Many of us dream of studying abroad in France - the cafes, the culture, the language and the Eiffel Tower capture us. France is a great place to study, especially if you’re wanting to study business - and there are so many places to choose from, from Paris to Nice. Here’s how to study business abroad in France.
Choosing Your Destination in France
France has many beautiful cities and sights, but two of the best places to study in France for students are Paris, the vibrant capital, and Nice, a coastal metropolis. Fortunately, business students needn’t choose between two schools. IPAG Business School has campuses in both of these wonderful cities.
There are several top reasons to study business in France. The main one is the French economy. It’s large, diverse and important to the global economy.
In fact, the 2020 Bloomberg Innovation Index named France as one of the most innovative countries in the world, with Paris being home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other European city. But it’s not just Paris that’s a hub. Nice, Lyon, Marseilles and Bordeaux are all important economic cities.
Whatever sector you’re interested in working in - financial goods and services, agriculture, fashion and everything in between - chances are that you can find it in France.
If you’re looking to start studying business or return to education to change careers, there’s a course to suit you in France. Do bear in mind that some schools may only offer the program that you’re interested in in French. But there are still plenty of business courses to choose - from Bachelor’s degrees in business to BBAs (Bachelor’s in Business Administration). At IPAG Business School, the BBA is taught entirely in English, as is the MBA. This means that you can study an MBA in France in English.
Applying to Study Abroad in France
Applications to French business schools generally start during the fall semester and continue until January or February. Many schools accept direct applications through online portals.
Once you’ve found the school and the program for you, you’ll need to get ready to apply. Requirements vary from school to school, but this is generally what you’ll need to get your visa to study business in France:
- Your passport
- High school transcripts
- Proof of language skills in the language of tuition - tests for both English and French skills are widely available
- Professional CV
- Letter of motivation
- Letters of recommendation - these can normally be provided by past teachers
You’ll normally need to provide notarized translations in the language you’ll be studying in. Some schools also require that you submit your documents in French, even if you’ll be studying in English. Put together, these documents are normally called an evidence portfolio.
At IPAG Business School, for example, your evidence portfolio forms the base of your application, all documents can be in English so you won’t need to translate them into French. You’ll need to double-check that everything you need to submit is in there.
If a school likes your evidence portfolio, you’ll be invited for an interview. If you’re an international student, this interview is normally conducted online, over Skype or Zoom, for example. This process normally starts in the spring and goes on until July.
If you’re accepted onto a Bachelor’s degree in business, a BBA or another type of business course, you’ll then need to start thinking about your visa.
Getting a French Visa
If you’re an international student, getting a study visa for France will depend on your nationality. If you’re from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you can freely move to France and stay for the duration of your course. You can even look for a job or internship afterwards without needing a visa.
If you don't have nationality in one of these countries - this now includes the UK - you’ll probably need a study visa. Requirements vary from country to country, but this is generally what you’ll need to present to get a study visa for France:
- Your passport
- Two passport-sized photos
- Confirmation of enrolment at a school in France
- Proof of sufficient finances for the entire duration of your course
- Proof of somewhere to live - many schools in France help students find somewhere
- In some cases, you might also need to provide a police certificate showing that you have a clean criminal record
- Pay the visa application fee. This varies from €50 to €99 depending on your nationality. Hang on to the receipt - you might be asked to show it at some point
You’ll need to present your documents in-person at your nearest French embassy or consulate. Your documents will need to be provided in French with a notarized translation. The processing time is generally a few weeks.
Once in France, you’ll need to undergo a health check to get your residency permit.
Any visa issued by France is a Schengen visa, meaning that you can freely move around the EU’s border control-free area. Do bear in mind, though, that you’ll need to enter the Schengen Area through the country that issued the visa. You can’t enter through Barcelona, for example, on a visa issued by Slovenia.
Making the Most of France
France offers a fantastic student experience. It’s home to some of the most famous buildings in the world, like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre. There’s also natural beauty, from the beaches in the south to the Alps in the east.
Of course, you can’t forget the world-famous cafe culture. Many an afternoon or evening in France is spent enjoying a croissant or a traditional dish alongside a glass of France’s world-famous wine or freshly-brewed tea or coffee. You also get to have the perfect opportunity to practice French, a global language.
France has so much to offer international students. It’s all only an application away.
About the Author
IPAG Business School is a prestigious business school located in France. With two campuses, in the heart of Paris and Nice, IPAG’s graduates are highly sought after by companies worldwide.