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Life in UK
Education in UK
UK Visa
Life in UK

The UK attracts people from all over the world with its mix of vibrant cities and gentle countryside, its range of diverse lifestyles and its cultural attractions.

The UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales and the province of Northern Ireland. Each has its own identity, with vibrant modern cities, as well as stunning countryside and coastline. 

Vibrant, Multicultural UK

The UK is home to thousands of people from all around the world. The UK is a friendly, welcoming place for people of all countries, cultures and faiths.

In 2012, over 500,000 international students from 200 nations studied in the UK, and a further 600,000 students came to do an English language course. As a student in the UK, you'll get to know people from all over the world, and you’ll learn about many different cultures - on a single campus there could be students from more than 200 different countries, all contributing to its rich, diverse, multicultural society.

Multiculturalism has benefited the UK in all areas from industry and commerce to music, art, sport, science and literature. It has brought fresh ideas, new skills, labour and cultural diversity to the UK.

Students will be interested to know what they can do in their free time. With more than 2,000 museums and galleries around the UK (many offering free entry), visiting an exhibition is a great way to spend an afternoon. Galleries such as London’s Tate Modern and BALTIC in Gateshead house some of the biggest art spaces in Europe.

Local theatres and London’s West End stage some of the most exciting theatre in the world. UK theatre has an excellent worldwide reputation, renowned for great writing, directing and acting. Each summer, the world-famous Edinburgh Festival attracts thousands of fans of the performing arts, and is the launch pad for many new artists and productions. The UK has over 3,250 cinema screens to watch the latest releases. Many cinemas show films from overseas, including the latest Bollywood and European productions.

The UK has long been at the forefront of musical innovation. This passion for making music is matched by the nation’s love of music with people in the UK buying more music than in any other country. From pop to new musical blends and the celebration of its ethnic diversity, the UK is the place to be for anyone who is passionate about music. Festivals are a great way of seeing lots of bands in one weekend and there are more summer festivals take place around the UK than ever before, from T in the Park to the legendary Glastonbury festival.

If you want to try new foods, there’s no better place than the UK. The UK has always embraced culinary styles from around the world, and you’re as likely to find  
restaurants offering Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Italian and French cuisine as traditional British food.

Time away from the campus

When students want time away from their campus, the lush, green countryside of the UK offers the perfect escape from urban distractions. They can enjoy climbing and great views in the Cairngorms in Scotland, the Lake or Peak District, or Welsh Brecon Beacons. They may prefer rolling countryside punctuated with traditional pubs and villages, the Cotswolds in the south of England, or the emerald countryside of Northern Ireland. See the National Trust and Association of National Parks websites for further information. As the UK is an island, there are hundreds of miles of coastline to visit, from the golden sands of the Cornish coast to the picturesque fishing villages of Scotland.

Web links:

See the official visitor sites:

www.visitbritain.com/

www.visitscotland.com/

www.visitwales.com/

www.discovernorthernireland.com/

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/

www.nationalparks.gov.uk

 

The weather

Students will always ask you about the weather in the UK. One of the only things you can count on where the UK’s weather is concerned is its unreliability. Despite the changeable nature of the weather, there are four distinct seasons in the UK: winter, spring, summer and autumn. On the whole, temperatures rarely fall below -5˚C or rise much above 32˚C. One of the most noticeable climatic features in the UK is long summer days and short winter ones: it gets dark by 1600 in December, but not until 2200 in July.

Discover Europe

Students can easily and inexpensively travel to other European countries for education or pleasure to make the most of their spare time. It’s never been easier to travel around the UK and continental Europe. Thanks to the Channel Tunnel, they can board a train in London and be in Paris or Brussels in a few hours. Frequent and efficient air services also connect major UK cities with many European destinations. In just over an hour, you could fly from Manchester to Amsterdam, Cardiff to Paris or Gatwick to Berlin.

The excellent road and rail links mean that city-to-city journeys are generally quick. Students can get good discounts on most of these forms of travel and student identity cards help to reduce sightseeing costs in the UK and Europe. Many institutions have in-house travel agencies or give advice about the best and cheapest services.  

How many hours may a student work?

The maximum amount of part-time work a student can do during term time is:

20 hours per week if they are studying a course at or above UK degree level at a higher education institution;

10 hours per week if they are studying a course that is below UK degree level at a higher education institution or any course at any level at a publicly-funded further education college

They can work full-time during vacations, within the above limits. If they have completed their course and they apply to remain in the UK under the points-based system before their existing permission to stay expires, they can work full-time (within the above limits) until their application is decided.

Private colleges and working

Students coming to study at a private college will not be able to work during their studies.

 

Work placements whilst studying

Work placements can be full time if their Tier 4 sponsor is highly trusted, or their course is degree level or above. They will be able to spend half of their course doing work placements if they have a Tier 4 permission, their course is degree level and their education provider is a higher education provider.

If they do not meet any of these requirements their work placement can take up to a maximum 33% of their total course.

 

New PhD Rules

From the 6 April 2013 PhD students completing a course, can now apply to stay in the UK for a further 12 months, beyond the end of their course to find skilled work or to set up as an entrepreneur.

 

Note:

Please refer to UKVI’s website for full details about the work and other studyingthat a student can do whilst in the UK as a Tier 4 student  

Work placements 

A sponsor with a Highly Trusted sponsor licence will be able to offer the following courses to international students under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system:

.  courses at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 3 and equivalents; and

.  courses below degree level that encompass a work placement.

.  other sponsors will no longer be able to offer these courses (other than foundation degree courses containing work placements) under Tier 4 (General). 

Please check the websites below for changes to working in the UK.

 

Web links:  

https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/International-Students/Study-work--more/Working-during-your-studies/

 

Education in UK

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.

The education system in the UK is also split into "key stages" which breaks down as follows:

Key Stage 1: 5 to 7 years old

Key Stage 2: 7 to 11 years old

Key Stage 3: 11 to 14 years old

Key Stage 4: 14 to 16 years old

Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move onto secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4.

Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE's or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE's they have the choice to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.

Our overview of the education system in the UK is divided into five main sections:

Primary Education

Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system. Please visit the British Council page for more information on primary education.

Secondary Education

From age 11 to 16, students will enter secondary school for key stages three and four and to start their move towards taking the GCSE's - learn more about secondary education in the UK and what it will involve. Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK; after age 16, education is optional.

Further Education

Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A-Levels, GNVQ's, BTEC's or other such qualifications. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education.

Higher Education

Probably the most important subject area on this site, this explains more about the higher education system in the UK and how it works for international students. Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s “further education.”

Entry Requirements

Each level of education in the UK has varying requirements which must be satisfied in order to gain entry at that level - learn more about the education entry requirements for the UK.

UK Degree Online

With online programs growing in popularity, this means the availability of top-notch online programs is also on the rise. If you want to obtain a UK accredited degree without having to relocate to the United Kingdom, choosing to study online is a good option for you. Getting a UK accredited degree online allows you to fit your studies into your schedule and save money on travel costs while having access to a variety of top programs.

UK Visa

Tier 4 (General) student visa

 

You can apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK if you’re 16 or over and you:

have been offered a place on a course

can speak, read, write and understand English

have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances

are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

meet the other eligibility requirements

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

When to apply

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you start your course.

You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check visa processing times for your country.

Fees

It costs £335 to apply for this visa from outside the UK.

You must pay £335 per person for any dependants.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can arrive in the UK before your course starts:

up to 1 week before, if your course lasts 6 months or less

up to 1 month before, if your course lasts more than 6 months

How long you can stay depends on the kind of course you’re doing and what study you’ve already completed.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

study

work as a student union sabbatical officer

apply from inside or outside the UK

apply to extend your stay

work in most jobs - depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have

You can’t:

get public funds

work in certain jobs, for example, professional sportsperson or sports coach

study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school)

You may be able to bring in family members (dependants).

 

Life in Germany
Education in Germany
Visa in Germany
Life in Germany

Bags packed, flight tickets booked, all set to explore the land of technology. Wow! The feeling is incredible. Nervous yet excited !

We all have certain expectation in our mind before coming to Germany for studying. The question keeps lingering in our mind as how life would be in Germany. Will it be as fascinating as i think, or will it be stressful.

Well, a combination of both to be precise. There will be moments when you will feel its the best place you ever wanted to be and sometimes you will feel, I might have not come here. As I have already spent few months , I can say LET’S FACE THE REALITY. Your experiences can differ from mine, but in general things would be pretty much as I list down now:

Germany is a country where you have to follow rules as they have been formulated. To be honest, there is no harm in adopting to the German rules. You might not feel in the beginning but you will find later, they have actually helped you in developing you personality.

Education wise , Germany has a curriculum which is designed to give you both practical and theoretical knowledge. There will be lot to study and exams will not be that easy to clear . So, hardwork is the key here to achieve success.

You will have to do a lot of cooking. As a student , a lot of time of yours will be spent in cooking. Restaurants are expensive and so a lot of student prefer to cook on their own as it will save a lot of money. My advice would be if you are coming from any Asian country, learn cooking before coming here.

Germany is a wonderland , its as beautiful and serene as a paradise . There will be all four seasons of weather and every season has its own charm. Do travel to countryside and villages.

Germans like to party a lot and so you get along with it . If you like to party , then you are at the right place. It is also a way to make new friends and so don’t miss them. You will have plenty at your university also , so attend them. A piece of caution: Just don’t always party also, your priority should be studies for which you have arrived here.

These are just few things you probably will experience as a student in Germany. I would just say , be practical in your thinking before you come here. Life isn’t easy and it won’t be. There is no running away from hard work and just focus on things that interest you. Germany is a land of ideas , so pursue them.

 

 

Education in Germany


From Kita to Uni

The education system in Germany varies from state to state, although the basic K-12 system is fairly uniform. As in the US, education is the responsibility of each of the 16 German states (Bundesländer), but there is a national conference of state education ministers (Kultusministerkonferenz, KMK) that serves to coordinate educational practices at the national level. However, there is still a lot of variation in the school systems across Germany.

 

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Compared to the United States, the German primary and secondary school system is a rather complicated one in which there are sometimes as many as five different kinds of secondary schools (usually starting at grade 5) and various paths leading to academic higher education, advanced technical training or a trade. For more about the types of schools in Germany see below.

In addition to Germany’s extensive public school system, there are also some private and parochial schools, but far fewer than in the US and most other countries. Among the private schools, Montessori, Waldorf, Jena and other alternative education models are popular. But in all of Germany, a country of 80 million people, there are only about 2,500 private and parochial schools, including boarding schools (Internate). There are also a good number of international schools all across Germany, which can be a good option for English-speaking expats. (See more about international schools below.)

Compulsory School Attendance
Part of the reason for the dearth of private or church schools is the German conviction that public education is a vital element that contributes to a well-educated citizenry and a sense of common purpose. Germany has a compulsory school attendance law. The law requires school attendance (Schulpflicht), not just instruction, from age 6 until age 15. This helps explain why homeschooling is illegal in Germany. (See “Homeschooling verboten” for more.)

The German Educational Class System
Although most Germans claim to be against elitism and favoring any social class, their entire educational system is basically a three-class system that divides students into three different tracks: (1) Gymnasium for bright students headed for college, (2) Realschule for the next step down, kids headed for average or better white-collar positions, and (3) Hauptschule for the bottom tier, generally aimed at the trades and blue-collar jobs. By the age of 10 most pupils in Germany have been put on one of these three educational tracks. Although it is possible to switch tracks, this is not very common.

Efforts over the past several decades to reform this system, with its emphasis on tracking, have largely been unsuccessful. Essentially the same tracking system also exists in neighboring Austria and Switzerland, which have also resisted educational reforms. Citizens of the German-speaking countries seem to feel that the current system produces good results – despite a poor showing in recent PISA rankings and other educational studies that indicate German schools don’t always produce the best educated students.

The Gesamtschule Reform
In some states, usually governed by the SPD (Social Democratic Party), there was an attempt to reform the system by creating a more inclusive kind of secondary school, more like the American high school. Beginning in the late 1960s, the Gesamtschule(comprehensive school) was introduced as an alternative to the traditional three-tiered secondary education system. Instead of three different schools, there are three different tracks within one school. Beginning in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the first Gesamtschulen appeared in West Berlin and a few other Länder, but soon there was resistance from the conservative CDU (Christian Democratic Party), teacher unions and parent groups, who felt that the comprehensive school was inferior to the traditional sytem.

Although the original idea was to replace the old three-school system (Gymnasium, Realschule, Hauptschule) with a single secondary school, the Gesamtschule or Einheitsschule, in practice it has not worked out that way. Rather than replacing the three-school system, the Gesamtschule has merely been added to the traditional system. Some Gesamtschulen are also Ganztagsschulen (all-day schools), with a class schedule that runs longer than traditional schools, which usually only have classes until noon or 1:00 p.m.

The decade between 1972 and 1982 was supposed to be a trial period to see if the Gesamtschule was superior or not. The verdict was mixed, and the Gesamtschule now only exists in various forms in about ten of the 16 German states. In some German states, including Bavaria, Hamburg, Saxony, Thuringia and others, the Hauptschule and Realschule have been combined to create the Mittelschule (also known as Regelschule or Regionalschule) to create a two-tiered system rather than three. Even in former East Germany, where the “unified school” educated everyone to be good, socialist citizens, the Gesamtschule has not been adopted uniformly. The good old academic Gymnasiumhas endured in most of Germany to this day. In Austria and Switzerland the Gesamtschule concept has never drawn any real support.

Special Education
As opposed to the US system of inclusion of students with special needs whenever feasible, Germany also promotes tracking in that area. Förderschulen or Sonderschulenare separate schools for students with moderate to severe learning disabilities, blind or deaf students, or those with physical disabilities. This practice, which puts some 430,000 German students in special, separate schools, has been criticized for not meeting the 2008, EU-ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which calls for a more inclusive, integrated education for disabled students. Critics say that by separating special-needs students from the general population, the German special education system fails, in that it puts disabled students at a disadvantage and prevents their integration into daily life. This is especially true for students with physical disabilities. Only in a few places in Germany are some special-needs students integrated into regular schools.

The School Day in Germany
Traditionally, the German school day has started at 8:00 a.m. and finished at 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. – and that is often still the case. But in recent years, some schools in Germany have started offering a full day of education (Ganztagsschule). They offer study hours for homework, extracurricular activities and a hot lunch at the cafeteria. Since most German schools never had a cafeteria, this often requires new construction to provide them.

Class Schedule
German secondary schools have a class schedule that resembles a US college schedule, with different classes offered each day. Some subjects are taught three days per week, with others taught only twice a week. On Monday a typical schedule might offer four 45-minute classes (and sometimes double 90-minute classes) in (1) math, (2) history, (3) art and (4) English, while on Tuesday a student might have five classes: (1) German, (2) religion, (3) calculus, (4) French and (5) PE. There are also break periods, usually a short and a long break (große Pause), during the school day. Most students eat lunch at home, since schools usually have no cafeteria, and the school day ends fairly early. Although there is some physical education, German schools are more academic in nature. Competitive sporting events between schools are rare. Athletics is usually done outside of school by belonging to a sports club.

For a long time in many parts of Germany the school week included Saturday. In the 1980s schools in Baden-Württemberg still had classes every other Saturday. In East Germany Saturday was a school day nationwide. Since the early 1990s most German school students, including those in Baden-Württemberg, have enjoyed a full weekend. Only a very few local schools still have Saturday classes (Samstagsunterricht).

Now let’s look at the various types of schools in Germany.

Preschools in Germany
Surprisingly, in the land that invented the kindergarten, preschool education is not part of the public education system. Most preschools or daycare centers for young children in Germany are run by churches or other non-profit organizations. The federal government does provide some funding to the states, but despite new laws that “guarantee” at least half-day childcare for children between the ages of one and three, there are not enough places available. Efforts to increase the availability of childcare have been hindered by a lack of funding, plus a lack of trained staff. Less than a third of three-year-olds in Germany had access to daycare in 2012.

The German preschool system varies from state to state, but in general it works this way:

Kinderkrippe (literally, “crib” or “crèche”) – For ages eight weeks to three years.

Kita (short for Kindertagesstätte (children’s daycare center) – For ages 3-6, open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or later.

Kindergarten – For ages 3-6; half-day or full-day kindergarten.

Hort or Schulhort – Provides after-school daycare for elementary school pupils.

Finding a place for your preschooler can be difficult, since there are also many other parents trying to find a good Kita or kindergarten. The better facilities tend to fill fast, so it is necessary to plan ahead. Finding a place for your child often depends on where you live. Getting your child into a good facility near where you live is considered a wonderful stroke of luck.

Elementary Schools in Germany
After preschool, German pupils attend primary school (Grundschule, “basic school,” grades 1-4). Compulsory school attendance Schulpflicht starts in September after a child has turned six. All students attend elementary school from grade one to grade four in most states. Before beginning the fifth grade (seventh in Berlin/Brandenburg), students and their parents must choose the type of secondary school they will attend, in other words, which educational track they will be on.

The majority of children attend a public elementary school in their neighborhood. As in the US, schools in affluent areas tend to be better than those in less-affluent areas. In bigger cities students “with a migratory background” (as the Germans refer to immigrant Turks and other non-Germans migrants) often lower the quality of education in schools with a high percentage of foreign students. Efforts to combat this inequality have met with limited success.

Secondary Schools in Germany
After completing their primary education (at 10 years of age, 12 in Berlin and Brandenburg), children attend one of five types of secondary schools in Germany. The five kinds of schools vary from state to state in Germany:

Hauptschule (HOWPT-shoo-luh, grades 5-9 or 5-10)
The Hauptschule is generally considered the least demanding of the five types of secondary school, but it may be very appropriate for students who wish to enter the trades or go through an apprenticeship for certain types of industrial employment. The Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education, and most of the pupils work part-time as apprentices. Upon completion of the final Hauptschulabschluss examination, after grade 9 or 10. They also have the option of earning the more prestigious Realschulabschluss after grade 10. With that, the next step is often a Berufsschule, an advanced technical/vocational school with a two-year course of apprenticeship and study.

Realschule (ray-ALL-shoo-luh, grades 5-10)
This is the most popular type of secondary school in Germany. About 40 percent of German pupils attend this kind of school. The Realschule may be a step below the Gymnasium (more below), but it can be a very good school, with academic standards that usually exceed those of a typical high school in the US. For instance, Realschule students must study at least one foreign language (usually English or French) for a minimum of five years. (In Gymnasium a second foreign language is required.) Graduates earn a Realschulabschluss diploma. In some communities a Realschule and a Gymnasium may share the same building, with a common library, and other common facilites.

Mittelschule (MIT-tel-shoo-luh, grades 5-10)
Only some German states have this type of intermediate school (grades 6-10) that combines the Hauptschule and Realschule tracks.

Gymnasium (ghim-NAH-zee-uhm, grades 5-12 or 5-13)
The German Gymnasium is an academic secondary school that prepares pupils for a university education. It begins with the fifth grade (seventh in Berlin/Brandenburg). After grade 12 or 13 (depending on the state), students earn a diploma called das Abitur by passing an oral and written examination. The Gymnasium has a long history, dating back to 1528 in Saxony. Traditionally there was a heavy emphasis on the study of Latin and Greek, but modern languages are favored today. Until the 1970s there were separate Gymnasien for boys and girls. Nowadays they are co-ed. The Gymnasium curriculum is highly academic, with two foreign languages required, plus higher math and science courses. Students also have the option of taking more advanced “honors” courses (Leistungskurse).

Any student with an “Abi” diploma from a Gymnasium must be admitted to a German university, but there are no guarantees concerning the field of study. Popular fields such a law and medicine are very competitive. Students often have to choose a second or third choice for their major, or have to enroll in a more distant university than they might prefer.

Gesamtschule (guh-SAHMT-shoo-luh, grades 5-12 or 5-13)
Only some German states have this kind of school, which combines the three school types into a comprehensive school that is similar to an American high school. (See the more detailed information above.)

Even after parents have decided which school type they prefer, there remains another choice, at least in larger communities. In a typical city of even average size, there may be a choice of five or more Gymnasien or Realschulen in the area. Unlike in the US, students are not zoned to a school in their neighborhood or district. Students and their parents have a choice of any school that will accept the student.

SOME US vs GERMANY SCHOOL DIFFERENCES

The Grading System
The German grading scale runs from 1 to 6, with one being the best grade (A) and six the worst (F). Poor grades in several subjects can result in a student having to repeat an entire school year.
Class Schedule
A German class schedule is not the same every day. More like a college schedule, with some classes three times a week, while others are only two days a week.
School Days
German students attend school for 187-190 days in an academic year, depending on the state. The school year in the US lasts 180 days. German students only get a six-week summer vacation, but they have more frequent vacation breaks during the school year. In recent years, some US school districts have adopted a similar schedule, with more frequent breaks.
School Vacation Dates
In order to avoid massive traffic jams, German schools in the 16 states have a staggered vacation (Ferien) schedule that rotates each year. One year schools in Berlin may begin their summer vacation in June, while those in Bavaria begin in July. Another year it may be the reverse. There is even a website where you can find a state-by-state Schulferien guide for the next several years.
No Substitute Teachers
If a teacher is absent, there is no class that day, or the class is taught by a colleague who has a free period. Substitutes (Ersatzlehrer) are only hired for lengthy absences.
School Trips
School trips are often more ambitious and more extensive than in the US. A typical English class in Germany might have an annual trip by bus to London with their teachers for a week or ten days, staying in youth hostels.
No Hall Passes, No Study Hall
If a student has a free period, she is free to do whatever she wants during that time. There are usually no study halls (except in a Ganztagsschule) or hall passes. German secondary students are not treated like babies. They are expected to be responsible.
Klassenlehrer
Beginning in the fifth grade in a Gymnasium (seventh for other school types), students are grouped into “homerooms” with a particular teacher Klassenlehrer. They stay together for the rest of their school years.
No School Bus
Although there may be school buses in some rural areas, in most German cities and towns, pupils walk or use public transportation to get to and from school.

OTHER EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS

Berufsschule
Usually the Berufsschule (vocational school, technical school) is not part of the normal German public school system, but is financed and supervised by the federal government in conjunction with industrial groups (chambers of commerce/trade) and trade unions. As part of a concept known as “duale Berufsbildung” (dual vocational education), in which businesses and schools work together, a Berufsschule combines academic study with an apprenticeship. In most cases, students must have a diploma from a Realschule or Mittelschule in order to be accepted by a Berufsschule, which usually has a two- or three-year course of study. Successful tech school graduates are certified in a certain trade or industrial field. With the increasing sophistication of manufacturing and other fields, Germany’s technical schools help fill an educational gap in a way that the US and other nations could learn from. Austria and Switzerland also have their own dual education vocational programs.

