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Do I have to learn French in order to study in France?
Not necessarily. More and more programs, especially at the postgraduate level, are taught in English. But if you want to study a Bachelor degree, know that the large majority of the programmes are taught in French. Also it is highly recommended to have a basic knowledge of French, even if you study in an English programme, as it will help you a lot in your daily life.
Can I find courses and programmes taught in English in France?
Yes, you can find programmes taught in English, mostly at the graduate level (Masters especially). But note that the majority of higher education programmes are taught in French. For more information, you can contact us or have a look at Campus France's website.
Where can I take French lessons?
Many options are possible, from private lessons to language schools. The Alliance Française offers high quality French courses, from beginner to advance learners, in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Penang. There you can also prepare and take the DELF/DALF, TCF/TEC tests (required to enter French programmes) and enjoy a variety of French cultural events.
What is the difference between the DELF/DALF and the TCF?
The DELF/DALF is French language diplomas, testing candidates on their comprehension, expression, interaction and mediation skills in French. Six levels are designed, from beginner to advanced: DELF A1, DELF A2, DELF B1, DELF B2, DALF C1 and DALF C2. A mark of at least 50/100 is necessary to be awarded the diploma.
The TCF and TCF DAP are French language tests; they assess people's level of French for professional, personal or academic purposes. You cannot fail the TCF: upon completion of the test, candidates receive a certificate of results that grades them at one level from A1 to C2 on the competency scale. The TCF DAP is required by French universities as part of the application for the Bachelor.
You can prepare and take these tests at the Alliances Française.
How can I get a scholarship?
If you study in France within a partnership between France and Malaysia, you can get a scholarship from the Malaysian Higher Education Ministry through your Malaysian university. The French embassy can also grant some scholarships for specific programmes (ex: training grants).
If you study in France without being a part of a specific program, some scholarships from the French government are available but note that they are very selective.
  • Eiffel Merit scholarship: designed for top-ranking foreign students at the graduate level or enrolled in a joint PhD programme. Candidates must be proposed by the French institutions that have already accepted them;
  • Major Merit scholarship: awarded to foreign alumni of Lycees Français abroad, by the CNOUS.
  • Charcot programme fellowship: offers one-year training fellowships for clinical research for research professors (or future research professors).

Some private institutions also offer scholarships. For more information, please contact us or check the websites of Egide or Campus France.

What is the cost of living in France?
The cost of living is higher in France than it is in Malaysia but tuitions fees for public universities are very affordable and students can also enjoy many discounts (cinema, restaurants, museums,...). The average monthly budget is around 1000 Euros in Paris, and 800 Euros in the rest of France. For more information, read our guidebook cost of living section.
What's the procedure to get a student visa for France?
A visa is required if you come to France for any other purposes than tourism or if you plan to stay more than three months. You need to apply for the long stay student visa at the consular section of the French embassy in your country of residence before entering France (it is not possible to enter as a tourist and then obtain a student visa in France).
First, you need to register online on the French embassy's website and to make an appointment with the French consulate. You will not be received if you do not have a set appointment.
The documents required are as follow: a passport valid for the duration of the stay (or at least valid for one year); 2 filled-in long stay visa forms (you can download it on the French Embassy's website); 2 passport pictures; the letter of acceptance from the French university (the original letter); a motivation letter explaining your reasons for studying in France; the original and 2 copies of your last degree / diploma + transcripts; a proof of accommodation (hotel booking, rental agreement, letter from a friend or family hosting you); a proof of your income (letter of scholarship, bank statements from you or your sponsor, parents or family). You need to prove that you can afford to live in France, and that you have minimum 430 Euros per month for the duration of your stay. The visa costs 99€ (about 500 ringgits). Please register early to make sure you can get an appointment on time.
Once you have submitted your application, it takes maximum 1 month to obtain the visa. Keep those documents with you as the customs at the airport can ask for them when you enter France.
Once in France, you will need to apply for a Carte de séjour, which is a kind a residence permit. You will need the same documents as those for the visa and maybe some other ones. Your university in France can help you obtain your Carte de séjour.
Can I enter France as tourist and then get a student visa?
No, you cannot change your type of visa once you are in France. If you enter as a tourist and wish to become a student, you will have to come back to Malaysia and apply for a student visa. It is best to apply for a long-stay student visa before coming to France.
Can I study in France with a SPM / O-level?
The French system does not have any equivalent for the O-level qualification. In order to enter university, students must have completed higher secondary school and have the equivalent of the French baccalauréat. A-level qualifications, STPM, International Baccalaureate... are considered equivalent to this exam and enable students to apply to any French university.
However, we have Matriculation programmes in Malaysia that are designed for O-level holders and prepare students to study in hospitality and tourism programmes and in engineering programmes. Check the PreU section.
What is the requirement to study in a French university?
The minimum requirement to enter in first year of university is the equivalent of the French baccalauréat: A-level, STPM, International Baccalaureate,... For programmes taught in French, universities require from foreign students (who did not study in a French-speaking high school) to show proof of their ability to study in French. They usually require one of the French certificates: DELF B2 / DALF C1 or TCF. Every university has its own requirements so you need to verify those on their websites. Good transcripts and a good level of French are the main criteria to be accepted in a French university.
To enter a Grande école, you have to sit for an entrance exam. Parallel admissions exist for foreign students to enter those schools at different levels (in second or fourth year). Every Grande Ecole has its own exam and requirements.
Is it easy to find a job in Malaysia after studying in France?
French degrees are recognised in Malaysia and graduates are very valuable for companies in Malaysia, especially for French companies located in Malaysia. These graduates usually speak English and French; and also they are well prepared to the business world thanks to onsite training and work placements that are part of the degrees (especially for students in technical fields and in Masters degrees).
The Malaysians who graduated in France now occupy interesting and diverse positions in prestigious companies, French and Malaysian, or in the administration: Technip, Alcatel -Lucent, Citroën, HSBC, Eurocopter, French Embassy, Forestry Department, Malaysian universities, Ministry of Education...
How can I study French in France?
It is possible to study French in France; there are a variety of institutions that provide French courses for foreigners, including Alliances Française. Note that the French embassy cannot grant any scholarships for these kinds of programmes, so you have to finance personally all the expenses. Those institutions do not provide national degrees but language certificates.
For a list of French language centres, click here.
Some universities offer Bachelors in Linguistics, specialisation French as Foreign Language (FLE). You need a good command of French before applying to these programmes.
When to apply to a French university?
Every university has its own procedures but it is necessary to apply very early because there is a preliminary admission procedure for foreign students. The intake for French universities is September or October of each year, there isn't a second intake in January. Foreign students have to send their application for a Bachelor as early as December or January for the next September intake. It might be later for Masters Programs. It is necessary to visit the universities' websites for more precise information.
Where can I find information about studies in France?
You can find a lot of information on our website, on the Campus France website (both in French and in English), on each universities' websites and also on the French Embassy's website. Check the websites section. And you can of course contact us for an appointment if you would like to discuss your education plan and see some of the brochures we have.


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