A world player in science, arts, design and technology, France is Europe’s most innovative country. Ranking at number three among the global top-three in innovation, it is home to numerous Nobel Laureates and Fields Medal winners, artists and thinkers. In 2017 some 4,000 students are going from India to study in France, but by 2019, the country hopes to attract 10,000 Indian students.
“France is first and foremost an experience to be lived, you embrace the future and new technologies, and at the same time, also have a full taste of culture and history.” says Dr Bertrand de Hartingh, director at Institut français India.
Students from India and the world over can study in France in English- or French-medium institutions. If they study in French, then like any other French citizen in French state universities, students benefit from free tuition. “They only have to pay for food, boarding and lodging, which are affordable,” says Dr de Hartingh, who is also a counsellor for cooperation and cultural affairs for the French government.
Once they complete postgraduate studies, Indian students in France have a stay-back option. They have an advantage in terms of job opportunities too. There are also around a thousand French companies that seek skilled professionals in India, including Capgemini, Safran, Saint-Gobain, Renault, and Orange.“An employee who is well versed in French technology, know-how and culture is an asset for any company operating in India,” says Dr de Hartingh.
France Alumni also connects former students with each other and with French companies, continuing the partnership between India and France. “As young professionals who have experienced French education, students act as our cultural ambassadors in India. The Enterprises-Alumni job fair connects students and professionals who have studied or worked in France to potential employers. Last year over 200 jobs were showcased at the Job Fair in Delhi; this year Bengaluru showcased many more,” he adds.
Applying to France is easy. Campus France has 11 offices offering free counselling to students and helps with admission procedures, visa formalities, etc. They are located in the Alliance Françaises in the following cities: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Kochi, with two opening soon in Indore and Jaipur.
France’s programme “Bonjour India” – now in its third edition from November 2017 to February 2018 - promotes and fosters creativity, innovation and partnership between both countries.