Educational Options for Expatriates
The public education system, including higher education, is available to everyone living in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, including English-speaking expatriates, pretty much free of cost. Ideally the children of expats attend local public schools and become fully integrated in the country’s language and culture. But of course, things are rarely that uncomplicated.

The choice of a school for expat children will be influenced by several factors: the age of the children, the length of the expat assignment, affordability (tuition, etc.), the school assortment in your location, and several other considerations. If there is an international school in your area, you may have to consider that option as well.

Some international schools, including the K-through-12 John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, are part of the public school system, but in most cases such schools are private and charge tuition. They usually offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) rather than the standard German Abitur or the Austrian/Swiss Matura diploma. The big advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you view it) is that most international schools offer English-language instruction. Large cities such as Berlin, Vienna or Zurich each offer a choice of several international schools, but they are also found in medium-sized towns. In Bonn, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and other cities there are IB schools that are part of the public school system, but admittance is usually very limited. For example, the public John F. Kennedy School in Berlin posted an announcement (in German for Berlin parents) in September 2012 for the 2013-14 school year stating that the school’s waiting list was already “überflutet” (overflowing), and the school could not accept any more first-grade students – almost a full school year ahead of time!

Admission to the Kennedy School, which has 1700 American, German and other students, is also very competitive. From the school’s website: “All admissions to the John F. Kennedy School are probationary. For grades K through 6 the period of probation is one year from the date of admission. For students in grades 7 through 13, the period of probation is half a year or one semester from the date of admission.”

Higher Education in Germany

Up until recently university attendance in Germany has been tuition free. That is such an embedded German tradition, that when seven states (between 2004 and 2007) introduced very modest tuition fees (Studiengebühren) of 500 euros, or about $650 per semester, there were mass protests. By 2013 only Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) still had university tuition fees. Bavaria recently dropped them, and now Lower Saxony, the last holdout, has dropped its tuition fees, starting in 2015.

So a German university education continues to be tuition free. (Non-German exchange students may have to pay fees for some programs.) Students usually have to pay only for textbooks, certain administrative fees, and for room and board. However, most states continue to assess a so-called Semesterbeitrag (semester fee) that ranges from about 50 to 300 euros. In some states if a student’s studies exceed four semesters, there is a special tuition charge of 500 to 800 euros per each additional semester. Tuition policies in Germany depend in large measure on which political party (or parties) has control of the state legislature (Landtag). In general the conservative CDU/CSU party and the FDP (Free Democrats) are in favor of tuition fees, while the Greens and the SPD (Social Democrats) oppose tuition for entering students. The Linke (Left) party opposes any tuition fees, and none of the states in what was once East Germany has even attempted to introduce tuition.

As of 2013, there were a total of 427 institutions of higher learning in Germany. Besides 108 universities (Universitäten), there were six teachers colleges (pädagogische Hochschulen), 17 theological seminaries (theologische Hochschulen), 52 art colleges (Kunsthochschulen), 215 technical institutes (Fachhochschulen) and 29 state administrative training institutes (Verwaltungsfachhochschulen). Fewer than 100 of these are private institutions.

For more about higher education in Germany, see Universities in Germany.

More | Schools and Universities and Topic Index

Related Pages
AT THE GERMAN WAY

Homeschooling verboten – A German Way Expat Blog post about the ban on homeschooling in Germany

Schools and Universities in the German-speaking Countries – More about the German education system

ON THE WEB

Study in Germany – A guide to studying in Germany in 10 steps (in English or German) – Helps you find a university and program, plus helpful information on costs and how to apply. From the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst)

Bildungssystem in Deutschland – Wikipedia (German) – The education system in Germany. A very comprehensive overview in German.

www.schulferien.org – Find school vacations and other holiday vacation dates for Germany. (site in German)

Spiegel: Riesiges Lerngefälle zwischen Süd und Nord – A 2011 study published in Der Spiegel shows a big north-south gap in education in Germany. If you want a superior school system, move to Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria. In German.

 

Visa in Germany

Study in Germany: German student visas and permits

Germany is a place to be when it comes to the quality of higher education, research infrastructure, teaching methodology, low-cost studies and career prospect. That is why many internationals continue to believe that Germany is the best place for pursuing their higher education further.

On the other hand, not every foreign person is able to pursue such a dream, right away. This because several nationalities are NOT allowed to enter and stay in the territory of Germany without enjoying the appropriate German Visa.

In our case, a visa needed is the authorising official document required to permit a non-German national to enter and stay in the territory of Germany for the purpose of studying, in a specific intended period.

 

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Therefore, being a foreigner who:

Just received the Acceptance Letter from a German University,

Soon is expected to get A Response on his/her University Application in a University in Germany,

Has to Enroll in A Foundation Course before applying in a German University,

Needs to Take a Foundation Course (Studienkolleg) to prepare for the test  “Feststellungsprüfung” – qualification assessment examination

Needs to Complete a Doctoral Degree

Wants to Engage in a Research Project in Germany

… YOU will HAVE to apply for the appropriate German Study VISA at the Embassy or Consulate of Germany in your country to enter and stay for the intended period in Germany, in case you come from one of these countries.

In case you will need to remain in the territory of Germany for more than 90 DAYS, or 3 MONTHS, you will be called to also get a Residence Permit early enough after  the arrival in Germany.

Speaking of the appropriate time, there is no fixed period where you should make the visa application, but it is highly suggested to do it early enough in advance from your planned travel to Germany.

Typically, 3 (three) months before the start of planned studies, worked  suitably for many who already went through the same experience.

But, let us together see what else you need to know about getting a German Visa for study purposes.

Which are German Visa Types for Study Purposes?

As we explained earlier, whenever you want to travel to Germany for study purposes, you have to apply for the appropriate German Visa, related to the purpose of your travel and stay there – studying.

What follows is the explanation of 3 (three) types of German Visas for study purposes:

Language Course Visa (Visa for Language Learning) – is the perfect option for those that want or need to learn the German language in Germany.

Student Applicant Visa (Visum Zur Studienbewerbung) – if you want to study in Germany, but are still trying to find the right program or you still haven’t got the confirmation letter from your University

Student Visa (Visum Zu Studienzwecken) – if you have already been accepted to a German university.

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Where and How to Apply?

As we stated earlier, the place where you should apply for your visa is the German Embassy or Consulate in your country.

First, you need to schedule an appointment  for a visa interview. On the day of the interview, you should offer your visa application documents.

Additionally, you will need to respond to the interview questions that the consular officer prepares in order to closely examine you as a potential visa candidate.

Leave A Visa Appointment Soon ENOUGH!

Before doing anything else, in order to apply for the Student Schengen Visa you need to set up a visa appointment at the German Embassy or Consulate in your country!

Check up for the available dates and make the appointment in the online system on the website of the German Embassy or Consulate in your country, soon after you will be able to plan your departure time.

Visa Interview

Visa interview is the moment where you meet with the consular officer directly as a visa applicant. The same time you need to present all the visa required documents, as your consular officer asks for them orderly. During a visa appointment the officer also makes you questions about the application, as well as personal ones which you have to answer carefully and truthfully.

Registration at the Resident’s Registration Office

Foreigners who seek to remain in Germany for more than 2 MONTHS they must get the Confirmation on Registration “Meldebestätigung”. To get such a confirmation a foreigner must apply at the local Resident’s Registration Office or “Einwohnermeldeamt”.

Foreigners who seek to remain in Germany for more than 90 DAYS or 3 MONTHS you need to possess the proper residence title. In our case  a Residence Permit “Aufenthaltsgenehmigung” is the appropriate title, intended for study purposes. A residence permit will be issued only upon the application of the visa holder at the Alien Registration Office  “Ausländerbehörde“ in the city where your university is located.

Learn more under: Registration at the Resident’s Registration Office for Study Purposes

Important Things To Know as a German Visa applicant and/or Holder

Additional documents can be required by the visa officer upon the visa interview

Appear in person in the visa interview

Be cautious about your passport validity- it needs to be valid for your entire period of stay, including the expected extended period

Bear in mind that the incomplete visa application can be refused

Do not stick your photographs in the visa application form

Don’t take anyone with you to the Embassy or Consulate during a visa interview

Every applicant is authorised to take legal actions against the embassy or consulate decision on her/his visa application

Getting your Visa For Study Purposes is important, instead of a Tourist Visa -because it gives you the opportunity to get a residence permit once in Germany REMEMBER that a Tourist Visa cannot be extended further while in Germany, in case you need to stay longer!

If the applicant is considered to represent a risk for the security and public order of the Schengen Area the visa will be rejected

In case of visa rejection the applicant gets informed about the main reason of rejection

Make sure for your trip to Germany to be scheduled early enough so you will have the needed time in disposition to enrol in university

Original documents can be required upon the arrival at the airport

Schengen Visa is not automatically given – so you have to wait for up to 4 MONTHS to get a response from the Embassy or Consulate and there is no guarantee you will be granted with a visa

The application form can be downloaded freely on the website of the Embassy or Consulate in your country

The passport remains at the Embassy / Consulate during the entire process of visa proceeding

Visa appointments should be made only through the online system (not by phone, e-mail, fax or in person)

Visa Fee will not be reimbursed in case of visa refusal

Paying your Student Visa

Applicants have to pay the visa fees by a bank transfer. Student visa as of 2008 is 60 Euro. Cheques or credit cards are not accepted. The money order must be in the name of the Consulate in your home country and not older than two months.

Please be aware that you will not get reimburse the visa fee if your application for a student visa gets rejected.

 

Life in USA
Education in USA
USA Visa
Life in USA

Student life in the United States is an incredibly unique experience, especially when compared to the experience that you may get in a country like the United Kingdom or Canada. This is likely due to the fact that many students who obtain a secondary school education in the United States end up going on to university, and it is considered a part of the process of “growing up” in American culture.

The independence and adventure associated with going to university is going to rub off on you, even if you are an international student in the United States.

 

Take Advantage of This Time in Your Life

One of the best pieces of advice that we have for any college student is that, no matter whether you decide to go to the United States or another country to study or not, make sure that you get involved. Enjoy every opportunity that you have available at your university, even outside of your field of study. When studying abroad, it’s important to take advantage of everything because you may never have those opportunities again.

The United States is a very diverse country and there is a lot to see and enjoy while you are there. Make connections and see if you can find places that are off the beaten path and learn more about the area that you reside in. Just get involved and do everything that you can.

 

Residence Life

Unlike most international universities, many colleges and universities in the United States offer on-campus housing that is not in the middle of a town. Most college campuses in the United States are their own separate areas of a town, and they have dormitories that their undergraduate (and sometimes graduate) students can reside in. These dormitories become small communities, where you can meet other people who attend the university and enjoy particular activities with the people in your residence hall.

 

Weekend Fun

So, you’ve hit the weekend and you’ve got some free time. What do you do? Many college towns have a lively nightlife, with bars and clubs that you can enjoy. Unlike most countries, the drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age, so even though you may be able to drink when in your home country, you cannot in the United States unless you are 21. This may limit your involvement in the night life, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy.

Many restaurants and pubs in college areas are open until late in the evening on the weekends, so you can go get a bite to eat with some friends if you wish.

There are also a number of live events that occur on the weekends across college campuses and in college towns. Make sure to check out the websites for the area that you live in; you may be able to find fun festivals and other activities to check out during the year. Most states have a state fair that you may be able to check out as well. The activities may also change with the seasons; if you are in the northeast, you can ski in the winter, go to festivals in the spring, enjoy outdoor sports in the summer and go to the fair in the fall. In the south, you can enjoy beaches year round. The activities available to you are highly dependent on the region you live in and what time of year it is.

If you are looking for more things to do while studying in the United States, check out our pages on “10 Places You Must See,” “On-Campus Activities,” and “Sports and Entertainment.” These pages will give you more information about what you can do during your free time while studying in the United States.

There is always something to do during your time in the United States; you just need to take the time to explore the possibilities and make connections so you can enjoy those activities with friends and colleagues.

 

Health Insurance and the Health Care System

Health care in the United States is one of the most controversial topics of the political world in the United States. The health care system is provided by businesses and/or organizations in the private sector; only about a fifth of the hospitals in the United States are owned by government organizations.

 

Health Care and Insurance Information

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States spends more on health care per capita and as part of the GDP than any other country. The health care system is considered to be very inefficient (46th out of 48 countries in a Bloomberg study), and the costs have been high. Almost 20% of the population will be uninsured until the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) comes into play in 2014, which hopes to change many of the above statistics.

Health insurance in the United States comes from a variety of sources, such as private insurances, social insurance, and social welfare (funded by the government). It helps to reduce the costs of insurance for those who may not be able to afford health care costs. Not everyone in the United States is eligible for affordable insurance at this point, however, and due to the increasing costs of health care, more and more Americans have opted not to purchase health insurance. The hope is that the Affordable Care act will help to assist more Americans with obtaining affordable insurance.

 

International Students

Federal and state laws require that those who are studying in the United States maintain adequate health insurance due to the lack of universal health care. This may change after 2014’s health care reform. A single day of being in the hospital can cost thousands of dollars. If you get a good insurance program, you can avoid these costs and have access to some of the best facilities in the country for health care.

Many universities offer their own health insurance policies for international students who are coming to study at their university. In some cases, you may be ineligible for those services. If that is the case, then you need to do some research about policies and how much they will cost. Consider your personal and family health needs when shopping for a policy. The following companies offer health insurance or plans for international students, so consider giving them a look as well.

Gateway USA

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)

Compass Benefits Group

ISO Student Health Insurance

CMI

International SOS

As you can see, it takes a bit of time and energy to dig through the United States health care system. The university that you are looking to attend should help you obtain the information that you need in order to make an informed and affordable decision. The international student affairs advisor and/or office will also have information for you about health care decisions.

 

Scholarships for International Students in the United States

One of the reasons that many international students decide to attend university in the United States is because there are a lot of scholarships available for them. Where can you find these scholarships, and how can you work on obtaining them before you attend school in the United States? That’s what we’re going to explore on this page.

 

Online Scholarship Searches

Before you even get started, please know that you should never, ever have to pay for information about scholarships. If a website asks for monetary information, then you need to avoid it and go with a free search engine instead. Here are some of the websites that you can look at in order to find scholarships specific to international students who want to stud in the United States.

Scholarship Experts has a specific scholarship search available for international students.

The International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search at http://www.iefa.org/ is useful.

Scholarships.com has tips to find scholarships for international students.

About.com’s College Apps site has a page just for international students who wish to study within the United States

 

The International Scholarships webpage can help you find scholarships, no matter where in the world you wish to go to study (even if it’s not the United States!).

These resources are a great place for you to start your scholarship search; that way, you can apply for as many scholarships as you can in order to maximize the amount of financial aid that you are obtaining.

 

Specific Scholarships

There are other, more specific scholarships that you can attain if you are considering study in the United States as well. Some of these scholarships will be granted by your home country, and others may be offered by the university that you are attending in the United States.

Your home country may offer scholarships to those studying abroad. These may be from the government, from your secondary institution, or from a number of other sources. Contact the educational system in your country for more information about these scholarships and how you can apply for them.

You may also be able to receive scholarships from the university you are attending. There scholarships are actually the main reason that many students decide to study in the United States; there are a number of universities that are incredibly generous with their funding for international students.

This U.S. News and World Report article focuses on the schools that offer their international students the most money in scholarships per year if you would like a quick look at how much money you may be able to get for your studies in the United States.

If you are looking for ways to obtain financial aid other than scholarships, then take a look at our page about financial aid in the United States. That page will give you more information about navigating the financial aid system in the United States so that you can obtain grants and/or loans that will help supplement your educational costs while you study in the United States.

 

Regions of the United States

There are dozens of ways that organizations split up the United States into specific regions. Sports teams do it one way, the government does it about ten different ways, and some Americans don’t even know what region they live in. In this article, we’re going to take a brief look at the nine regions of the United States as they are divided by the United States Census Bureau.

Pacific Region

The Pacific region is one of the nine regions as determined by the Census Bureau. Five states are part of this region: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. These are the only states that have any borders on the Pacfiic Ocean. This region is considered to be a subregion of the Western United States, but is divided from the Mountain States because of vast differences in climate and ideologies between the two subregions. Many students will travel to the Pacific Region due to the diversity and perceived “open-mindedness” of this region.

The Mountain States

The Mountain States are another region as determined by the Census Bureau. The name for this region comes from the proximity of the Rocky Mountain range to each of these states. In some cases, these states are further separated into the Northwest Mountain States (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) and the Southwest United States (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah). These states have higher elevations than anywhere in the United States. Several of the Mountain States have excellent schools that many international students consider attending.

The East North Central Region

The East North Central region contains Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Many people will refer to this area and its West North Central counterpart as the “Midwest” region of the United States. Historically, many of these states were part of the Northwest Territory. This region also borders on the Great Lakes, which makes the region a bit more temperate (it has four seasons, unlike other regions of the United States). This region is known for being one of the more inexpensive areas in the country to live, work, and/or study.

West North Central Region

The West North Central region consists of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Mississippi River separates the West North Central region from its eastern counterpart. Many of the states in the West North Central region have rich farmland, and that has helped to develop the nickname “the Heartland.” The West North Central region is a popular location for students to live because of the low unemployment rates and abundance of affordable housing.

New England

New England is the northeastern corner of the United States; there are six states in this region (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut). New England was part of the original 13 colonies that became the United States after the Revolutionary War. The earliest English settlements were located in this region (around Boston, Massachusetts). This region is historically rich and has a number of excellent universities that you can choose from. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive areas of the United States to reside, but that should not discourage you from studying in the New England region.

Mid-Atlantic Region

The Mid-Atlantic region of the United States is located in the “middle” of what is referred to as the East Coast. There is some debate (depending on the source) as to what is included in this region, but traditionally, these states are Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., New York, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Mid Atlantic is considered to be the “stereotypical American” region due to its influence on culture, commerce, trade, industry, and innovation. This region is also incredibly diverse, which makes it an ideal place for an international student to consider.

 

South Atlantic Region

The South Atlantic Region consists of the following states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It is one of the regions that is considered to be part of “the South.” This region has a warmer climate than its North Atlantic counterparts. The South Atlantic Region has a lot of places that are popular with international students, especially in the state of Florida, where many international students will consider studying.

 

East South Central States

The East South Central States, along with the South Atlantic and the West South Central States, are considered to be part of “the south.” These states include Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. This region is referred to as “Old Dixie” by several books. This region is known as being part of the core of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and all four of these states are very similar in topography and culture. There are several high-quality universities in the East South Central region that international students consider for their education.

 

West South Central States

The last region we will discuss is the West South Central region. Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas are the four states that make up this region. This region is incredibly diverse, especially in Texas, and many of the residents of this region are “traditional southerners.” Many of these people have independent spirits and much of the culture reflects that mindset. There are several excellent universities in this region that people from all over the world attend for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

As you can see, each of these regions is unique in terms of geography, history, culture, and education. This will be very important to understand when determining where in the United States you want to study. In this guide, we will do our best to give you an overview of what you can expect throughout the United States, instead of trying to focus on each region individually.

 

History of the United States

The history of the United States is incredibly expansive and can provide us with a lot of information about the current state of the United States, even if you are not a resident of the country. Many universities in the United States require students to take at least one, if not two, history classes which may include American history. This is why we are providing you with this page, which will give you a general overview of the history of the United States.

 

Early American History

In schools in the United States, the history of America begins with either the prehistory of the indigenous population or with the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. In recent times, the former of these approaches has become increasingly common in the classroom.

European colonists began arriving in what is now known as the United States shortly after 1600. The majority of these colonists were sent to the Americas by England. They continued to send their citizens to colonize the United States until there were around two and a half million people scattered across thirteen colonies in the ‘New World.’ In the 1770’s, the colonies were flourishing, and developed their own autonomous political and legal systems. The colonies had grown rapidly and with the development of the aforementioned systems, the British Parliament saw cause for concern. The Parliament asserted its authority in the form of new taxes for the colonists. The colonists protested the taxes as unconstitutional because they were not given representation in the establishment of said taxes. What started as a small conflict rapidly built into a civil war declared in April of 1775. Cessation from England was declared with Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776, becoming for the first time the United States of America.

 

The Revolutionary War

Under the leadership of General George Washington and the monetary contributions of the French, the newly formed United States won its freedom in the Revolutionary War, which ended in 1783. During the Revolutionary War, the colonies came together under the Articles of Confederation, which established a paltry federal government. The document was deemed insufficient and was rewritten, and the new Constitution was adopted in 1789. Under the Constitution, which included a Bill of Rights, the new government was formed and George Washington was elected as the first President. The new government under this document was strong, even with the first party system of the new nation, a two party system much like it has in the present day. Under a later president, Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s size was doubled with the purchase of Louisiana Territory from France. A final war was fought with England in 1812, which resulted in a victory for the United States, and the cessation of European support for the attacks on western settlers from the indigenous people.

Expansion and the Civil War

Through the efforts of the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democrats, the territory owned by the United States was extended out to Oregon and California, in opposition to the Whig party who wanted to modernize and strengthen the economy and society instead of expanding the geography under the banner of Manifest Destiny. The Democrats strove to increase the land for the farmers and slave owners who favored the Democrats, even at the cost of war, bloodshed, and growing disdain for European culture. By 1804, the Mason-Dixon line had been established as the northern boundary for slave owners, though they flourished in the south under the demand for American cotton.

The constant debate and subsequent compromises on the issue of slavery shaped the history of the United States dominated the country’s history in the early and mid 1800’s, culminating in the Republican power in the north declaring to stop the expansion of slavery beyond the states that already allowed it, and Abraham Lincoln being elected to the office of President of the United States. Lincoln’s election caused a large scale rebellion in the south, and eleven states seceded, becoming the Confederate States of America and triggering a war over slavery and reunification. The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865, and ended with the north triumphing, thereby reuniting the United States and abolishing slavery. A reconstruction era followed, lasting until 1877, wherein the south was impoverished, and slaves were freed and given voting rights. Despite these steps forward, there was still segregation of people based on skin color lasting from the 1890’s until the 1960’s under the Jim Crow system. Through the mid 1900’s the North and West grew and prospered, while the south remained in poverty, finally recovering in the late 1940’s.

