Let’s say you have been thinking for a long time to move to France. Maybe you took a trip to Paris and fell in love with the sunset from the Eiffel Tower, maybe you discovered yourself enchanted with the picturesque streets of Lyon’s Old Town, or maybe you found a lover in Marsella’s vieux-port.
Whatever the reason is, you’ve set up your mind to make France your new home. To give you a hand and before you pack your suitcase, we have collected some data about some issues to take into account before moving to France:
Working in France
The official weekly working time is 35 hours per week. The monthly minimum wage is 1,521 €, which is quite a high figure compared to Southern European countries. Workers are entitled to 30 paid vacation days per year.
If you are an EU national, good news for you! You can freely live and work in France without requesting a working visa prior to your arrival. Citizens from non-EU countries are required to hold a working visa to be able to work legally in France. Once working in France, foreigners are advised to ask for a residence permit. The maximum period for which foreigners can live in France without a residence permit is 3 months.
There are 10 official public holidays in France. In those days, most institutions, banks, and shops remain closed. Note these days down!:
January 1: New Year’s Day
March 28: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 5: Feast of Ascension
May 8: Celebration of the end of the Second World War
July 14: France’s National Day
August 15: Feast of the Assumption
November 1: All Saints’ Day
November 11: Armistice Day
December 25: Christmas
Before entering the job market in France, many students consider the option of doing an internship in France, a wonderful opportunity to enrich the aspirant’s CV and setting up and advantage from other candidates in the job market.
It’s important to bear in mind that whether doing an internship or working, in many jobs is mandatory for foreigners to have a good level of French, and in some others, it is highly valued. So if you’re planning to move to France, we advise you to find a good French course which will make your life in France a lot easier. Also, according to the index of EF English Proficiency, France ranks 35th in a list of 88 countries in light of their English level. Since English is not the thing French people are are best at, you better start learning French, the beautiful language of love!
Studying in France
EU nationals do not need a student visa to study in France. To access to a French university, foreign students must hold the certificate of secondary education. Keep in mind that foreign students are required to prove a C1 or C2 level in French. The official French exam certifying those levels is the DALF exam, recognized by the French Ministry of Education.
There are over 3,500 public and private institutions of higher education in France. Among those:
Universities: Financed by the French state, France is the place chosen by 75% of foreign students who want to take higher education studies in a foreign country. Covering all kinds of fields, there are universities located all over the country, with high academic value and very well recognized. Some of the most prestigious French universities are the Sorbonne University, the University of Montpellier, or the Paris-Sud university, to name just a few.
The Grandes Ecoles: Public and private institutes of higher education officially recognized by the French government.
The National Schools of Architecture
Schools of Art and Applied Arts
All foreign students interested in studying in France are advised to take a look at the web page of the Agency Campus France. It is an institution responsible for promoting higher education in France to foreign countries.
Take a look at our post: Study in France, obtain Carte de Sejour to know more about the requirements for students in France!