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College in France?

PlayWithPropanePlayWithPropane Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
Hello. I am going into 10th grade, and I really find it silly that colleges make students do general education classes before they start working towards their career. Are there any way to bypass general education classes in college? I am looking at colleges/universities in France. Do colleges/universities in France require students to take general education classes or anything of the sort? I suggested France because I can speak some French. I am sometimes fluent at it, but often mix up un and une and le and la and find it hard to find words sometimes. I also suggested France because I also have a citizenship there and it might make things go a little easier. I know that tuition in France is so much less, but (I think) there is still a problem with the cost of food and cost of water and living (no so sure). I also think that it is probably super hard to find a job opening (also not too sure).

Does anyone think I would benifit from going to college in France?

Thank you.

Replies to: College in France?

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    edited August 1
    A ton of unis in the EU are possible, including English-language ones in the UK and Ireland. French higher ed only makes sense in a limited number of cases (some business schools).

    @MYOS1634 can expound more.

    What career do you have in mind right now?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,496 Senior Member
    There are three types of programs an American student could qualify for. Most are free tuition.
    - IUT : after the "bacc" (where all students take gen eds like foreign language, philosophy, history, and then intro classes for their future majors - you'd need several APs+ AP French), students have two general years. Most courses involve Business or Engineering/CS. You have 2/3 classes related to your major, 1/3 involving English and Communication/composition. After the two years, depending on ranking, you can prepare for a Grande Ecole or get a BS from a university. There are dozens in all fields.
    - Ecole post bacc: Those are special tracks in the Grandes Ecoles. They are NOT free tuition (12-15K). You apply your senior year with AP English, (AP French), plus relevant AP's. You will likely have a Skype interview. For business ESSEC international BBA, for Engineering INSA, for Math/engineering Polytechnique (< this one require you to have calc BC and physics C at application), Sciences Po for Economics and social sciences. These are very well known in Europe and will be well recognized for grad schools. Hard to get into.
    - BTS : free and found in most towns. Specialized, with common classes (all business programs have some business law and economics classes, all industry programs have Math) and specific classes. Less theoretical than the previous ones, lots of applied/workshop hours. After the 2 years completing all classes for your major, you continue to a specialized professional 'licence'.

    If you're a French citizen, doing a Terminal e or BTS first year wouldn't jeopardize your freshman status and give you time to decide where to apply in the US.

    Part time jobs aren't common. Some of these programs have 30+ hours of class a week so they're also not easy to hold.
  • PlayWithPropanePlayWithPropane Registered User Posts: 141 Junior Member
    @PurpleTitan Right now, it's chemistry (I've had a unit of chemistry in physical science and enjoyed it, however, I have not had a chemistry class yet). or physics or something material science related.

    I was looking for a way to bypass the gen ed classes. I learned that it is called "open curriculum". is this still possible in France?


    I found this http://wenr.wes.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/WENR-0915-CountryProfile-France-v2.png
    Is the education found at BTS colleges any good in the United States? Do I need a bacc?

    Thank you
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,999 Senior Member
    If you're not really decided, why would you want to bypass gen eds? They would expose you to more fields.

    And no, open curricula don't really exist in France.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,496 Senior Member
    edited August 3
    After the BTS you need to complete the final year of specialization at a larger university. So you'd have a BTS in management and specialty in "Brandy commerce", or a BTS in systems engineering and a specialization in security.
    THAT would be recognized in the US.

    Btw, BTS programs are selective.

    If you don't have a bacc, you can see if you could attend Terminale S SI (6 hours each of chemistry, engineering, and math that includes calculus, statistics, and Python programming, plus English, Spanish, contemporary history, and philosophy two hours a week each) or STI which is more technical. Both allow you to apply to IUT or BTS, but only SSI allows you to apply to a Grande Ecole's Bachelor's.
    You can just skip the bacc and move straight into the BTS or iut, check out CampusFrance. For the Grandes Ecoles you can check out their websites typically they'd want APs.

    In all cases, all classes are fixed - you can't decide what classes you take.
    For BTS and out these are nationally decided and published online.

    Americans wouldn't know any of these. You'd need to go back to the US and either have a specifically French degree (like the Brandy or wine specialties) or plan for a Master's. You would also have to do your internships (at leat 1, often 2 are required) at places known in the US (say, with the Brandy specialization, at Hennessy or Courvoisier, if security I'm not sure but a worldwide brand...)
  • lesjubilantslesjubilants Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I considered going to college, but ultimately decided not to go after speaking with people who studied abroad there. Apparently, the quality of education is lesser in France than in the United States; it is a lot of lectures, very little student-teacher interaction, and a lot of reading. In addition, you have to think about whether or not you're academically fluent in French. Could you write an advanced paper in French? Read difficult, theoretical texts? It is one thing to be conversationally fluent, another thing to be at the French speaking, writing, and reading level that college requires.

    If you truly want to skip general education, consider Canadian colleges. McGill, for example, is in French-speaking Canada and accepts AP credits. The college, however, is English-speaking. If you take about 8 AP classes and get 4s or 5s on them, you can skip all the introductory courses and complete college in three years. However, I warn against this. A lot of the things that make people interesting are the diversity of classes that they took in college. Launch straight into a career-oriented track and you may be missing a valuable part of your education. You'll want to be able to have deep and meaningful conversations in the future about literature, history, politics. You don't have to go straight to a career.

    Obviously, that's just the opinions of some Americans who studied abroad, as well as my own opinions about education. Do what you want! Request information from the French government or from individual higher education institutions in France. Try reading Les Miserables in French to see if you can handle it. Ultimately, it is your choice and you have a lot of time to decide.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,649 Senior Member
    @PlayWithPropane My impression from your OP is that actually studying full time entirely in French is likely to be more challenging than you realize.

    If you are a citizen of France, then you get a big break on tuition for any university in the province of Quebec. You would pay the same as a Canadian (in the past in some cases you would pay even less, but I am not sure whether this is still true anywhere). There are three universities there where classes are in English -- McGill, Concordia (both in Montreal), and Bishop's (a small university in Lennoxville, which is just barely outside of Sherbrooke). Knowing some French will enhance your experience living in Quebec.

    The university of Ottawa is officially bilingual. However, I don't know what tuition would be.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 1,962 Senior Member
    If you are an EU citizen, look at the Scottish universities. A little more flexible than UK and you may get a tuition break.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,243 Senior Member
    Unless you are EU resident (not citizen) there is no tuition break in the UK (Scotland or England).
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