Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

*NOTE: if you skip to the end you’ll get right to the heart of the post, I can be a bit long winded.

This is my very first post. I've come across the expat several times as i've searched for information about living in France. I've visited Paris only twice, while I was in Germany, but after going I knew Paris is where I was meant to spend the rest of my life. (It's interesting that I find the city to be beautiful, cultured, and surprisingly clean - at least the 1st arrondissement, but none of my european friends seem to agree completely). Well, I've always had an interest in moving to the City of Lights since I was a young teenager, I'm afraid that's been about ten years ago....but it's hard to say you want to move somewhere you've never been and have people take you seriously. Now that i've gone, and spent a total of two weeks there I can feel a bit more substantiated in saying I intend to move there.

Now time to get past the fantasies created by Ella Fitzgerald's "i love paris", Billie Holiday's "april in paris", or ideas of shopping at the designer boutique on the Champs-Elysees and start being real! I am aiming for early summer of 2014 as a general time to move (I figure this is when many students will return to their home countries).

So why do I want to move to France? To learn french and eventually become a functioning part of french society working in fashion business (how many times have you all heard that one). There’s just one huge problem relatively small issue that needs to be taken care of: my french is not so good. I took high school french for three years, but that was over six years ago and since then I had to learn spanish...unfortunately my spanish has disintegrated the relative good amount of french I remembered (although I was able to manage with what I could remember, it was quite often I would have to revert to english). So with that being said I want to go to obtain a secondary education in French. I would love to attend school to learn to speak, read, listen, and write the french language in professional manner as well learn about the political system, literature, art, etc. I have done a little research, but it seems most universities cater to students coming to study for a summer or a semester, but few provide a full degree. I noticed Sorbonne had a program, but I believe it is a maximum of 12 weeks. If I am mistaken please correct me.

After (or even while if a school offers a double major) completing my degree in French, I would then like to obtain a degree in Fashion Business or Merchandising to work in the fashion industry. I want to be as real about this as possible, so I did a little googling and life in the fashion industry in Paris is not nearly as glamourous as it is portrayed. I read on one website that those in the industry are infamously underpaid. I am not looking to become a billionaire or anything like that, I just want to work as a buyer or with a fashion house.

To support myself I plan to use my veteran benefits (the post 9/11 GI Bill) which provides a certain amount for housing I believe it is around $1,368USD for the 2012 school year for foreign students, $1,000 USD for books, as well as roughly $75,000 USD altogether for tuition. By that time I would have roughly $20,000 USD saved to support myself for a little while until I could get an internship (if I remember correctly it pays €350) or a part time job.

So basically I’m wondering if this sounds like a feasible plan?










To post my questions briefly:

-Are there any good colleges in Paris that offer french as a major and start with the basics for non speakers?

-Is it possible to get an internship or part time job in Paris when my french skills are not all that strong, in maybe say a position that requires heavy english? I know my skills aren’t that great, but if I think working in the fashion industry, even sweeping the streets or cleaning the windows at a small unheard of local boutique or something would still help me learn faster french and the specialized vocabulary while also giving me experience.

-Does my overall plan and financial outline sound solid or am I horribly jaded and should wait several more years or give up on the idea of moving?

Please, be brutally honest because all comments and suggestions are welcomed. I really do not want to set myself up for failure, so I’m starting my research now and will begin applying to schools and getting my school visa next summer. Thank you all in advance for bearing with this dreadfully long post!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,980 Posts
Welcome to the forum. To be honest, you're not exactly the first to have dreams of working in the fashion industry in Paris.

To post my questions briefly:

-Are there any good colleges in Paris that offer french as a major and start with the basics for non speakers?
For French as a major, you're going to be expected to read, write and speak French at a pretty high level. You may want to look into the Sorbonne French civilisation program, which can be built into a year-long study of French language and culture (though it is pricey). For other academic or language programs, check the website for Campus France.

