France is known to be a “knowledge” economy – a country that invests significant portion of its budget in education, research, and extension. In fact, more than 20% of the country’s national budget is allotted to education, and this makes way for an education system that has the integrity and quality recognized worldwide. Yes, the French are serious about studying and schooling. In fact, 98% of French kids, as young as three years of age, are sent to maternelle or kindergarten classes. Among European countries, French kids spend the most number of hours per year in school.
The best thing about it is that this quality education is open not just to French but to the rest of the world. Yes, France is one of the top three countries (along with United States and United Kingdom) that host the most number of international students. This is no wonder given the wide array of top-notch disciplines (i.e., more than 35,000 post-secondary programs) and more than 6,000 learning institutions (both public and private) to choose from. More importantly, the French education is impartial between French and international students when it comes to admission requirements, tuition fees, and quality of education.
Despite the elite standing in educational system, France also offers low-cost education in its public institutions. Students get to avail special assistance, such as discounts in museums, sports events, and cultural events. They can also take advantage of low-cost restaurants and rentals (i.e., transportation and accommodation). Low-cost residences inside the campus are offered, with priority given to international or exchange students. All students below 28 years of age and are taking programs not shorter than a 4-month term are enrolled in student social security plan, where social security covers 70% of illness-related expenses incurred by the student. For students with excellent scholastic standing, there are lots of scholarship grants to apply for. They may even work part-time while enrolled in a degree program, provided they will keep the good academic standing.
Students work so hard not to enjoy themselves. France is the best place to balance between study and leisure. France is surely a window to view Europe – with nine other countries bordering it. What about its proximity to world famous cities, such as Amsterdam, Milan, Berlin, Barcelona, and London? It is definitely a plus!
France is undoubtedly rich in cultural heritage, and awareness of the European perspective is even included in the degree programs of most of the learning institutions in the country. What about being able to speak in French – a language spoken by more than 200 million people in approximately 50 counties? This is definitely an added feather an individual can have, and this can be best learned in France.
Truly, France has the right to boast itself not only for its wines and cheeses, gourmet food, and world famous designer labels – but also for its educational system. Graduates are definitely up to a good start. Not everybody is given the gift to have a French education – one thing that is worth investing, experiencing, and embracing. If you have what it takes, won’t you grab what others can only dream about?