their education in France. Today, there are more than 600 programmes and courses offered entirely in English at French institutions, with the majority of the programmes at postgraduate level. Students can also choose mixed language programmes in France. Engineering, Business, and Management are disciplines particularly well furnished with programmes taught in English. Thanks to an initiative by CampusFrance, which is the national agency for the promotion of French higher education abroad, you can choose your programme in English with the CampusFrance online catalogue.

Some of the advantages of this online catalogue are: • regular updates by the academic institutions • ability to view the various programmes based in France and see the corresponding institutions on the map • availability of all levels of studies, from summer courses to Master’s and PhD • ability to choose programmes according to your skill and select the right proportion taught in English (100% or less) • programme-specific details regarding admission requirements, tuition fees, duration of the programmes and other information • ability to select as many criteria as you like to find the programmes that fit your objective.

The application procedure for these programmes is similar to that of programmes conducted in French. Each institution has its own requirements, but students will generally be required to provide transcripts and degree certificates as well as TOEFL or IELTS scores. Application forms can be found online and usually have to be submitted early in the year for intakes in September. As for MBAs, many institutions will require candidates to provide Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) results and to have previous professional experience.

CROSS AS MANY CRITERIAS AS YOU NEED • (level, field, proportion taught in English) to find the right program that fits your objectives FOR EACH PROGRAM, YOU’LL FIND: • A description: name, status and length of the course as well as the degree of level obtained • The admission requirements: academic level, English and French proficiency, tuition fees • The detailed objectives

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Studying in France

Funding your studies in France a sources of funding available to Learn more about the different France. Malaysian student studying in


aving the right funding for your education means everything. It’s good to know that if you decide to study in France, you have a plethora of funding options – including full scholarships – to assist you financially.

Excellent value

Students should keep in mind that in national universities and public Great Schools, the French Government pays a very large part of each student’s tuition fees (about €11,000 per year). This should be seen as an automatic scholarship and applies to both French and international students. Students pay registration fees instead of tuition fees. The annual registration fee rates at public institutions are set by law. The rates for the 2011–12 academic years are: • €177 for Licence (bachelor’s degree) programmes • €245 for Master’s programmes • €372 for Doctoral programmes • €584 for programmes leading to the Diplôme d’ingénieur.


Foreign students may qualify for four types of financial award: granted either by the French government, or by the government of their home country, by the European Union and by international and nongovernmental organisations.

Tip: Apply for scholarships at least one year before you intend to start your course of study in France. Information on scholarships can be found at the CampusBourse link in the CampusFrance website:

French Government Most of the scholarships financed by the French government are administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and amount to approximately 22,000 grants each year. These grant programmes are of two types: • Scholarships offered under bilateral assistance programmes between France and foreign governments are offered mainly for Doctoral programs. 80% of

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French government grants are of this type. Prospective applicants may obtain information from the office of culture and cooperation at the French Embassy • Eiffel grants need to be applied for in advance, as early as December for the following September intake. Applications should be made directly to The French University itself. The programmes applied for need to be within the framework of the specific programmes run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its departments in Paris.

Malaysian Government The Malaysian Government also offers scholarships to students to further their studies in France. Scholarships are usually advertised via local media such as daily newspapers. The deadlines for the submission of applications are usually not long after the release of the SPM results. Application forms will be available for a small fee from the Public Service Department (JPA) or from other specified government offices. Some examples of these scholarships are the Pre-France

Studying in France

programme for Malaysian Students in Engineering, jointly sponsored by JPA and MARA, and the SFERE Programme for Malaysian Students in Management and Engineering, which is offered by JPA, Yayasan Telekom Malaysia and PETRONAS. In addition, the Malaysian government also sponsors students to further a Master or PhD program in France. In each case, shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview before a select few are finally chosen.

Universities Certain universities in France also offer sponsorships to international students. These may be particularly worth looking into if you already have a clear picture of where and what you would like to study, and possess good academic qualifications in that area. For example, INSA Lyon awards grants of €2,000 per year over three years – sometimes four – to its foreign students. The programme lasts five years and leads to an Engineering Degree (two-year common-core syllabus followed by three years in a specialized field of engineering). The study grants

help foreign students finance their studies at INSA and are awarded according to social criteria. Applications need to be submitted after admission to INSA Lyon has been granted. The school will then contact successful candidates.

Corporations and organisations

Many commercial and charitable organisations in Malaysia offer scholarships for students to pursue a higher education abroad. It is important to read the terms of these scholarships carefully to ensure that you meet the basic criteria, and that France is one of the countries listed. For example, this year (2011) the French University Graduates Association of Malaysia (FUGAM) association will sponsor Malaysian students to learn French in a language centre in France. This initiative aims to attract Malaysian students to learn the language.

Erasmus Mundus programme under the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) offers scholarships to international students with the intended purpose of encouraging students from other nations to study in European Union countries such as France. The programme encourages personal mobility and cooperation between European and non-European academic institutions. Its goal is to promote the European Union as a world-class region of academic excellence and to enhance students’ career prospects. The application process for this grant is very selective and students need to apply nearly one year ahead for the next incoming intake. The application deadline is usually in December.

Study loans

Bank Rakyat offers Education Financing-i Falah and terms and conditions apply.

International and European Union programmes and initiatives

Scholarships are also available from other sources. For instance, the

Guide to Studying in France

  |  17

Areas of Study

Engineering A

rmand Peugeot. AndréGustave Citroën. Louis Renault. French engineers of the past have given their names to many of the famous cars that we drive today. Édouard and André Michelin developed the pneumatic tyre in the 19th century, yet it is still in use and produced by the millions today. Louis Bleriot was a French engineer and one of the pioneers of aviation. In 1909, he crossed the English channel in a heavier-thanair craft: a monoplane of Bleriot’s own design. His company would go on to manufacture fighter planes which were used in World War I. Henri Ziegler, engineer and former French Air Force officer and test pilot, was a founding father

of Airbus Industrie – a European aircraft manufacturer – and its first CEO. His most ambitious project was the joint Anglo-French development of Concorde, a supersonic passenger airliner that flew commercially between the US, the UK and France for 27 years. The above are just a few of the names which serve to highlight the high regard with which French institutions hold engineering and its related disciplines. The list is evergrowing and French researchers continue to receive awards every year for discoveries in all fields. Choosing to study engineering in France holds many benefits for students. The Ecoles d’Ingénieurs (engineering schools) are reliable and well-established institutions of

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higher learning that have been in operation since as far back as the 18th century. In fact, they are among some of the earliest engineering schools in the world.

The responsibilities of engineers Engineering projects must heed economic signals and respect social norms, notably in the realms of health, safety and environmental protection. Sustainable development is the imperative of globalisation, with its associated challenges of managing natural resources and energy. Engineers play key roles in finding solutions to these and other equally complex problems that loom on the horizon.

Areas of Study

Degree programmes in engineering are shaped by advances in science and technology, by the diversification of the labour market, and by the changing needs of employers and society at large. As the engineering profession is practised within an evolving context, it too must evolve. Today, more than ever, engineers are organisers, coordinators and managers of complex projects. Engineers pursue their craft in manufacturing, public works, agriculture, and the services sector. This craft involves mobilising people, technology, and finance, often on an international scale.

Studying engineering in France The study of engineering carries great prestige in France. Graduates earn the Diplôme d’Ingénieur, a professional credential that is equivalent to a European Master’s degree representing 300 ECTS credits. Engineering courses in France are regulated by the Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur (CTI – French National Commission on Engineering Degrees). As of 2010, there are 220 Ecoles d’Ingénieur offering engineering degrees in France. It has been estimated that around 30,000 new engineering graduates are produced by these schools each year.

