France

About France

France is one of the key players in the European political and economic game. Serving as the border between the Iberian Peninsula and the mainland of Europe, France has long been a cultural focal point in Europe. Paris, in particularly, is the height of the fashion industry, and many of the world's leading fashion influences come from Parisian fashion houses. The country has also produced some of the world's most celebrated writers, including names like Rousseau and Voltaire. With its connections to Germany, France served as one of the leaders in uniting Europe and starting the European Union.

In addition to fashion and writing, France is known for its culinary tradition. Over 250 different varieties of cheese come from within its borders, and wine lovers know they can turn to France for delicate, delicious wines.

Whether you are considering France for its culinary heritage, artistic flair or simply because you want to experience the culture of a new location, you will find a variety of factors to draw you towards studying in this leading European country. Because France appeals to so many foreign students, life at the university is rich in cultural diversity. Culturally enlightening experiences are easy to find in France. Museums, particularly those in Paris, allow EU residents who are students under the age of 26 free entrance. Student cardholders will also find discounts on transportation, food and entertainment.

Its schools perform well in international rankings of education, which makes it appealing for students looking to travel internationally for their education.

The Legal System in France
Like much of Europe, France practices primarily civil law, although criminal law is also part of its judicial system. Public law also includes both administrative and constitutional law. As a whole, the French legal system is modeled after the civil law system.

Study Law in France

The French Law Degree

In France, a law degree is earned by attending law school. Law school is a school within a larger university, not a separate entity. Being able to practice law in France requires a Bachelor in Law (LLB) and then at least a Master's degree in the field (LLM), although a doctoral level program (PhD in Law) is also available.

Earning a Law Degree in France
Because French law schools are within public universities, admission at the undergraduate level is not as selective as in private schools. However, admission does not mean success, and many students do not succeed in the rigorous programs.

The law school is divided into three programs. First, students attend a three-year Bachelor of law program (called “Licence de Droit”). This is followed by a two-year Master of Law program (LLM), and finally a three-year or more Ph.D. in law. Also, in order to enter the bar, students must also enter the bar school. Acceptance into bar school requires at least the first year of Master of law training.

Many students opt to attend school in France because of its low cost. Student restaurants and subsidized residence halls add to the affordability of attending school in France. The French academic year begins in September and runs through May or June, broken into a fall and spring semester.

France is appealing to law students also because of its high level of academics. Those who can speak French well enough to attend school can get an affordable education from some of the top schools and educators in the world of international education. Those who can succeed in the rigorous French law school programs are able to practice law throughout Europe with the foundation of the strong civil law training that comes from the French educational system.

In addition, many French law programs also study common law, so their graduates are well equipped to apply to the bar or gain professional entrance into other countries where civil law is not the main type of law practiced. This combination makes France an appealing country to consider when choosing a school in which to study law.

Visa

If you are an EU national, or national from the EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you do not require a visa to study in France. If you are a national from anywhere else in the world, you will need to obtain a student visa for France. You need to have secured a place on a course at a French educational institution before applying for a visa. 

There are different types of student visas, depending on how long you plan to study in France:

  • Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa) - If your studies will last less than three months. It is issued free of charge and cannot be renewed. 41 countries may not need a visa for a stay of less than three months.
  • Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams) - On this visa, you can come to France to take an entrance exam at an institute of higher education. If you pass, then you can apply directly to your local prefecture (French local authority/administrative office) in France for a one-year, renewable residence permit.
  • Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa) - This visa allows you to study in France for between three and six months without the need for a residence permit. It is non-renewable.
  • Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa) - If you want to study for longer than six months. This type of study visa lasts for the duration of your course in France. Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.
  • Extended stay research scholar visa - If you have a Master’s degree or higher and want to come to France to take part in research or teach at university level, then the institution can bring you over on an extended stay research scholar visa VLS-TS.

Some countries require you to register first with CampusFrance (www.campusfrance.org), the French national agency for higher education and international students, in order to apply for admission and get a student visa through the CEF procedure. Otherwise, you should get your visa at the French embassy/consulate in your home country.

There is an official website for visa application to France: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/. You can find an overview of the necessary documentation for your visa application there.

It can take up to two months for a Visa application to be approved, so you should submit all of the necessary information as quickly as possible before you plan to leave.

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