Between the exorbitant tuition fees and the cost of living, which is not lower than in France, the American dream comes at a price. But there are solutions to help you achieve it. Extract from the overview of the book “Leaving to study outside” by Sophie Collet.
High-tech, ultra-security facilities, with, for example, magnetic identification cards, personalized monitoring, high-level courses… Training in the United States is expensive, very expensive. And that’s not all: “In addition to tuition fees, a monthly budget of between $1,000 and $2,500 depending on the city is required, plus a minimum of $1,000 for books buy at the beginning of the year, and sometimes arrange for the purchase of a laptop”, says Céline Ouziel, advisor to the Franco-American Commission, the official structure for promoting American studies in France.
Register the monthly fees
Two types of universities coexist in the United States. Céline Ouziel explains: “On the one hand, public universities, ‘state universities’, are subsidized by the state. His tuition fees start at around $12,000 a year. For the more expensive ones, like Berkeley or UCLA, the values are more around $30,000 to $35,000.” private universities, they get their resources from registration fees and contributions from private companies. “We are then at levels from $25,000 to $40,000 on average, evaluates Céline Ouziel. But for an MBA at Columbia or Harvard, it costs $60,000.”
These prohibitive costs also explain the relative weakness of French mobility in relation to the American giant: in 2016-2017, around 8,814 French students obtained visas to the United States, while more than 63,000 left to do their studies or internship in Europe, with only Erasmus.
Read too Studying abroad: the cost of stay hinders students
As a result of the amounts involved (in the most reputable establishments), “a certain commercial relationship is established between the selling teachers and the buying students”, notes David. Teachers are evaluated by their students and those who receive bad reviews are not renewed. “For a Frenchman, these reports may seem a little shocking, but you shouldn’t stop there because there is also something to gain: it’s not always self-interest and teachers also know how to be good advisers”, comments David.
Exchange programs not to be missed
For no other destination is more advantageous to trade than to the United States, because exempt the host institution’s tuition fees. Some programs have been around for a long time and have proven themselves, enjoy them! If you are already enrolled in higher education, check with your international relations department about the agreements concluded with the United States.
ISEP (International Students Exchange Program) is a network that brings together approximately 124 American establishments and as many foreign universities. In France, 16 universities and three schools are partners.
MICEFA (Inter-university coordination mission for French-American exchanges)
concerns 16 establishments on the Île-de-France and sends about 200 students to 60 American campuses.
Most scholarships are awarded from the “undergraduate” level, i.e. the master’s degree. If you are a scholarship holder based on social criteria and you are doing an exchange program, you can Nonetheless keep your allowance. You can also knock on the same doors as any mobility student. But there are other possibilities specific to the United States.
The Franco-American Commission Fulbright Scholarships are highly regarded scholarships of excellence in the United States. They pertain to students at the graduate and doctoral levels. “We offer between 12 and 15 scholarships for master’s or doctoral students ”, indicates Céline Ouziel.
Exchange students are eligible, but dual degree students and free movers have priority.
Read too Live Your American Dream with Fulbright Scholarships
Scholarships for high-level athletes
The best athletes can benefit from “scholarships for athletes”. In this case, it is the American university that supports your studies, in a formula called “all inclusive”. Many French and Europeans leave this way to study in the United States. It is essential to maintain good sports and school performance throughout your schooling.
Read too Young Athletes: American Universities Want You!
Research assistant positions
Many French doctoral students pay for their studies in the United States this way. Work as a research assistant exempts tuition fees and reduces mandatory course hours. For a maximum of twenty hours a week, the French student assists an American teacher. That’s what David did. “I even worked with several teachers,” he recalls.
The Franco-American Commission has a program to help students obtain an assistantship. “We still have few candidates for this program”, confirms Céline Ouziel, advisor to the Franco-American Commission. French students, holding at least one license, can try to obtain one of 30 French Language Assistant Jobs in the United States.
The stations are located throughout the United States and are purposefully located in lesser-known cities. Assistants attend two courses at the university to which they belong or close to the institution where they teach. Your travel, visa, health insurance and living expenses are paid for by the Fulbright Commission or by the university (they must, however, advance the price of the plane ticket). This formula is undoubtedly one of the best ways to discover the United States in privileged conditions.
To find out more about all funding possibilities, visit fulbright-france.org/fr/etudier-usa/etudes-usa/financer-votre-sejour
Small jobs on campus
During her MBA in New Orleans, Caroline worked at the college campus daycare. “It was nice, it allowed me to practice English a lot daily and put some butter on the spinach,” she recalls. With a student visa, you can only work on campus for the first year and outside the second, subject to obtaining authorizations from the university and immigration services. The deadline is twenty hours.
To find out in the Éditions de l’Etudiant:
“Going to Study Abroad”
by Sophie Collet.