Inside the curriculum French engineering programmes have four essential components: • A common core of basic scientific knowledge that equips graduate engineers with the knowledge to approach problems with analytical rigour and enables them to adapt over time to the changing demands of the profession • A grounding in the scientific foundations of engineering, which enables young engineers to perform well on a wide variety of professional tasks • Exposure to the business world, and to the environmental, economic, social, ethical, and philosophical aspects of their profession, which helps engineering students to be better professionals, managers and team leaders • Training in communication and cross-cultural experience – a part of which is the acquisition of proficiency in English – which enables graduate engineers to practise effectively anywhere in the world.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  19

Areas of Study

These components provide the basis for the unique features and benefits of engineering education in France: • Students receive rigorous training in advanced mathematics and science. Practical application of the theoretical knowledge acquired is dealt with separately in small sections and through a number of outlets, for example laboratory sessions, workshops and internships • Students are required to demonstrate their capacity to reason and to explain their reasoning. The way in which students arrive at a result is valued at least as much as the result itself • Students must be able to ‘audit’ their own thinking. This builds a culture of self-examination and

constant self-improvement, and is important in developing their ability to criticise and be criticised • Internships with firms are an integral part of the engineering programmes. Internships and work experience allow students to refine their interpersonal skills and capacity for flexibility and adaptation, thereby preparing them for professional life. It also gives them a more fully rounded view of the industry as a whole and opens their minds to their career options and true interests. Almost half (46%) of engineering students spend their first two years in special preparatory classes (classe préparatoire). These classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CGPE) are to prepare students who have been selected on the basis of their

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academic performance at high school for enrolment into the prestigious Grandes Ecoles, and they require a student to have already successfully passed their Baccalauréat. However, a growing number of students are being admitted after earning a two-year degree from a university-based institute of technology (IUT). Many international students also choose to complete a Master’s of Engineering, to enhance their technical knowledge and therefore their marketability, or to participate in research programmes that interest them.

Areas of Study

In Malaysia, SPM leavers are offered two possibilities with respect to foundation programmes: Pre-France Engineering Programme and SFERE Programme. The PreFrance Engineering Programme includes a 20-month pre-university course at UniKL-MFI. The SFERE Programme is a programme sponsored by JPA, Petronas and Yayasan Telekom Malaysia, and includes three months of intensive French courses in Malaysia and seventeen months of pre-university in France.

International perspective France’s schools of engineering welcome international students as a way to promote intercultural exchange, to provide valuable exposure for all parties concerned, and to respond to the needs of large multinational companies.


Sectors of activity

Aeronautics, agriculture, agronomy, biotechnology, chemistry, electricity, electronics, energy, environment, civil engineering, production management, manufacturing, engineering, materials, mechanics, offshore operations, safety and security, quality management, telecommunications.

Research and development, engineering, technical research and consulting, project and programme management, production, operations, maintenance, testing, quality assurance, security, information systems, customer relations (marketing, sales, support), administration and management, human resources, education.

The recruitment of international students is just one of the ways that engineering programmes have adapted to the demands from employers. Employers have begun to require foreign expertise as they seek to become global and regional players.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  21


Teoh Teik Siang, 28

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fer ... I get to see dif ical aspects to IT, from the techn the processes as ll costing, as we ent teams. that involve differ sts of a lot nsi co lf itse The work ing, and ort rep of analysis and n within the tio ina ord co es requir e interaction with organisation. Th ent corners people from differ s the job ke ma rld wo of the interesting.

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Institution profile

Facts & Figures

Number of students in the whole institution 2,613 Number of international students 6 Number of lecturers/teaching staff 180

Universiti Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia France Institute (UniKL-MFI) Address Section 14, Jalan Teras Jernang, 43650 Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Computers to student ratio 1:7 3 Online application 3 Courses in English 3 Accommodation 3 Scholarship

Tel +(603)8926 2022 Fax +(603)8925 8845


niversiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia France Institute is one of the listed branch campuses under University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL). It is an advanced technical training center in the fields of engineering technology specializing in automation, electrical, mechanical and maintenance which are fully supported by the Malaysian government. It was incorporated in February 1995 as a co-operation project between the Malaysian government and the French government. Our vision is to be the premier entrepreneurial technical university. Our mission is to produce enterprising global technopreneurs.

General areas of study Diploma of Engineering Technology in • Automated System and Maintenance Technology • Electrical Equipment and Installation Technology • Machine Building and Maintenance Technology • Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology • Metal Fabrication Technology • Welding Technology • Automotive Maintenance Technology.

Bachelor of Engineering Technology in: • Air Conditioning and Industrial Refrigeration • Industrial Automation and Robotics Technology • Mechatronics • Machine Tools Manufacturing • Welding Quality Inspection • Automotive Maintenance Foundation: • Foundation in Pre-France University.

Links and affiliations with • TWI, Cambridge • Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, IUT Nice, France • Université de la Méditerranée-Aix Marseille II, IUT d’Aix-en-Provence, France • Université de Toulon, IUT Toulon, France • Université de Toulouse, IUT Toulouse, France • IFFI-CNAM, France • ITB, Bandung.

Facilities IT facilities • Wireless in the Resource centre and Hostel area.

Other facilities • Resource Centre • 3 Blocks of Hostel • Cafeteria • Sports Facilities – Gym.

Admission requirements Diploma • A pass in SPM / SPMV with at least 5 credits Bahasa Melayu, Mathematics, one science or technical subjects and two other subject and a pass in English. • Possess a certificate IKM / ILP from recognized institutions or other certificates from relevant fields with CGPA 2.0 and above and at least a pass in Bahasa Malaysia at SPM level.

Bachelor • A diploma with minimum of CGPA of 2.0 in the relevant field from any recognized institution • International Baccalaureat with a minimum of 24 points • STPM or its equivalence with at least Grade C in 3 subjects All international students must complete at least 12 years of education and obtained certificate in Higher Secondary School equivalent to ‘A’ Level for degree programmes. For more detailed info: please refer to:

Guide to Studying in France

  |  23

Agriculture, Master

Degree, Electronics, French Food, Culture,

Universities, Studies,



Engineer Schools,

Physics, French Language,

Europe, Chemistry, PhD, Living in France, Law, ICT Management, Qualification,





Société Française d’Exportation des Ressources Educatives

Engineering studies in France through SFERE Aeronautics and Astronautics, Astronautics, Biological Engineering, Biotech, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, IT Sciences & Engineering, Electrical & Electronic, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Information Technology, Telecom, Energy, Food Industry....

To date, more than 400 students have gone through this French national programme

x x x x

Students selection in April or May (SPM level) Departure to France in june (every year) 15 month Pre-U In France (including language course) Direct access to more than 80 Engineering Schools and University Institutes of Technology

x Engineer Degree / Master of Engineering in 5 years

Under Scholarship from : JPA, Petronas, TM Further information :

Or contact : JPA, Petronas, TM scholarship schemes


li, 26 Muhammad Sobri bin Ram Embedded Systems – gineering,

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” Guide to Studying in France

  |  25

Areas of Study

n io t a ic n u m m o C d n Information a ) T IC ( y g lo o n h c e T


rance has been an influential and frequent contributor to the field of information technology and computer science over the past few decades. In 1972, French engineers André Truong and François Gernelle created the first microcomputer, initially developed for the French National Institute for Agronomic Research. The Micral N is generally seen as being the precursor of the personal computer, by virtue of its being the first generalpurpose computer powered by a microprocessor. In 1974, Louis Pouzin invented the datagram and designed the first packet switching network. His packet communications network CYCLADES was the forefather of modern-day data transfer protocols including TCP/IP, and helped form the basis for the development of the Internet’s infrastructure.

Today, a great deal of worldclass ICT research continues to take place in France. Hence, choosing to study an ICT course in France puts you in a position to learn from the best. At the Bachelor level, courses offered in science and technology usually include an option to major in computer science in the third year. Other alternatives that can be considered are the professionallyoriented degree programmes (Licences Professionnelles) which are more focused on certain technical specialities. These licence programmes require three years to complete. If you are seeking a postgraduate course, you should check the renowned Méthodes Informatiques Appliquées à la Gestion des Entreprises (MIAGE) or Master in Management of Information Systems. With

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a National Higher Diploma, or undergraduate degree in Technology or Management (two years of studies after A-level), students are eligible to apply for this three-year training programme, which will give them a Master’s degree upon graduation. The programme is delivered through an apprenticeship format, and exposes students to management skills and other skills beyond the technical ones of computer science.


