WHAT NIGERIAN STUDENTS WHO WANT TO STUDY ABROAD IN FRANCE SHOULD KNOW
Are you willing or about to study in France? If yes, then these are what you should know:
France is situated in Western Europe. It shares borders with Belgium and Luxembourg in the Northeast, Germany, Switzerland and Italy in the East, Monaco and Spain in the south and the North Atlantic Ocean in the west.
There are almost an average 18,000 international students in France every year. Today, 10 per cent of students in France are from other countries. The standard of education is superb and you will experience a wonderful intercultural exchange
If arriving by air, there are three major airports in France; Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport and Nice cote d’azur. However, there are airports in virtually all cities of France.
You can study in France with English language. However, as an international student, it is important you learn some French in your home country before setting out.
If you are looking for a special experience, you must learn and practice your French. At least the basics for exchanging pleasantries.
Always greet with titles, unless you’re on familiar terms with someone:
There are different ways to speak to a person based on age and the relationship you have with him or her. It’s like the difference between saying “hey, you” and “excuse me.” This can seem daunting, so when in doubt, always ensure you’re using the polite form.
French education system is really generous. Universities are relatively affordable in France because government is actually sponsoring the system heavily. In most cases, tuition is below €500 per year. Therefore all students who attend tertiary education in France will somehow enjoy financial aid from the government.
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There are free hours during academic session for those who want internship opportunities. You can also find jobs in summer breaks even outside your study region or city. Online registry of jobs are available for you to search according to your job preference
You can choose to study any course of your study in France. The country however is a great landing place for anyone who love Arts, architecture and history. Don’t be shocked also to hear that today, France is now moving towards STEM courses like any developed country. These Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field is now gaining more prominence in the education systems of many countries.
It is important to learn the basic manners and cultural codes of the French people. In France, friends greet each other with a kiss while strangers do with a hand shake. Also French loves compliments, sure you do too, but they do more than you do. This is of course no wonder considering just how beautiful the country, culture, food and inhabitants are. So, if you’re looking to make French friends, look to give them a compliment. Extra brownie points if you can manage it in French.
Always keep your ID on you. Do you know it’s the law in France to always carry ID on you? And technically, your driver’s licence won’t suffice. ID has to be in the form of a national identity card or passport.
French people strive to meet their deadlines, make sure you do everything properly and to time.
The French very much take siestas. From 12-2pm, don’t go shopping. It will end sadly. Furthermore, Sunday is a day-long siesta and for many stores, Monday is too.
France is full of healthy markets where you can find everything you need to cook a fresh and make a healthy meal. Food is most likely the best part of France that you will remember on your return home.
France is full of amazing cities. Places more beautiful than Paris. The cost of life is less expensive in other cities than Paris. It is however best for an international student to explore first life in the provinces before moving to Paris so as to fully integrate into the French culture.
Pay attention to your valuables. Paris may be the city of lights, romance and fantastic fashion, but it’s also one of the world’s worst pick-pocketing cities. By all means, soak up the beauty of Paris but avoid falling into a total haze. Keep your wits about you, be extra careful on the metro train and in tourist areas and be savvy when it comes to pick pocketing tricks – if someone asks you to sign a petition or tells you you’ve dropped a ring, firmly say no and keep walking.
French people smoke! They smoke a lot. So, do not be surprised to see a lot of cigarettes butts. If you are a smoker, get ready to drown in the pool of tobacco.
Fashion do not carry last in France. French people are known for fashion. You can be sure to get dressed like a French with whatever your budget speaks.
In France, traditions are sacrosanct throughout the year. There are numerous religious holidays. In addition to that of Christmas and New Year. Some universities may also have a spring break and holidays around November and Easter.
The French academic calendar corresponds to that of most Western schools’ academic calendar. The autumn semester begins in late September while the spring semester starts early in February. Exams are usually at the end of each semester. There are three months of holidays in summer running from the beginning of July to the end of September.
Upon arrival in France, international students are required to visit designated welcome centers where they learn about everything from obtaining a residence permit to how to open a bank account.
Hope you find this helpful.