Faire ses études en France

Posted by Analyse at 11:01 AM

Saturday, April 14, 2007

With Mitch's question on one of my posts, an idea came to write about my university experience in France. I don't think I've talked about it here, so I don't even know how she knew that I have an entreprise administration diploma. Please explain hehe. Writing about it might give insights to some future student aspirants so they could prepare their documents before arriving here. This will surely be a long and boring post, but I'm just being helpful ;)

Warning: Like all the other admistrative stuffs here in France wherein procedures and requirements differ from one prefecture to another, the universities are not exemptions. They could ask you more or less papers, depending on their mood. I have studied 4 years ago so there's a big chance that informations I will list here are already obsolete.

Faire valider son Diplôme

School curriculum vary from one country to another. Here in France, they require foreign students to submit their credentials to the SRI* for evaluation. They then forward these papers to the Commissions Pédagogiques for final screening. Results are then sent by mail to the deserving candidates (you could follow the status by internet nowadays).

In my case, I submitted my CV, my diploma , my transcript of records with the descriptions of all the subjects (which I got from my school) and all my training and employment certificates. Not translated.

I included in the package my diplomas like DELF*, DALF*, CIEF* and another one from CCIP*.

Victime de Discrimination ??

While waiting for the result from SRI, I decided to ask for an application form from IAE so I could fill it out and submit at once (I was beating the deadline). I came wrong timing. The secretary, who was chatting with another secretary, cut me short by telling me that the delay for submission was long overdue. And when I asked if there's no other means to add one more application, she told me to wait until next year. What deception.

Frenchguy, equally disappointed, went to try his luck that same day. And guess what, he came home with an application form (which I used, of course)! Realizing that I might waste one year of my time if I wait for the verdict from SRI, we decided to get a rendez-vous with the IAE Director. After the interview, the Director left with all my credentials at hand. Whew!

PS 1 : Please don't ask me why the diploma validation and the application deadline aren't synchronized.
PS 2 : Though IAE is part of the Université de Bourgogne, aside from the Commissions Pédagogiques, they also have their own set of screening committee.

Le Chemin à la Réussite

After weeks of agonizing wait, I finally had an affirmative response from IAE, direct in my mailbox. But the calvaire didn't stop there. Along with the letter is a date for an entrance exam. I quickly went to the university to check the bulletin board and there, it listed the scope of the exam: regular stuffs and some questions about two management books. I quickly checked the library but the first book was already out so I was obliged to buy one.

PS: During those times, you could see me submerged with different management books and other stuffs I found in the library and FNAC. And yes, the university library became my home.

After the exam, I became a regular visitor of the bulletin board. A week later, I saw my name proudly listed among the other candidates. I passed. But at the bottom of the list, another date was written - panel interview.

PS : At this time, I was exhausted and was about to give up if not for Frenchguy's encouragement. You see, it's like I was restarting my life to zero. I'm not a rich girl but I had a good job and was financially independent back in the Philippines. And I left all that because of him. Hay buhay. Minsan, gusto ko syang kagatin pag naaalala ko kung paano ako naghirap dito hehe.

Aside from the standard questions they've asked to all the other candidates, I had a bonus question : Will you be able to follow the class? All the lessons will be in French blah blah. You're the only foreigner and don't expect that we slow down the rhythm because of you.

To which I replied It's been a year that I'm here in your country and all I did was to learn your language with the objective of entering the university this year. You have all my diplomas to prove my level of French. I never asked you to repeat any of your questions. I passed your exam. I think all that are proof enough that I understand your language fairly well to follow the lessons.

I was accepted.

PS : Yabang ko no? Sometimes, you need that little yabangto get where you want. It's just so easy for them to intimidate you.

On passe à l'Action

Then came the reality. My level of French wasn't enough to listen and take down notes at the same time. No to multi-tasking. I became a regular customer of the xerox machine. Thanks to my kind classmates.

Examinations are only at the end of the year so that was kinda cool (but tiring in the end because you have all the exams coming at the same time). Group works are a-bounty. An on-the-job training at the end of the school year is obligatory - which opened the door for me to where I work now.

La Récompense

A diploma, what else. DESS in Certificat d'Aptitude à l'administration des Entreprises. Analyse with a Masters Degree.

* SRI : Service Rélations Internationales
DELF : Diplômes d'Etudes en Langue Française
DALF: Diplômes Approfondis de Langue Française
CIEF : Centre International d'Etudes Françaises
CCIP : Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris
IAE : Institut à l'Administration des Entreprises
DESS : Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées

PS: Should you need more obsolete infos, just let me know.


chase said...

Almost the same system here except that we have a millimeter bureaucracy.

I hate that exams are in the end of semester or year since you have to read the whole book and not just one but two or three. Seems tiring

sasha said...

Wow, congrats! Galing, u know French very well na? Gusto ko nga rin matuto nyan eh! :)

Off topic... super cute naman ng baby mo, Analyse! :)

Happy weekend!

Analyse said...

Chase, it IS tiring. but well, me thinks it was more difficult in Mapua...

Sasha, thanks. yep, di na nila ako maibenta dito hehe..

Louna giggles sa comment mo.. thanks daw ;)

Francesca said...

wow ana, ganun kahirap? pero day, okey ka na ngayun, pautang! haha.

