Why study abroad?
In our blog article about the situation in France, we noted that 1 in 3 young French people wanted to go to live abroad — with 1 in 8 planning to settle down abroad. Opinion polls and the 2016 annual study on the integration of young graduates of the Conférences des Grandes Ecoles show why French students wish to go abroad:
· Degrees are becoming more and more international and students are led to study or intern abroad;
· Leaving signifies a rejection of the ever-more popular idea that young people have a lower quality of life than their parents in a static French society…
· … a feeling that seems legitimate since young people outside of the French borders are generally doing better for themselves, according to figures by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles.
Beyond these “temporary” reasons (if you are, like the GlobalExam team, optimistic about France’s future!), going to live abroad is the opportunity to learn a language in the actual country and to put into practise the thousands of teaching hours you went through at school! Useful, isn’t it?
Going to live abroad is the opportunity to discover a new culture, new mindsets, and new teaching and working methods. For a future Global Player, this is necessary.
How to study abroad?
Different programmes have been set up all over the world to make student mobility easier. We have selected three of them which include destinations in Europe and North America that are highly popular amongst students… and their future employers!
Erasmus is a European exchange programme. Since its creation in 1987, more than 3 million students have benefited from the Erasmus programme, of which 250,000 for the academic year 2014-2015. The demand for Erasmus university exchanges and work placements is increasing more quickly than the available places (respectively 7.5% and 18% for the year 2014-2015).
In 2014-2015, a record-breaking 270,000 students took part in the Erasmus programme. The European Union is actively supporting the project with a €14.5 bn budget for 2014-2020. Its goal is clear: to allow 4 million young people to study, teach or volunteer abroad. This is the right time to take part!
· The Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (BCI)
The BCI (in French: Bureau de Coopérative Interuniversitaire) is a private organisation which unites all Quebec universities. It is bound to French universities by an agreement which allows French students to spend 1 or 2 semesters at a Quebec university if and only if they are enrolled in a French university where they have spent at least one year. Note that if you wish to apply for an English-speaking university, you will have to get at least 80/120 on the TOEFL.
To take part in the programme, check with your university.
MICEFA is a programme linking French and North American universities. It is aimed at students from bachelor to PhD level.
It allows students to spend a semester or a full academic year in one of the partner universities and also funds the tuition fees.
To take part, you have to be enrolled in one of the partner universities, to have passed your first year of a bachelor’s degree and to have obtained good results. A minimum mark of 80/120 on the TOEFL Test is also necessary.
You will find the list of French university partners here: http://micefa.org/?page_id=287
And North American university partners here: http://micefa.org/?page_id=251
What financial support is there to study abroad?
There are many tools designed to support students abroad. Since we cannot list all of them here, we have chosen a few intended for students going to Europe, the US or Canada.
· Erasmus grants
Erasmus grants, which are transferred through the Erasmus programme, are financial support designed to make up for the difference of living costs in the host country. They amount to 50€ per month on average, to which other grants can be added.
· US grants
Many US universities offer scholarships and funding. Moreover, here are two different kinds of grants for French people to study in the US:
– The Fulbright Commission’s grants, mainly aimed at graduate students;
– The French Ministry of Education’s grants, aimed at students graduating with a Master’s degree in Research and who want to intern in the US.
For more information, contact the Fulbright Commission directly and check the website: dr.education (in French).
· Canadian grants
The Canadian government allocates about twenty grants every year to French graduates younger than 35 years old enrolled in a PhD programme in Canada. These grants cover the return plane tickets, tuition fees, settling costs and also entitle you to 1,200 Canadian dollars per month.
You will find a more detailed list of Canadian grants on this website: http://www.sencampus.com
Now you know why, how and with which financial support you can set off for a foreign country!
You simply have to get an official certificate of your English level, and in particular to do well on the TOEFL, to be able to study in North America.
GlobalExam will support you in your test preparation, which is key to seizing the opportunity of an international experience!