25 Vanitha Kanesar Kumar,

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Guide to Studying in France

  |  27

Areas of Study

Business M

anagement education is an area of excellence in the French postsecondary system. For the past several years, the annual rankings of the world’s best business schools have recognised the quality of France’s Grandes Ecoles de Commerce. The Financial Times’ 2010 list of the 10 best Masters in the field of management includes ESCP Europe, HEC Paris, EM Lyon Business School, Grenoble Graduate School of Business and ESSEC Business School. The Economist’s top 100 MBAs for 2010 includes six French schools, namely HEC Paris, INSEAD, EM Lyon, EDHEC Business School, Grenoble Graduate School of Business and Audencia Nantes.

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Areas of Study

Programmes in business and administration were the first to be developed, in response to the demand for well-trained managers and finance professionals. France’s free-standing schools of business – which are well-equipped and well-staffed – continue to offer an excellent study environment with a wide range of fees, varying from €2,000 to €30,000 in annual tuition. The nation’s universities offer management programmes as well, with an emphasis on research, although the university business schools or Instituts d’Administration des Entreprises (IAE) also offer career-oriented professional Master’s programmes at public university prices. Business courses at the undergraduate level typically last three years. Upon completion, students can then choose from a list of specialised Master’s programmes and proceed to spend another two years studying in their chosen

field. Many postgraduate business courses in France, such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA), are conducted in English, so international students do not have to be fluent in French in order to enrol in these courses. Syllabus content leans heavily on professional practice, and classes are commonly made up of students from various nationalities, thus providing an enriching experience which broadens perspectives beyond borders. In most cases, institutions maintain close links with the business world – not just in terms of the content of the syllabus, but also through the inclusion of internships and practical training as part of the course. Students have the

opportunity to gain exposure to the job market in France as well as in other parts of Europe.

Over the years, many French business schools and programmes have earned European and international accreditations and certifications: • 14 institutions are recognised by AACSB (Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) • 16 programmes are recognised by AMBA (Association of MBAs) • 19 institutions are recognised by EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) • 8 programmes are recognised by EPAS (EFMD Programme Accreditation System).

Guide to Studying in France

  |  29

Open up the doors to the world On the North-western French Atlantic coast Spectacular natural beauty and quality of life Dynamic regional economy and low cost of living Wide range of cultural and sporting activities Direct and cheap flights throughout Europe

Brittany School of Management, one of the best French Business Schools, has been providing outstanding management training and business education in English since 1962.

ENGLISH TAUGH PROGRAMS: >Bachelor in Management > Master in Management, known as “Grande Ecole Program” > Master in International Business (MSc) in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland)

TO KNOW MORE, CONTACT OUR INTERNATIONAL OFFICE: 2 avenue de Provence - CS 23812 29238 Brest cedex 3 - France Office: +33(0)2 98 34 44 85 Mobile: +33(0)6 82 62 42 59

L’école supérieure de commerce Bretagne Brest est un établissement de la chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Brest

Photo : Simon Cohen

Develop your managerial skills in an international environment, and enjoy the French way of life!

Institution profile Facts & Figures

Number of students in the whole institution 4,000+ (FTE) Number of international students 1,000 Number of lecturers/teaching staff 81 permanent and full time 3 Online application (for the Master in Management)

Toulouse Business School

3 Courses in English

Address 20 Boulevard Lascrosses, BP7010, 31068 TOULOUSE Cedex 7

3 Accommodation (private)

3 Scholarship (only for exchange students)

Tel +33 (0)5 61 29 49 49 Fax + 33(0)5 61 29 49 94


oulouse Business School belongs to the prestigious circle of Triple Crown business schools, holding full EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditations. This exclusivity is marked by the fact that less than 1% of Business Schools in the world have achieved this level. By choosing Toulouse Business School, students are ensured an excellent academic foundation and degrees that are recognised worldwide.

General areas of study The Bachelor and ESC Masters Programmes can be studied entirely in English or in a mixture of English and French. We also offer specialist short courses for exchange and international students in areas such as International Business.

Links and affiliations with As an international researchled business school, TBS has 145 University partners worldwide (see website) and welcomes students of 70 different nationalities on its three campuses in Toulouse, Casablanca and Barcelona. We work extensively with Campus France and QS. Research partner: TBS is a partner in the Doctoral School in Management Sciences of Toulouse University and delivers a research methods programme for doctoral students in management with UNIRAZAK in Kuala Lumpur.

Admission requirements Bachelor’s degree

Written tests: MCQ in English, text summarizing, logic test (in French or English) Oral: Interview

Master’s degree

International students must be no older than 27 years of age and hold a Bachelor degree awarded by a university and attesting to at least 3 years of higher education. • GMAT min score: 560 or GRE (equivalent) • TAGE MAGE 250 • IELTS 6.0 • Oral Interview


Applications must be supported by a full research proposal in English or French, curriculum vitae and two academic references.

Language proficiency

For courses in English, IELTS 6.0 is the minimum requirement.

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Institution profile

Facts & Figures

Number of students in the whole institution 2,400 Number of international students 650 Number of lecturers/teaching staff 340 (permanent and visiting staff) 3 Online application

IESEG School of Management, Lille/Paris, France Address 3 rue de la Digue, Lille, 59000, France Tel +33 (3)2054 5892 Fax +33 (3)2057 4855

3 Courses in English

3 Accommodation (Lille Campus). We help students find housing in both Paris and Lille.

3 Scholarship Merit-based scholarships (25% - 50% tuition waiver).



ESEG School of Management is a member of Lille Catholic University and a prestigious Grande Ecole, currently ranked among the top 10 business schools in France. There are currently 2400 students across 2 campuses. The strong focuses on internationalization are demonstrated though 75% of foreign professors and over 400 incoming international exchange students each year. The main campus is in the beautiful city of Lille and the second campus is the heart of business district in Paris – La Defense. Both campuses offer bachelor and master degree programs completely taught in English. French language classes are also available. Each program consists of internship opportunities in France or abroad. A number of international merit-based scholarships are available. Our English – taught programs are: • 1-year Master of International Business (MIB) • 2-year Master Science in Management (MSc) • 3-year Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) • 4-week International Summer Academy.

General areas of study offered • Audit and Control • Finance • Human Resources Management • International Business Economics and Strategy • International Negotiation and Sales Management • Marketing • Management of International Systems • Operations Management.

Links and affiliations with Due to its strong focus on internationalization and English taught programs, IESEG’s international university network is made up of 155 universities across 45 different countries – many highly ranked and quality institutions that offer courses that are compatible to those of IESEG.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  33

Areas of Study

m is r u o T & y t li a it p s o H I

n 2010 alone, more than 82 million tourists visited France, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. What better place is there to study hospitality and tourism? The curriculum for hospitality and tourism programmes in France combines elements of academic teaching together with handson experience through training programmes. This helps to create a well-balanced study programme, since students will not merely be taught theories, but will also have the opportunity to develop a professional edge in the way they

work. It is extremely important for those working in the hospitality and tourism industry to have a broad understanding of how to service customers from different social and cultural backgrounds. Thus, it is imperative for students to get

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as much transnational exposure as possible. In this respect, French institutions can boast of having a truly international student population – with 50 or more nationalities living and studying under the same roof.

Areas of Study

There are many types of academic programme in hospitality and tourism available in France. The duration of a course may vary from two to five years. Undergraduate choices begin with a two-year Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS) degree, which offers students two options: one being marketing and hotel management, and the other culinary arts, fine dining and service. The BTS, which is a form of vocational higher education, can lead to the completion of a bachelor’s degree (Licence Professionnelle) with one additional year of studies. After obtaining the Licence Professionnelle, students can choose to further their studies with a Master’s at a university or in a business school, mainly to prepare themselves for the management aspects of the hospitality and tourism sector. The curriculum enables the student to gain exposure through periods of practical training in France, or even abroad, for a period that can vary from a minimum of 12 weeks to a maximum of 16 weeks. Students may even be granted the opportunity to alternate between working and studying, thus incorporating valuable practical experience as part of their learning process. In the third year of study, students will need to pick a specialisation area among about 20 different subjects.

The cooperation between French and Malaysian institutions in the field of hospitality and tourism is long-standing and is growing every year. In 2011 Taylor’s University celebrates 25 years of great collaboration with the University of Toulouse 2. HELP University and the Institut Paul Bocuse, Sunway and Le Cordon Bleu, and KDU and Vatel International also give their students the opportunity to go to France on exchange and to benefit from gaining dual degrees.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  35

Institution profile Facts & Figures

Number of students in the whole institution 1,000+ Number of international students 600+ Number of lecturers/teaching staff 55 permanent lecturers + 200

temporary lecturers

CETIA (Centre d’Etudes du Tourisme, de l’hôtellerie et des industries de l’alimentation.) Address 5, alléesAntonio Machado 31058 Toulouse Cedex 09 Tel +33 (0)5 61 50 42 30 Fax +33 (0)5 61 50 42 30 Email


he CETIA that stands in French for Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Food studies, is a department under the public University of Toulouse 2 Le Mirail. It has been created in 1986, responding to a national demand of higher education training for the industry of Tourism and Hospitality. The CETIA focuses on a multidisciplinary approach combining social, human and management sciences to the study of Hospitality, Tourism and Food . It offers professional and academic qualifications, ranging from national certificates up to master degrees. More than training professionals in France, the CETIA is setting a trend on research and training with over 1000 students in 5 countries (France, Malaysia, Vietnam, Poland & Bulgaria) and affiliations to the 4th largest research laboratory

3 Online application Yes

Courses in English Not in France, but at Taylor’s University YES

3 Accommodation (upon availability)

3 Scholarship (on Merit) but the courses are extremely affordable as they are government sponsored. worldwide (the CNRS) for the fundamental and applied research, as well as for the PhD studies.

General areas of study offered The CETIA is specialized in Hospitality, Tourism and Food Studies. As so, it offers 4 national certifications, 6 Bachelor’s Degrees and 6 Master’s Degree programs (all accredited by the ministry of higher education) as well as RPL programs (recognition of prior learning). The programs are structured around 5 main study path: • Tourism Development • Tourism Industry • Hotels & Restaurants Management • Social sciences applied to food studies

• Management and engineering of collective catering. The unicity of the department stands in its multidisciplinary approach that allows a holistic perspective of the industry. under the supervision of renown professors, the CETIA also offers PhD supervision possibilities.

Links and affiliations with • The CETIA has 2 campuses in Toulouse and Foix in Southern France • Affiliation to CERTOP & CNRS for Research. • Taylors University Malaysia • WSG Poland • NBU Bulgaria • PUF, USSH for Vietnam.

Admission requirements Bachelor’s degree

Have a prior academic qualification, language proficiency in English and French (possibility to learn french for one year inToulouse), preferably previous professional experience.

Master’s degree

Student’s need to hold a bachelor degree to be eligible. The selection is then based on the student’s personnel file (academic results, professional experience and perspectives as well as language proficiency and motivations)


To be eligible for Phd student’s need to hold master program. The selection of the supervisor is not an automatic process but an agreement between the student and a accredited personnel on the basis of a research proposal.

Language proficiency

French and English fluency is required. However, there is a possibility to study French for 1 year at the University of Toulouse prior to entering the CETIA’s programs.

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Cindy Lee Ker Hui, 23

ment Tourism Manage chelor’s (Hons) in ernational Int in r’s ste Qualifications Ba Ma currently pursuing and Engineering; 2 ment – Toulouse ge na Ma lity Hospita rer

Title Assistant Lectu Company Taylor’s


s company for 1

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rn something ... I evolve and lea fun being It’s y. new every da Tourism ing ch tea er tur a lec es. It’s also urs co nt Manageme ucating ed challenging to be e day be on ll wi o wh nts stude industry. I have part of the tourism us background students of vario thus allowing me s, litie na tio and na as well. m the to learn from

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e Having the desir g to learn and bein open to advice and criticism will take you far.

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Areas of Study

s t r A & e r tu c e it h c r A Architecture


rchitects are involved at various stages in a variety of building projects: conception and design, drawing (and other forms of representation), interior architecture and design, lighting design, design and construction of exhibition space, historic preservation and restoration, the design of exterior spaces and environments, landscape architecture, regional development and urban planning. Apart from managing building projects, some architects focus their efforts on areas such as teaching, research, planning and consulting for property owners and governments. In order to co-ordinate everyone who contributes to a building, an architect must possess

a wide range of talents and skills, including but not limited to: • artistic talent • technical skills • engineering ability • financial aptitude • legal knowledge • social awareness. In France, the artistic side of the profession has long been emphasised. In contrast to other European countries, France trains architects in schools of architecture rather than in universities or engineering schools. The nation’s architects have, therefore, come to represent the creative and intellectual aspects of the profession rather than the analytical aspects that might be expected of an engineer. To this day, France’s schools of architecture are overseen by the

Ministry of Culture and not by the Ministry of Higher Education. France’s system for training architects is organised into three stages: • three years of basic professional education leading to a Diplôme d’Etudes en Architecture, which is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree • two years of study of the essential tools and methods of architecture and urban design, leading to a Diplôme d’Etat d’Architecture • three years leading to a Doctorat of Architecture. This is done to be consistent with the European LMD (licence, Master’s degree and doctorate) system. After stage three, a student earns the right to practice independently as an architect.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  39

Areas of Study

Arts In modern times, art is recognised as being an integral part of life as well as a powerful communication tool with the ability to transcend borders. The products of art are all around us, from advertising and entertainment to the furniture in our homes and the clothes we wear. Arguably the epicentre of art and culture, at the crossroads of ancient and modern art, France is the ideal place for students to pursue further studies and to immerse themselves in the arts. French art has spearheaded many art movements worldwide. Students can find inspiration at the many well-maintained historical buildings, and the more than 1,000 museums and over 8,000 other types of establishment in France. One good place to start would be the Centre of National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, which attracts 5.5 million visitors each year. Named after the French president who envisioned the modern cultural centre, the museum first opened its doors in 1977 and still stands as a monument to French art, innovation and history. The study of art encompasses graphic design, fashion design, interior architecture, animation, film, textiles, music, sound production, illustration, fine arts and performing arts – all the way

Illustration courtesy of artc

to the history and interpretation of modern and traditional art. Students who are interested in pursuing a higher education in fine arts can choose from more than 500 private and public art schools in France. Art courses in France are vocationally-oriented. This means that you will receive the hands-on experience and skills required for your future career. Besides learning about fundamental theories and techniques (modelling, illustration, painting, engraving, digital design, photography etc), students are also exposed to subjects such as psychology, anthropology and literature.

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For more information about French art institutions : Admission into French art schools is highly competitive. In most cases, applicants are required to submit an impressive portfolio, attend an interview with a faculty committee and sit for an entrance exam. There are three pathways for students interested in art studies: • schools of fine arts which are public institutions • private art schools which offer courses in fashion, design, theatre, etc • universities which offer bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees in the history of arts, applied arts, etc – no entrance exam is required. Prospective art students will need to be proficient in French, as the majority of the courses are taught entirely in French.


