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Before I try my hand at CampusFrance (and fail) AGAIN, I'm considering starting with something a little easier. Where can I find information on schools in Paris that offer semester-long French courses for independent students? Ideally, I would like to go to Paris for this 3-month French course, come back home, apply to a public university (which is an entirely different issue by itself; I can't navigate the CampusFrance website to save my soul), get my student visa and head to Paris.

How do I go about doing this? I think I've spent too much time reading information about all these processes because everything is starting to blend together. If there is anyone out there who can give me a clear, concise, step-by-step list of how to apply to a public university in France and get the red tape out of the way, I will be eternally grateful.


Thank you for your time.


ADDITIONALLY: I would like to clarify something. In order to get a long stay student visa, one must provide proof of residency somewhere in France, correct? Does this mean that I am to find a place to live, possibly wind up needing to pay a full year in advance for the place, BEFORE I even find out if I'm allowed to live there?
 

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As far as the 3-month French course goes, start with Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne and then look into the Alliance Française courses .: ALLIANCE FRANCAISE :.

These are the two biggies - probably the two most prestigious and well regarded French courses in Paris. They are also expensive, but getting through either of these will bode well for your application to a French public university.

While you're in Paris, you can check out the student resident situation. Several people here on the boards have reported that they have fulfilled the visa requirements by submitting a "promise to let" document whereby a landlord or rental agency says that they have met with you and that you meet their requirements to rent a flat from them. There are a number of agencies that rent out short-term furnished flats listed in the FUSAC FUSAC - Petites annonces pour anglophones de Paris and they should be able to give you details.

AFAIK, if you want to attend a French university, you have to go through Campus France. Their website isn't that difficult to navigate, assuming your French is up to the task. (Actually, on the English part of the site, the translation is less awful than on many other official French websites.) If you want to live in France, you have to get used to dealing with red tape - not clearing it away, but really learning how to work with it. And you have to accept the fact that nothing happens quickly in France.

What sort of university program are you thinking of?
Cheers,
Bev
 
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