 

The 20th Century

In the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s, the United States developed into the world’s leading industrial power. This sudden boom was due largely in part to an influx of immigrant laborers from Europe and an expansion in the entrepreneurship of the North. Trade and development was further boosted by the completion of the national railroad network, allowing better industrialization in the north and west. Social reform agendas were pushed through by the Progressive Movement in this time period, driven by the dissatisfaction of the middle class and resulting in women’s rights and the temporary prohibition of alcohol. The United States started as a neutral party in World War I, but ended up declaring war on Germany in 1917 and funded the Allied victory. After a period of prosperity, the country was plunged into the Great Depression, a period of economic misfortune that had global impact in 1929. F.D. Roosevelt became president and implemented a series of reforms, dragging the country out of its decade long depression. In 1941, the United States, again starting as a neutral party, was brought into World War II by the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Through the invention and detonation of the Atomic Bomb, the war against the Axis powers was brought to an end.

The Soviet Union and the United States remained in opposition after this war. The tensions between the two nations gave rise to the Cold War, a fifty year conflict centered around an arms race that lead to the Space Race. The United States focused on the containment of Communism during this area, and participated in both the Korean and Vietnam wars to prevent its spread. The cold war ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved, leaving the United States as the sole superpower. In recent years, there has been a strong focus on the countries of the Middle East, intensified by terrorist attacks. The United States declared a War on Terrorism as a result of these attacks, specifically the bombing of the World Trade Center in September of 2001 that threw the country into an economic recession.

The United States has an incredibly diverse and varied history. If you would like more information about the history of the United States, take a look at the Independence Hall Association’s United States history page at http://www.ushistory.org/.

 

Education in USA

The American education system offers a rich field of choices for international students. There is such an array of schools, programs and locations that the choices may overwhelm students, even those from the U.S. As you begin your school search, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the American education system. Understanding the system will help you narrow your choices and develop your education plan.

 

The Educational Structure

 

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL

Prior to higher education, American students attend primary and secondary school for a combined total of 12 years. These years are referred to as the first through twelfth grades.

Around age six, U.S. children begin primary school, which is most commonly called “elementary school.” They attend five or six years and then go onto secondary school.

Secondary school consists of two programs: the first is “middle school” or “junior high school” and the second program is “high school.” A diploma or certificate is awarded upon graduation from high school. After graduating high school (12th grade), U.S. students may go on to college or university. College or university study is known as “higher education.”

 

GRADING SYSTEM

Just like American students, you will have to submit your academic transcripts as part of your application for admission to university or college. Academic transcripts are official copies of your academic work. In the U.S. this includes your “grades” and “grade point average” (GPA), which are measurements of your academic achievement. Courses are commonly graded using percentages, which are converted into letter grades.

The grading system and GPA in the U.S. can be confusing, especially for international students. The interpretation of grades has a lot of variation. For example, two students who attended different schools both submit their transcripts to the same university. They both have 3.5 GPAs, but one student attended an average high school, while the other attended a prestigious school that was academically challenging. The university might interpret their GPAs differently because the two schools have dramatically different standards.

Therefore, there are some crucial things to keep in mind:

You should find out the U.S. equivalent of the last level of education you completed in your home country.

Pay close attention to the admission requirements of each university and college, as well as individual degree programs, which may have different requirements than the university.

Regularly meet with an educational advisor or guidance counselor to make sure you are meeting the requirements.

Your educational advisor or guidance counselor will be able to advise you on whether or not you must spend an extra year or two preparing for U.S. university admission. If an international student entered a U.S. university or college prior to being eligible to attend university in their own country, some countries’ governments and employers may not recognize the students’ U.S. education.

 

ACADEMIC YEAR

The school calendar usually begins in August or September and continues through May or June. The majority of new students begin in autumn, so it is a good idea for international students to also begin their U.S. university studies at this time. There is a lot of excitement at the beginning of the school year and students form many great friendships during this time, as they are all adjusting to a new phase of academic life. Additionally, many courses are designed for students to take them in sequence, starting in autumn and continuing through the year.

The academic year at many schools is composed of two terms called “semesters.” (Some schools use a three-term calendar known as the “trimester” system.) Still, others further divide the year into the quarter system of four terms, including an optional summer session. Basically, if you exclude the summer session, the academic year is either comprised of two semesters or three quarter terms.

 

THE U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM: LEVELS OF STUDY

 

First Level: Undergraduate

A student who is attending a college or university and has not earned a bachelor’s degree, is studying at the undergraduate level. It typically takes about four years to earn a bachelor’s degree. You can either begin your studies in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at a community college or a four-year university or college.

Your first two years of study you will generally be required to take a wide variety of classes in different subjects, commonly known as prerequisite courses: literature, science, the social sciences, the arts, history, and so forth. This is so you achieve a general knowledge, a foundation, of a variety of subjects prior to focusing on a specific field of study.

Many students choose to study at a community college in order to complete the first two years of prerequisite courses. They will earn an Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree and then transfer to a four-year university or college.

A “major” is the specific field of study in which your degree is focused. For example, if someone’s major is journalism, they will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. You will be required to take a certain number of courses in this field in order to meet the degree requirements of your major. You must choose your major at the beginning of your third year of school.

A very unique characteristic of the American higher education system is that you can change your major multiple times if you choose. It is extremely common for American students to switch majors at some point in their undergraduate studies. Often, students discover a different field that they excel in or enjoy. The American education system is very flexible. Keep in mind though that switching majors may result in more courses, which means more time and money.

Second Level: Graduate in Pursuit of a Master’s Degree

Presently, a college or university graduate with a bachelor’s degree may want to seriously think about graduate study in order to enter certain professions or advance their career. This degree is usually mandatory for higher-level positions in library science, engineering, behavioral health and education.

Furthermore, international students from some countries are only permitted to study abroad at a graduate level. You should inquire about the credentials needed to get a job in your country before you apply to a postgraduate university in the USA.

A graduate program is usually a division of a university or college. To gain admission, you will need to take the GRE (graduate record examination). Certain master’s programs require specific tests, such as the LSAT for law school, the GRE or GMAT for business school, and the MCAT for medical school.

Graduate programs in pursuit of a master’s degree typically take one to two years to complete. For example, the MBA (master of business administration) is an extremely popular degree program that takes about two years. Other master’s programs, such as journalism, only take one year.

The majority of a master’s program is spent in classroom study and a graduate student must prepare a long research paper called a “master’s thesis” or complete a “master’s project.”

Third Level: Graduate in Pursuit of a Doctorate Degree

Many graduate schools consider the attainment of a master’s degree the first step towards earning a PhD (doctorate). But at other schools, students may prepare directly for a doctorate without also earning a master’s degree. It may take three years or more to earn a PhD degree. For international students, it may take as long as five or six years.

For the first two years of the program most doctoral candidates enroll in classes and seminars. At least another year is spent conducting firsthand research and writing a thesis or dissertation. This paper must contain views, designs, or research that have not been previously published.

A doctoral dissertation is a discussion and summary of the current scholarship on a given topic. Most U.S. universities awarding doctorates also require their candidates to have a reading knowledge of two foreign languages, to spend a required length of time “in residence,” to pass a qualifying examination that officially admits candidates to the PhD program, and to pass an oral examination on the same topic as the dissertation.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

 

Classroom Environment

Classes range from large lectures with several hundred students to smaller classes and seminars (discussion classes) with only a few students. The American university classroom atmosphere is very dynamic. You will be expected to share your opinion, argue your point, participate in class discussions and give presentations. International students find this one of the most surprising aspects of the American education system.

Each week professors usually assign textbook and other readings. You will be expected to keep up-to-date with the required readings and homework so you can participate in class discussions and understand the lectures. Certain degree programs also require students to spend time in the laboratory.

Professors issue grades for each student enrolled in the course. Grades are usually based upon:

Each professor will have a unique set of class participation requirements, but students are expected to participate in class discussions, especially in seminar classes. This is often a very important factor in determining a student’s grade.

A midterm examination is usually given during class time.

One or more research or term papers, or laboratory reports must be submitted for evaluation.

Possible short exams or quizzes are given. Sometimes professors will give an unannounced “pop quiz.” This doesn’t count heavily toward the grade, but is intended to inspire students to keep up with their assignments and attendance.

A final examination will be held after the final class meeting.


Credits

Each course is worth a certain number of credits or credit hours. This number is roughly the same as the number of hours a student spends in class for that course each week. A course is typically worth three to five credits.

A full-time program at most schools is 12 or 15 credit hours (four or five courses per term) and a certain number of credits must be fulfilled in order to graduate. International students are expected to enroll in a full-time program during each term.

 

Transfers

If a student enrolls at a new university before finishing a degree, generally most credits earned at the first school can be used to complete a degree at the new university. This means a student can transfer to another university and still graduate within a reasonable time.

 

Types of U.S. higher education

  1. STATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY

A state school is supported and run by a state or local government. Each of the 50 U.S. states operates at least one state university and possibly several state colleges. Many of these public universities schools have the name of the state, or the actual word “State” in their names: for example, Washington State University and the University of Michigan.

 

  1. PRIVATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY

These schools are privately run as opposed to being run by a branch of the government. Tuition will usually be higher than state schools. Often, private U.S. universities and colleges are smaller in size than state schools.

Religiously affiliated universities and colleges are private schools. Nearly all these schools welcome students of all religions and beliefs. Yet, there are a percentage of schools that prefer to admit students who hold similar religious beliefs as those in which the school was founded.

 

  1. COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Community colleges are two-year colleges that award an associate’s degrees (transferable), as well as certifications. There are many types of associate degrees, but the most important distinguishing factor is whether or not the degree is transferable. Usually, there will be two primary degree tracks: one for academic transfer and the other prepares students to enter the workforce straightaway. University transfer degrees are generally associate of arts or associate of science. Not likely to be transferrable are the associate of applied science degrees and certificates of completion.

Community college graduates most commonly transfer to four-year colleges or universities to complete their degree. Because they can transfer the credits they earned while attending community college, they can complete their bachelor’s degree program in two or more additional years. Many also offer ESL or intensive English language programs, which will prepare students for university-level courses.

If you do not plan to earn a higher degree than the associate’s, you should find out if an associate’s degree will qualify you for a job in your home country.

 

  1. INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

An institute of technology is a school that provides at least four years of study in science and technology. Some have graduate programs, while others offer short-term courses.

 

USA Visa

 

F1 Student Visa - to Study in the USA

Do You want to obtain an F1 visa to study in the USA ?
- if you do read below about the process, FAQ's and requirements to get an F1 visa.

Or, are you already a student on F1 visa status who wants to find a job to obtain a work visa, to stay in the USA ?
- if you do and you qualify for OPT continue here >, or if you want to obtain an H1B visa continue here >



If you're overseas and want to study in the USA, there are two student visa categories available:

1) The primary USA study visa is an F1 visa which is for 'academic' studies, and 
2) the second type of study visa is an M visa is for 'nonacademic or vocational' studies. 



How to Obtain a Visa to Study in the USA 
The first step for a prospective student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school

(University/College) which is SEVP certified . In general, for academic students, including those in language

 training, F1 visas are the appropriate category, and for nonacademic vocational students an M visa is

the appropriate category



Student F1 Visa interviews will require the following documentation:
- Your Form I-20 
- SEVIS I-901 receipt 
- Signed passport (must be valid for 6 months after entry into the US) 
- Transcripts or diplomas from current or previous institutions
- Program of study description 
- Accommodation information 
- Evidence of funds to cover tuition and living expenses for either the length of
your study or one year, whichever is shorter. 
- Your local US Embassy/Consulate might require additional forms such as
DS-156, DS-157A, DS-158A. They are available online or at your local embassy/consulate.Once you are granted a

U.S. entrance visa , notify the school of your expected arrival date, and obtain a new I-20 if the dates have been

deferred. Also, be sure to confirm your housing and transportation arrangements in advance

of your departure from your home country. Keep in mind that you can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before

your program start date.

 



Upon arrival at a United States Port of Entry you must present:
Your Form I-20, signed by the DSO of the school you will attend 
Your I-94 
A valid visa containing your SEVIS identification number and the name of the school you will be attending (BIR) 
Financial documentation 
A valid passport 

The Customs and Border Protection inspector will stamp your Form I-20 and Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record Form) after determining that you are eligible for entry. This document is proof that you entered the U.S. legally. You should keep the Form I-94 safe throughout your stay in the U.S. 
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F1 Visa FAQ's:

When Do I Need to Apply for My USA Student Visa? 
Students are encouraged to apply for their visa early to provide ample time for visa processing. Students may apply for their study visa as soon as they are prepared to do so. Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your USA student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date. If you apply for your study visa more than 120 days prior to your start date or registration date as provided on the Form I-20, the Embassy or Consulate will hold your application until it is able to issue the visa. Consular officials will use that extra time for application processing. Students are advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which requires that all initial or beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S. A beginning student who wants an earlier entry into the U.S. (more than 30 days prior to the course start date), must qualify for, and obtain a visitor visa. A prospective student notation will be shown on his/her visitor visa and the traveler will need to make the intent to study clear to the U.S. immigration inspector at port of entry. Before beginning any studies, he or she must obtain approval for a change to Exchange Visitor status, filing Form I-539 , Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status and pay the fee. Also you must submit the required Form I-20 to the Department of Homeland Security office where the application is made. Please be aware that one can not begin studies until the change of classification is approved. Continuing students may apply for a new visa at any time, as long as they have been maintaining student status and their SEVIS records are current. Continuing students may also enter the USA at any time before their classes start. 

What is SEVIS and SEVP? What should prospective students know about it?
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is designed to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State better monitor school and exchange programs and F1, M1 and J1 visa category visitors. Exchange visitor and student information is maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F1 and M visa), exchange visitors (J1 visa), and their dependents (F2, M2, and J2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory information and event notifications via the Internet, to the DHS and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor's stay in the United States. Select SEVIS to go to the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Internet site and learn more. All student applicants must have a SEVIS generated I-20 issued by an educational institution approved by DHS, which they submit when they are applying for their student visa. Your school is responsible for entering your information for the I-20 student visa form into SEVIS. The consular officer will need to verify your I-20 record electronically through the SEVIS system in order to process your student visa application. Unless otherwise exempt, all F-1 or M-1 principal applicants must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the DHS for each individual program. See the SEVP Fact Sheet for a fee list. See SEVIS-901 Fee for further information on how to pay the fee. 

Qualifying for a USA Study Visa 
The Immigration and National Act is very specific with regard to the requirements which must be met by applicants to qualify for the student visa. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet student visa requirements including: Have a residence abroad, with no immediate intention of abandoning that residence; Intend to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study; and Possess sufficient funds to pursue the proposed course of study. 

Applying for a F1 Student Visa 
As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview, unless requested by embassy or consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged. Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate worldwide is available on our website at Visa Wait Times , and on most embassy websites. Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply. During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing , which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer. Also, because each student’s personal and academic situation is different, two students applying for same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different additional documents. 

Required USA Study Visa Documentation
Each applicant for a student visa must submit these forms and documentation as explained below: Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F1 Student Status-For Academic and Language Students or Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant M1 Student Status for Vocational Students. Y

ou will need to submit a SEVIS generated Form, I-20, which was provided to you by your school.You and your school official must sign the I-20 form. See the previous section for SEVIS information. Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process. A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application. One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Nonimmigrant Visa photograph requirements; A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee. The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt. All applicants should be prepared to provide: Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended; Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.; Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor own a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements. 

What are the Required F1 Visa Fees? 
Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview. Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is. If there is a fee for issuance for the visa, it is equal as nearly as possible to the fee charged to United States citizens by the applicant's country of nationality. 

Family: Spouses and Children of F1 Students
Applicants with dependents must also provide: Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.); It is preferred that families apply for F1 and F2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents. 

Additional Information for Students
No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued. Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 

Entering the USA to Study - Port of Entry 
A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the USA. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. Student visa visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States. In advance of travel, students should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program. In addition, some travelers will also need to register their entry into and their departure from the U.S. with the Special Registration program. If you are allowed to enter the USA, the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the USA, it’s very important to keep in your passport. 

Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the USA and Being Out of Visa Status 
It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Information on successfully maintaining your immigration status while a student or exchange visitor can be found on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website. Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the DHS causes you to be out-of-status in the United States, which is a violation of U.S. immigration laws. This may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the U.S. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more. Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized, even by one day, results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with immigration law, INA 222(g). In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality. 

What Items Do Returning F1 Visa Students Need? 
All applicants applying for renewals must submit: All items listed in the Required Documentation section and; A new I-20 or an I-20 that has been endorsed on the back by a school official within the past 12 months. 

Students Away from Classes More Than Five Months
Students in or outside the USA, who have been away from classes for more than five months, will likely need a new visa to enter the USA 

How long may I stay on my F1 Student visa? 
When you enter the USA on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full time student, even if the F1 visa in your passport expires while you are in America. For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in the U.S. before departure: F1 student - An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the USA or to transfer to another school. 

M1 student - An additional 30 days to depart the USA (Fixed time period, in total not to exceed one year). The 30 days to prepare for departure is permitted as long as the student maintained a full course of study and maintained status. An M student may receive extensions up to three years for the total program. As an example regarding duration of status, if you have a visa that is valid for five years that will expire on January 1, 2009, and you are admitted into the U.S. for the duration of your studies (often abbreviated in your passport or on your I-94 card as "D/S"), you may stay in the USA as long as you are a full time student. Even if January 1 passes and your visa expires while in America, you will still be in legal student status. However, if you depart the USA with an expired visa, you will need to obtain a new one, applying at an Embassy abroad, before being able to return to America and resume your studies. 

OPT: Optional Practical Training
Students who are authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) must have an I-20 endorsed for OPT, and provide a USCIS-issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD). When authorized, Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to the eligible F1 student’s area of study. 

Attending Public Secondary School 
There are certain restrictions on student F1 visa holders attending public school in the USA. 

How Do I Extend My Stay in the USA? 
Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. 

How Do I Change My Student Visa Status?
Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the USA, are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website. Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the USA, does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the USA while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a US. Embassy or Consulate abroad. 

Further Student Visa Inquiries
Questions on study visa application procedures and visa ineligibilities should be made to the USA Embassy or Consulate abroad by the applicant. 


If you are going to the USA primarily for tourism , but want to take a short course of study which is recreational, and the course is less than 18 hours per week, you may be able to do so on a visitor visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. When traveling to the U.S. to attend seminars or conferences for credit towards a degree, then you'll need a student visa.

 

Life in Canada
Visa in Canada
Life in Canada

Canada is known as a picturesque nation of cultural diversity, friendly people, and tolerant attitudes towards foreigners. Nearly a fifth of Canada’s students are welcomed from other nations, and at IEC Abroad we’ve helped many of them to settle in the country, so here are some of the basics international students in Canada may need to know about Canadian life.

 

STUDENT CULTURE IN CANADA

Canadian culture is influenced by British and French traditions, but its historical openness towards immigration means the country is a melting pot of many different cultures. Canadians are big fans of professional sports, with the most popular being the National Hockey League. Most Canadian cities host numerous sporting events, theatrical productions, and musical performances; and many emerging artists often play at university campus venues.

 

MANNERS AND BEHAVIOUR

Canadians are a polite and community-oriented people who encourage foreigners to retain and share their own cultural practices. Their manners are similar to those found in America and Britain, and Canada also has a reputation as one of the safest countries on earth. The nation’s liberal attitudes make it a fantastic place to study for international students of any background.

 

FOOD & CUISINE

Canadian cuisine goes far beyond the maple syrup and poutine stereotype, and thanks to French and British ancestry the nation offers a diverse set of dishes catering for every taste. Whether you sample the traditional French fayre offered up in Quebec, or the smoked meats, bagels and tarts who owe their existence to the country’s Jewish population, most international students in Canada are likely to find something to remind them of home.

 

STUDENT ACCOMMODATION IN CANADA

Most universities offer on-campus housing, with first-year students often prioritised for rooms. These are dormitory style dwellings which may or may not come with shared amenities such as kitchens or bathrooms. Students who are uncomfortable with the idea of living in a mixed sex area should inform the university of their requirements prior to reserving a room. Off-campus housing is also available in the form of family placement or private rentals.

 

COST OF STUDYING IN CANADA FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Students typically need between $15,000 and $30,000 Cdn per year to study in Canada, a figure which includes tuition, accommodation, and other living expenses. You will pay $15 Cdn for a typical restaurant meal, $6 Cdn for a domestic bottle of beer, and $2 Cdn for milk or bread. Monthly transport passes are priced approximately $90 Cdn, and the average cost of basic utilities is $150 Cdn per month. Apartment costs vary wildly between regions, costing between $400-$1500 Cdn per month.

 

WORK AND STUDY IN CANADA

To work and study in Canada you must adhere to the rules of your study permit. International students are allowed to work jobs on campus with a valid study permit, but you must ensure that the company is legitimately university affiliated. Off-campus work is also allowed for a maximum of 20 hours per week, but only if you possess a work permit or a study permit which states your eligibility.

 

If you would like more specific details on what living in Canada is like for an international student, contact IEC Abroad today for expert, tailored advice.

 

Visa in Canada

Student Visa Canada

  1. Decide on a university to apply to and get your acceptance letter

If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Canada, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at a Canadian university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa application.

Find the right universities depending on the discipline you want to study:

Consider some of the best universities in Canada:

  1. Check if you need a student visa for Canada

You don’t need a study visa (or study permit) for Canada if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You are a family or staff member of a foreign representative in Canada, who is accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
  • You enrol in a programme that lasts less than six months
  • You are a member of foreign armed forces from the Visiting Forces Act
  • You are a citizen of another country, but you have an Indian status registered in Canada

However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.

  1. Apply for the Canadian student visa

As soon as you got the acceptance letter from the university, it is time to proceed to the next step: applying for a student visa, which is locally known as a student permit.

The first steps to obtain your student visa:

  • Apply online for your Canadian student visa, on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website before you arrive in Canada;
  • In countries with limited internet access it's also possible to apply for visa on paper;
  • Provide an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (a university recognized by the Canadian government);
  • Deliver proof of sufficient financial resources to support your studies in Canada (tuition fees and living expenses);
  • Have no criminal record;
  • Submit clinical records that state you are in good health and complete medical examinations if required.

According to recent visa regulations, if you have a family member working or applying for a work permit in Canada, the application for your study permit will be processed in two weeks.You may renew or extend your study permit, if you wish to continue your studies or if your programme has an extension or if you change your school. The study permit expires ninety days after your studies are finished when you receive a notification of the programme completion.

Useful tip: check out if your country is on the list of biometrics requests for the study permit.

  1. Prepare all required documents for the student visa in Canada
  • Completed application form;
  • The original letter of acceptance from the university;
  • A valid passport/travel document, which also allows you to return to your home country. If you live in the U.S.A., this is not necessary;
  • Two recent passport-size photographs, with specifications of name and date of birth on the back;
  • Proof of financial support during your studies that represent: tuition fee + 833 CAD/month (for all provinces, except Quebec) or tuition fee + 917 CAD/month (Quebec);
  • A letter of explanation;
  • If you intend to study in Quebec, you will also need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, English and French translations for your document, a statement from the translator and a certified copy of the original documents;
  • Proof that you paid the study permit fee (150 CAD).
  1. Language requirements for my study in Canada

Unless you come from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require you to submit proof of English language proficiency. Accepted language tests are:

  • IELTS
  • Cambridge English: Advanced
  • TOEFL

Proof of your language skills is not included on the list of required documents for a Canadian student visa. But it is a good idea to have some proof of English ability, just in case.

  1. Biometrics appointment and interview

Depending on the requirements for your country, you might have to show up at a Visa Application Centre in your country to have your biometrics taken. The biometric fee is 85 CAD. This fee is in addition to the regular visa fee. Some countries are exempt from the biometrics visit, so it's likely they won't need to visit an application centre at all.

 

Life in Italy
Education in Italy
Visa in Italy
Life in Italy

Italy is home to the world's oldest university - the University of Bologna, founded in 1088 - and its historic institutions are credited with initiating the Renaissance. The country has also produced some of the world's most influential thinkers, from Roman philosopher Cicero and medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas, to Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, and astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei. But access to education was restricted and illiteracy in southern and rural regions of Italy remained high well into the twentieth century.

 

Today, approximately 60 per cent of Italians aged 20 to 24 are enrolled in tertiary education, according to data gathered by the European Commission. But, with a high dropout rate of 60 per cent, only 17 per cent of Italians hold a university degree - well below the OECD average of 33 per cent. Furthermore, university enrolment continues to vary considerably between regions. In northern and central parts of Italy more than 75 per cent of university-aged people are enrolled on a course, whereas in the south of the country it's much lower, at around 40 per cent.

 

Paying up

The responsibility for universities in Italy lies primarily with the national government and the overwhelming majority of the country's 89 universities are public institutions, funded by the state. As a result, tuition fees are kept low. But universities retain the right to set their own fees, so the cost of studying for a degree varies according to the institution, the course - with sciences and medical degrees generally more expensive than those in humanities or social studies - and the annual income of each student's family. The amount a student has to pay to study is calculated on a means-tested basis related to their family's wealth and, in practice, they pay between €850 and €1,000 (£700 to £850) per year.

Because the government heavily subsidises universities, student loans aren't available in Italy and it's expected that each student's family will foot the bill for their education. Italian students avoid graduating with a mountain of debt, but it also means that their choice of university and course is dependent on what their family can afford. Alba de Luca, a student from Naples who studied materials engineering at the University of Naples Federico II, says: "Most Italian students expect to study at a local university in the city they come from so they can live at home with their family and save money. Erasmus schemes are popular so students can have the experience of moving away from home for a few months."

Although the Italian government funds undergraduate degrees, Alba says there's very little investment in postgraduate research, which prompted her to complete her PhD in bio-medicine at the University of Manchester. She adds: "As a result of the economic crisis we're having in Italy, the government is cutting funding for education and it's causing a lot of problems for the universities."

 

Hit the books

Education in Italy is compulsory for children aged six to 15. Entry to university is gained on successful completion of high school at age 19, and many of the more prestigious universities also require students to sit admissions tests. University education has three cycles, the first of which is an undergraduate bachelor's degree that lasts for three years. The second cycle is a two year-long postgraduate degree, which Alba explains is "more like a second undergraduate degree" than a masters in the UK, and the final cycle is a research-based PhD, which involves a minimum of three years of study.

 

Italian degrees, whether scientific or artistic, are based on the study of academic theory rather than gaining practical experience or developing transferable skills - a difference which struck Alba when she first arrived in Manchester. She explains: "English students are very confident in the laboratory because they've had lots of practice. In Italy, our degrees are more theoretical and we study the theory from books. We gain very good background knowledge, but then when I moved into the lab I didn't really know what to do." The structure of undergraduate degree courses is also more intensive in Italy and Alba explains that for her bachelor's degree, she "went to university every single day and [was in] classes for about eight hours each day" and adds that it was important to attend every class.

 

Nevertheless, Burhan Khadbai, a second year student at the University of Manchester who completed a summer programme at the University of Bologna last year, found the atmosphere at Bologna "more laid-back compared to the British university system." He continues: "The environment is quite casual and the lecturers have a more sociable relationship with their students. The classes are very small in size, with just 10-12 students, and the student community is very integrated."

 

Most university courses are assessed by formal examinations, but Italian students are under less pressure to achieve a particular result because these exams can be taken whenever the student feels ready - not necessarily at the end of their course - and they can be repeated as many times as the student wishes without unwanted marks being recorded on their final degree transcript.

 

Out on the town

Academics take precedence over extra-curricular activities at Italian universities, but enjoying student life is still important. "In Naples, students go out a lot," says Alba. "But it's not just about going to a pub or a club - students go out into the streets and fill the squares where they have a drink and just talk. Even during the week, you'll always find lots of students in the city centre in the evening." Burhan agrees that in Bologna, the student culture was more about enjoying the city's traditional way of life and delicious food than nightlife in the British sense. Student societies are also less important to university life in Italy, says Alba: "I'd never heard about so many societies until I moved to the UK. Italian universities have sports teams, but that's about it." Consequently, applying for jobs comes down to academic achievement and work experience rather than having an array of extra-curricular activities on your CV.

The Italian economy is struggling as a result of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone and youth unemployment stands at 31 per cent, with far fewer jobs available for university graduates than in the past. Yet internships are uncommon in Italy and Alba says "few companies advertise for interns, so the responsibility lies with the student to organise something themselves if that's what they want to do." Furthermore, because exams can be taken at any time, Alba says: "I don't think students feel the pressure to look for a job at the moment because they can extend their degree for as long as they want. Especially if they can live at home with their parents, they don't really care about entering the job market."

 

Education in Italy


Free state education is available to children of all nationalities who are resident in Italy. 

Children attending the Italian education system can start with the Scuola dell'Infanzia also known as Scuola Materna (nursery school), which is non-compulsory, from the age of three. Every child is entitled to a place. 

Scuola Primaria (Primary School)
At age six, children start their formal, compulsory education with the Scuola Primaria also known as Scuola Elementare (Primary School). In order to comply with a European standard for school leaving age, it is possible to enter the Scuola Primaria at any time after the age of five and a half. At Scuola Primaria children learn to read and write and study a wide range of subjects including maths, geography, Italian, English and science. They also have music lessons, computer studies and social studies. Religious instruction is optional. Scuola Primaria lasts for five years. Classes are small with between 10 and 25 pupils. Pupils no longer take a leaving exam at the Scuola Primaria. At the age of eleven they begin their Secondary education. 

Scuola Media (Middle School) 

Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado (First Grade Secondary School)
All children aged between eleven and fourteen must attend the Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado (First Grade Secondary School). Students must attend at least thirty hours of formal lessons per week, although many schools provide additional activities in the afternoons such as computer studies, music lessons and sports activities. Formal lessons cover a broad range of subjects following a National Curriculum set by the Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, MPI (Ministry of Public Education). At the end of each term, students receive a school report. At the end of the third year, students sit a written exam in the subjects of Italian, mathematics, science and a foreign language. There is an oral examination of the other subjects. Successful students are awarded the Licenza di Scuola Media (Licenza Media). They then move onto the Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado (Second Grade Secondary School) 

Scuola Superiore(High School) 

Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado (Second Grade Secondary School)
There are two types of Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado in Italy: the Liceo (like a British grammar school), which is more academic in nature, and an Istituto, which is essentially a vocational school. For the first two years all students use the same state-mandated curriculum of Italian language and literature, science, mathematics, foreign language, religion, geography, history, social studies and physical education. Specialised courses, called 'Indirizzi' begin in the third year. 

Types of Italian High Schools: 

Liceo Classico (Classical High School):
This lasts for five years and prepares the student for university level studies. Latin, Greek and Italian literature form an important part of the curriculum. During the last three years philosophy and history of art are also studied. 

Liceo Scientifico (Scientific High School):
Lasts for five years with an emphasis on physics, chemistry and natural sciences. The student also continues to study Latin and one modern language. 

Liceo Artistico (Fine Arts High School):
Studies can last four to five years and prepare for university studies in painting, sculpture or architecture. 

Istituto Magistrale (Teacher Training School):
Studies last for five years and prepare future primary school teachers. There is also a three year training course for nursery school teachers, but this diploma does not entitle students to then enrol at a university. 

Istituto d'Arte (Artistic Schools):
Studies last three years and prepare for work within an artistic field and leading to an arts qualification (diploma di Maestro d'Arte) 

Istituti Tecnici (Technical Institutes):
Studies last five years and prepare for both university studies and for a vocation. There is a majority of students in technical schools that prepare students to work in a technical or administrative capacity in agriculture, industry or commerce. 

Istituti Professionali (Professional Institutes):
These studies lead, in three or five years, to achievement of a vocational qualification. In order to received the Diploma di Scuola Superiore also known as the Diploma di Maturità (Secondary school diploma), students must pass written and oral exams. The first written exam requires an essay, written in Italian, on an aspect of literature, history, society or science. The second written exam requires the student to write a paper relating to their chosen specialisation. The third exam is more general and includes questions regarding contemporary issues and the student's chosen foreign language. 

After completing the written exams, students must take an oral exam in front of a board of six teachers. This exams covers aspects of their final year at school. Successful students receive various types of Diploma according to the type of school attended. The Diploma di Scuola Superiore is generally recognised as a university entrance qualification, although some universities have additional entrance requirements. 

University is available to all students if they have completed five years of secondary school and received an upper secondary school diploma. It is possible for students who have attended vocational schools to attend university. If a student attended a four-year secondary school program, an additional year of schooling is necessary to qualify for university. 

Those attending university after completing their Diploma di Scuola Superiore go for three years (four years for teaching qualifications) to achieve their Laurea (Bachelor's Degree). 

Vocational education is called the Formazione Professionale. The first part of this lasts for three years, after which they are awarded the Qualifica Professionale. The second part, which lasts for a further two years, leads to the Licenza professionale also known as the Maturità professionale. 

Visa in Italy

Who needs an Italian student visa and what visa do you apply for?

Italy isn’t just part of Europe: it founded it!

That’s why EU/EEA students won’t need to get a visa. Countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, and Spain don’t need to prepare special documents, in order to study in the Boot.

General Italian student visa requirements (regardless of your nationality)

First thing first: the document you should look up is “’D’ National VISA”.

From wherever you come from, that is the main visa students have to apply for, in order to get to stay and study in Italy.

Other general facts and requirements you should know about are:

The duration of the main student visa is 3 months;

Students are advised to apply 3 months before the start of their degree;

The visa fee is of 50 EUR;

You will need to get a yearly health insurance, and the cost of one is around 150 EUR / year;

Students have to provide proof of accommodation, so you should check the available rooms immediately after being accepted to the university.

Italian student visa requirements (dependent on your nationality)

Visa requirements for students coming from India

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 3.746 INR;

Health insurance fee: around 11.240 INR / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 1.015 INR. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 2.260 INR;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is 90 days;

Number of appointments: 1, for your biometrics registering;

Minimum funds proof: 26.228 INR / month;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will have to register your biometrics at the visa application centre;

You can apply at one of the 3 visa application centres in India;

You can schedule a visa appointment by phone with a visa application centre in India. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from India.

Visa requirements for students coming from the United States

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 58 USD;

Health insurance fee: around 174 USD / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 123,5 USD visa fee. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 35 USD;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is 7 to 15 days;

Number of appointments: 1, for your biometrics registering;

Minimum funds proof: 1.048 USD / month;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will have to register your biometrics at the visa application centre;

You can apply at one of the 10 visa application centres in the United States;

You can schedule an online visa appointment with an embassy in the United States. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from the US.

Visa requirements for students coming from Nigeria

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 18.328 NGN;

Health insurance fee: around 54.986 NGN / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 11.078 NGN;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 15 days;

You may have to take a visa interview;

You may need to attend 1 or 2 appointments, during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 329.917 NGN / month;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will have to register your biometrics at the visa application centre;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Nigeria;

You can schedule a visa appointment by phone or e-mail at the Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Nigeria.

Visa requirements for students coming from Pakistan

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 6.133 PKR;

Health insurance fee: around 18.400 PKR / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 3.709 PKR;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 28 days;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 110.401 PKR / month;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will have to register your biometrics at the visa application centre;

You may need to purchase a travel insurance;

You can apply at one of the 2 visa application centres in Pakistan;

You can schedule a visa appointment by phone or e-mail at a visa application centre in Pakistan. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Pakistan.

Visa requirements for students coming from Canada

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 73 CAD;

Health insurance fee: around 219 CAD / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 44 CAD;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 15 days;

Minimum funds proof: 1.317 CAD / month;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will have to register your biometrics at the visa application centre;

You can apply at one of the 4 visa application centres in Canada;

You can schedule an online visa appointment with a consulate in Canada. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Canada.

Visa requirements for students coming from Kenya

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 6.047 KES;

Health insurance fee: around 18.143 KES / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 2.440 KES. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 3.660 KES;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 10 days;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 108.869 KES / month;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Kenya;

You can schedule a visa appointment by phone with a visa application centre in Kenya. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Kenya.

Visa requirements for students coming from Turkey

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 205 TRY;

Health insurance fee: around 617 TRY / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 74 TRY. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 124 TRY;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 3.706 TRY / month;

You will need to provide evidence you bought your flight ticket;

Number of application centres in Turkey: 4;

You can schedule a visa appointment by phone or online with a visa application centre in Turkey. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Turkey.

Visa requirements for students coming from Iran

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 1.898.265 IRR;

Health insurance fee: around 5.696.109 IRR / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a consular fee 2.278.443 IRR. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 1.151.858 IRR;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will need to provide proof of sufficient English and Italian language skills;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 34.173.613 IRR / month;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Iran;

You can book an appointment directly with the Italian embassy in Iran (probably by phone). Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Iran.

Visa requirements for students coming from Indonesia

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 774.935 IDR;

Health insurance fee: around 2.324.894 IDR / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 300.000 IDR (optional). After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 468.986 IDR.

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 15 days;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 6.463.207 IDR / month;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Indonesia;

You can schedule an online appointment with a visa application centre in Indonesia. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Indonesia.

Visa requirements for students coming from Ghana

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 257 GHS;

Health insurance fee: around 772 GHS / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 88 GHS. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 154 GHS;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 15 days;

You may have to take a visa interview;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 4.636 GHS / month;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will need to provide proof of sufficient Italian language skills, if your degree is in Italian;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Ghana;

You can schedule an appointment with a visa application centre in Ghana. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Ghana.

Visa requirements for students coming from Egypt

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 1.040 EGP;

Health insurance fee: around 3.120 EGP / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 374 EGP. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 630 EGP;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 15 days;

You may have to take a visa interview;

You may need to attend 1 or 2 appointments, during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 7.282 EGP / month;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Egypt;

You can schedule a visa appointment online, by phone, or e-mail with a visa application centre in Egypt. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Egypt.

Visa requirements for students coming from Bangladesh

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 4.696 BDT;

Health insurance fee: around 14.089 BDT / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 1.935 BDT and a bank draft fee of 270 BDT. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 2.864 BDT;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 21 days;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will need to provide proof of sufficient English language skills;

You will only need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 32.880 BDT / month;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in Bangladesh;

You can go to the visa application centre in Bangladesh without a prior appointment. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from Bangladesh.

Visa requirements for students coming from the United Arab Emirates

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 214 AED;

Health insurance fee: around 641 AED / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 100 AED. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 129 AED;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is up to 15 days;

You may have to take a visa interview;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to provide proof of sufficient Italian language skills, if your degree is in Italian;

You may need to attend 1 or 2 appointments, during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 3.850 AED / month;

Number of application centres in the United Arab Emirates: 2;

You can schedule a visa appointment online with a visa application centre in the United Arab Emirates. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from the United Arab Emirates.

Visa requirements for students coming from the Philippines

You'll have to pay a visa fee of 2.955 PHP;

Health insurance fee: around 8.865 PHP / year, depending on if you’re buying the insurance from the state or a private institution;

You'll have to pay a service fee of 1.100 PHP and a biometrics fee. After arriving in Italy, you will need to apply for a residence permit and pay an extra 1.778 PHP;

The overall duration range, to process your paperwork, is 15 to 30 days;

You will need to show proof of accommodation;

You will need to register your biometrics;

You may need to attend 1 appointment during your application process;

Minimum funds proof: 53.189 PHP / month;

There's only 1 Italian application centre in the Philippines;

You can go to the visa application centre in the Philippines without a prior appointment. Bring your application documents there and have your biometrics collected.

For more information, you can always read more about the Italian student visa for students coming from the Philippines.

Before getting your Italian visa

After all is said and done you should definitively be proud you took this great decision of studying abroad.

Seeing how easy it is, in today’s day and age, to travel and have an international experience, you should definitively pat yourself on the back, before starting to collect all the documents and paying the fees.

Congratulations again and never forget to always have fun and enjoy your stay in Italy.

 

 

Life in Switzerland
Education in Switzerland
Visa in Switzerland
Life in Switzerland

Switzerland is a small country, but it's also a land of great diversity. Not only have the three main linguistic areas developed their own culture, traditions, economy and cuisine, but the great number of foreigners settled in Switzerland have also brought with them their various cultures and languages. With four national languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh) and over 21% of the population consisting of foreign citizens, Switzerland is a unique melting pot in the heart of Europe. Although the majority of people (60%) speak German – or, more precisely, Swiss-German – Swiss residents often speak at least two languages. Cross-cultural encounters are part of daily life in Switzerland; multilingualism is often helpful!

 

All of this makes studying a Masters degree in Switzerland an exciting and fulfilling experience. In fact, nearly a third of Masters students studying in Switzerland are from abroad (this figure rises to over 50% for research students!).

 

What's it like to study abroad in Switzerland?

Switzerland's landscape, geography and leisure activities are as diverse as its cultural identity. The country is known as a summer and winter sports paradise (Zermatt, St Moritz, Interlaken, Gstaad, the Jungfrau, Verbier are but a few of the many suggestive names). It hosts cosmopolitan cities like Geneva, Zurich and Basel, as well as several charming smaller towns (Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Lugano, etc.).

The country has long been one of the world's great tourist destinations and boasts an extraordinary abundance of natural beauties and interesting attractions. The 4,000 metre peaks of the Alps began attracting the first modern tourists during the 19th century.

Lifestyle can vary greatly depending on the area of the country and the background of the inhabitants. Nowadays, the Swiss population is mainly modern and urban, with one-third of the population living in the five biggest cities (Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Bern and Lausanne), another third in smaller urban areas and the final one-third in rural areas. Traditions are kept alive especially in these mountain and rural areas. However, even the biggest Swiss city, Zurich, has only 390,000 inhabitants.

 

Swiss food and drink

Switzerland's diverse combination of European cultures has led to a rich fusion of French, German and Italian cuisine. Generally speaking, if there's a food you enjoy from one of Switzerland's neighbours you'll be able to find a Swiss version. There are also some characteristically Swiss dishes that are worth trying during your time as a Masters student. These include international favourites such as fondue (made with cheese, or chocolate) as well as a range of appealing deserts involving cookies, brownies and cooked apples.

Swiss drinks include a range of wines and beers as well as the infamous Absinthe, originally distilled in the Jura region of Switzerland.

 

Accommodation

You will be able to choose from a range of housing options, with a combination of university residences and private rental options available to postgraduate students, depending on the arrangements at specific universities.

In some cases and depending on the terms of their agreements with the university, international students and researchers will be offered accommodation opportunities by their institution. Usually though, each person must find their own accommodation. The most common solution for international students or researchers is to rent an apartment or a house, or a room in students' residences.

Student housing associations are the cheapest option, with a range of rooms and flats to suit most budgets. Prices are generally between CHF 300 and CHF 800 (€260-695), but vary between cities. Swiss Universities, an organization representing Swiss higher education institutions, maintains a useful list of university and student housing pages.

If you decide to rent privately, expect to pay between CHF 1,200 and CHF 3,000 (€1,044-2,610) per month for a one bedroom flat, depending on the city and location.

In addition, individual universities often maintain resources on their websites for international students, including practical guides to finding accommodation and living in their immediate vicinity. If you can't find this information, consider getting in touch with your institution's international office and asking if they can help you.

 

Living costs

Switzerland is not a particularly cheap place to live, which is the price you pay for life in one of the world’s wealthiest and most developed nations. However, if you study outside Zurich and Geneva, you should find Switzerland more affordable. In most areas of Switzerland, the cost of living is cheaper than Paris or London, although some items, such as food, are on average more expensive than elsewhere in Europe.

As a general rule, you should be able to get by on around CHF 1,100 (€869) per month, excluding rent. This includes health insurance, food, daily transportation, small daily expenses, and educational material; your own costs will vary depending on requirements, and may be lower than this estimate.

 

Working whilst studying

EU/EEA nationals can work for up to 15 hours a week during term time, and full-time during university breaks. However, you’ll need to report your employment status to the relevant immigration authorities.

If you’re from outside the EU/EFTA region, you’ll have to wait until six months into your studies before you can start working, however. In order to do this, your potential employer will have to request for the immigration authorities to carry out an employment check and, if successful, issue a work permit.

For more information, you can contact a Swiss Embassy or your university. Universities may also maintain offices to help students find appropriate employment in their local area.

 

Further information

By now you should have a good idea of what to expect from life as a Masters student in Switzerland. You'll know how to get started finding accommodation, looking for a job and working on your French, or German, or Italian. . . There are a few other things you'll want to read up on before you head off to study a Masters in Switzerland though. See below for a concise introduction to transport in Switzerland and Swiss bank accounts (no, not that kind of Swiss bank account!).

 

Travel and transportation

Switzerland's various borders make travel to and from other European countries particularly convenient. Various road and rail networks are available to facilitate travel in and around Switzerland; the country's largest airport is Zurich Airport, which provides international air travel links with various destinations. Switzerland also offers several more unique modes of transport. If your journey crosses one of the country's famous lakes you can usually travel using a boat service and, if you want to make a trip under your own power you can find detailed information on hiking, cycling and even canoeing routes around the country at the website of SwitzerlandMobility.