-Is it possible to get an internship or part time job in Paris when my french skills are not all that strong, in maybe say a position that requires heavy english? I know my skills aren’t that great, but if I think working in the fashion industry, even sweeping the streets or cleaning the windows at a small unheard of local boutique or something would still help me learn faster french and the specialized vocabulary while also giving me experience.
If you are on a student visa, you are allowed to work a limited amount of time - but you first have to show that you have the financial resources to finance your stay. Working is expected to provide "pocket money." Most French academic programs include periods of internships (which may or may not be paid) as course requirements.

-Does my overall plan and financial outline sound solid or am I horribly jaded and should wait several more years or give up on the idea of moving?
You should take a look at the Campus France website and see if you can find an academic program that meets your needs and can provide you with the necessary student visa. It's not impossible, but the system here is considerably different than in the US. Learning French will be a big necessity, and being able to finance your stay is part of the visa process.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Hi There

Hi there,

I'm not too sure I fully understand your plan of action there?
You would like to gain a degree in Fashion to work in the industry?
Few questions before:
What level of education have you already got? I'm asking because French "good" school and therefore private usually ask for "elite" student with strong background.
Obviously to get into a "reputable" school you will have to have good command of french unless it's an international type school.
Are you really from a place call "destin"?
About learning french have you thought about enquiring to your local "Alliance Francaise" there all over the world so if by a city or town there should be one.
Hope that help a little bit.
Cheers,

Pauline
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forum. To be honest, you're not exactly the first to have dreams of working in the fashion industry in Paris.
LOL, i know i'm not the first, that's why I made the statement "how many times have you all heard that one", i think my sarcasm wasn't adequately communicated.

For French as a major, you're going to be expected to read, write and speak French at a pretty high level. You may want to look into the Sorbonne French civilisation program, which can be built into a year-long study of French language and culture (though it is pricey). For other academic or language programs, check the website for Campus France.
The Campus France site is what got me to thinking that there are few, if any programs that cater to what I'm trying to do. I think I'll go back and try to look over the site again. I did, however, like Sorbonne's language course because it requires a test for placement first, and there seems to be different levels I could take, etc. From my understanding the cost of tuition was roughly €4.000, are there more fees that are not mentioned (outside of typical registration fees, etc). I would have a $75,000 USD to pay for tuition, to be used at my discretion.


If you are on a student visa, you are allowed to work a limited amount of time - but you first have to show that you have the financial resources to finance your stay. Working is expected to provide "pocket money." Most French academic programs include periods of internships (which may or may not be paid) as course requirements.
I would use my personal savings $20,000+ USD and my monthly stipend of more a little more than $1,000 USD to support myself and the work would provide money for saving and the occasional "treat myself" day.

You should take a look at the Campus France website and see if you can find an academic program that meets your needs and can provide you with the necessary student visa. It's not impossible, but the system here is considerably different than in the US. Learning French will be a big necessity, and being able to finance your stay is part of the visa process.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks! I'll take another look at Campus France to try to get some more information about a program that would suit my needs as there is a ton of paper work I would have to submit to Veteran Affairs for them to set up payment with the school. I think I'll look into the program at the sorbonne. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there,

I'm not too sure I fully understand your plan of action there?
You would like to gain a degree in Fashion to work in the industry?
Few questions before:
What level of education have you already got? I'm asking because French "good" school and therefore private usually ask for "elite" student with strong background.
Obviously to get into a "reputable" school you will have to have good command of french unless it's an international type school.
Are you really from a place call "destin"?
About learning french have you thought about enquiring to your local "Alliance Francaise" there all over the world so if by a city or town there should be one.
Hope that help a little bit.
Cheers,

Pauline
i apologize for confusing you, i think i should have just followed the K.I.S.S. method (keep it short and simple).

Yes, i'm looking to get a degree in fashion business, something like merchandising or brand management.