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Guide to Studying in France

  |  41

Areas of Study

Science F

rench universities provide students with a plethora of opportunities to be involved in lab work through projects and internships, giving them the benefit of learning the practical skills which are required by employers in the working world. The areas of study in the scientific field available in France are numerous. In addition to programmes rooted in the core disciplines of science, such as biology, chemistry and physics, students can also choose from an array of cross-disciplinary courses which include agriculture, biotechnology, materials science and environmental science. Science graduates have a lot to look forward to upon returning to Malaysia from France. As of 2010, the country has only managed to fulfil a fraction of its target to have a minimum of 60 researchers,

scientists and engineers per 10,000 member workforce. With only ten more years to 2020, Malaysia is in dire need of scientists and researchers to spearhead innovation and development in its efforts to achieve developed nation status. Once they are academically qualified, the door is open for fresh graduates to apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of science-related industries in the country. There are countless opportunities for fresh graduates in sectors such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals, which have been seen as major graduate recruiters in recent years. Science graduates can also look forward to the opportunities that are unfolding as a result of greater and closer collaborations

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between the academic and industrial fields, including the new job vacancies that are opening up within organisations that produce scientific publishing materials and conduct technical sales and marketing activities.

Areas of Study

Mass media F

rance is home to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the oldest press agency in the world and one of the top three global news services together with Associated Press and Reuters. Freedom of the press is a basic right conferred by the French constitution. As such, journalistic training in France is known for its strength in teaching: • professional techniques as practised in various media • the history, rules, and legal bases of the profession • awareness of journalism as a profession that contributes to the functioning of democratic political systems. Students interested in studying journalism, audiovisual communication, information Sciences, and Documentation in France have a choice of qualifications to pursue: • Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (Higher National Diploma) in business communication, with specialisations in internal, external, commercial and strategic communication

• Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie (DUT) – A twoyear technical degree offered by Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (IUTs), or University Institutes of Technology, comprising academic courses coupled with practical training usually in the form of internships • Licence professionnelle – A three-year undergraduate degree programme offered by public and private universities. Students study general education, including history, economics, sociology, theories of communication (concepts, writing, information processing) and practical case studies. Students can also choose to pursue additional specialisations such as: • Professionally oriented Master’s degree programmes in information and communication sciences • Master from Grandes Ecoles of Journalism. These programmes of excellence are widely recognised among the international press.

Seven public programmes of Master of Journalism • CELSA at Université Paris 4-La Sorbonne • Centre Universitaire d’Enseignement du Journalisme (CUEJ) University Centre for Education in Journalism at the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg • Ecole de Journalisme et de Communication de Marseille (EJCM) Marseille School of Journalism and Communication at Université Aix-Marseille 2 • Institut de la Communication et des Médias (ICM) Institute for Communication and Media at the Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3 • Institut Français de Presse (IFP) French Press Institute at the Université Paris 2 • Institut de Journalisme de Bordeaux Aquitaine (IJBA) Bordeaux-Aquitaine Institute of Journalism at the Université Bordeaux 3 • IUT Information-Communication University Technology Institutes for Information and Communication in the Université François Rabelais, in Tours and the Université Rennes 1, in Lannion. Four private programmes: • Centre de Formation des Journalistes (CFJ) Centre for the Training of Journalists in Paris • Ecole de Journalisme de Toulouse (EJT) The Toulouse School of Journalism • Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme (ESJ) Tertiary College of Journalism in Lille • Institut Pratique de Journalisme (IPJ) Institute of Practical Journalism in Paris Students may also elect to pursue five-year Master in journalism programmes at France’s highly selective IEPs, or institutes of political studies. The eight regional IEPs also offer double degree programmes jointly with three schools of journalism, where students are required to study one year in another university abroad.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  43

Areas of Study

nal o ti a rn te n /I e c n ie c S l a c ti li Po Relations/Humanities


nternational relations and political science are interdisciplinary fields that call for a simultaneous interest in law, economics, conflict management, culture, languages, geopolitics, history, mathematical models and so on. In these fields, uncertainty is a fact of life, since forecasts are often cruelly refuted by events which slip through the nets of our systems, however clever these may be. These two fields fall under the umbrella of the humanities and social sciences, collectively known as the Sciences Humaines or Human Sciences which comprise ten disciplines: administrative science, anthropology, archaeology (or ancient civilisations), economics, geography, history, psychology, religion, political science (of which international relations is a part) and sociology. Philosophy is also often counted as one of the human sciences. Many universities and institutions of higher education in France offer Bachelor and Master’s programmes in humanities for foreign students.

At University, it is generally possible for foreign students with at least three years of post-secondary studies in related fields (law, political science, economics, history and sometimes geography) to specialise in international law, political science or international relations at Master’s level. The private Catholic universities also offer a number of programmes specialising in international law.

IEP in the fields of Politics and International Relations France’s nine Instituts d’études politiques (IEP or Political Studies Institutes) are highly selective Schools which are the leading institutions for the study of political science and international relations in France. They are often attached to universities, with the exception of Sciences Po (Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris – Paris Institute of Political Studies) in Paris, the most famous political institute in France. The IEPs espouse a multidisciplinary curriculum that exposes students

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to the full spectrum of the Sciences Humaines. Also noted for their humanities programmes are the Ecoles Normales Supérieures (ENS), some of the most prestigious schools in France providing a platform for many of France’s young elite to pursue high-level careers in government and academia. The IEP also offer short programmes for exchange students leading to one of two political studies degrees: the Certificat d’Études Politiques (CEP), which is a one-year programme, or the Attestation d’Études Politiques (AEP), which is a one-semester programme consisting of subjects selected from the Master’s course. Admission to these programmes is based on the student’s academic record. The prestigious School of SciencePo Paris offers a programme dedicated to Asian students at its Europe-Asia campus of Le Havre in the West of France.

Institution profile Facts & Figures

Number of students in the whole institution 10,000 Number of international students 4,000 Number of teaching staff/researchers 3,650 3 Online application

Sciences Po Address 27 rue Saint Guillaume, 75337 Paris Cedex Tel +(01)4549 5050

3 Courses in English

Accommodation (not availble

in Paris) 3 Scholarship

Fax +(01)4222 3126


ince its creation in 1871, Sciences Po has been France’s preeminent university for the social sciences. We have long outgrown our French roots, and are open to the world. Today, some 40% of our 10,000 students are international, from 130 countries. The education we offer is emphatically outward looking. Many of our classes are taught in French, but it’s possible to study entirely in English. As a fullyfledged research and teaching university, Sciences Po is focused on excellence, and demands the highest standards from faculty and students alike.

Undergraduate studies Undergraduates at Sciences Po spend two years in France on one of our seven campuses followed by a third and final year studying abroad. Each of our campuses has a distinct geographical focus: North and South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The core curriculum common to all campuses features political science, economics, history, international relations, law and sociology.

Graduate studies • Four graduate schools – the Paris School of International Affairs, the Law School, the Journalism School and the School of Communications • A total of more than 20 Masters programmes • A doctoral school offering Ph.D programmes in law, economics, history, political science and sociology • Dual degrees with international universities including Columbia, the London School of Economics, Fudan, Peking and Keio.

English-language Study Programmes • Undergraduate studies in English on our Europe-Asia campus in Le Havre, the Europe-North America campus in Reims and the Middle East and Mediterranean campus in Menton • Graduate studies: Master’s degree courses in English at the Paris School of International Affairs and in these Masters programmes: European Affairs, Economics and Public Policy, Economic Law, Communication and Governing the Large Metropolis • A broad array of English language classes for exchange students on our Paris campus.

Links and affiliations with 350 partner universities including: LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, McGill, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, MIT, Fudan, Peking University, MGIMO, FGV,Freie Universität, Bocconi, Keio, University of Cape Town.

Facilities • One of Europe’s biggest social sciences libraries including 40 digital databases • Online courses • Paris campus in heart of Saint Germain des Prés on Left Bank • Student services centre • Support for students with disabilities and special needs.

Admission requirements Sciences Po has an international application procedure for both undergraduates and graduate students. We set high standards for students and faculty alike and the workload is deliberately taxing. Candidates are required to submit a dossier including academic records, language ability in French or English and a detailed cover letter. They may be asked to sit for an interview.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  45

Areas of Study



id you know that French is the second most studied language after English? French is spoken by over 200 million people across 5 continents and is an official language in 30 countries. Aside from being a beautiful language, French is a language for international communication, culture, diplomacy, science, research and business. French is an official language in all United Nations agencies and other international organisations such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Interpol and OIC. Around the world, more and more people of different ages and backgrounds are learning the language for a variety of reasons. Some learn the language for professional reasons while some do it simply for personal enrichment. Whatever the reason may be, learning French offers countless benefits whilst being an enjoyable experience.

French Language

Being proficient in French increases job opportunities and salary potentials as it offers a distinct advantage in the global market. France is known for being the origin of many major companies such as L’Oréal, Total, BNP Paribas, Carrefour, Renault and Lafarge. Students planning to pursue higher studies in France should equip themselves by learning the language as it can be an added advantage, if not a requirement, for application. French culture is known and appreciated throughout the world. Today, popular French artists like Daft Punk, David Guetta and Bob Sinclar are known the world over. What better way to appreciate and enjoy French culture than to be able to understand the language.

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In Malaysia, a growing number of people are learning French. The above examples illustrate just a few of the reasons why people are learning French in Malaysia. The Alliance Française, present in Kuala Lumpur (Lorong Gurney, Bangsar and Subang) and Penang, has attracted around 2,500 students to enrol in French language classes. The Alliance Française is a worldwide network which aims to promote French language and culture, as well as encourage cultural exchanges. As the official French Language Centre in Malaysia, courses are structured to satisfy the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The course content is designed to ensure that all skills pertaining to the language is given importance. Courses are offered to adults and children at various levels. The academic team consists of qualified, experienced and dedicated teachers.

Areas of Study

Established since 1961, the Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur (AFKL) is more than just a language centre. Besides offering language courses, AFKL organises examinations and tests for the international certification of French language proficiency such as DELF, DALF, TEF, and TEFAQ. AFKL is responsible for the national coordination of DELF-DALF in Malaysia. Classrooms at AFKL are equipped with interactive whiteboards to engage and encourage students in classroom activities, enhancing the learning environment. To facilitate in the

study of the language, AFKL has developed a multimedia library offering a vast selection of materials such as books, magazines, comics, audio CDs and DVDs. Aside from Wi-Fi connection, the library also has a television broadcasting the French channel, TV5 Monde. In an effort to create a complete study environment, cultural activities are organised throughout the year at AFKL itself and other cultural venues. Major activities/ events include the French Art and Film Festival, Fête de la Musique, and French Language Week.

Regardless of the reason for learning the language, it will be a beneficial and enriching journey. The AFKL strives to offer the best it can in teaching the French language and promoting French culture to all.

AFKL offers 4 intakes per year: • January – March • April – June • July – September • October – December The AFKL main centre is located at: 15 Lorong Gurney, 54100 Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-26947880

Guide to Studying in France

  |  47


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Guide to Studying in France

  |  49

Living in France

Preparing to live in France Here are some tips to help you prepare to stay and study in France.


nce you decide to further your studies in France, you need to make some basic preparations. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

Tuition fees

In France, tuition fees vary from one institution to another and also between courses. In public institutions, the French State (that is to say tax payers) pays a very large part of each student's tuition fees (about €11,000 per year) in order to enable anyone to gain access to higher education. This can be seen as a type of automatic scholarship for both French and international students. Students pay registration fees instead of tuition fees. Registration fees in public institutions vary from €170 to €500 per year in 2011-2012 for a course leading to a bachelor’s degree. The registration fee at specialized schools is approximately €490 annually. In private institutions, tuition fees vary from €2,000 to over €30,000 for private engineering and business schools.


Malaysian students don’t need to acquire a visa if they plan to stay in France less than three months. If you’re planning to stay longer, you need to obtain the extended-stay student visa at the French Embassy. In most cases, it is valid for one year. When it is issued, the consulate will give the applicant an official form

which the applicant must present to the French office of immigration and integration (OFII) upon arrival in the prefecture having jurisdiction over their place of residence in France. They then complete several administrative formalities. Some institutions (including many universities) have agreements with OFII whereby their international students' documents are to be submitted to the international student office at the institution. Students are strongly encouraged to confirm this with their new institution before arriving in France. In all cases, a tax of €55 must be paid by purchasing a tax stamp marked ‘OMI’ or ‘ANAEM’. Please speak to an MFUC representative for advice on this matter.

For first year of university and school of architecture Malaysian students wishing to enrol in the first or second year at a university or school of architecture are required to use the Demande d’Admission Préalable (DAP) procedure, whereby the student must first complete an application for preliminary admission, which can be obtained from the culture and cooperation office of the French embassy in Malaysia or at the MFUC office. The student may not apply for a visa until he or she receives a certificate of preliminary admission from the university.

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For all other fields of study Students who are not seeking to enter the first or second year at a university or school of architecture may contact the institutions of their choice to obtain a certificate of preliminary admission. With the certificate in hand, the prospective student may submit his or her application for an extended-stay visa to the French consulate, along with any supporting documents required by the consulate.


Before beginning your housing search, it is important to decide on the type of housing you’re looking for. Your financial resources, the length of your stay and the nature of your programme should shape your decision. The cost of housing varies widely, but international students, like French students, are eligible for housing assistance. If possible make housing arrangements before leaving for France. You may be able to secure a room in a university residence managed by CROUS or the international office of your home institution, the regional student-service agency, or contact an institution that maintains its own student residences. Searching for housing from outside the country can be difficult, as you won't be able to visit properties and make informed decisions. It may also be difficult to persuade a property owner

Living in France

Housing assistance to let you sign a rental contract or convince him or her that you have someone who will guarantee payment of your rent. For these reasons, many international students choose to find temporary housing for their first few weeks in France. They use that time to look for a more permanent arrangement. You could also get help from Malaysian students (through the association of Malaysian students in France for example), who are already settled in France and who could provide tips on how to search for housing. Accommodation expenses in towns, especially for private lodgings, vary from €200 to €750 per month. In university halls of residence, the expenses range from €150 to €350 per month.

University residences University residences in France are managed by regional student service agencies, known as CROUS. The residences may be located on campus or in town. Spaces are made available according to stringent social criteria. CROUS residences are the most affordable form of student housing. Monthly rent varies from €120 for a single room to €350 for a studio apartment. Most of the spaces allocated for international students are reserved for recipients of French government grants. Many universities have agreements with CROUS to

In France, students of all nationalities may apply for government housing assistance. France is the only country in Europe to offer this benefit. Just like French students, international students are eligible to apply for housing assistance under a system set up to deal with the relatively high cost of housing in France. Assistance amounts are computed case by case, based on the rental amount and the student's resources. The benefit is not automatic or assured. If you intend to apply for student housing assistance, make sure you meet the following conditions: • you have already found lodgings and can provide your address and the amount of your rent

reserve rooms for international students participating in exchange programmes, often under the umbrella of the international relations office. Some institutions also reserve rooms for international students enrolled in the second year of a Master's programme or in a doctoral programme. If you fall into any of those categories, you

Basic facts about university housing Monthly rent: €150 to €350 (depending on the accomodation) Security deposit: One month Co-signer/guarantor: The guarantor can be the university Temporary/short-term housing: Not available. Rental contracts extend over nine months (for a room) or 12 months (for a studio), except during the summer Pre-arrival rentals: Not available.

• you are enrolled in the mandatory student health insurance plan • you have a bank account in France, as housing assistance is deposited directly into beneficiaries' bank accounts. If you are sharing a house or apartment with a group of students, all members of the group may apply for assistance, provided their names appear on the rental contract (lease). Each student must apply individually. Married couples submit just one application. Applications for assistance must be submitted through the website of the Caisses d'Allocations Familiales (CAF) family assistance fund within three months of moving into your lodgings.

should ask your institution or the organisation that manages your grant whether reserved housing is available. Although it isn’t easy to find a place in a CROUS building, you may still wish to submit a request once you arrive as places do open up in the course of the year.

