Paris Je T’aime: This Admissions Season, Here’s Another Option
Representative image of India-France relations.
Representative image of India-France relations.(Photo: The Quint)

Paris Je T’aime: This Admissions Season, Here’s Another Option

As a father of five children, I have first-hand experience of teenagers worrying over their future and agonising over making the right academic choices to chart out a promising career. India is set to reap a demographic dividend in a little over a decade, and its youth is dynamic and aspirational.

During his maiden official visit to India last month, French President Emmanuel Macron, during a town hall with students in Delhi, had underscored that this generation has the great opportunity of transforming, and inventing a new way to proceed.

And quality education plays a vital role in successfully forging one’s future, as well as rethinking the world with more a little more innovative, sustainable and inclusive approach.

Also Read: The Centrist Political Rebel: Who Really is Emmanuel Macron?

Why Studying in France May Prove Useful

Even as many other countries erect barriers, France continues to welcome students from all over the world to its institutions. It is, in fact, ranked third in terms of receiving the highest number of international students. Apart from the excellence of its higher education and its policy of openness, this rank also implies that language is not a barrier – around 1,200 courses are taught in English.

In keeping with the French government’s belief in equality, international students pay the same tuition fees as French scholars, and enjoy the same benefits for health coverage and housing assistance.

While studying in France, one can also access a vast system of discounted places within a student’s reach, such as restaurants, clubs and associations, as well as movies, museums, libraries, and sporting events.

Pick up a new language even if your courses are in English, widen the scope of your skills, let the world be your oyster. Be a part of a huge community and a vibrant, widespread network, for French is spoken by 220 million people across five continents.

A stint in France is likely to contribute to shaping your personality and career.

Consider this — in India alone, there are about 450 French companies engaged in manufacturing, defence, space, nuclear energy, automotive, smart cities and IT services sectors, that employ about 3,50,000 people.

Also Read: Macron visit: India-France ties set to deepen further

France Won’t Throw You Out Right After You Graduate!

France also has a very attractive visa policy for Indian students and alumni. Indian students can stay in France after the completion of their studies (as can French students in India) for a further period of up to 24 months to gain professional experience. And Indian alumni residing in India who hold post-graduate degrees from French institutions or under the Indo-French dual degree programme, are eligible for a five-year short-stay Schengen visas; so are their accompanying spouse and children.

France’s “Talent Passport,” a type of multi-year residence permit of up to four years, is designed for foreign researchers, artists, employees on assignments abroad, scientists, as well as figures of international renown.

Foreign students who obtain it can work in France more easily after finishing their studies.

Even as you gain quality education from any of France’s programmes, ranging from aeronautics and space, electronics and telecommunication, chemistry and biotechnology to the culinary arts and fashion, opt for an unforgettable student life in a country that offers spectacular natural, historic and cultural heritage.

(The author, Alexandre Ziegler is the current French ambassador to India. He tweets @FranceinIndia. This is a personal blog and the opinions expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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