 

Money and banking

The Swiss banking system is renowned for protecting the privacy of transactions, leading to the possession of a 'Swiss bank account' being associated with secretive and potentially ill-gotten deposits. You'll be pleased to hear that these days the Swiss banking system operates according to international law and opening an account as a student is unlikely to be regarded as suspicious! Most banks will be happy to provide you with an account along with access to modern services including international money transfers and ATM withdrawal facilities. Some Swiss banks also provide services designed specifically for students. In order to open an account you will usually need to present proof of identification and accommodation.

 

Education in Switzerland
  1. Introduction:

Since Switzerland has no natural resources, education and knowledge have become very important resources. Therefore Switzerland claims to have one of the world's best education systems. Because the cantons are responsible for educational services (kindergarten, schools, universities), education may vary significantly between cantons. For example, some cantons start to teach the first foreign language at fourth grade, while others start at seventh grade. This can turn moving with children between cantons into a nightmare.

In Switzerland, most children go to public schools. Private schools usually are expensive and people tend to think that students of private schools probably didn't make it at the public school. Public schools include "Kindergarten", "Volksschule" (elementary school), "Gymnasium" (secondary school) and "Universitäten" (universities). Most municipalities provide kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. Most cantons provide at least one secondary school. There are eleven universities in Switzerland, nine are run by cantons, two are run by the confederation.

After elementary school, kids may either choose to go to secondary school or to start an apprenticeship. In the later case, after finishing the apprenticeship, it is still possible to start an academic career at either a secondary school or a so called "Fachhochschule" (FH) (university of applied sciences).

  1. Schools:

In Switzerland, every child must attend at least the elementary school. Our country provides various schools at different levels. Because the cantons are responsible for the educational system, the names, the subjects, the starting age of the students and the duration vary significantly between the cantons. The rest of this document therefore focuses on how it works in the canton Zürich.

 

2.1 Kindergarten:

Unlike school, children may or may not be required to attend "Kindergarten", depending on the region. However, attending Kindergarten becomes more an more mandatory and most children do go to Kindergarten. They do not learn how to read and write but shall develop their social capabilities and get used to sit quiet for a while and pay attention to the teacher. Children may attend Kindergarten for one year or two years. Because they are supposed to start school at the age of seven, they go to Kindergarten when they are five and six years old.

 

2.2 "Volksschule" (Elementary school):

The "Volksschule" (elementary school) is mandatory for all Swiss children. They must either attend the public school or must go to a private school. Elementary school starts at the age of seven and lasts at least eight, but usually nine years. Some schools offer an additional year for kids who haven't either yet decided what to do after school, haven't found a job to start an apprenticeship or haven't yet reached the age to start what they would like to do. The "Volksschule" is divided into "Primarschule" and "Oberstufenschule":

In Zürich, "Primarschule" lasts six years. Usually, the children have only one teacher who teaches all subjects.

"Oberstufenschule" lasts three years. Usually, there are at least two teachers for each class, one teaches some, the second the other subjects. There may be other teachers for some special subjects like gym, needlework, cooking and so on.

"Oberstufenschule" itself is divided into three different levels: They used to be called "Sekundarschule", "Realschule" and "Oberschule", but there were some recent changes to that. Today, the schools still provide three different levels, but students will be assigned individually to one level per subject. This is true for major subjects such as math, native language and first foreign language only; all other subjects are taught per class.

"Sekundarschule" is the highest level. Some apprenticeships require this level of education. It is particularly required if a student wants to attend a "Gymnasium" (secondary school) afterwards. "Sekundarschule" includes math, geometry, native language (German in case of Zürich), first foreign language (french in Zürich), geography, history and more. In addition, students may attend other subjects like a second foreign language, usually English or Italian.

"Realschule" basically teaches the same subjects but not to the same extend.

"Realschule" takes care of students who have difficulties in learning.

After "Primarschule", students can also choose to go to "Gymnasium" (secondary school) directly without going to the "Oberstufenschule"; in this case, the "Gymnasium" takes 6½ years instead of 4½ years (see also curriculum).

 

2.3 "Berufslehre" (Apprenticeship):

In Switzerland, most kids start a "Berufslehre" (apprenticeship) after elementary school. Depending on the profession, an apprenticeship takes two to four years. Apprenticeships include all kinds of professions, from handicraft (mechanician, carpenter, baker, hairdresser etc.) to office worker (secretary, bookkeeper, IT specialist etc.). Apprentice will get trained at a company or organization, but also attend school for one or two days a week. Some companies also provide additional classes on their own.

After apprenticeship and depending on their education, young people can either start a job or join other schools for further education, including so called "Fachhochschulen" (previously known as "Höhere Technische Lehranstalt" (HTL), University of Applied Sciences).

 

2.4 "Gymnasium" (Secondary school):

There are various types of "Gymnasia" (secondary schools) with different emphasis and major subjects:

The "Mathematisches und Naturwissenschaftliches Gymnasium" (secondary school of math and science) focuses on math and science, but teaches German and two foreign languages as well (usually French and English or Italian). The "Neusprachliches Gymnasium" (secondary school of modern languages) focuses on modern languages such as German, French, Italian and English, but includes some math and science as well. The "Altsprachliches Gymnasium" (secondary school of ancient languages) focuses on Latin plus at least two other languages, but includes math and science subjects as well. There is also the "Wirtschaftsgymnasium" (secondary school of economics) that focuses on economy. Recently, new types of "Gymnasia" have been introduced, such as the "Musisches Gymnasium" (secondary school of art) which focuses on music and art and the "Sportgymnasium" (secondary school of sports) which emphasis on sportive activities.
All these secondary schools last either six and a half or four and a half years and lead to the so called "Eidgenössische Matura" (federal graduation diploma) which is recognized at all universities in Switzerland and at most universities in foreign countries.

The "Fachmittelschule" (upper secondary school) also leads to a graduation diploma. Typically, a student of the "Fachmittelschule" would become a teacher afterwards, but she or he is not limited to that subject.

Even after an apprenticeship, it is still possible to get a graduation diploma at a so called "Maturitätsschule" (graduation diploma school). After finishing such a "Maturitätsschule", a student can attend an university like a student who attended a "Gymnasium". This path in the educational curriculum is known as "Zweiter Bildungsweg" (secondary educational path).

 

2.5 "Universität" (University):

There are eleven "Universitäten" (universities) in Switzerland, nine of them are run by a canton, two are run by the confederation. In general, the universities run by the cantons provide non-technical subjects, whereas the universities run by the confederation provide technical subjects. The later are therefore called "Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology". 
To be able to attend an university, a student must have finished a "Gymnasium" and own a graduation diploma. The study at an university usually lasts four and a half years.

The following universities are run by a canton:

Universität Basel (BS)

Universität Bern (BE)

Universität Fribourg (FR)

Universität Genf (GE)

Université de Lausanne (VD)

Université de Neuchâtel (NE)

Universität St. Gallen (SG)

L'Università della Svizzera italiana (TI)

Universität Zürich (ZH)

One of the technical universities run by the confederation is located in the German speaking part of Switzerland, the other in the French speaking part:

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ)

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

The two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology mentioned above are currently adapting their education process to the so called "Bologna declaration", an attempt of the European universities to align their educational program to make it not only easier, but first of all possible for a student to change from one university in one country to another university in another country during his or her study.
The education is now broken up into two parts similar to the education in the USA:
- a bachelor study (three years)
- a masters study (one and a half or two years)
After a successful completion of the masters study, one can start working on a thesis in order to get a doctor title. This takes usually three to four years.

 

2.6 "Fachhochschulen" (University of Applied Sciences):

After an apprenticeship, a young person can still start an academic career. Depending on the profession, she or he may attend a "Fachhochschule" (university of applied sciences). A university of applied sciences provides a similar education as the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology but not to the same extend. While an engineer ETH (graduate of one of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology) has a stronger theoretical background, an engineer FH (graduate of one of the university of applied sciences) usually has more practical experiences because she or he had finished an apprenticeship which lasted four years. The study lasts three and a half years.

As an alternative to a full-time study, an employee may also attend a so called "Abendtechnikum" (evening college). She or he continues to work, but attends school at night and on Saturdays. Some employers allow students either to do some homework at the office or provide some other easements. The evening college lasts six years.

"Fachhochschulen" (FH) (previously known as "Höhere Technische Lehranstalten" (HTL)) are often also referred to as "Ingenieurschule" (school for engineers) and are spread all over Switzerland. Recently, technical collages of most regions have started to join forces, some have even merged. Therefore, the list below is most likely neither complete nor perfectly correct:

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW)

Berner Fachhochschule (BFH)

Fachhochschule Westschweiz (HES-SO), consisting of

La Haute Ecole Arc

La Haute Ecole Fribourgeoise

Haute école de Genève

Haute école Valaisanne

Les hautes écoles du canton de Vaud

Ecole d'ingénieurs de Changins

Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne

Fachhochschule Ostschweiz (FHO), consisting of

Fachhochschule Sankt Gallen

Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil

Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft HTW Chur

Interstaatliche Hochschule für Technik Buchs

Hochschule Luzern

Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI)
      including Fernfachhochschule Schweiz

Zürcher Fachhochschulen: (ZFH), consisting of

Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich (HWZ, University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration)

Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich (PHZH, Zurich University of Teacher Education)

Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHDK, Zurich University of the Arts)

Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW, Zurich University of Applied Sciences)

Which in turn consists of

Architektur, Gestaltung und Bauingenieurwesen (Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering)

Gesundheit (School of Health Professions)

Angewandte Linguistik (Applied Linguistics)

Engineering (formerly known as "Technikum Winterthur", TWI)

Management and Law

Life Sciences und Facility Management

Soziale Arbeit (Social Work)

Angewandte Psychologie (Applied Psychology)

Akademikergesellschaft für Erwachsenenfortbildung (AKAD)

For more complete and up-to-date information, please visit the "Website der EDK" (Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education), which is also available in English.

Visa in Switzerland
  1. Regardless of your future career plans, while studying in Switzerland you will surely receive top education and have the chance to engage in groundbreaking research work. Apart from having a significant number of highly ranked universities, Switzerland is one of the 20 wealthiest countries in the world and also one of the safest in Europe.

    1. Decide on a university to apply to and get your acceptance letter

    If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Switzerland, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at a Swiss university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa application.

    Find the right universities depending on the discipline you want to study:

    Consider some of the best universities in Switzerland:

    1. Find out what type of visa you need to study in Switzerland
    • C visa – for short courses (summer schools, language schools) that last only for up to three months
    • D visa –for courses that last longer than three months

    If you apply for a type D visa and plan to stay in Switzerland longer than three months, you will have to arrange to get your residence permit from the cantonal migration offices within 14 days after your arrival.

    1. When and where to apply for the Swiss visa?

    As soon as you get the acceptance letter from the Swiss school/university, you should schedule an appointment at the Swiss embassy or consulate in your area.

    Schedule the appointment for a visa interview as early as 6 months prior to studying in Switzerland but no later than ten weeks before your departure.

    Unless the application form and all required documents are in French, German or English, you will need a certified translation of all documents in one of these languages.

    Processing time

    Short stay visas: within 10-15 days

    Long stay visas: eight to ten weeks

    1. Language requirements for my study in Switzerland

    There are no specific language requirements for a study visa for Switzerland. On the other hand, universities will require a proof of language proficiency when you apply and that proof is usually sufficient for Swiss embassy visa officers.

    In some cases, the embassy will want to evaluate your language knowledge based on a short interview at the consulate or even an oral and written test.

    The Swiss representation will send the entry application, including documentation and assessment of language proficiency to the relevant cantonal migration authorities for their approval.

    1. Documents required for the student visa in Switzerland
    • Three forms of “Application for long stay visa (visa D)” filled and signed
    • Four passport-size photographs
    • Passport (valid three months beyond the planned stay)
    • Letter of acceptance issued by a Swiss university
    • Proof of payment of the registration and tuition fees –original and copy
    • Proof of sufficient financial means for coverage of living costs in Switzerland for the duration of schooling (provide evidence of having 21,000 CHF or 19,200 EUR at the beginning of each year of your studies)
    • Letter of institution in case all expenses for the study will be covered by scholarship or loan
    • CV
    • Letter of motivation
    • Commitment to leave Switzerland on completion of studies
    1. More useful information about my student visa for Switzerland
    1. Working in Switzerland during your studies

    International students can take up part-time work for up to 15 hours a week during the semester and they can work full-time during holidays, but only after they have been living in Switzerland for at least six months and as long as it doesn’t affect the progress of your studies.

    The hiring company/employer will get a work permit for you.

    After graduation, foreign students can stay in Switzerland for six months to look for work under the same conditions as Swiss graduates.

    8. Apply for a residence permit in Switzerland

    All international students including EU/EFTA citizens will have to apply for a residence permit at a Residents Registration Office within 14 days after their arrival in Switzerland.

    The residence permit is available one year and can be renewed.

     

Life in France
Education in France
Visa in France
Life in France

Accommodation in France

 

One of the most important things that you need to decide once you know you are going to study in France is where you will live while you are there. France has numerous housing options available to students, but not all of them are created the same. It is a good idea to check out your options before you leave so that you are prepared with a great place to call home while you are studying.

There are numerous options available to help make this happen. It is a good idea to take a look at a few of the options that you have before making your selection. When this is done you can find a place that is affordable to your budget as well as something that meets all of your requirements and desires. This is important to have when you are travelling so far from home and your comfort zone.

Of course, you can always opt to stay in a hotel while you are in France, but this option can become quite expensive. Hotels usually charge nightly rates, and let’s face facts here, if you’re staying in a hotel, this can become quite boring and bring about a feeling of homesickness very quickly. There is no way for you to cook for yourself if you choose to stay in a hotel and eating out at a restaurant can certainly add to the expense very quickly. If it is a hotel that you are interested in, be sure to check out a variety of choices before making a selection, so that you get the best priced hotel that meets your needs.

A more affordable and more ample option to take would be to stay in an extended stay hotel which offers weekly and monthly rates. These extended stay hotels make you feel more at home and are much more affordable to any budget. Usually the extended stay hotel options in the country include all of your utilities in the rental rate, as well as other features including kitchenettes and business areas/living spaces. You will have a phone, a bed, a kitchen and a living area so you feel more like being at home; as well as having the space to move about freely without feeling constricted to one area.

Along with these accommodation options, individuals who are studying in France will find apartments and townhouses also available for rental. These are much more affordable than either hotel accommodation choice and help you feel more at home even if you happen to be thousands and thousands of miles away.  The cost of an apartment, flat or townhouse rental will also vary according to the city that you are in, the choice that you make and a number of other factors. While these options are great for those who are attending college long-term, even those who will be in the country studying for only a few months of time will find there is a lot of money to be saved in this manner. Because education in France is so diverse and sought after by individuals across the country, student-friendly rental housing is popular in the country. There are many rentals available that require no lease at all or a short-term lease. This option makes it easy for anyone to take care of their accommodation needs.

The average cost of housing in France is 250 to 700 EUR per month, although this rate is greatly affected by the region that you stay in, as well as the exact accommodation that you have selected. It is in your best interest to take a look at the various options that are available to find what works best for you and your needs. There are many choices that cost far more than these rates, as well as those that will cost you less. The amount that you spend on your housing will vary greatly.

It is a good idea to look into student housing if it is offered at the institution that you have selected. Not all institutions in the country offer student housing, however, so this is something that you will need to ascertain. Additionally, choosing to live with a roommate as you complete your studies is an excellent idea and an awesome way to greatly reduce your costs of living.

Having a roommate is also an accommodation option that is available for you. Many roommate situations can be found throughout France, and not only does this give you the chance to cut back on some of the money that you spend on rent, you can also cut back on the costs of utilities and other services. The chance to live with other people also helps you socialize easier as you meet people that are living with you, their friends and so on and so forth.

As you can see there are certainly a number of benefits that are available with a roommate situation. But you also need to consider the few negatives to the situation, as well. It is hard to share space with people, especially people that you do not know. You are sharing space, time, and living quarters and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. You need to find roommates who are respectful and courteous and you need to also bring the same qualities to the table. When this can be done the roommate situation can work out for the best. Otherwise it may not be a smart idea to consider this option.

There is a social housing program also offered in the country, although the process for admission into such schemes is often difficult and very lengthy. It is still an option open for you to consider, though. If you want to learn more about the social housing program that is available in the country and/or local area specifically, you can speak to your university. They should be able to provide you with the details of the program. Since there is a good chance there is a long waiting list, you should apply for the program as early as possible.

While cost is always one of the most important factors in choosing the housing you will utilize while studying in France, it is also essential that you keep a few other considerations in mind as well, including location. If you are going to have to travel hours to make it to university or call a taxi cab every time you want to go out, it may not be the best location for you. Always look for housing that is near your university, as well as job (if you have one while there) and something that is close to the attractions that you want to take advantage of.

You do not want to get a house that is far out from everything. You should be close to the city and your university campus, as well as entertainment. This is something that can make it a lot easier, especially when you are coming to the area and may not know a lot about the neighbourhood.

Also keep in mind that financial aid may cover some of the costs of your living while you are studying in France. If you are a student with a permit and low income you may qualify for such benefits. For example, if you are a student without significant income and have a valid resident permit, it is likely you can benefit. The amounts can be significant so get informed. There are a few different programs that may be able to help you. These programs are usually offered through the CAF or the French state assistance fund for families. The most common assistance programs available are the APS program and the APL program. The amount of help that an individual can receive from such a program varies and is dependent upon factors which include the amount of income that you have, the type of housing you are residing in and the amount of rent that you are paying.

The application for financial assistance for housing is available only on the website, which is in French. Keep in mind that you must have a rental contract in your name to be eligible for the assistance; in addition to the other criteria. You are also required to submit your Birth Certificate and a certified translation. You should apply for the housing program as soon as you know that you are attending college in the country for the best chances of securing a spot on the program. Also be sure that it is something that you really need, as they are strict on those who are allotted the funding and try to ensure that it is used only by those who truly need it the most.

Be sure that you take a look at all of the options that are available to you when trying to find accommodation while you are attending university. If you allow for this time, you are certain to find the perfect arrangements to accommodate your needs.

Accommodation in France

 

One of the most important things that you need to decide once you know you are going to study in France is where you will live while you are there. France has numerous housing options available to students, but not all of them are created the same. It is a good idea to check out your options before you leave so that you are prepared with a great place to call home while you are studying.

There are numerous options available to help make this happen. It is a good idea to take a look at a few of the options that you have before making your selection. When this is done you can find a place that is affordable to your budget as well as something that meets all of your requirements and desires. This is important to have when you are travelling so far from home and your comfort zone.

Of course, you can always opt to stay in a hotel while you are in France, but this option can become quite expensive. Hotels usually charge nightly rates, and let’s face facts here, if you’re staying in a hotel, this can become quite boring and bring about a feeling of homesickness very quickly. There is no way for you to cook for yourself if you choose to stay in a hotel and eating out at a restaurant can certainly add to the expense very quickly. If it is a hotel that you are interested in, be sure to check out a variety of choices before making a selection, so that you get the best priced hotel that meets your needs.

A more affordable and more ample option to take would be to stay in an extended stay hotel which offers weekly and monthly rates. These extended stay hotels make you feel more at home and are much more affordable to any budget. Usually the extended stay hotel options in the country include all of your utilities in the rental rate, as well as other features including kitchenettes and business areas/living spaces. You will have a phone, a bed, a kitchen and a living area so you feel more like being at home; as well as having the space to move about freely without feeling constricted to one area.

Along with these accommodation options, individuals who are studying in France will find apartments and townhouses also available for rental. These are much more affordable than either hotel accommodation choice and help you feel more at home even if you happen to be thousands and thousands of miles away.  The cost of an apartment, flat or townhouse rental will also vary according to the city that you are in, the choice that you make and a number of other factors. While these options are great for those who are attending college long-term, even those who will be in the country studying for only a few months of time will find there is a lot of money to be saved in this manner. Because education in France is so diverse and sought after by individuals across the country, student-friendly rental housing is popular in the country. There are many rentals available that require no lease at all or a short-term lease. This option makes it easy for anyone to take care of their accommodation needs.

The average cost of housing in France is 250 to 700 EUR per month, although this rate is greatly affected by the region that you stay in, as well as the exact accommodation that you have selected. It is in your best interest to take a look at the various options that are available to find what works best for you and your needs. There are many choices that cost far more than these rates, as well as those that will cost you less. The amount that you spend on your housing will vary greatly.

It is a good idea to look into student housing if it is offered at the institution that you have selected. Not all institutions in the country offer student housing, however, so this is something that you will need to ascertain. Additionally, choosing to live with a roommate as you complete your studies is an excellent idea and an awesome way to greatly reduce your costs of living.

Having a roommate is also an accommodation option that is available for you. Many roommate situations can be found throughout France, and not only does this give you the chance to cut back on some of the money that you spend on rent, you can also cut back on the costs of utilities and other services. The chance to live with other people also helps you socialize easier as you meet people that are living with you, their friends and so on and so forth.

As you can see there are certainly a number of benefits that are available with a roommate situation. But you also need to consider the few negatives to the situation, as well. It is hard to share space with people, especially people that you do not know. You are sharing space, time, and living quarters and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. You need to find roommates who are respectful and courteous and you need to also bring the same qualities to the table. When this can be done the roommate situation can work out for the best. Otherwise it may not be a smart idea to consider this option.

There is a social housing program also offered in the country, although the process for admission into such schemes is often difficult and very lengthy. It is still an option open for you to consider, though. If you want to learn more about the social housing program that is available in the country and/or local area specifically, you can speak to your university. They should be able to provide you with the details of the program. Since there is a good chance there is a long waiting list, you should apply for the program as early as possible.

While cost is always one of the most important factors in choosing the housing you will utilize while studying in France, it is also essential that you keep a few other considerations in mind as well, including location. If you are going to have to travel hours to make it to university or call a taxi cab every time you want to go out, it may not be the best location for you. Always look for housing that is near your university, as well as job (if you have one while there) and something that is close to the attractions that you want to take advantage of.

You do not want to get a house that is far out from everything. You should be close to the city and your university campus, as well as entertainment. This is something that can make it a lot easier, especially when you are coming to the area and may not know a lot about the neighbourhood.

Also keep in mind that financial aid may cover some of the costs of your living while you are studying in France. If you are a student with a permit and low income you may qualify for such benefits. For example, if you are a student without significant income and have a valid resident permit, it is likely you can benefit. The amounts can be significant so get informed. There are a few different programs that may be able to help you. These programs are usually offered through the CAF or the French state assistance fund for families. The most common assistance programs available are the APS program and the APL program. The amount of help that an individual can receive from such a program varies and is dependent upon factors which include the amount of income that you have, the type of housing you are residing in and the amount of rent that you are paying.