Other student residences The Grandes Écoles and some private institutions maintain their own on-campus student residences. These institutions make an effort to reserve housing for the international students they admit. The rent is generally between €250 to €350 per month. For full information, consult the institutions you are considering. Reserve your room as soon as you receive your offer of admission.

Guide to Studying in France

  |  51

Living in France

Private buildings designed for students are found in most university cities in France. Most are quite comfortable and offer a variety of amenities, such as a staffed front desk, room-to-room telephone services, common rooms, cafeterias, laundry facilities, maid services and garage spaces. Such buildings are generally located close to campus.

Basic facts about private student buildings Monthly rent: €600 to €700 in Paris and €400 to €700 in other university cities Security deposit: One month Co-signer/guarantor: Students must have a guarantor living in France Temporary/short-term housing: Sometimes available, but usually not between September and March Pre-arrival rentals: If you make your rental arrangements from abroad, you can expect to be asked to pay a security deposit equal to two month's rent.

For short-term lodging, living in the home of a host family is one of the best options. University residences managed by CROUS sometimes offer short-term room rentals during the summer. To find out, contact CROUS in the city where you intend to stay. Similarly, many private student buildings offer short-term rentals.

Cost of living

While university tuition fees are heavily subsidised by the French

Government, you will need enough pocket money of your own to cover essentials like food, transportation and other daily costs. It would amount to between €350 to €500 per month. The cost of living is also dependent upon your lifestyle; the cost of going out is an aspect that you need to consider, as it is easy to get lost in the sights and sounds of the French jet-set and haute couture lifestyle. To live comfortably in France, it is recommended you have a monthly budget of about RM3,500.

• those who are in France for the first time • those who are enrolled in the first year of a university programme • those who are enrolled full-time in a language school.

Medical insurance

Malaysian organisations in France

Students are obligated to have medical insurance before registering with their institutions. The cost of compulsory medical insurance is approximately €130 to €215 per year depending on the student's age. With an additional insurance premium, students can receive 100% coverage for their medical expenses. If you are above 28 years of age, you can subscribe to a private health insurance.

Part-time work

International students may work part-time while studying in France as long as they are enrolled in an institution that participates in the national student healthcare plan. Students who are not nationals of EU member countries must also hold a valid residency permit. The right to work applies to all students holding residency permits, including:

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The law allows students to work up to 20 hours per week. France has a national minimum hourly wage, known as the SMIC. The SMIC presently stands at €8.86 gross per hour. Remember that you can't expect to finance all of your expenses by working part-time, so you must have other means of support.

Malaysian Student Association in France (MASAF) Website: Officially established in March 2007, the Malaysian Student Association in France (MASAF) is a medium which unites all Malaysian students all over France and at the same time looks after their welfare and wellbeing.

Malaysian Association in France (MAF) Website: The Malaysian Association in France welcomes all Malaysians currently residing or working in France to participate in their events and activities throughout the year.


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Guide to Studying in France

  |  53

Living in France

French culture and cuisine


oday’s France is a melting pot of diverse cultures. Many people from Africa, Asia and other European countries have made France their home, forming a rich and diverse culture. Most modern French people prefer to relate to the term 'French' as a nationality and language, and not a measure of specific ethnicity, which is deemed irrelevant in the case of France. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a centre of high culture and decorative arts since the seventeenth century, first in Europe and then, from the nineteenth century on, worldwide. From the late nineteenth century, France has also played an important role in cinema, fashion and cuisine. The importance of French culture has waxed and waned over the centuries, depending on its economic, political and military importance.

Modern French Culture

France is definitely a product of the times, and its contemporary artists regularly win awards: examples are Marion Cotillard, Oscar winner for best actress in 2008 ; Jean-Marie Le Clezio, literature Nobel Prize winner in 2008, and Michel Houellebecq France’s best-known living writer (translated into 30 languages).

Electronic music France excels in electronic music. Since the 80’s with Jean-Michel Jarre, the « French touch » is renowned worldwide. Artists like Air, Daft Punk, Justice, Martin Solveig, David Guetta or Bob Sinclar put on sell-out performances throughout the world.

Festivals Every year, there are many music festivals (Les Vieilles Charrues, les Francofolies, Jazz in Marciac, Eurockéennes de Belfort), as well as

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theatre festivals (Avignon) or photo festivals (Arles) in France.

Cinema and photography France’s cinema tradition goes back to the creation of this art in 1895 by the Lumière brothers. The annual Cannes festival is a major event for all cinema professionals. French directors enjoy great success: the movie Amélie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet attracted more than 23 million viewers worldwide. Alexandre Aja enjoyed international success with Piranha 3D and so has Luc Besson with his movies Léon and The Fifth Element. Raymond Depardon, Yann ArthusBertrand, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bettina Rheims achieved a worldwide reputation in the 20th century. France also has 2,150 movie theatres spread out throughout its territory.

Living in France

Architecture and design Many major architects are French: Gustave Eiffel (Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty), Le Corbusier, Jean Nouvel (Louvre Abu-Dhabi, Quai Branly museum), Charlotte Perriand, Andrée Puttman, Philippe Starck are among the most famous designers of our time.

Modern art In addition to famous 20th century artists such as Pierre Soulages, Yves Klein, César, Marcel Duchamp etc., modern foreign artists are also exhibited in France, such as Takashi Murakami in the Château de Versailles in 2010.

Cultural Identity

France still retains its own unique appeal when it comes to culture, tradition and the French language. The once segregated local customs arising out of regional differences have matured to become a cultural identity that is unique to the wider heterogeneity. The French educational system, mandatory military service, state linguistic and cultural policies and profound historic events, such as the French Revolution, the Franco-Prussian war and the two World Wars have forged a sense of national identity over the last 200 years.


In terms of religion, France is secular and dedicatedly adheres to the principle of 'freedom of religion', a political maxim enshrined in the Declaration of the Rights of Man 1789. Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews and Atheists live in France and add to the essence of the French national character. Islam is the second most widely practised religion in France, with about 5 million Muslims living there.


Few nations can boast the culinary quality, food history and gastronomic maps that have set world standards as France can. Traditionally, the height of French culture can be seen in its haute cuisine. Each meal is a celebration of all the senses, with each dish having been impeccably prepared and exquisitely presented. The formality of the whole eating process heightens the intensity of the sights, flavours and aromas. In November 2010, French cuisine was declared a “World Intangible Heritage” by UNESCO. In any library’s cuisine section, the weightiest shelves are those with books on French cookery. Not surprising when one glances at such tomes as Curnonsky's Cuisine et Vins de France; BrillatSavarin's La Physiologie du Goût;

the epic 2,984-recipe collection of Auguste Escoffier; or the meticulous cataloguing of French food, techniques, and recipes by Antoine Carême. Surprisingly, most French food is rustic, hearty and comforting. With the country undergoing periods of political turmoil and economic hardship during times of war in its early history, French cooks learnt to use whatever ingredients they had at hand, and to make the most of them. Cheese and wine may be seen as the province of the true epicure, but they are also enjoyed by every French person on an everyday basis. France produces some of the finest wines in the world. The cheeses are enjoyed on their own, in cooking, as an accompaniment to fruit and wine, or in desserts – from mild Emmental, to ripe strong Brie, to smoky Roquefort, or salty Camembert, le fromage has a place of honour on every French table throughout the land. In a nation that honours chefs with the Légion d'Honneur – the highest decoration in the country – it is not surprising that the taste for powerful food begins from very young at the family table, and that the arts of the kitchen begin with Maman (mother).

