Application Process for International Students in France

The admission procedure that has to be followed while applying to French higher educational institutions depends upon the nationality of the students as well as the country of residence and the study plan. There are entrance exams for entry into certain institutions. Deadlines for applications to the undergraduate courses are stipulated in the Admission Post-Bac website.

Admission Procedure

Procedure for Students of Nationals from Countries in the EU Or EEA

Students who are nationals of the EU or the European Economic Area do not require a visa for studying in France. They can apply directly to the higher educational institutions they wish to be admitted to. Beyond the first year, they are not required to seek admission using a particular process. For students of the EU or EEA, the online post-baccalaureat admission process must be followed via the APB (Admission Post-Bac) website.

For those who are non-citizens that are residing in EU nations, the application for the student visa must be made at the French consulate in your city.

Students Who are from Countries that Use the CEF Procedure

Students from the 33 countries where the CEF procedure is applicable must use this process. As per this procedure, students are given guidance from the application process to the final enrolment. Students can even apply for visas online and track the status of electronic applications. Applicants can establish a personal account on the Campus France website from their country ( for instance, students in the US need to go to the website). They can apply online and also consult the staff of the Campus France for guidance.

The representatives of the educational institutions they are applying to may also guide them. Campus France officials help applicants to schedule language tests and formulate educational plans. They also assist students at different phases of the application process. Higher educational institutions view student applications and results of interviews. They are given information by Campus France officials and they send the offers of preliminary admission to the applicants online via the Campus France office and directly as well.

However, student s applying to enter the first year of an institution other than an IUT or a university must use the APB website and the procedure therein, regardless of which country they belong to.
The online CEF procedure is used in 33 countries presented below:

  1. Algeria
  2. Benin
  3. Chile
  4. Colombia
  5. Gabon
  6. India
  7. Madagascar
  8. Marocco
  9. Senegal
  10. South Korea
  11. Turkey
  12. Vietnam
  13. Argentina
  14. Brazil
  15. China
  16. Comoros
  17. Guinea
  18. Indonesia
  19. Mali
  20. Mauritius
  21. Russia
  22. Syria
  23. Burkina Faso
  24. Cameroon
  25. Congo (Brazzaville)
  26. Cote d'Ivoire
  27. Japan
  28. Lebanon
  29. Mexico
  30. Peru
  31. Taiwan
  32. Tunisia
  33. US
   
For other countries, students have to apply directly to the educational institutions.

Students Applying from other Countries

You need to visit the website of the French institution you are applying to. If you are seeking admission to the first or second year of study at a Licence program, in the common first year for health professions (midwifery, dentistry, pharmacy and medicine), or the first year at a school of architecture, you should submit the application for DAP (demande d'admission prealable/ preliminary admission) to the French embassy in your country. For other post secondary or undergraduate programs, you need to use the online APB system.

Standard Exams

Students must clear the baccalaureate exam or its foreign equivalent before applying to French universities for undergraduate (Licence) courses. International students must also take the French TCF DAP test if they have not passed the DALF exam administered by the Alliance Francaise. According to Campus France, entrance into specialized schools is determined by exam results or evaluation of the application.  To apply for post graduate courses in France, you need to have passed the Bachelor’s degree examination. Those who want to join art schools in France must pass an entrance examination and present a portfolio of their work before they are selected.

Students who want to attend medical school in France without first having obtained a medicine degree in their country must join the first year and pass an examination followed by an evaluation by the administrators of the program. Any student who has passed the European Master’s degree or equivalent examination may apply for admission to a doctoral program in France. Students applying to postgraduate courses, who have not passed the DELF or DALF exam at C1/C2 or B2 level respectively, must appear for the TCF or TEF examinations. These tests are designed to measure the level of proficiency of the candidate in written as well as spoken French. Some amount of proficiency in French is needed for international students who wish to study in France.

Application Deadlines

Students wanting to be admitted in the first or second year of education at a French university must submit a request for preliminary admission (DAP) at the French embassy. DAP procedure begins in January each year.  Institutions and programs not covered by DAP include include IUTs, CPGEs (for admission to grandes ecoles), STSs, and some specialized schools.  Applications to these are submitted online directly. The APB site is used by students for preliminary admission to apprenticeship programs as well as conversion of preliminary admission to formal enrolment for international students.

For programs commencing in October, students are informed about the admission confirmation between June 15th and September 15th. According to Campus France, majority of the universities have an application deadlines near or on March 15, 2014.

Academic Year

In France, the academic year commences in September/October and ends in June/July for undergraduate courses.   The admission calendar for 2014 is as follows, according to the APB website:

Registration commences: 20 January -20 March 2014
Confirmation of online application: May 6-May 9

Following the online application, you need to request a dossier d'inscription/enrolment form along with the demande de validation des acquis (to obtain official French validation of your foreign diplomas). Students are admitted to the program within the months of June and July.

Conclusion

The admission process in France is well organized and systematic. International students must follow certain guidelines while applying.
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