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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody, I hope someone can answer my questions as I have been to all the embassy/consulate websites and not found what I'm looking for.

First of all, I'm from Australia, so I don't have to go through Campus France.

Second of all, I'm over 30 (just) so I can't come over on the WHV scheme that France has with Australia, nor as a language assistant...

so I'm looking into alternate ways to get into the country and stay more than 3 months.

So I plan on studying there for a year.. If I'm accepted into the course, then I assume they will give me a year's visa if I applied for that period?

The problem is, what if I don't like the school.. and I've paid all that money up front. Do I have to? Ideally I don't want to be at any school more than 1-3 months unless I really like it (and I won't know until I've tried it.).

I've looked into: Sorbonne CCFS, Catholic institute, Alliance Francaise, and Accord mainly.

I'm just not exactly sure what I should be doing and handing over that much money (for 1 year's tuition) for a course/school I may or may not like frightens me.

What exactly do I have to do with the language school to get them to grant me a visa?
Also, what are some feasible ways to make money whilst over there? I know you can only work 20hours a week.

I am confused by everything.

Thanks if anyone has any advice.
 

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Is the reason you don't have to go through Campus France because you're Australian? Or because you're over 30? My impression was that the consulates sent everyone looking for a student visa to Campus France, no matter their nationality or their age, simply to handle the visa part of the process.

Basically, the idea of a student visa is to enroll in some defined (degree or certificate granting) program that tells them how long you are planning to stay in France. It is theoretically possible to start out in a short term program (say, 3 months) and then extend your student visa by enrolling in a second program. But they keep cracking down on the procedures so it may or may not be necessary to return "home" to apply for the visa extension (or rather, a second student visa) by the time your first program is finishing up.

Feasible ways of making money while a student really depend on your training and experience. The French are kind of fanatic about only hiring people to work in whatever it was they trained in (or rather are qualified in). But there is always fast food counter work and stuff like that.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bev. There is no Campus France procedure in Australia. Not all countries have to go through CF. I don't know why that is.

Thanks for the tips though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have searched extensively on the internet and cannot find the answers to my questions :( namely ....

What is the minimum time of enrolment to be granted a 1 year student visa? I read somewhere that they are now issued in 2x 6 month blocks? Does that mean if you enrol for 7 months you could be issued with a 12 month visa?

Are there any cheap courses/schools? Most I've looked at cost around 200 euros/week which , in effect means I will be 'buying' my student visa at a hefty price.. 200E x 52 weeks is .. well, a lot of money.

Is there a cheaper way to get this student visa, or another way to get a 12 month visa? thanks.
 

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Are you interested in studying something in particular in France, or just in living in France for a year?

The student visa is intended for people coming to France for a particular course or school. Even at the public universities, foreign students are popular as they pay full tuition for their courses. Most forms of continuing education are expensive here in France, as most people here expect their employer to pay for any course they are taking - 200€ a week is actually a pretty good price for a full-time program. I doubt there is any program that runs 52 weeks in the year - usually educational programs follow the public school holiday calendar, which allows for 6 or 8 weeks off during the school year and an 8 week break over the summer.

The option is to go for a non-working visa, though for a year long one, you'll have to prove you have the resources to see you through a full year - and in this case, a regular income (say, a pension or other sort of regular payment) would probably be more persuasive than a lump sum in a bank account.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes I want to study French. Actually I am thinking of doing a Masters but I know that my French skills are not good enough yet so ideally I'd want to study French for a few months to get me up to scratch, then start a course at a French university. I don't really want to go there to work per se, but obviously one needs to survive and I don't think I would have enough savings to live on for a whole year.
 
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