The application for financial assistance for housing is available only on the website, which is in French. Keep in mind that you must have a rental contract in your name to be eligible for the assistance; in addition to the other criteria. You are also required to submit your Birth Certificate and a certified translation. You should apply for the housing program as soon as you know that you are attending college in the country for the best chances of securing a spot on the program. Also be sure that it is something that you really need, as they are strict on those who are allotted the funding and try to ensure that it is used only by those who truly need it the most.

Be sure that you take a look at all of the options that are available to you when trying to find accommodation while you are attending university. If you allow for this time, you are certain to find the perfect arrangements to accommodate your needs.

Health and Medical Treatment in France

 

Another consideration to keep in mind while you are in France is your health. You may need to visit an emergency facility or hospital for any type of accident or injury, at any given time. If you are not a resident of the country, the costs of such a visit can be quite high. International insurance is not accepted, of course.

The French government offers a health care program, and since it is mandatory that all residents and international guests alike be covered under such a plan, you should do this before you physically arrive in the country.

All international students who will be in France are required to have health insurance, either public or private. Many international students are eligible to take part in their universal health care coverage, though this is dependent upon factors such as age, country of origin, and length of their degree program.

To be eligible for the national health insurance program offered in France, students must be:

Under the age of 28 by October 1st of the current University year

Enrolled on a degree program for a period of 4 months or longer

Have a home country that is outside of the European Union or Switzerland

If any of these provisions are not met, an international student would be required to obtain private health insurance for themselves. Students from the European Economic area are exempt from participating provided they can show their valid European health insurance card or if they can show proof of carrying private health insurance in France. If a foreign student is interested in the state health care, they can pay 207 EUR to have the same coverage as its citizens.

Private medical insurance in France can also be purchased for those individuals who are staying in France for periods of less than 4 months, who are older than the age of 28, as well as those individuals who prefer to have private insurance. This coverage will not cover you fully and most people take out complementary coverage to fill in any gaps.

If you opt not to go with the national health care plan, you will be required to take out private medical insurance in France that will cover you for your healthcare expenses.

It is a good idea that you compare the different insurance companies and plans that are available when you are seeking private insurance. It is possible to find affordable coverage but it is also possible to pay for more than what you should if you are not careful. Thanks to the web you can easily make comparisons in just a short amount of time, and this is something that you should do so that you never pay more than what you should. The college years are a time in which money doesn’t always come too easily, and you should not spend it like it is growing on a tree. With a comparison you can get the coverage that you need at the price that is affordable to your budget.

General Life as a Student in France

 

Students attending a France university are exposed to the amazing French culture in their daily student life. While studying, students can look forward to a wonderfully interactive environment that brings students together from across the globe. With the many different people from all around the world attending college in France, it is certainly a new experience that can provide you with a plethora of fun and adventure. It isn’t every day that we get the chance to come together with such a diverse group of people, so it is a time to learn and grow as a person while you learn so much.

Universities organize shows and hold conferences, seminars, parties and sporting and other outdoor activities as part of the student lifestyle. While the things that are put together will vary according to the college that you have chosen to attend, you can be certain there is a calendar filled with activities that can entertain all. Colleges want their students to learn but they also want them to have a great time in the process. Life cannot be serious all of the time. All of the activities planned by colleges and universities offer plenty of fun for you.

Students can certainly enjoy living their life in France as a student. There is never a dull day in the life of students who attend colleges in France. Whether you are at school studying and learning or at home ready to get out and experience the wonders of the country, you can always have a menu full of wonderful things to choose from.

There are many museums offering everything from history, modern art to science that you can see no matter where you are attending university in France. Many of these are available at no cost at all, which is certainly a bonus to a college student. The country has more than 2,000 cinemas scattered about, and there are also stage shows that include concerts and other special shows. There are also numerous social parties that you can join, as well as clubs.

Universities in France maintain many modern sports facilities accessible to students. In most cases this access requires that you pay a small fee for joining. Sporting events are encouraged to be attended and participated in by colleges and universities. You can find a full range of sports and sporting events offered at the colleges in France including track and field, cricket, rugby, baseball, football, basketball, and many others.

Most of the colleges and universities in France offer students the chance to stay connected to the world with the help of wireless internet access provided at no cost.  If you are not living on campus housing, however, you may need to look into getting your own services for this location. You can also find Internet access available in many public locations including library and coffee shop locations.

As a country known for their exquisite wines you can also expect many cities in France to bring you an assortment of fun vineyards and wine tastings. Additionally, you can attend any of the great bars or nightclubs found throughout the country. There are a number of them available for all walks of life. Just be sure that you do not have too much fun!

The list of things that you can do in France will vary according to where you are staying and the college that you are attending but you can be certain there is something there to accommodate all individuals. The things that we’ve talked about above are just the start of the fun things that you can find to do while in France.

When it comes to the time to attend class, students will enjoy a wide range of schedules that are very flexible to their needs. You can pick and choose the times and the dates of the course that you will attend. This makes it easy for those who plan to work to do so without compromising their school schedule; as well as easier for those who want to participate in a wide range of social events throughout the institution.

You must ensure that you take the time to study each and every day. As we’ve already discussed quite a bit in this guide, the colleges and universities in France are some of the best in the world. They believe that it is important to give each and every student in attendance of their schools the best education possible. Because of this you are expected to give your absolute ‘all’ when in attendance. You need to take the time to study all of the materials you are given from your classes each day. The only way that you can learn and keep up with the standards of the country is to take the time out to learn the material that you are given.

There are many ways that you can make learning and studying fun, however, and doing this will make it feel less like a chore and more of something that you want to do. It is a good idea to find a study partner to keep things exciting. You can do a lot more when you have a study partner than you can on your own. You can test each other, quiz each other and even teach each other plenty about the subject in hand. If you do not know the answer your study partner might, and together you two can become a great study machine and prove that two heads are nearly always better than one.

There will be plenty of tests and exams given while you are attending college in France. These exams are not meant to scare you or make you fail; they are designed to ensure that you are learning all of the information that is being taught to you. It is essential that you understand these things to work in your career. Be prepared to take these tests. It is safe to say that once things get started you will have some sort of test or exam each week with at least one of your classes, and sometimes even more than this.

While you are in France it is important that you take advantage of as much of the culture as you can. It is truly amazing and there is so very much that you can experience. It would be such a shame to leave and not have enjoyed it all. While it is true that you need to take the time to study and learn what you’ve come to learn, this doesn’t mean that there is not still plenty of time to enjoy yourself, too.

It is essentially up to you as to how you will live out your day to day life while you attend college in France. This is just a generalised look at what you can expect. Another consideration that you should keep in mind is that your life while attending school can change in the blink of an eye. Each day can be filled with something new and exciting.

 

Education in France

This guide to education in France, from primary school to higher education, will help you enrol your child into the French education system.

If you're living in France, your child will be entitled to free French education, which has generally been considered of a high standard. The French education system is split into several stages, and your child's academic level and grades will dictate which specialist streams they can follow in their final years in the French school system. After completing compulsory French education, a student can consider higher education courses in France. Below is an outline of the French education system – including nursery, primary, secondary and university education in France – plus an introduction to the French educational philosophy.

French education standards

The French education system long enjoyed a reputation for having one of the best education systems in the world, with a nationally set curriculum, traditional methods of learning, high academic standards and strict discipline. However, in recent years some bemoan a perceived slip in French education, and according to the latest OECD/PISA world rankings (2012), France dropped three places for educational standards for 15 year olds. It is now placed 25 out of 65 countries, with 43 percent of students having difficulty in mathematics and with a widening equality gap within the school population.

The French educational philosophy emphasises:

the authority of the teacher;

individual competition including an absolute grading system (no grading 'on the curve');

stress on analytical thought and rote learning as opposed to creativity;

generally high academic expectations.


The French don't necessarily expect children to have 'fun' at school. Sports and creative activities are encouraged but generally organised by community or private associations, not by the schools.

French schooling is free and mandatory from ages six to 16, although the majority of French children start earlier. Another two years of study are required if a student is to sit the baccalauréat exam, which they must pass to enter university. Class sizes tend to be large, with one teacher for some 30 or more students.

Education reforms in France

In 2015 the French government is proposing controversial educational reforms to the collége system (middle school for ages 11–15), to make it less elitist and give all pupils, whatever their background, the same educational opportunities. These involve the teaching of modern languages and history, encouraging teachers to work together to teach topics across different themes in interdisciplinary classes  (the traditional French way is one teacher-one subject), reinforcing secular values and allowing schools to set part of the curriculum themselves. Teaching unions and right-wing political parties oppose the changes, and have enacted strikes against these reforms.

Local and international schools in France

Most students in France attend local schools, which are free. However, foreign families may consider an international school to ease their child's transition by continuing education in a familiar language and curriculum. Your child's age and length of time in France are just some factors to consider. For more information on how to choose a school in France, see Expatica's guide to French schools: local, private, bilingual and international schools.

Compulsory education in France

Although French education is compulsory for children resident in France between the ages of six and 16, many children enter preschool at the age of three and more than 50 percent of 18–21 year olds in France are in full-time higher education. Around 64 per cent of students complete their secondary education by taking the baccalauréat (le bac) or the baccalauréat professionnel (le bac prof) examinations.

State education is free for French citizens and others who have proof of residence, although parents have to pay for stationery and school trips. Allocation de rentrée scolaire (ARS) is a means-tested grant available to help parents with the cost of schooling for children aged six to 18. To find out more or download an application form, contact Caisses D’Allocation Familiales (CAF).

Schools are mixed sex and secular. While the majority of schools are state-run (ecoles publiques), there are also private schools under contract (sous contrat) to the French government, whereby the government pays the teachers' salaries, the school follows the national curriculum, and fees are reasonably low. There are also private schools (ecoles prives) that are fully independent (hors contrat), some of which are international schools. Schools affiliated to a particular religion are also usually private and thus fee paying. There are public schools with bilingual programmes but in most cases bilingual education is only available in a private school. For more information about different types of school in France, see Expatica's guide on how to choose a school in France.

Most French schools follow a national curriculum set by the Ministry of Education but the French government published reforms in May 2015 that would allow schools to set 20 percent of the curriculum themselves.

There is no school uniform at most schools in France, and your child's grade is determined by the calendar year of birth (so all children born between 1 January and 31 December of a particular year will be in the same grade).

The school year in France

The school year starts at the beginning of September. French schools have long holidays – a two-month summer holiday starting in July, two or three weeks at Christmas and Easter, as well as half term breaks. Dates vary according to where you live; France has been divided into three zones for school holidays and you can find your zone and check school term dates and school holidays in your area. You can also ask at your local mairie. Private schools set their own dates.

The school week in France

Students go to school between 24 and 28 hours a week, spread over four, four and a half, or five days depending on the region. Students preparing the baccalauréat may have as many as 40 hours per week. Some schools close on Wednesday afternoons and older pupils may have lessons on a Saturday. Although Saturday classes were once a common practice in French primary schools, this has been phased out and replaced by a longer school year.

The school day starts around 8.30am and ends at 4.30pm (later for older students), with two breaks (récré) and at least an hour and a half for lunch. Students can return home for lunch or stay and eat in the school cantine. School lunch usually consists of a starter, main meal, dessert and cheese; costs for this vary. After the school day ends students can go home – with their parents’ permission – or go to etudes (study lessons).

Many schools have a fee-based childcare system, service de puériculture, available before and after school and during vacations. These services, as well as la cantine, must be signed up for separately and fees are often means-tested.

Students, even younger children, are expected to do homework most evenings – older pupils can have two or more hours every day.

How to register your child into a French school

If you are enroling your child in a public school for the first time, contact the service des écoles at your local mairie or arrondissement. Children are generally expected to attend the school near their place of residence. In Paris, a child aged six or more who does not speak French may be sent by the local town hall to a school where French-language courses for beginners are available, if available.

To enrol in a collège or lycée, you can contact the establishment of your choice directly. If your child is arriving from outside France and is entering collège or lycée for the first time, you will need to contact the educational district's administrative head or education authority (inspection académique, service de la division des élèves, or rectorat) in your area. Your child may have to take a French-language test.

 

The structure of the French education system

After nursery school or kindergarten (école maternelle), which is optional, the French compulsory education system is divided into three stages or ‘cycles’:

primary school (école)

middle school (collège)

high school (lycée)


Preschool/nursery (école maternelle)

Preschools or nursery schools – écoles maternelles – provide care for children from two and three years old until they are six. While children are not obliged to attend, state facilities are free and are an excellent way for young children of expat parents to learn French quickly and easily. The curriculum aims to prepare children for primary school, and includes reading, writing, numeracy and sometimes even a foreign language. For more information on maternelles and other preschool nurseries and daycare options, see Expatica's guide to preschool options in FranceFrench daycare and childcare options in France

Primary school (ecole primaire)

Children in France attend primary school from the age of six to 11 years old. Unless your child attended the maternelle, you should apply to the school through your local mairie. You’ll need your child’s birth certificate, proof of residence and an up-to-date vaccination certificate. For more information on applying to primary school, see Expatica's guide on how to choose a school in France.

There are five levels:

Cours préparatoire (CP) or 11ème – age 6 to 7 years old

Cours élémentaire (CE1) or 10ème – age 7 to 8 years old

Cours élémentaire (CE2) or 9ème – age 8 to 9 years old

Cours moyen 1 (CM1) or 8ème – 9 to 10 years old

Cours moyen 2 (CM2) or 7ème – 10 to 11 years old


The school week is around 24 hours; primary schools often close for all or part of Wednesday. There are lessons on literacy, numeracy, geography/history and commonly a foreign language, often English. Your child must be enrolled by the June prior to the September start of the school year.

If a child needs to repeat a year, redoubler, it is most often suggested at the end of a cycle. This decision can be determined by a group of school directors and teachers, conseil de cycle, although parents may appeal their decisions. However, there isn't the same negative stigma attached to repeating as in English-speaking countries, and some 30 percent of students may repeat at least once in their schooling life.

The administrator, usually a member of the teaching staff, is known as the directeur or directrice; teachers are referred to as maître or maîtresse.

Middle school (collège)

Between the ages of 11 and 15, students in France attend a middle school or collège. All pupils are accepted; there is no entrance exam or requirements for state schools. You must enroll through your local mairie by the June before the September start of the school year. Read more about the application process in Expatica's guide on how to choose a school in France.

There are four levels:

6ème – 11 to 12 years old

5ème – 12 to 13 years old

4ème – 13 to 14 years old

3ème – 14 to 15 years old


The syllabus aims to give all pupils a general education and consists of French, mathematics, history/geography, civics, biology, physics, technology, art, music, and physical education. Over the four years in the college, the more academic students tend to choose to take more general classes while the less academic tend to take more vocational classes.

In collège, marks (notes) become an important aspect in a child’s schooling, with tests (controles) becoming commonplace. During the year students are tested every week and at the end of the year have to pass with an average of 12 marks out of 20. Scoring under 10 may mean repeating the year, although no stigma is attached to this. Parents can appeal a decision for their child to repeat (redoubler), but rarely do.

At the end of the four years, at the age of 15, all students must sit the brevet, the Diplôme National du Brevet(or Brevet des Collèges). Students are tested on French, mathematics and history/geography (choosing which one they want to answer on the day) but they must also have passed their B2i (computer/internet skills) during the year and have reached a level A2 in a foreign language. There are proposed changes to the history element.

The brevet is also marked on continuous assessment (including general attitude and behaviour) during the last year of college (3ème) – so some students may have already passed the brevet before they even sit the exam. Students have to get 10 marks out of 20 to pass; 12 for a Mention Assez Bien, 14 for a Mention Bien and 16+ for a Mention Très Bien.

After the brevet, students may leave the education system altogether if they are 16 (though most do not), or continue their education in a lycée. Academic pupils will move onto a lycée général or lycée technique, while less academic may go to a lycée professionnel.

High school or lycée

The last three years of secondary education – from 15 to 18 years old – are spent at a lycée general, a lycée technique or a lycée professionnel. Students take the same core curriculum of some eight or nine subjects but are offered three electives and an artistic workshop. At the end of this year, the key decision is made as to which baccalaureat the student will pursue. Contact the individual school for enrolment requirements and procedures.

The levels are:

Seconde (CAP, BEP) – 15 to 16 years old

Première (CAP, BEP) – 16 to 17 years old

Terminale (BAC) – 17 to 18 years old


> Lycée general and lycée technique

Students start to specialise with the aim of sitting the Baccalauréat (le bac), which is the qualification to enter university at 18 years old. Students choose different ‘series’. The general bac consists of the L series (literary studies), ES series (economic and social studies) or S series (sciences). The S bac is considered the toughest.

There are also some seven baccalauréat technologique, diplomas based on specific technical skills. The technology bac series include Science and Industrial (STI), Science and Laboratory (STL), Health and Social Sciences (STSS), Science and Management (STG), Music and Dance (TMD), Agronomy (STAV) and Hotel Management. If the lycée has an International or European section there may be tests taken in English that count towards the marks.

Students have to pass all subjects in the series (getting 10/20 in the exam) to pass; those getting 8/20 or under have to retake the year and sit again. Those who pass can get a place at one of France’s universities.

Sitting for the tests can be a nail-biting experience and many students may add a series of practice tests to their regular studies during the final two years. However, many complain that the testing level has decreased and is one reason why many students fail their first year of university, although ministers and civil servants disagree.

Theoretically, the lycées offer the same standard of education for all; in practice, in league tables published in the main newspapers, certain lycées (mainly private) consistently top the rankings.

> Lycée professionnel

At a lycee professionnel (lycées pro), students work towards qualifications to help them get a manual or clerical job or pursue further vocational studies. These qualifications are the baccalauréat professionnel (bac pro), CAP (certificat d'aptitude professionnel) and BEP (Brevet d'enseignement professionnel), which focus on one of four fields: social/health, driving/transport, catering/hotels, and optics. Lycées du bâtiment and lycées agricolesspecialise in building trades and agriculture. The professional baccalaureate requires three years of study and certifies the student to work in a qualified professional activity.

International and European sections

Certain French schools also offer an International Section leading to an international baccalauréat (Option Internationale du Baccalauréat – OIB). There are British and American sections as well as a number of others, where additional subjects are taught and examined in the relevant language to a level comparable to the equivalent exam in the home country (for example, A levels in the UK, or AP in the USA).

They are intended to integrate foreign students and make it easier for them to eventually return to schools in their home country, but some French students also attend to take advantage of the advanced language training.

The curriculum is offered on top of the normal French-language baccalauréat course load, and offers instruction in language, literature, geography and history at higher levels than the normal French curriculum.

European sections also offer higher-level language instruction, but whereas the curriculum for international sections is agreed upon by administrators in France and the country of origin, the European section is intended to better integrate French students into a multilingual European environment. Students who pass the additional language tests for their baccalauréat earn a diploma with a mention section européenne.

Both of these programmes add significant additional work onto an already demanding curriculum; your child's overall scholastic aptitude rather than their bilingualism should determine whether or not they enrol.

Alternatively, to gain an international diploma, a student could opt to transfer to an international school in their final years and take the exam of their home country instead of France's baccalauréat.

Higher education in France

A baccalauréat or foreign equivalent guarantees access to a publicly funded university, although the very best students take another one or two years of private studies, prepatory classes, or prépas, so they can sit for an entrance exam (concours) into the handful of prestigious schools known collectively as les grandes écoles for engineering, business, and politics or administrative studies. Read more in Expatica's guide to French higher education and universities in France.

To enter higher education in France, students need to prove their French is at a level that will enable them to undertake the course of their choice; this might be done via a written and oral test. 

Lessons are taught in French

The lessons in most French schools will be taught in French. Some schools in larger cities may offer intensive language classes, provide a special teaching assistant (Français Langue Etrangère or FLE), or have ‘International’ or ‘European’ sections to help new arrivals integrate. However, many schools expect non-French speaking pupils to do the same work as their French peers without support.

Expat pupils can find it difficult to adjust and some may need to repeat a year. Repeating a year  – redoublement – is actually quite common in French schools and there is no real stigma attached. Lessons with a French language tutor may help. Bear in mind that it can be difficult to make friends without a common language so be prepared to support your child.

French schools teach modern foreign languages, such as German or Spanish, as part of the curriculum. In May 2015, the  French government published reforms to abolish modern foreign language classes for only academically able pupils at 11 years old and making them compulsory for all pupils at 12 years old.

Special needs schools in France

There are special needs schools in France and some schools have dedicated departments. You will need to check what’s available in your own area. Contact SESSAD (services d'éducation spéciale et de soins à domicile) for information about schooling and out of school treatments. Service-Public has more information about special needs education in France.

Home schooling in France

It’s legal in France to home school your child. You have to make an annual declaration at your local mairie and at the rectorat (school inspectorate). You have to be able to cover roughly the same topics and to the same levels as in a French school. You will also be inspected every year by the schools inspector, and every two years by the mairie. If they decide that standards are inadequate then you may be ordered to send your child to school. Les enfants d’abord is a French national organisation for home-educating families.

 

Visa in France

If you decided to study abroad in France and come from an EU/EEA country, good news! You won’t need a French student visa. If you're from a non-EU country here are some visa details depending on your nationality:

Egyptian students applying for the French visa;

American students applying for the French visa

Nigerian students applying for the French visa;

Indian students applying for the French visa.

Read below to follow the steps and prepare to apply for your French student visa:

  1. Decide on a university to apply to and get your acceptance letter

If you’re still not sure where you want to study in France, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at a French university, you’ll get an acceptance letter required for visa application.

Find the right universities depending on the discipline you want to study:

Masters in Management in France;

Masters in Fashion and Luxury Goods in France;

Masters in Political Science in France;

MBA programmes in France;

Masters in Biotechnology in France.

Consider some of the best universities in France:

  INSA Lyon;

  MINES ParisTech;

  École Polytechnique;

  Sorbonne Paris Cité - Université Paris Diderot.

  1. Find out what type of visa you need to study in France

Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa) – available up to three months

This type of visa is mainly for short-term study programmes or language courses. It is free of charge, you won’t need a residence permit and you can apply for a new one when it expires.

Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa) – available between three and six months; you will need a residence permit and you cannot renew it.

Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa)– available for the entire duration of your course in France (three years for Bachelor's, two years for a Master's and four years for a Ph.D.).

The advantage of this visa is that you don’t have to apply for a residence permit in addition, as this visa is considered your residence permit and is called VLT-TS.

  1. When and where to apply for the study visa

You can get a student visa either at a French consulate in your area or through Campus France (an institution promoting higher education in France, having a local office in almost all countries worldwide). Some countries require you to register first with Campus France in order to get a student visa.