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Living in France

Student life in France Being a student in France gives you many advantages. Managing your money France and 16 other countries of the 27 European Union members use the euro (€) as their currency. The euro zone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. The currency is also used in a further five European countries (Montenegro, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican). International students may open a ‘non-resident’ bank account in Euro or another currency or, if they stay long enough, a ‘resident’ account (in euros or another currency). You will be asked to provide a bank identity statement, or Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB), which you can obtain from your bank, to enable deposits to or withdrawals from your account. Major bank cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted by most French businesses for transactions in excess of €15. Cash transactions must be made in Euro. Few businesses will accept cheques drawn on foreign banks.

Getting extra income International students have been allowed to work part-time up to 20 hours a week as long as they are enrolled in a higher education institution and are registered in the national student healthcare plan. For example, students can work in libraries, fast food

chains or restaurants as waiters. International students are eligible for student jobs at universities and other public institutions of higher education. Students are hired to provide the following services: assisting incoming students, helping disabled students, providing tutoring, providing IT support and assistance, etc Summer job opportunities also allow students to get extra income during the long vacation period. Grape picking in the countryside could be a great way to replenish your finances, spend some time in the beautiful French countryside and meet other undergraduate students. Better still: why not go with a group of friends or coursemates?

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Getting around France has one of the best railway networks in the world, in part because of the TGV or high-speed train. It is easy to travel from city to city, even over long distances. It takes just four hours to get from Marseille at the southern end of France to Lille in the north, a trip of about a thousand kilometers. By TGV, Paris is only an hour from Lille and Orléans; two hours from Lyon, Nantes, Poitiers, Rennes, and Dijon; and three hours from Marseille, Montpellier, and La Rochelle. Numerous international air carriers serve major French cities, making it easy to reach any destination on the globe.

Living in France

France's roads and highways are also excellent. By taking scenic secondary roads, you can discover the natural beauty and charm of rural France. You can use your Malaysian driving license in France if you have the International Driving License approved by the Malaysian Road Transport Department (JPJ). Most French cities maintain a self-service system of bicycle rentals. The system is easy to use, and rentals are cheap. Discover Paris by Velib! Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, and Paris have subway systems. Buses and streetcars also serve these and other cities. The extensive Paris Metro is the best way to get around the capital. Supplemented by the RER light-rail network, the system serves Paris and its suburbs up to a distance of 30 km from the city. Taxi fares are strictly regulated in France. All licensed taxis are equipped with meters. If you don't see a meter, the vehicle is operating illegally. Don't get in!

Eating In France, the world capital of gourmet dining, most people eat three meals a day: breakfast in the morning, lunch at around 1 pm, and dinner at around 8 pm. Lunch and dinner are full meals. For daily meals you can't do better than

university restaurants. Prices at the ‘resto-u’ are unbeatable: You get a complete meal for €3. Anyone holding a student card has free access to the entire network of restaurants. Some are open at night and on weekends. You'll find many cafés and restaurants everywhere in France. Prices range from about €10 for a full meal up to hundreds of euros at the ‘temples of French gastronomy’ run by internationally famous star chefs such as Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, Joël Robuchon, and Pierre Gagnaire. Between these two extremes you will find a range of friendly establishments that serve fine food. If you plan to prepare your meals at home you will find no shortage of specialised food shops, halal butchers, large supermarkets and open-air markets. Wine is an institution in France. In addition to the famous great wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhône Valley you will find many other interesting wine-producing regions, including the Loire Valley, Alsace and the south of France.

Cultural Activites

With more than 2,150 movie theatres, 33,000 stage performances each year (in national and private theatres and centres for dramatic arts), 1,200 museums, and countless music festivals, concerts, and events appealing to every conceivable interest, you will have no trouble enjoying yourself in France. Remember that all people under 26 years old can enter any national museum for free! Your student ID card also makes it easy to stay in shape by giving you access to athletic facilities. Active athletic clubs are found at all French universities and nearly every school. Many of France's higher education institutions are located in city centres, close to cultural and social attractions. There will always be a museum, bookstore, cinema, theatre stage or café just around the corner. All of France's cultural sites and attractions offer student discounts and advantageous subscription rates.

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Living in France

Popular tourist destinations Visit Paris


o you really need an excuse to study in France? Paris, with its urbane sophistication; the glittering beaches of the Cote d’Azur; the idyllic vineyards of Aquitaine, Burgundy and Champagne; the verdant landscapes of the Ardennes; the glacial beauty of Mont Blanc and the French Alps; the medieval history of Brittany. Think of a dynamic, multicultural society, a laidback way of life, an intellectual heritage that has shaped Western culture, and a history whose artifacts can be seen on every street – not to mention a legendary culinary tradition. Let’s stop in few of these must-see tourist destinations.

Novelists and poets through the ages have tried to do justice to the beauty and romance of Paris – from natives such as Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Proust to expats such as Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway and Henry James. All concurred in one respect – words can scarcely convey the architectural, culinary, social, artistic and cultural splendour of France’s ‘City of Lights’. Where should you start? With the iconic sights of course: the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Cathédrale Notre Dame, the Panthéon and Bastille – all those tourist attractions are a mustsee in Paris. Stroll around the up tempo Latin Quarter, home to the venerable institutions of the Sorbonne and the École Normale Supérieure. Don’t only marvel at the Mona Lisa, as the Louvre

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is filled to the brim with exquisite works of the most famous Masters. Take a sip of Parisian cafe culture, romanticised and immortalised by Jean-Paul Sartre. When night falls, head to one of Paris’ hundreds of restaurants for a lesson on how Parisians enjoy life.

Marvel at Mont Blanc in French Alps Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s tallest mountain, the jewel in the crown of the famous Alps. Towering over the French-Swiss border, Mont Blanc rises 4,810 metres above sealevel. The mountain is a major sports and leisure destination, popular with hikers, skiers, snowboarders and mountaineers. For those thinking of visiting Mont Blanc and its surrounding entourage of similarly lofty peaks, nearby towns are Chamonix (host of the first Winter Olympics in 1924) and Courmayer in neighbouring

Living in France

Italy. For those who don’t fancy scaling the mountain on foot, taking the Aiguille du Midi cable car from Chamonix could be a far safer, warmer and less tiring way of marvelling at the most dramatic alpine views Europe has to offer.

the Cinema de la Plage. During the day, go celeb-spotting at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, or just bask in the atmosphere along the glamorous Boulevard de la Croisette. You can also explore the beauty of the area’s beautiful beaches.

Cavort on the Cote d’Azur

Sun, sand and surf at Biarritz

If you’re a celebrity spotter or a film buff you can pay a visit to the tranquil beachside resort town of Cannes. In May each year, a constellation of designer-clad movie stars and bespectacled auteurs – pursued by a pack of frenzied paparazzi – arrive for the Cannes Film Festival. If you’re studying at a nearby university in the Provence-AlpesAzur region, this is the perfect opportunity to take a day trip. The official film screenings are for industry insiders only, but there are free screenings every evening at

Situated on France’s south-west coast along the Bay of Biscay, Biarritz is popular for its picturesque town centre, sun, sand and worldclass waves, and its intriguing hybrid of cultures. Just a short drive from the Spanish border, Biarritz lies at the cultural crossroads of France, Spain and the Basque region. Paella, Basque flags and Basque pelota coexist with a French pace of life and ambience. Also more traditionally French is the city’s famous rugby union team, Biarritz Olympique, one of the best club teams in Europe. A visit to the Parc

des Sports Aguiléra could be the perfect introduction.

Bask in the opulence of the Château de Versailles Located just 20km southwest of Paris, the Château de Versailles is an opulent reminder of the pomp and grandeur of France’s royal past. Three million visitors flock to Versailles every year to admire the Château de Versailles of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The building is now a national heritage. The centre of the royal court from 1682 until 1789, the palace is a mindboggling succession of immaculate gardens, gold-encrusted ornamentation and imposing, symmetrical architecture. As well as the breathtaking palace, with its collection of fine art and royal relics, the extensive palace gardens alone are well worth a visit.

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Guide to Studying In France  

Guide to Studying In France

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