How can I start my preparation early / checklist before arriving in France?
Excitement to leave the parent country could sometimes leave a student unprepared, when they arrive in this beautiful country called France. Take the time to search through this checklist to ensure that you are ready for your journey. It takes you just a little bit of time to double check things and doing so, will enable you to arrive in France completely ready to make a new start in your higher education and career.
Here are few of the most important things you need to know before studying in France.
– Course less than 3 months: If you want to enroll in a short-term program or language course in France, you need to apply for a Schengen short-stay student visa. This type of visa gives you the opportunity to study and to travel in all the countries of the Schengen area without needing a residence permit. This visa can be renewed, provided you wait 6 months before applying for a new visa.
– Course less than 6 months: If your program, training or language course lasts between three to six months, you need to apply for a temporary long-stay visa (VLST). Like the Schengen short-stay student visa, it allows you to study in France without the need of a residence permit. However, it is non-renewable.
– Course more than 6 months (most popular): If you want to spend more than six months in France to study, you must apply for a long-term student visa, also called VLS-TS student. This type of visa also acts as a residence permit from 4 months to 1 year and can be renewed for the entire duration of your studies, i.e. three years for a Bachelor’s degree, two years for a Master’s degree or four years for a PhD. It also allows you to work 19.5 hours per week in case you need extra money. Note that the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers scholarships to some foreign students, so that it may help you to pay for your studies in France.
Are your applications complete and accepted?
Of course, it is essential that all of your college applications have to be submitted
(and accepted in writing by your target university), and any initial tuition fees settled before coming to France.
HAVE YOU ARRANGED HOUSING ?
You cannot arrive in France without arranging proper accommodation. We have discussed the many options that are available for housing in the country in a post about accommodation and it is up to you to make these plans and finalize them far before you plan to leave. You should never board an airplane and head to another country without first having secured housing. With good use of the Internet (and sufficient verification), it is quite easy to arrange housing before you leave India. You can find the links below.
how much money do you have ?
This section explains the amount required when you arrive in France. Look at your bank account and make sure that you are prepared with an ample amount of money. Do not worry; you can easily exchange your currency into euros before you go or once you arrive at the airport and inside the country. Make sure that you are aware of the current exchange rates, as well, as this can greatly affect the amount of money that you find yourself with, once you have converted the money into euros.
If possible, try to have enough money on hand to survive your first few months in the country, and have no less than two months’ worth of money in hand. As per the French government, you are supposed to have a minimum of 615 euros per month for your expenses.
French residents are generally friendly and outgoing. It is easy to make acquaintances in the country. Additionally, you will be happy to know that crime rates in the country are generally very low. This is not to say that crime does not exist, as it does. However, the rates are much lower than in a number of other countries. Always use common sense when you walk about. It is a good idea to travel with a friend, at least the first few days, and you should always let someone else know where you are going and whom you are going with. Avoid travelling at night whenever it is possible, especially if you are alone.
will you be working ?
It is possible to work part-time while you study in France, and if you plan to work while you are there, it is a good idea to start the process before you leave home.
A CV/resume is good to have in hand if you have any working or volunteering experience, but with the many entertainment, retail, dining and factories available in the country, finding employment once you arrive should not be too difficult.
If you want to wait until you arrive in the country to complete the job applications that is fine too, but there is nothing wrong with being well prepared. Having a job already lined up when you arrive is a sign that you are one of those diligent folks.
It is important that you do familiarize yourself with the options for getting around in France before you leave. The choices in transportation that will vary according to the location that you are in. Such choices include rental cars, shuttles, taxi, public rail, city bus, and tram. There are, of course, costs with all of the various transportation options so it is a good idea that you research your options when trying to determine which conveyance is best for your needs.
You can also choose to walk when you want to go out after classes and enjoy yourself. Paris is one of the best cities in which you will find walking a good choice.
Many people avoid using taxicab services in France as it can become very expensive. Travelers are charged as per km rate per destination, although flat rates are possible
from certain destinations.
Shuttles are limited in their service and may be available only to hotel guests in some circumstances. Most students choose to hire a car while they are there or to use the train and tram systems.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR PASSPORT AND VISA SORTED?
Without these two items, you are not going to get very far. You might be surprised at how many people actually forget these and leave them behind every single day.
Do not be one of these people, and ensure that it is nearby in a purse or bag for easy access once you arrive at the airport. Make sure that you also have the photographs to go along with the passport. You may need three photos.
Do not wait until last minute to start getting these things together either. Procrastination is never a good thing, especially when you are preparing to go to college in another country. Being well prepared is a sign of future success in your French university as well as your life.
IS YOUR SUITCASE PACKED ?
You will want to take many things with you while attending college in France, so make sure that you check the suitcase and check it twice. You will want to bring clothing, of course, but do not forget to put in a few mementos so you can always have your family and friends close to you even while you are away. Whether it is a special teddy bear or a blanket, make sure that you pack it. Because of the strict guidelines on what airline allows you to carry, you may want to leave all of the non-important items behind and make a purchase once you arrive at your destination.
HAVE YOU CHECKED YOUR CITY AND AREA
Thanks to the Internet, you can easily browse the inside of the college that you will be attending no matter what university you have chosen. In addition, look at your new home and the area that you will be residing in. Taking advantage of this before you leave for France will ensure that you are a bit more familiar with the area. When going overseas, it can be scary but this process really makes things a little less stressful.
Along with taking a sneak peek at things, you can also use the internet to help you find things to do in the area. No matter what area of France you are heading to or the things that you like to do, there will always be a wide selection available for you to choose from.
HAVE YOU SAID YOUR GOODBYES ?
It is hard for mum and dad to send their babies off to college, especially when that college could be thousands of miles away. Make sure that you spend your last few days in your home country enjoying it with your people. You will miss them while you are away just as they will miss you a tremendous amount. You can treat them to dinner and do an assortment of special things before you say goodbye. In addition, of course, it is never too early to start planning their visit to see you at university. They are going to want to see their baby and the benefit of seeing France is certainly something worth getting excited about.
Of course, you have a ton of friends that are also going to miss you, so make sure that you take a day to spend with them as well. Yes, you can certainly keep in contact via social networking, postal mail and phone calls, but there is nothing quite like being there together. Make sure that you plan something special for you all before you leave.
If you have the chance to experience the life and culture of France, while also getting an education, consider yourself a very lucky individual. It is not every day that one can travel anywhere to receive some of the best education in the world, so make sure that you are ready to enjoy the experience. There will be plenty to talk about when you get back home – that is without question.
Pack your bags, check them twice, and then prepare yourself for an amazing adventure of a lifetime. You will come back an entirely new person once you have had the chance to live it big in France and earn an education within the borders of this beautiful country.
Consolidation of documents you must carry when coming to france
Birth certificate (a translated and apostilled copy)
International driving license (if you are planning to drive in France)
Documents relating to your studies in France :
Proof of enrolment in your institute
Proof of language ability (French, English, etc.)
Previous degrees (a translated and certified copy)
Documents relating to your trip :
Your train or plane tickets
Your itinerary from the airport
Documents relating to setting up :
– Printed reservation of your accommodation
– Documents required for taking up residence in the lodging
– The list and contact information for your contacts in France.