Looking for work in France

1. What is the basic goal of your book?

To help all those seeking to spend a period of time in France, whether in work or in education, to make the most of their experience.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about the French educational system?

The French educational system is a complex one which has recently seen considerable reform and development, particularly in higher education. Consequently, the whole of Part 1 of the book provides background information for the student new to French higher education, including patterns of study, course structures and academic awards, both in the state universities and the private business and engineering Schools.

3. What one common mistake might your book help the student/employee avoid?

Too often, students and employees fail to understand the cultural differences underpinning French practices. For example, in the office environment, there is a stricter sense of hierarchy and dress code; in a university environment, the work ethic is equally more focussed.

4. How difficult is it to gain acceptance in a French university?

The easiest way to gain admission to a French university or private, higher-education School is through participation in an official exchange scheme or inter-university agreement. However, providing that applicants have the agreed equivalent entry qualifications, and can satisfy visa requirement, they should have little difficulty. The book explains the necessary procedures and gives examples of model letters and form-filling.

5. How difficult is it to gain employment in France?

Employment openings depend on qualifications and often on professional contacts. Being a native English speaker can be a distinct advantage, providing this is combined with proficiency in the French language. A well-constructed CV in the French style ( as exemplified in the book ) is a fundamental key.

6. What are some of the ins and outs of accommodations?

Accommodation can take various forms. Students may prefer to go through recognised or official bodies, such as the CROUS, and the book explains how to go about this. Those in employment may prefer to use an approved agency (the book contains numerous websites and addresses). Adverts in newspapers use their own specialised language (often in abbreviated form) and the book guides the reader through the terminology.

7. Can you share some of the success stories that your readers have told you about?

Many of our own students have achieved important positions in higher education and international business. Significant numbers of parents have commented on the usefulness and accrued benefits of full cultural immersion and work experience.

8. What are some of the benefits of studying in France?

Improved linguistic competence, greater awareness of French lifestyle, academic and business cultures. It is demonstrable that students return with enhanced self-confidence, maturity and workplace skills.

9. Can you make some comparisons as to cost of living between France and the U.S.?

Any comparison is dependent on the fluctuating rate of exchange between the US dollar and the euro, the currency of France. A typical student budget (accommodation, food, local transport, leisure activities and academic necessities) is estimated at 1100 euros per month, which currently equates roughly to 1650 US dollars. The budget for someone at work will be higher, in the absence of student subsidies. The cost of health insurance will vary according to age and status, which the book fully explains.

10.Is there anything else that you would like to add for the readers of this website?

To make a success of a period of study or work in France, careful planning and preparation are essential. The book takes the reader through all the necessary stages.