There are two main intakes for the international students in France, January and September, both of which are equally important for France’s students and universities. Yet some people give more importance to the September intake.
The application process for international students starts in the months of February and March at all the major universities in France.
January Intake in France:
The January or Spring Intake in France starts at the beginning of the year in January. Both the spring and fall intake are equally important and both offer admissions to almost the same number of courses.
September Intake in France:
The September or Fall Intake in France starts in September and is considered the main intake by many students. Many courses have their admission process during the September intake.
Based on the intake you are targeting it is better to start the admission process a year before the actual intake.
Timeline for the admission process for January and September intake
Step 1- Shortlist universities (January to July – January intake/ March to April-September intake)
Shortlist the colleges and universities you wish to apply for.
Step 2- Appear for entrance exams (July to August –January intake/April to June-September intake)
There are many competitive and entrance exams to get admission to a French university. The most common tests are IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT and so on.
It also takes time to get the test results, sometimes you may need to retake them. Hence it is critical to have a two-month buffer for the exams.
Step 3 -Start applying to colleges (August to September-January intake/ May to June September intake)
Start preparing for the application once the course and the university are selected. French Universities may request an essay on applications, or SOPs and LORs. The idea is to highlight your strengths and to present yourself as a unique applicant.
Step 4 – Acceptance letters and interviews (September to October –January intake/ July to August-September intake)
The university will e-mail you with your application status. You should revert to your decision. You can be asked to attend a personal interview or a video interview.
Once you have verified your positive response, some universities may ask you to pay a confirmation fee.
Step 5 – Application for visa and student loan (October to November- January intake/ August to September-September intake)
Start preparing for your France Student Visa application as soon as you receive the confirmation letter from a French university. This will take time. Start applying for your student loan. If you are applying for scholarships to study abroad, start the application process.
Step 6 -Tickets and Departure (November to December –January intake/ August-September intake)
Book your tickets. Depending on your preference, start looking for accommodation on or off-campus.
Gather all the appropriate documentation and the correct photocopies before traveling. Arrange an international credit/debit card and a checklist before departure to have a trouble-free trip to France.
Depending on which intake you select for admission, ensure you follow the steps and timeline for a successful application.