Schedule an in-person interview/appointment through the official website of the French consulate in your area; check the online calendar that shows the available dates and hours.Try to schedule the date of the appointment at least 90 days before your departure to France.Usually, it takes at least five to seven business days for a visa to be granted, or in exceptional cases, a little longer.

  1. Language requirements for my study in France

When you apply for a university in France, you have to provide proof of:

French language proficiency – if you apply for French-taught degrees (accepted tests are: DELF/DALF or TCF)

English language proficiency – if you apply for English-taught degrees (accepted tests are: IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge)

If you have an acceptance letter from a French university, the French consulate won’t require additional language requirements for your study visa for France.

  1. Required application documents for France study visa

Visa application form

Two passport type photos

Valid passport and copies of your previous visas

Official enrolment or acceptance letter from the university

Proof of financial means (around 615 EUR per month) to cover all your expenses during your study period

Airline ticket/reservation showing date of departure

Medical insurance that might cost between 311 and 714 EUR/year.

Documents stating the accommodation arrangement during your studies

French language proficiency certificate (if you have enroled in a French-taught course)

Proof of payment of the visa fee (99 EUR).

Proof of civil status (if applicable)

  1. More detailed information for students coming from countries outside the EU:

Kenyan students applying for the French visa

Canadian students applying for the French visa;

Students from Ghana applying for the French visa

Emirati students applying for the French visa;

Iranian students applying for the French visa

Turkish students applying for the French visa.

  1. Residence permit in France

During your first year of studies, you only need the student visa as proof of your residency status. Within a month of your arrival in France, you will have to register at the local French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) and have a medical examination to validate your visa.

If you plan to stay for more than one year, starting from the second year of studies you will need to apply for a Carte de Séjour (CDS) or 'titre de séjour', an official residency card in France.

  1. Working in France as an international student

All international students are allowed to take a job during their studies under a few conditions. Legally, you are only allowed to work part-time (around 60 percent of full-time employment for a year) and only if you have a valid residency permit. When you apply for a job, make sure to inform your employer you are a foreign student so they will only consider your application for a part-time position.

You may also find work opportunities within your university, and if you really don’t want work to affect your studies, you can only take this offers during holidays between semesters.

 

Life in Poland
Education in Poland
Visa in Poland
Life in Poland

Poland is a fast-growing European country, open to the students from various cultures and backgrounds. The most attractive Polish city for international students is Warsaw – booming and vibrant capital of Poland. With more than 1.7 million inhabitants and numerous universities, it is a perfect place for young international student to spent several years of his life. Everyone will find something interesting for him: from numerous pubs and bars to international music festivals and exhibitions. One of the most serious advantages of this country for an international students is the cost of living: it depends on students' lifestyle, but in general, 1500 PLN (approximately 350 euro) per month is the minimum amount needed to cover all the necessary costs. It makes Poland one of the cheapest countries in Europe.

 

Poland is also a country with rich and interesting history: it may be worth to visit some of the most interesting museums like National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe) or the Warsaw Rising Museum of 1944 and various Polish cities like Kraków, Gdańsk, Toruń, Malbork.

 

Those who prefer a more active lifestyle, will discover a vibrant night-life of Warsaw, with it's clubs, restaurants and bars. More than 50,000 international students are now studying in Poland which means that in would be easy to find new friends from all over the world.

 

Other cities in Poland are not as big as Warsaw but are also attractive for international students. For example, Wroclaw is an old and beautiful city established in 10th century. Famous University of Wroclaw attract mainly those who want to pursue an academic career. Student bars and pubs are widespread in this city: parties are organized every day during the week, especially in the student town. There are more than 120,000 in Wroclaw which is more than 15% of it's population – this is the real student city.

 

Education in Poland

A large part of the Polish higher education market is made up of private colleges and universities. There are about 310 privately owned universities and colleges and 138 state schools of higher learning. This has resulted in a high level of competition that has given Poland lower prices for studying than in many other European countries. The higher education system is one of high quality and all leading universities offer programmes thought in English, within study areas such as medicine, engineering, humanities, business and finance. More than 100 higher education institution in Poland currently offer study programmes in English. Poland has taken active part in the Bologna Process. The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) allows students to be geographically mobile and continue their education in other countries.

There is no central administration for admission. Instead, each institute is responsible for their own admission process. However, each applicant must generally hold a “maturity certificate” to qualify for admission in Poland.

 

Medical Studies in Poland

In a lot of countries you need high grades to enter an education of medical studies. If you don’t reach up to those criteria of high grades, or if you just want to have an experience of studying abroad, there is another option for you - medical studies in Poland.

 

The medicine programme is 7,5 years long. You study 6 years in Poland at the university and after that is the pre-registration period as house officer. You can choose to do your pre-registration period as house officer in your native country.

You can choose to do your pre-registration period as house officer in Poland or in your native country. A lot of international students choose to do it in their native country. You are responsible to find your own place for your pre-registration period as house officer.

 

The Medical Universities in Poland are adapted to the common European program, in keeping with the European admission standards for medical education. Inside Europe that education is going to be valid as if it was from your native country. If your are from a country outside Europe, contact a medical school in your native country and ask how it works.

 

The Education System in Poland

A large part of the Polish higher education market is made up of private colleges and universities. There are about 310 privately owned universities and colleges and 138 state schools of higher learning. This has resulted in a high level of competition that has given Poland lower prices for studying than in many other European countries. The higher education system is one of high quality and all leading universities offer programmes thought in English, within study areas such as medicine, engineering, humanities, business and finance. More than 100 higher education institution in Poland currently offer study programmes in English. Poland has taken active part in the Bologna Process. The ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) allows students to be geographically mobile and continue their education in other countries.

There is no central administration for admission. Instead, each institute is responsible for their own admission process. However, each applicant must generally hold a “maturity certificate” to qualify for admission in Poland.

 

Medical Studies in Poland

In a lot of countries you need high grades to enter an education of medical studies. If you don’t reach up to those criteria of high grades, or if you just want to have an experience of studying abroad, there is another option for you - medical studies in Poland.

The medicine programme is 7,5 years long. You study 6 years in Poland at the university and after that is the pre-registration period as house officer. You can choose to do your pre-registration period as house officer in your native country.

You can choose to do your pre-registration period as house officer in Poland or in your native country. A lot of international students choose to do it in their native country. You are responsible to find your own place for your pre-registration period as house officer.

The Medical Universities in Poland are adapted to the common European program, in keeping with the European admission standards for medical education. Inside Europe that education is going to be valid as if it was from your native country. If your are from a country outside Europe, contact a medical school in your native country and ask how it works.

 

Education System in Poland

 

 

Education

School/Level

Grade From

Grade To

Age To

Years

Notes

 

Primary

Primary School (Szkoła Podstawowa)

 

 

7

13

6

 

 

Middle

Gymnasium (Gimnazjum)

7

9

13

16

3

 

 

Middle

Basic Vocational School (Zasadnicza Szkoła Zawodowa)

 

 

16

18

2

 

 

Secondary

Technical Secondary School (Technikum)

 

 

16

20

4

 

 

Secondary

General Lyceum (Liceum Ogólnokształcące)

10

12

16

19

3

 

 

Secondary

Specialized Lyceum (Liceum Profilowane)

 

 

16

19

3

 

 

Post-secondary

Szkoły policealne

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

Post-secondary

Szkoły pomaturalne

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

Tertiary

University First Level (Licentiate)

13

15

 

 

3

 

 

Tertiary

University Second Level (Magister)

16

17

 

 

2

 

 

Tertiary

University Third Level (Doctorate)

18

20

 

 

3

 

 

Tertiary

Doktor habilitowany

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             

Primary Education

1 year of preschool education to stimulate primary reading skills and mathematics is compulsory. Thereafter children move on to primary school from ages 7 to 12. The first cycle of grades 1 – 3 are beginner phases (with a single teacher), while grades 4 – 6  introduce systemic learning. Subjects include art and music, crafts and technology, Polish, mathematics, .social and natural environment and physical education. Primary and secondary education are free.

Secondary Education

There are 2 streams in secondary education. General schools provide an education designed to dock with university programs. Vocational schools produce qualified workers while also providing general education.

 

Vocational Education

Should they wish to, students at vocational schools may proceed to post-secondary schools where they are trained as accountants , administrators,  computer specialists, nurses and librarians, to mention but a few.

 

Tertiary Education

Polish tertiary institutions include universities, economic and agricultural academies, and polytechnics. Warsaw is the primary academic centre in Poland and consequently attracts the largest number of academics.

 

Poland has a tertiary education tradition that dates back for centuries. The oldest university is the Academy of Kraków founded 1364, and there are 18 more besides. There are also numerous technical, medical and agricultural universities, not to mention subject-specific colleges for teaching, music, theological, economic and maritime skills.

 

Visa in Poland

Students from European Union countries do not need a visa to study in Poland. Students from outside the European Union need to apply for a student visa before entering Poland. Contact a Polish consulate or embassy in your country for complete details of the application procedure. 

All students have to legalize their stay in Poland by applying for a temporary residence permit. This has to be done a short time after arrival in Poland. The Universities will help you within the application procedures. A temporary residence permit entitles you to stay and work in Poland. 

 

If you would like to study in Poland, you need to fulfill certain requirements. But don’t get discouraged! They are not more complicated than those in your own country. Don’t forget that our Agents are ready to help you any time.

First of all, you need to graduate from a school, which enables you to pursue further education at an academic level . Secondly, you need to legalize your stay in Poland for the period of your studies. Thirdly, you need to look after your health and safety. Finally, depending on the language you wish to study in, you need to submit a certificate confirming your knowledge at a proficient level, be it English or Polish

 

Education

In order to study in Poland, you need to have completed a second level education and have a leaving certificate confirming you are eligible to apply to university. If you passed the International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate exams, you can freely apply for undergraduate studies at a Polish University.

If, however, you only have an equivalent qualification from your home country, it needs to be legally recognized at one of the Polish diplomatic outposts or another appropriate institution. Legalization means certifying that your diploma is in compliance with the law of the country it was issued in. Next, you have to verify it with the Polish law. This process of granting recognition of a degree from a foreign university is called nostrification.

Similarly, in order to be accepted for the postgraduate studies, you need to present an undergraduate diploma from a Polish institution or an overseas equivalent, also recognized in Poland. You are obliged to present nostrification of your foreign diploma to a Polish University by the end of the first term. If you are not sure how to do that, please contact our Agent.They will give you all the information required.

 


Student Visa

 

Think Poland helps students to apply for a student visa to Poland. The procedures may vary depending on the country you come from. However, some of the requirements remain the same for all the countries and they include:

A filled-in visa application form

Valid passport

Official letter of acceptance to a school in Poland

A short CV

Your school certificates and diplomas

Evidence of proficiency in the language in which you wish to study

Confirmation of having the funds for studying and living in Poland

Health insurance

A photo

Stay permit

 

Another condition you need to fulfill to be able to study in Poland is to legalize your stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland. If you are a European Union (EU) citizen and you would like to stay longer than three months in Poland, you need to register your stay in the country. If you are a non-EU citizen, you need to obtain a visa at a Polish consulate in your home country before your arrival in Poland. Once in Poland, in order to prolong your stay, you need to apply for a Temporary Stay Card – karta czasowego pobytu – 45 days before your visa expires. To arrange this, feel free to contact one of Think Poland agents.

 

Health and Security

Moreover, if you decide to study in Poland, you need to obtain a doctor’s certificate confirming that you can freely undertake study in the field of your choice. Additionally, you need to be insured during your total stay in Poland. The health service in Poland is not free to public and therefore you should hold an insurance policy in the event of an illness or an accident. If you are a EU citizen and possess an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can take advantage of Polish health services free of charge. If, however, you do not have such a card, you can buy health insurance in the National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia) for about 40 PLN per month. Based on the bilateral country agreement the citizens of Great Britain, Sweden and Slovakia, can take advantage of Polish health services free of charge, while Czech students can use it in case of an emergency or a sudden illness. If you have any doubts about which insurance you should pick for your stay in Poland, do not hesitate to ask one of our Think Poland agents. That’s what they are for!

 

Language

You do not have to be fluent in Polish in order to begin studies in Poland. The knowledge of English, French or German suffices. In order to apply for a given course, you will need to present a document confirming your knowledge of a foreign language at a sufficient level to participate in the classes. According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, you would have to have one of the following certificates: FCE, CAE or CPE for studies in English, DEFL B2 for studies in French or Zertificat Deutsch Plus 3 for German studies. Some Universities do not require certificates as they conduct their own language tests as part of their admission procedure. You can find out in the individual course’s description whether such exams are part of the admission procedures or if a certificate suffices.

If, however, you would like to study in Polish, you need to prove that your knowledge of the language is proficient enough to actively participate in the classes. To do so, you need to pass the State Certificate in Polish as a Foreign Language. To find out more about this exam, please contact Think Poland agents or State Commission for the Certification of Proficiency in Polish as a Foreign Language

 

 

Life in Hungary
Education in Hugary
Visa in Hungary
Life in Hungary

Hungary is a little, beautiful country, with a safe and friendly environment. Although it is not as well-known as other European countries in terms of international studies, in Hungary, you can study many top-quality Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. Several universities from Hungary have been acknowledged for their good academics and they are always present in leading world university rankings.

In recent years, more and more students have decided to study abroad in Hungary and indulge themselves in a wonderful experience. So as a student in Hungary, you’ll probably want to know some of the most important practical aspects that will help you adjust easier to life in any Hungarian student city.

 

  1. What's the currency in Hungary and how expensive are things?

Although Hungary is a member of the European Union, generally, you cannot use Euros: the official currency is called Forint (Ft). Although in some places, you can still pay with Euro, expect to receive forints back.

One Euro is worth about 300 Ft. There is a gap between the buying and selling prices of the currencies, and they can differ from seller to seller, so you should look around where you change your money.

If you come from a country West from Hungary, you will find everything to be much cheaper. Compared to other countries in Eastern Europe, the prizes in Hungary are quite similar.

 

  1. Enjoy discounts with the student identity card

There are lots of discounts offered for students in Hungary, for example, on the public transport, at sport venues, or for cinema tickets – they will all cost almost the half of the original prize with the student card.

You can take a student identity card from your home university, or get an international one (called ISIC).

 

  1. How to use the public transport in Hungary?

In Hungary, students can get a discount up to 50% of the transport fees. To buy tickets for the student prize, you need to have a valid student card with you, otherwise, you can get fined. Sadly, there are restrictions for exchange students, and they differ from company to company.

Let’s check the most important companies, and how can you use the student discount.

Budapest Transport Limited (BKV)

Budapest, the capital city has a really good public transport, and even at night you can reach any place. The metro lines, tram lines, suburban railways, buses, trolleys, night buses, etc. are all administrated by one company, so you only need one pass for any transportation means.

The actual prize of a Monthly Budapest pass for Students is 3900 Ft. There is a Quarterly pass for Students (valid for 100 days), it costs 11,500 Ft. If you would have visitors, who are not students, they can buy a 14-day pass for 6,500 Ft.

 

The Hungarian Railways (MÁV)

The Hungarian railways can be useful, if you come to Hungary by train, or you plan a longer trip in the country. They offer student tickets as well, but they do not accept the international student identity card, only the one of your home universities (EEA or Switzerland). Sadly more lines tend to have longer delays.

 

Volán

This company deals with longer distance domestic bus traffic. They accept the student identity card of your home offer university (EEA or Switzerland), but only for tickets. You cannot buy monthly passes with it, and they neither accept ISIC. Some of the buses have free wireless internet access points, and they are much more reliable than the railways. The fees are based on the distance travelled.

 

  1. Finding accommodation in Hungary

Accommodation is one of the most important things you need to plan when you go abroad. Depending on the university, you might get accommodation in dormitories or student residences, but if it is not the case, the university can help you finding a place to rent.

If the university has an ESN (Erasmus Student Network) section, they can help you with accommodation as well as other issues you may have. You can check the list of the Hungarian sections at the official website of Erasmus Student Network.

In Szeged, there are no dormitory places available, but they have an office called „Foreign Students' Secretariat” who can help you, or you can contact the local ESN section as well for help. The monthly accommodation fees are in the range of 360-750 EUR.

You can check the list of the Hungarian sections at the official website of Erasmus Student Network.

In Debrecen, you might be able to get a dormitory place, for 150-200 EUR/month.

In Pécs, there are more dormitory places available for foreign students, for 100- 150 EUR/month.

In Budapest, you can hardly get dormitory places. You can check hostels, rent a flat alone or with more students together. The bigger universities have their own ESN sections, where 1-room flats charge rent from 270 EUR/month, or you can rent more flat rooms with other students for lower prizes (starting from 130 EUR).

 

  1. Arranging your social insurance for Hungary

While you are abroad, you should know where you can turn if you would need medical help. As a citizen of the European Union, you can request an international social insurance card (EHIC). With this card you will you will receive treatment under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in this country. For more information, you should check the official website of the EHIC.

The universities have their own doctors. If you catch a cold, or have similar issues, they are the easiest to contact. You should ask your university anyway for information, to know where you can go if needed.

 

Education in Hugary

 

All Children in Hungary from age 6-16 are obliged to attend compulsory education. Children between three and six can go to the kindergarten. The last year of kindergarten is compulsory.

 

Compulsory education begins with the obligatory pre-school year in kindergarten, usually at the age of 5. From age 6 to 16, school is mandatory for all Hungarians. Most children attend Free State schools. Private school charge fees but are subsidized by the state.

 

After finishing elementary school (általános iskola) students can decide between three options: high school (gimnázium),vocational school (szakmunkásképzö iskola) or trade school (Szakközépiskola). All Hungarians must complete 8 years of elementary school plus two more years in one of the above schools.

To study at a Hungarian university (egyetem) or college (Szakiskola / föiskola) you need a certification of secondary education.

 

Hungarian final examination

A few months before Matura (Baccalaureate) the final years’ students place a picture of themselves and of their teachers on a wooden plate. These wooden plates are called "Readiness Signs" (érettségi Tablók) and are displayed in a shop window until the students have completed their exams.

 

Matura Balls are normally held in February. These Balls are then called "Ribbon Consecration" (Szalagavató bál) because the students have to wear a ribbon with the number of school years on the jacket in order to graduate and they have to wear their ribbon until the exams; otherwise they fail, so the legend goes. On the last school day (before the writing test) there is a final party at which the students sing traditional college songs, putting one hand on the shoulder of the next student.

 

Teaching styles and the egalitarian approach

The official language in schools is Hungarian. However, there are schools where many ethnic and national minorities (e.g. German, Romanian, Slovenian, Serbian and Croatian minorities) may use their language as the main or second language in the classroom.

The Gandhi School in Pecs was the first high school to be founded and attended by Romas. This school was founded in 1992 by several Roma organizations with the aim to enable the Roma children to obtain a Matura(Baccalaureate) degree. The school is largely financed by the Hungarian government, but also by the EU.

 

Visa in Hungary

International students who want to stay in Hungary for more than 90 consecutive days and who are not EU citizens are required to apply for a long-term student visa to stay in the country.

 

Student visas requirements for Hungary vary, therefore it's important to enquire well in advance about the entry regulations which apply to your home country. To receive a student visa for Hungary, you must first have an offer from a Hungarian university. You can only apply for your student visa prior to your departure from the Hungarian Consulate or Embassy that has jurisdiction in your state or country of permanent residence. Processing a visa usually takes around one month, but could be longer so make sure you apply as early as possible to avoid any unnecessary complications.



Documents required for your student visa for Hungary are:

Proof of having paid the tuition fee

An acceptance letter from the university regarding your admission

Passport valid at least 6 months beyond your date of entry

Copy of the photograph page of your passport

Passport photo no more than 6 months old

Proof of health insurance

Proof of address or housing in Hungary

Proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses in the form of bank assurance/statement

Visa application form

 

3 stamped envelopes addressed to the applicant

When the consulates requires an appointment, you may need to scheduled it around 4 to 6 weeks in advance because appointment times are limited. After the appointment, the visa processing time usually takes an additional 1 to 4 weeks. 

You will need to apply for your residence permit within 15 days of arrival in Hungary. This applies to both EU and non-EU citizens planning to stay in Hungary for longer than 90 days.

To apply for a residence permit, EU and EEA citizens need to submit the following documents:

Proof of payment of tuition fees

Approval document of the host university in Hungary

Proof of health insurance

 

Life in Ukraine
Education in Ukraine
Visa in Ukraine
Life in Ukraine

Student Life, that's the living and learning that takes place outside of the classroom and it's a big part of your college experience.

It includes where you live, how you make connections, and that hard-to-define essence, or culture that separates Ukraine from other countries. Ukraine has its own ambience.

The friendly attitude of your professors and peers, and the companionship you feel when people call you by name. It takes a whole community to graduate a student.

You might be thinking, "What kind of student chooses Hotstudy.com?" Well, all kinds. We have athletes and academics and activists. Explore all the dimensions of what it means to be a Hotstudy.com student by browsing through our guides and services.

 

Money Matters:

 

Living costs

In order to live comfortably while you are in all over the Ukraine, the student will need to have about $USD1200 to US$ 1500 per year available for living costs, above the cost of your tuition. The cost of living is cheaper, lot more than other European cities. It is difficult to give a precise figure because of differences in the student lifestyle. We are giving approximate costs below

 

Stationary

The stationary needed for student costs very low For example a bundle of 1000 rough papers costs 2 US$. Pen, Pencils other products are too cheap.

 

Books

The books provided by University Library (included in tuitions fees).

 

Clothing

A good Jeans costs 10-20$US, Shirts cost 5-15$US, T-Shirts cost 5-12US$

 

Food

Food in Ukraine is very cheap for example; in 1.5US$ the student can buy 4 Kg of POTATOS, or 4 KG of ONIONS or 3 liter of milk etc. Milk products are very cheap as well

 

Travel in the city

The students' Travel Pass card on Government Transport (Subway Trains, electric Busses) is issued by Universities & costs only 5US$ in a month.

 

Travel around the country

The students are given a concession of 40% discounts from the normal price of Ticket in Trains, Buses etc.

 

International travel

The International student Card is issued right after the students get Admission in University. The students with International Student card are given concession of 30% from the normal price of Air Tickets.

 

Student Discounts in Ukraine:

 

Travel Discounts with the Ukrainian Student Card

Now that your travel insurance needs are covered, you can add thousands of worldwide discounts to attractions such as museums, cinemas, castles, national landmarks, cultural exhibits, transportation, and budget hotels with Ukrainian Student card.

Available for students, and youths aged 12 to 26.

