Studying in France
Despite being more well known for its art, culture and sophisticated cuisine, France has a long history in education that dates back to the 13th century. It houses over 83 public universities and at least 225 prestigious Grandes Écoles, schools specialised in training in a number of fields from management, engineering to art and architecture.
The effective combination of academic studies, research and practical training in France gave birth to some of the cutting-edge contributions to modern civilisation in fields such as nuclear energy, medicine, aeronautics and pharmaceutical research.
The visa application must be made at the French embassy in person. It is advised that you make a very early appointment with the consulate for your one-on-one visa application. Allow eight weeks to secure a booking and two weeks for your visa to be processed. You are also advised to make your travel arrangements only after the visa has been approved. Appointments for the application of your visa must be made online here.
Requirements for a visa application include:
- Two completed long-stay visa form
- Two passport photo and a valid passport
- The original letter of acceptance from a French institution
- A motivation letter describing the reason you want to study in France
- The original plus two copies of your most recent pre-u or diploma certification
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of stable income, scholarship or sponsorship (a minimum of RM2055 per month)
Please refer to the French embassy for more information on procedures and documentation. Upon arrival, you will need to apply for the residency permit or carte de séjour (CDS). Your institution will assist you in this. Remember that this residency permit must be renewed annually.
Note: Effective from June 2009, foreign students studying in France will get to apply for a study visa which doubles as a residency permit called the VLS-TS. This is eligible for those who will be studying in France for longer than six months. Ask during your visa application if this is applicable in your case and what are the procedures involved.
Language of Instruction
While the majority of courses are taught in French, a good number of Master's and PhD programmes are conducted in English.
Language tests are required: TCF or DELF for programmes taught in French; TOEFL or IELTS for programmes taught in English. The GMAT is required for MBAs.
International students with a student permit are allowed to work up to 964 hours (max) per year. The guaranteed minimum pre-deducted salary is at RM41.60 per hour.
Due to heavy subsidisation, tuition fees in public institutions are usually between RM955 and RM3,342 per academic year. Private institutions and elite schools (Grandes Écoles) charge much more; fees vary from institution to institution.
Living in France
As universities in France do not provide halls of residence for their students, it is advisable that you secure your accommodation before arriving in France via a CROUS university residence or stay in a temporary housing area for a short period while you go house-hunting. You are responsible for obtaining a housing insurance policy during your tenancy; housing allowance is always open for students but must be applied for from the CAF or Caisse d'Allocations Familiales.
The average student requires a monthly budget of RM4,297 to RM5,730 to cover the basic necessities such as accommodation, food, healthcare, transportation, books etc, with a little to spare for entertainment and other expenses. Students studying at private institutions will require up to double the amount.
Getting around in France − and out of it − is easy with an efficient rail network, public buses, tramways and inter-network underground rail. Having a valid student ID card will entitle you to cuts on monthly ticket prices as well as good meals with less than RM14.30 at the 450 university restaurants found all over France. For those under 25 and who intend to make their France study life a fun-filled adventure, they can choose to get the Carte 12-25 which gives them 50% off train ticket prices for the full year.
Tickets can be purchased from RM 2,087 onwards for a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Paris.
All students below the age of 28 are automatically covered by social security. Upon registration at your university, you will be given the option of LMDE coverage or USEM coverage. They cost around €213 per year. Coverage is provided for two-thirds of your medical expenses. For added coverage, you can buy complementary insurance for between RM238 and RM1,432 per year. You will not be allowed to work without health coverage.
Malaysia-France University Centre (MFUC)
144-02, 2nd Floor, Patent House, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur