Between the exorbitant monthly fees and the cost of living, which is no lower than in France, the American dream comes at a price. But there are solutions to help you achieve it. Excerpt from the overview of the book “Leave to study abroad” by Sophie Collet.
High-tech and ultra-secure 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, a monthly budget of between $1,000 and $2,500 is required, depending on the city, plus a minimum of $1,000 for books buy at the beginning of the year and, sometimes, arrange for the purchase of a laptop”, evaluates Céline Ouziel, advisor to the Franco-American Commission, the official structure for promoting American studies in France.
Two types of universities coexist in the United States. Céline Ouziel explains: “On the one hand, public universities, the ‘state universities’, are subsidized by the state. Their tuition fees start at around $12,000 a year. For the more expensive ones, like Berkeley or UCLA, prices range from $30,000 to $35,000.” private universities, they get their resources from registration fees and contributions from private companies. “So we are 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 fragility of French mobility compared to the American giant: in 2016-2017, around 8,814 French students obtained a visa for the United States, while more than 63,000 left to do their studies or internship in Europe, with only Erasmus.
Read too Study Abroad: Cost of Stay Hurts Students
As a result of the amounts involved (in the most prestigious establishments), “a certain market relationship is established between selling teachers and buying students”, notes David. Teachers are evaluated by their students and those who receive poor evaluations are not renewed. “For a Frenchman, these reports may seem a little shocking, but it shouldn’t stop there because there’s also something to gain: not everything is always self-serving and the teachers also know how to be good advisers”, comments David.
Unmissable exchange programs
For no other destination is trade more advantageous than for the United States, because exempt host institution fees. Some programs have been around for a long time and have proven their worth, take advantage of them! If you are already enrolled in higher education, check with your international relations department about the agreements signed 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 (Mission of inter-university coordination for Franco-American exchanges)
concerns 16 establishments in Île-de-France only and sends about 200 students to 60 American campuses.
Most scholarships are provided from the “undergraduate” level, i.e. the Masters. If you are a scholarship holder by social criteria and you are going to do 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 French-American Commission Fulbright Scholarships are highly regarded scholarships of excellence in the United States. They concern students at the postgraduate and doctoral levels. “We offer between 12 and 15 scholarships for students preparing for a master’s or doctoral degree ”, indicates Céline Ouziel.
Exchange students are eligible, but double-degree students and free movers have priority.
Read too Live your American Dream with Fulbright Scholarships
Scholarships for top-level athletes
High-level athletes can benefit from “sports scholarships”. 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. Working as a research assistant free of monthly fees and reduces the number of mandatory course hours. For a maximum of twenty hours a week, the French student assists an American professor. That’s what David did. “I even worked with several professors,” he recalls.
The Franco-American Commission has a program to help students obtain an assistant position. “We still have few candidates for this program”, confirms Céline Ouziel, adviser to the Franco-American Commission. French students, holders of at least one license, can try to obtain one of the 30 French Language Assistant Jobs in the United States🇧🇷
The stations are located across the United States and purposefully located in little-known cities. Assistants follow two courses at the university to which they belong or which is close to the establishment where they teach. Your travel, visa, health insurance and housing expenses are paid 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 under privileged conditions.
To learn more about all funding possibilities, visit the website 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’s on-campus day care center. “It was cool, it allowed me to practice English 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, upon obtaining authorizations from the university and immigration services. The hourly volume limit is twenty hours.
To discover in Éditions de l’Etudiant:
“Going to study abroad”,
by Sophie Collet.