 

Education in Ukraine

INSTITUTION TYPES & CREDENTIALS

Types of higher education institutions:

Uniwersytet (University)

Akademia (Academy)

Instytut (Institute)

Konservatoria (Conservatoire)

Koledge (College)

 

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Atestat/Matriculation School Certificate

Dyplom Molodshogo Spetsialista

Dyplom Bakalavra

Dyplom Spetsialista

Dyplom Magistra

Internatura

Master

Kandydat Nauk

PhD

Doktor Nauk

 

 

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM

Pre-higher education:

Duration of compulsory education:

Age of entry: 6

Age of exit: 15

Structure of school system:

Elementary

Type of school providing this education: Elementary School

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 6 to: 10

Lower Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Lower Secondary (Osnowna Serednia Shkola)

Length of program in years: 5

Age level from: 10 to: 15

Certificate/diploma awarded: Swidoctwo Pro Nepownu Seredniu Oswitu/Lower Secondary School Leaving Certificate

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Upper Secondary Special School (Licei)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Atestat/Matriculation School Certificate

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Upper Secondary School (Starsha Serednia Shkola)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Atestat/Matriculation School Certificate

Special Education

Type of school providing this education: Upper Secondary Special School (Gimnazia)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: Atestat/Matriculation School Certificate

Vocational

Type of school providing this education: Vocational Secondary School (Technikum)

Length of program in years: 5

Age level from: 15 to: 20

Certificate/diploma awarded: Atestat, Diplom Technika/Matriculation School Certificate, Professional Secondary School Leaving Diploma, Junior Specialist

Vocational

Type of school providing this education: Vocational School (Profesijno-Tecnichne Uchylyshche)

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 15 to: 20

Certificate/diploma awarded: Atestat, Swidoctwo Pro Zakinchennia Uchylyshcha/Matriculation School Certificate, Vocational School Leaving Certificate

School education:

All children aged from 7 to 15 years' old attend nine-year compulsory school. Options after comprehensive school are upper secondary school or vocational education. Upper secondary school: 3-year general school leading to the Matriculation Examination, giving successful students access to university and other higher education schools. The present vocational education system covers both general secondary and vocational programmes, with separate tracks for comprehensive school leavers and matriculated students. The system is being reformed.

Higher education:

Higher education in Ukraine is managed by the Ministry of Education which coordinates the activities of higher schools and supervises the higher schools which are under other ministries. According to the "Law on Education", higher education includes the following levels and categories of establishment: level I -  vocational schools and other HEIs of a corresponding level; level II - colleges and other HEIs of a corresponding level which teach Bachelor and junior specialist courses; level III - institutes, conservatories,academies and universities that teach Bachelor's and Specialist, as well as junior specialist courses; and  level IV - institutes, conservatories, academies and universities which teach Bachelor's, Master's and Specialist courses. The degree system is under reform: The old system had only one stage of undergraduate studies, the degree of "Specialist", awarded after 5 years of study. The new system comprises two stages: undergraduate and graduate, with several degree levels. A Union of Rectors was created in 1993.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Decree on Autonomy Year: 1990

Concerns: Higher education institutions

Decree: Law on Education Year: 1996

Concerns: State and private system of education

Decree: Law on Education Year: 2002

Concerns: Higher education

Decree: Law on Extra-Scholastic Education Year: 2000

Concerns: Extra-scholastic institutions

Decree: Law on General Secondary Education Year: 1999

Concerns: Primary, basic and senior schools

Decree: Law on Vocational Education Year: 1998

Concerns: Vocational institutions

Academic year:

Classes from: Sep to: Jun

Long vacation from: 1 Jul to: 31 Aug

Languages of instruction: Russian, Ukrainian, English

Stages of studies:

Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):

Non-university level:

Since 1992 the whole system of Ukrainian postsecondary education is considered "higher education". According to the "Law on Education", the following levels and categories of establishments offer higher vocational education: level I - technical and vocational schools; level II - technicums and colleges. They award the qualification of Junior Specialist. Level III institutes are university-level institutions. Graduates from post-secondary vocational schools must sit for final examinations and defend a graduation thesis/work. The Diploma confers a right to employment at a pre-set level or the right to continue training in institutions of a higher level.

 

University level studies:

University level first stage: Bakalavr, Specialist:

The academic and professional diploma of Bakalavr (BA, BEd., BMed.) is generally awarded after four years of successful study (six years for Medicine). The Bakalavr programme comprises basic higher education and professional training in a given field. It is an intermediate degree. The degree (Diplom) of Specialist is awarded after five or six years of study, depending on the type of institution.

University level second stage: Magister:

The Magister (Master's Degree) is awarded on the basis of a Bachelor's Degree or Specialist's qualification generally one to two years after the first degree. Students must pass final examinations and defend a thesis.

University level third stage: Doctoral Degree-1:

Ukraine keeps a two-degree system at doctoral level: Kandydat nauk (Candidate of Sciences, comparable to the Ph.D.), and Doctor nauk. The first qualification is obtained after three or four years of study by submitting and publicly defending a thesis and passing the required examinations. The candidate's thesis can be prepared while following various forms of post-graduate studies.

University level fourth stage: Doctoral Degree-2:

The  "Doctor nauk" is the highest scientific degree in Ukraine, comparable to "Habilitation" in some Western countries. It is awarded to candidates already holding a "Kandidat nauk", on the successful presentation and defence of the "Doctor nauk" (habilitation) dissertation. The Habilitation dissertation should represent a major contribution to the development of a given field or branch of learning, and has to be published entirely or at least its main parts.

 

Teacher education:

Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers

Pre-primary and and primary school teachers are trained in teacher-training institutions of Levels I, II, and III of accreditation (vocational schools, technikums, and colleges). Practical training at kindergarten and primary schools are part of the teacher training programme.

Training of secondary school teachers

Training is provided by higher education institutions of Levels III and IV  of accreditation (institutes and universities), in different faculties (Education, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Physical Education, etc.). The programme for teachers includes standard topics of education and psychology. Teachers of practical/vocational courses are trained in the technical education institutes.

Training of higher education teachers

There are no special forms of training for higher education teachers. They are recruited among university graduates who hold a Magister or Kandidat Nauk Degree and have followed special education courses through various types of assistance.

 

Non-traditional studies:

Distance higher education

A network of correspondence and evening courses is intended for persons who are already employed. Candidates for such courses must not only pass an entrance examination, but also prove they effectively worked for a certain time.


Lifelong higher education

Some higher education institutions (mostly private) have departments of continuing education providing teaching based on the principles of general higher
education. Obtaining Diplomas depends on credits obtained in required topics, as well as on the presentation of a paper.


Higher education training in industry

A certain number of higher education institutions organize evening classes in industry which are of the same level as full-time studies.


Other forms of non-formal higher education

The television of Ukraine broadcasts educational programmes of different levels for students and teachers in schools ranging from primary to upper secondary. These programmes are designed to introduce teachers to new pedagogical methods.

 

 

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Ministry of Education and Science

Head: Stanislav Nikolaenko, Minister

Prosp. Peremohi 10
252135 Kyiv
Kyiv Region
Ukraine

 

Visa in Ukraine

Please note: Visa support for Study In Ukraine is provided only for applicants who apply throw Hotstudy.com

After the enrolment procedure is complete, the student will receive by express mail DHL and/or TNT the original invitation/admission letter of enrolment, and all documents that are necessary for the Student Visa request.

Ukraine Student Visa “Application Basic Requirements”:

Visa Application form – in Embassy.

Original valid passport

3 photographs (3x4cm)

Original invitation letter sent to you by express post

Medical health certificate*

HIV/AIDS Results*

Certificate of Completed Higher and/or Secondary Education*

The above documents should be translated to Ukrainian or Russian languages and legalized from ministry of foreign affairs of your country, before applying to the embassy*.

 

Processing time

The average processing time for visas is 1 to 15 days. Rush processing is also possible.

How to Read your Ukrainian Visa?

Notice: Upon receipt of your Ukraine Visa from the Ukraine Consulate you will need to use this Ukraine Visa How to read photo reference to assist you in verifying that your Ukraine Visa has the correct dates that will allow you to enter the Ukraine per your schedule. It is important that you check the Item # 7 Valid of entry. Our company is NOT RESPONSIBLE for mistakes made by the Ukraine Consulate. Be assured we will assist you in all and any manner possible to work with the Ukraine Consulate to correct any possible inaccuracy.

PLACE OF ISSUE (Location of Ukraine Consulate).

No OF ENTRIES (Number of entries allowed into the Ukraine):
(1) - single entry Ukraine visa (valid for one entry).
(2) - double entry Ukraine visa (valid for two entries).
(M) - multiple entry Ukraine visa (valid till date of expiration)

TYPE (purpose of travel):
T - Ukraine Tourist Visa
O – Ukraine Study Visa

SURNAME - Last name in Ukrainian/English

GIVEN NAME -First name in Ukrainian/English

PASSPORT #

VALID (You may enter the Ukraine on this date or any time after but prior to expiration):
Day . Month . Year

VALID UNTIL (You must exit the Ukraine on or before this date):
Day. Month. Year

VISA #

SEX

DATE OF BIRTH Day. Month. Year

NATIONALITY

Life in Turkey
Education in Turkey
Visa in Turkey
Life in Turkey

When I was a high school student, the last two years I was always thinking of where to go for further study, and who to become. I was confused and felt stressful. I attempted the Kyrgyz national university entrance examination and some other examinations to apply abroad. In the spring, I was informed that I have been selected as a finalist for the FLEX program(US), which is sponsored by US State Department. It is a one year exchange program for high school students. Later, after  two months when I was done with my visa application, I learnt that I passed an exam and won a full scholarship to  study in Turkey. It was really  hard to decide what to do, where to go. Sometimes I was even afraid to go abroad. Finally,  I decided to go to Turkey to study in Middle East Technical University, and I can assure you that today i don’t regret about it at all.

It was August 25 when we’re flying from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey. I was flying with other students who also won a scholarship to study in Turkey. From Bishkek(capital city of Kyrgyzstan) to Istanbul we all flew together, and then in Istanbul some representatives from Ministry of Education of Turkish Republic met us and assisted in reaching our destinations. My destination was Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. when we reached there some Kyrgyz students met and took us to the dormitory. Dormitories in Turkey are very convenient for students who come from more eastern societies, since the dormitories are not mixed. Boys and girls live in different buildings. Next day I went to my university, and that day I was accompanied by other students who also came from Kyrgyzstan, but applied through other programs. In the University, I could feel the freedom, because I met unique people and it was an enriching experience for me.

 

Educational system in Turkey

Now i will share some information about the education in Turkey, while explaining it I will mainly focus on the education system in Middle East Technical University (METU). Turkey has strict way of education I would say. If you want to become successful student, you have to sweat a bit. The university in which I studied was one of the best universities in Turkey and consequently students studying there were highly competitive. The evaluation systems also varied from one course to another, and some of them were evaluated based on the average range system (grading relative to the average), which increases competition among students.  The educational language in our university is English and everyone expected high scores from foreign students. During my education in this university I was never discriminated neither by professors nor by other students. Whenever I scored high, I have never faced any critique from my group mates; on the contrary, they always supported me expressing their trust and happiness in my success. Overall, the educational system is of western type. In the first year, I faced some difficulties in getting used to it, since in post soviet countries the system was inherited from soviet period. I can also add that even if the system is western typed, the burden of courses is much more than that of post soviet countries.

 

 

Experience of living in Turkey

Culture: Turkish culture was full of surprises for me personally. When I first started to know Turkish culture, it was back when i studied in Kyrgyz-Turkish girls high school in Kyrgyzstan; I thought it had more or less the same culture as that of Kyrgyzstan. . However, my opinion has totally changed when I came to Turkey. Despite the fact that there were many similarities, it took some time for me to get used to Turkish culture and even after the five years of living in Turkey, I did not assimilate it completely. It is also important to note that the Turkish culture is so much heterogeneous. When I was in Turkey, I had a chance to travel all over the Turkey and their culture highly differed from one region to another and in some regions,  there are people who are highly conservative and follow more of a eastern way of living, while others in the same region choose western way of living.

Student life: I can definitely say that my student life was incredible mainly due to conveniences and opportunities in the university. To begin with the university itself, its campus has everything in it starting from hospital to banks and hairdressing salon. You can give 100% of yourself to education in this place. Most of my friends who lived in the campus went to city once in a month, sometimes once in two months. All the basic needs of a student were met in the campus.

Turks towards foreigners: I think Turkey is one of the most foreign-friendly nations. I can assure you that during my five years of study in Turkey, I have never felt myself discriminated because I am not Turk. On the contrary, most of the Turkish people are willing to help  whenever you need it.  When I entered the classroom, I was able to feel that there was a lot of attention on me.  After some time, my fellow classmates started coming to me and asked a few questions. Their questions were typical like where am I from. When I answered that I am from Central Asia and a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, they were surprised, since they were expecting me to be from Korea, China or somewhere around that region. The other frequent question was whether I know Turkish or not, and my positive answer to this question made most of them very happy. Need to highlight here that Turkish society is highly patriotic. Celebrations of Independence etc. are spread among all people, starting from children in kindergarten to retired grannys. Even i became more patriotic. Other than the patriotism, the Turkish society taught me to share, I met  many big-hearted people. They are the ones who don’t have any dilemma when it comes to sharing with someone they know little about. They pay a lot of attention in celebrating the religious holidays, and I had a few chances to celebrate with Turkish families. It was awesome. Coming back to my home country, I really miss those celebrations a lot.

Cuisine: I would say Turkish cuisine is delicious and in getting used to it I did not face much problems since we had similar cuisine in our country. Unlike Japan or India, food in Turkey is not different from what i was used to in my country. Food culture in Turkey also differed from one region to another. The cuisine of the Black sea region uses fish extensively and western parts are rich in vegetables, but all regions in Turkey love sweets and desserts and make them a lot, especially on holidays. In Turkey wherever you go, you will find something special of that region to eat.

Financial aspect: The life in Turkey is not an expensive affair. For the ones who come from underdeveloped countries, it may seem as a bit expensive, but compared to most of the western countries it is cheap enough. Other than your tuition fee, foreign students have to pay for the health insurance and residence permit. Living expenses range from 70$ for a month to 700$. It will depend on your own choice of comfort. In terms of working opportunities for the students in Turkey, there are a few opportunities but officially educational residence permit prohibits working. Generally, university students teach some private lessons to high school students  and demand for private lessons is high enough.For top scholarship opportunities in Turkey Click here.

Documentation: The official process of registration in Turkey is not much hard. First, visa application process is very easy, and almost every time results are positive. After having registered to your university, you become eligible to apply for the residence permit.

Extra-curricular activities: My university was very rich in Extra-curricular activities. After finalizing my registration, I had a chance to attend the fair of university clubs. Officially, in METU (Middle East Technical University)  there are  more than hundred registered student clubs. All of them are totally run by students themselves, and  these activities give students great opportunity to gain some experience in the field they are interested in. I decided to become a member of Foreign Policy and International Relations Club (FPRIC), and still think that it was a good decision, because as a member of this club I have learnt a lot of things. In the beginning, I attended only MUN training under the supervision of this club and participated in several conferences. Later, when I gained some experience, I become a member of the Eurosima Academic team, and successfully held an international European Union simulation in Turkey. With the network of people from our club, I was able to arrange a internship for myself.

Now, after one year of my graduation from Middle East Technical University, I can assure you that if I had a chance to go back to the past, when I was deciding about my undergraduate education, I would definitely take the same decision which I took six years ago. Even though I had some difficulties, educational experience of studying in Turkey was life changing for me personally. During my stay, I met very bright and good people who positively affected my way of thinking, students from various disciplines who inspired me for the better future and finally, my friends who stood by me during times of happiness and sadness. I am thankful to God that I had a chance to study in such a good university.No doubt, i would cherish those memories for the rest of my life.

 

Education in Turkey

Turkish education system is under the supervision and control of the state, namely the Ministry of National Education. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, everyone has the right to receive education. Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 14 and free in state schools. The country's primary schools currently have a 98 percent participation rate. 
The academic year in Turkish education institutions generally begins in the mid-September or early October and continues to May or early June. There is also a two-week winter break in February. 

Stages of the Education System

Pre-School Education: Optional kindergarten education, up to 6 years of age.
Primary Education: Compulsory and free basic education for eight years (5 years elementary + 3 years secondary), 6-14 years of age.
Secondary Education: 4 years of High School (Lise), or Vocational High School education, 15-17/18 years of age. Some schools might have an additional year of language study. High schools are mostly owned by the government and provide free education. 
Higher Education: 4 years of University, or 2 years at Higher Vocational Schools. Some schools have an additional year of language study. Under normal circumstances, Master's study lasts 2 years; PhD 3-5 years. This category includes all educational institutions which will provide post-secondary education. They are under the supervision of Higher Educational Council (YOK).

Types of High Schools

Public High Schools (“Normal Liseler” or “Duz Liseler”): Any student who successfully completes 8 years of basic education can go onto these schools. Graduates of public high schools, if successful in the nationwide University Entrance Examination (ÖSS), can go onto higher education institutions. Graduates are awarded with the Lise Diploması.
Vocational High Schools (Meslek Liseleri): Some of these schools may take an additional year to complete. Graduates can automatically go on to higher vocational schools (Meslek Yüksek Okulları - 2 Year Vocational Colleges) in their respective fields of study if they wish. Alternatively, if successful in the university entrance examination, they can go onto 4-year schools in their respective fields.
Anatolian High Schools (Anadolu Liseleri): One year of English study followed by 3 years of regular high school education, additional hours for English. Math and Science lessons at these schools are sometimes taught in English. Lessons at some Anatolian high schools are taught in either German or French.
Super High Schools (Super Liseler): The difference between these and normal high schools is one extra year of English study. They differ from Anatolian high schools in that the language of instruction for math and science courses is always Turkish and less hours are given to English lessons.
Science High Schools (Fen Liseleri): These are special public schools for students who have exceptional aptitude in the sciences. These very competitive high schools train students specifically for higher education in the sciences, technical and medical fields. There is also Anatolian Science High Schools (Anadolu Fen Liseleri), where the medium of instruction for math and sciences is sometimes in English.
Private High Schools (Ozel Liseler): Most private high schools charge very high tuition fees and are very competitive.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

State Universities (Devlet Universiteleri): The university system in Turkey is governed by the Higher Educational Council (YOK). Turkey has 104 state and 62 private universities (a total of 166 institutions of higher learning), 5 of which are located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Apart from the public and private universities, 8 foundation higher vocational schools serve the job market.

Generally, undergraduate education takes 4 years at universities, but some fields such as medicine (6 years), dentistry (5 years), and veterinary science (5 years) take longer. Turkish high school graduates go directly into fields of study such as medicine, law, dentistry and so on. No tuition fee is charged at public schools (devlet universitesi); students pay only a small basic fee. Students need to pass a nationwide University Entrance Exam (OSS) to enter a university. The graduates of 4-year programs are awarded with the Bachelor’s Degree (Lisans Diplomasi).

The medium of instruction at some state universities is English, German or French. Therefore, all correspondence with the university staff and applications to the faculties can be done in English, German or French. However, instruction language at state universities is mostly Turkish. When entering the exam of the university, the knowledge of Turkish is not necessary. Those who pass the exams, and have only a little knowledge of Turkish, are considered to take one year of language foundation to gain proficiency in the Turkish language. 

Graduate-level programs consist of master and doctoral programs, coordinated by institutes in universities. Medical specialty programs are carried out within the faculties of medicine and the training hospitals owned by the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Institute (SGK).

Higher Vocational Schools (Meslek Yuksek Okulları): They offer 2 years of undergraduate study after high school and are very much like the community colleges in the USA. The only difference is that students cannot easily transfer to 4-year schools in the USA due to fewer places at the 4-year schools. Two year graduates must take the national Vertical Transfer Test (Dikey Gecis Sinavi) and have a high GPA to be able to apply to 4-year schools. The graduates of 2-year programs are awarded with the Associate’s or Pre-Bachelor’s Degree (On Lisans Diplomasi).

Private or Foundation Universities (Ozel / Vakif Universiteleri): In Turkey, private foundations obtained the right in 1984 to establish and develop universities. They were established with the fundamental aim of creating a centre of excellence in higher education and research. Private universities take more active initiatives to form and to select international and global educational and research networks.

The medium of instruction in most private universities is English. Almost all have one year of English study for those whose level of English is not found to be proficient upon entrance.

Private universities charge tuition fee ranging from USD 6,000-20,000. Although private institutions, they offer considerable financial aid; more than 40% of all students receive some sort of financial aid.

Visa in Turkey

International students who plan to study in Turkey require a visa. Also, if your stay in Turkey is for more than 90 days, or you want to work in Turkey, you require visa. Read on to know about the Turkish visas and their requirements:

 

Turkish visas are single-entry (tek giris) or multiple-entry (muteaddit giris) visas. Student and work visas have multiple entries; and the border and tourist visas are valid for a single entry.

 

Student Visa Application Procedure

All the international students must apply for the students visa at their nearest Turkish embassy or consulate. You must apply for the visa personally, so make the appointment for the same online.

 

Students must fill out a visa application form and submit it to the Turkish embassy with the required documents. Student application form can be taken from your nearest Turkish embassy. 

Passport: Valid for a period longer than 90 days

2 passport-size photos

Letter of acceptance from the Turkish higher education institution

Health insurance proof

Return ticket proof

Evidence of sufficient FINANCIAL means to support your study and living in Turkey

Visa processing fee: It varies depending upon the nationality

Police clearance certificate

Medical certificate

** Students must obtain the visa prior to entering Turkey.

 

To know more about the student visa application process and documentation, contact your nearest Turkish embassy. 

Turkish Residence Permits 

Students whose stay in Turkey is for a period longer than 90 days, they must apply for a residence permit. There are different kinds of residence permits in Turkey: 

Student residence permit

Short-term residence permit

Long-term residence permit

Family residence permit

Humanitarian residence permit

Student Residence Permit

Students must apply for a residence permit with the local authorities (if the student is in Turkey) within 1 month of their arrival in Turkey. Following documents must be submitted to the Foreign Relations Department at the Local Police Headquarters: 

Application form and fees

Travel document: 2 copies along with the student visa

4 passport-size photographs

Letter or document from the institution: It must be issued by the host university, declaring the start and the end dates of the study in Turkey

Validity: Students who are admitted in a degree programme at any higher education institution in Turkey are given residency permits valid for a period of 1 year. 

 

To renew your residence permit: Visit the local authorities 60 days before your residence permit expires. Fill the renewal application form and submit. You will be issued the permit.