Examine overseas: know the whole lot earlier than you pack your baggage

If the Covid-19 epidemic has slowed the departure of students abroad, it is still possible to leave, taking some precautions.

In 2018, around 100,000 young French people chose to pursue their studies in a foreign country, that is, 30% more than 5 years earlier. If Covid has slowed the enthusiasm of many students, it is still possible to leave, taking some precautions.

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Apply to a foreign institution

It is best to do this well in advance, preferably first, to prepare your file. In fact, it will be necessary to plan for a little delay because, if the baccalaureate is a diploma recognized in many states, some countries require the translation of diplomas and marks, while other establishments (in non-French-speaking countries) require obtaining an English test ( type TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo) attesting to your ability to take courses in a language other than your own. Finally, it is better to anticipate the budget for studying abroad: the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and now South Korea are particularly popular and expensive countries. Since Brexit, a post-baccalaureate year at Warwick in Britain, for example, is billed at £27,060 a year (approximately €32,000). In Canada, prefer programs for French speakers in Montreal or elsewhere, which are more affordable for French people (approximately between 7,000 and 12,000 euros per year). A good plan, especially since this option is effective for later obtaining a job in the country, as Guillaume Lecomte, a graduate of the Faculty of Management Sciences at the University of Laval, attests: “Originally from Strasbourg, I didn’t want to get lost in Montreal. I wanted a French-speaking city on a human scale. ULaval was highly rated with an excellent reputation, remaining much more affordable than a business school in France. I enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in business administration, specialization in accounting and fell in love with Quebec! I decided to stay and follow this path to becoming a professional accountant (CPA, the equivalent of a certified public accountant degree) with a DESS in public accounting. Subsequently, I started my career at the international company EY, then I became a financial analyst at the iA Financial Group.»

Opt for an exchange program

This formula is only accessible from the second year of higher education, but it remains the one that most attracts young people looking for international experience and remains the least expensive. Once reserved for the Grandes Écoles, academic exchanges are now legion. Since 1987, Erasmus+ has allowed the funding of exchanges with other higher education institutions in 33 member countries of the program (the UK has just left the exchange), but also the obtaining of a scholarship (from €170 to €370/month depending on the country) and benefit from simplified administrative procedures. The duration of the mobility is a maximum of 12 months per cycle, which offers the possibility of leaving for 12 months for the degree, 12 months for the master, etc. It is to the establishment of origin that it is necessary to appeal and it is he who will give the list of partner establishments outside the French borders. Other lesser-known programs also deserve the attention of students: Micefa, offers exchange programs with English-speaking institutions in the United States and Canada; ISEP, with the US; PQEE (Quebec Student Exchange Program) with French-speaking Canada.

Choose a double degree

For those looking for an international career, this is the most complete option. Most business schools, engineering schools and universities offer a double degree in agreement with partner establishments. At Esilv, a general engineering school in Paris-La Défense, no less than 14 double degrees are offered to 5th grade students. They are also 20% on average to make that choice. At EM Normandie, the double degree concerns the Grande École Program, but also the International Baccalaureate in Management, the third year of which can be completed at the University of Osnabrück in Germany or in Lillehammer, Norway. Choosing a double degree requires additional work, but students should rest assured: agreements concluded between institutions allow young people to easily obtain both degrees without doubling the workload. The double degree student does not pay more than if he had stayed in France. However, know in advance if you have to pay additional fees. It will also be necessary to arrange accommodation, travel, etc.

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