Sina margie may classmate, sri lankan, pharmacy graduate with diplome ,na rin to work in pharmacy here, but she was obliged to take french lessons more than what she already knew! for one year, bago daw siya pasok as pharmacist!
sabi ko kina marghie: mag femme de menage na lang siya, lol!

sa dami ng graduates sa ibang bansa pag dating s france, language diplome pa rin hahanapin
kaya yung iba, bagsak as house employee.

Si mitch, dati sa asawa forum, and she is almost one hour away from Nice, i told her to ask you how you did to find a decent work here in france.


duke said...


that is one long application. Parang ang daming steps and the panel interview sounds really scary!

dangkin said...

grabe pala dyan, masyado tlagang strict.. yoko ng pumunta dyan! ha.ha.ha.

but you did well, sister! kaya ayan, umaani ka na ng pinaghirapan mo.. have fun! :)

mitch said...

thanks for all the info i am sure marami matutulungan nito..... i looked in your blog since the beginning kaya ko nakita na meron kang enterprise administration degree i was looking kasi kung pano ka nakahanap ng work so medyo ng research ako sa blog mo hehehe ang layo ko pa pla :D

Analyse said...

Francesca, mukha lang mahirap because of the language barrier, but im sure other countries have almost the same method of accepting foreign students... matindi ang screening sa France because even foreigners could benefit on their social benefits like APL (aide personalisée au logement), etc.. and besides, if you really don't master the language, better not enroll yet, focus more on the language first.. mahilig sila sa essay writing dito.. express yourself type..

i know some other filipinas who continued their education in France and they have jobs now.. is that motivating enough?

let marghie choose what she wants ;)

Duke, and I thought mine is a shortcut.. if you notice, i said 'not translated' on the documents furnished.. imagine if i had to translate all those..

Dangkin, and i haven't talked about discrimination.. tho they try to deny it here.. it's just too blatant...

but yes, i worked hard on it..

Mitch, haha, you should have asked me directly para di ka na nahirapang magbasa.. i hope this helps.. if you allow me to give you an advice, focus on the french language first. where do you get courses? I had mine at the university too, in CIEF, and I assure you, after 3 weeks of intensive courses, I could devour a whole French pocketbook already.. not at the pace of reading an english book of course.. but at least I could already understand what I was reading.

I entered university after a year of staying here in France. I guess I had in total 6 months of intensive course.

Leah said...

Yes, you realy did well. I like your 'yabangto' attitude, must have impressed them! Good for you to have achieved another diploma, in a foreign land pa.

sexy mom said...

that was tough! i cannot imagine myself taking classes in a language that is foreign to me. even talking with an ilocano or an ilonggo, or spanish (which we learned in college) is difficult already, what more french with the nasal twang, and with last letters not being pronounced!

louna is lucky - it will not be a problem for her!

and that's nice to see--you have written down some tips and what to expects, helpful to a lot of wannabes to go french!

mitch said...

i am having french courses near our house the one which is offered for free... actually i have been taking courses for almost 2 months and i dont think i made a big improvemet...the lessons in the university do they translate in english? do they put you in a class where you are at the same level in french?... medyo mahiyain kasi ako so prefer to do research than ask hehehehe

Analyse said...

Leah, haha, yabang ko no?

Sexy Mom, oh i hope it could really help and not scare the hell out of the aspirants hehe.. im just being blatant and not sugarcoat anything.. learning the languange is one thing, studying here using their language is another..

Mitch, that's how many hours per week? i guess i had 20 hours per week + some free cultural classes on history, theatre, music, films, etc.. + i took as an option the business language course.. so i was probably spending my whole week full time in the university..

other languages are not allowed during the courses, if a word is not understood, it has to be explained by gestures or drawing.. so we're obliged to learn..

there's an entrance exam where they evaluate your level.. from level 1-6.. so they class each student depending on their level.. it's good because the course is adapted according to the students capacity..

at the end of the semester, me grading system din sila so feeling estudyante talaga kami hehe.. aiming to be in the top 10.

me malapit ba na univ sa inyo? inquire ka dun.. sa dijon kasi, nasa tabi lang ng appt namin dati yung université de bourgogne.. at nung dumating ako, parang wala pa yang free courses.. so we were obliged to find something else. me alliances françaises din dito pero mas prefer ko CIEF. check mo sa net yung site nila.. baka meron malapit senyo..

haze said...

Wow Ana you've gone a long way, Bravo ;)! Thank you for sharing these kasi I need to convert my diploma too. Di ko alam kung BAC + ano sya dito! I should gather all the docs and start, hay naku another papers ekekek na naman!

analyse said...

Haze, it must be BAC +4 here.. but sometimes, it really depends on what university yata.. i know somebody kasi, with the same diploma as mine.. she was just allowed to take license here.. but i dont know, if i waited for the result of SRI, baka license rin lang i-propose nila sa kin.. ako kasi, i submitted my papers directly to IAE.. in the courses i applied for (lagi kasing me case for second choice), the minimum requirement was BAC +4/5..

ako naman, i should prepare my papers pour la naturalization, kakatamad!

Anonymous said...

Hello ate! Dunno if u can read this pa kc its an old post. I'm wondering why u got so many diploma in French

DELF : Diplômes d'Etudes en Langue Française
DALF: Diplômes Approfondis de Langue Française
CIEF : Centre International d'Etudes Françaises

Its just all for 6mos? or are all these the exams u took after ur French classes?

anyway I'm learning french now too in an association here in our place. I like to read ur blogs cow it gives me more insights here in France. Ako nagsisimula pa lang so I certainly undergoes on what u felt before :)La vie c'est pas facile! Ana of Angers France