Vocational Training in France

France attracts many foreign students surpassed only by the United States and Britain.

France is a cultural center in Europe and is today the world’s most visited tourist country with approx. 60 million tourists a year. Paris in particular is popular, but also France’s varied nature, well-developed food and wine culture and the many museums and sights around the country attract quite a few tourists.

As one of countries starting with letter F listed on Countryaah, France also attracts students and researchers from all over the world. The French universities have exchange agreements with universities in many countries, and approx. 12% of the total number of students at the French higher education institutions are foreigners. Universities and other higher education institutions have exchange agreements with a number of countries and attract many foreign students. French is the language of instruction, but more and more English-language programs are being offered.

More and more French people, especially younger ones, today speak English, and in particularly internationally oriented industries, e.g. computer science, English is the subject language.

Worth knowing

Vocational training in France

In France, a vocational education is taken at a lycée professionnel, which is a vocational high school. At lycée professionnel you can take three different types of education:

  • CAP (Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle) is a 2-year practical course that trains for jobs as a mechanic, plumber, hairdresser or gardener. There are over 200 educations. CAP provides access to the final year of a three-year Baccalauréat Professionnel (Bac Pro).
  • BEP ( Brevet d’études professionnelles) (renové) is a graduation option in the vocational high school diploma (baccalauréat professionnel (Bac Pro). The education is two years. Bac Pro (Baccalauréat Professionnel) is a vocational student exam that takes 3 years after 9 years of schooling or 1 year after CAP or BEP A Bac Pro is primarily aimed at jobs in industry, the agricultural sector and the service sector, but also provides access to higher education.

A CAP can also be taken as an apprenticeship with apprenticeship and school education at a center de formation d’apprentis (CFA) (center for apprenticeship training).

One can take a number of subsequent vocational educations, e.g. foreman training or specializations for the basic vocational training.

Internship

If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.

Economics and education

You must pay tuition fees in the form of an enrollment fee, which is between 183 and 606 euros, depending on which educational institution and field of study you choose among the public educational institutions.

Private education costs between 3,000 and 10,000 euros a year, see e.g. Campus France for more information. Or check topschoolsintheusa for information of studying in France.

Work in France

Most jobs in France require a good knowledge of French, and although French people now also speak other languages, e.g. English, it is still an advantage for foreign applicants to know French at a high level.

Working hours in France fluctuate between 35 and 39 hours a week, and everyone is entitled to five weeks’ holiday. The State sets a minimum wage (SMIC) to which all employees are entitled.

Unemployment in France in 2012 was 10.3%. Unemployment among the highly educated is high, and so is general youth unemployment.

Job search

When looking for work in France, be prepared for fierce competition with lengthy recruitment procedures and some testing.

You can receive unemployment benefits for 3 months while you apply for a job in France, see more about this in the article Job search abroad under the folder Paid work.

Employment agencies

  • The EURES Advisers at the country’s Job Centers can help you find work in France.
  • Agence Nationale Pour l’Emploi (ANPE) is the public employment service. ANPE is affiliated with MINITEL, which is a nationwide database system where you can find vacancies.
  • Agence Pour l’Emploi des Cadres (APEC) – is a private employment agency for the highly educated. APEC publishes a job newspaper every week, Courrier Cadres, which you can see from the EURES Advisers at AF. APEC is also on the Internet with vacancies.
  • Career Option

The largest nationwide newspapers have many job advertisements, e.g. Le Monde, Le Figaro and Libération.

Disneyland

The Danish EURES Advisers at AF have worked closely with Disneyland in Paris for several years, and many Danish young people between the ages of 18 and 25 have worked one summer or more in Paris.

There are many different job features at Disneyland. For information on job opportunities, please contact the EURES Advisers. Hiring at Disneyland requires that you have a good knowledge of French and English.

Work-and residence permit

As an EU citizen, you are free to stay and work in France. If you are going to stay in France for a longer period of time, however, it may be a good idea to contact the local authorities (La Prefecture) in the city where you have a permanent residence.

See also the article Visas, work and residence permits.

Practical conditions

Housing

As soon as you are admitted to an education, you can apply for a dormitory room through the local student counseling CROUS (Centers Régionaux des Oeuvres Universitaires).

You can not be sure that there are available rooms, but often 10-15% of the rooms are reserved for foreign students. Dorm rooms are relatively cheap in France.

At the various CROUS you can also get information about other housing options, including about rooms at Les foyers des jeunes travailleurs and Les foyers d´étudiants, which are relatively cheap and good solutions.

In Paris there is an international student city, La Cité Internationale de l’Université de Paris. Here, Denmark has 49 rooms in the Danish Student House, and one room costs between 340 and 535 euros per person. month. However, you can only get a home after 2 years of study.

You must contact the Committee for the Danish Student House in Paris to obtain an application form.

There are also newspapers reminiscent of the Blue Newspaper, e.g. Locations et Ventes, where you can both find housing ads and advertise for housing yourself. Locations et Ventes is published every Thursday and can be bought in all French kiosks.

The legislation in the French housing market is less transparent than in Denmark, and it is a good idea to have a clear written agreement before signing a lease.

Study in France