I'm not looking to go to one of the most prestigious schools, as i'm afraid they would be more expensive than a traditional uni. it seems france has a lot of good schools, by good i mean they have solid reputations and provide solid education. By no means am i trying to go to the "harvard of france" or the "oxford of paris".

i understand that i'll have to have a good command of french, so before I go for fashion i would like to attend a thorough and rigorous course that will prepare me. i just do not believe that i would be prepared for a university level fashion class in french after a three week or even summer long program, so that's why I am asking if there are longer courses. I want to become submerged in the language and lifestyle of the french, as I intend to permanently live there.

I have never heard of the Alliance Francaise. Merci beaucoup pour l'infomacion.

I just gave it a quick google and the nearest one is about an hour or so is about three hours away...and yes i do live in a place called "destin, florida" not by choice though (i'm currently stationed here). Google map it and you'll see what it looks like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also Bev, I noticed a few different programs (the DELF or TCF) would either of these be better suited for me? i remember you saying something about having to study at least 400 hours before taking an exam. after i finish school and no longer need a student visit but instead a long stay visa, would either of these certifications help me pass that exam?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Also Bev, I noticed a few different programs (the DELF or TCF) would either of these be better suited for me? i remember you saying something about having to study at least 400 hours before taking an exam. after i finish school and no longer need a student visit but instead a long stay visa, would either of these certifications help me pass that exam?
I think you're confusing different information together. Spouses of French nationals who come to France, if their French is not to standard, can complete up to 400 hours of classes at the end of which they pass an exam.

The DELF is a certificate of French competency. The European common framework for language levels is organised like so:
Beginner - Levels A1 and A2
Intermediate - Levels B1 and B2
Advanced - Levels C1 and C2

The following are the certificates (obtained through an examination) which correspond to the levels (there is a separate exam for each level):
DILF - Diplôme initial de langue française (A1 and A2)
DELF - Diplôme d'études en langue française (B1 and B2)
DALF - Diplôme approfondi de langue française (C1 and C2)

If I were you I'd take a purely French language focused course until I reached the desired level of French - there is no limit on how many classes you can take (ie: you can study French language for a year, two, ect.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think you're confusing different information together. Spouses of French nationals who come to France, if their French is not to standard, can complete up to 400 hours of classes at the end of which they pass an exam.

The DELF is a certificate of French competency. The European common framework for language levels is organised like so:
Beginner - Levels A1 and A2
Intermediate - Levels B1 and B2
Advanced - Levels C1 and C2

The following are the certificates (obtained through an examination) which correspond to the levels (there is a separate exam for each level):
DILF - Diplôme initial de langue française (A1 and A2)
DELF - Diplôme d'études en langue française (B1 and B2)
DALF - Diplôme approfondi de langue française (C1 and C2)

If I were you I'd take a purely French language focused course until I reached the desired level of French - there is no limit on how many classes you can take (ie: you can study French language for a year, two, ect.)
oh, ok! thank you for clearing this up for. Ok, so i think I will do that because I would want to have an advanced, or at the very very very least an intermediate understanding. the only thing is that for my funding to pay for it, the courses would have to count for credit and towards a diploma like an associates or bachelors, or rather the french equivalent (so i think that's the BTS or License).
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,980 Posts
Have you looked into Parsons school in Paris? ÉCOLE PARSONS À PARIS

This school is affiliated with Parsons School of Design in New York, I think it is, and much of the curriculum is taught in English. It IS, OTOH, rather pricey as schools go in France.

"Fashion" as such isn't really considered a university level academic program in the French system. So Parsons could be your best option. In any event, take a look at the website and see if this is more like what you're thinking of.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
you are so helpful bev!!

i've looked into the school before, but was afraid of applying because i know how prestigious parson's is in new york...i'll give it a second look because i know the school has a very rich history in the fashion community. i also did not realize that fashion would not be considered a university level program, so i guess i'll have to look at art schools for those types of programs i presume.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Well, maybe

Your "destin" is to be in Paris!
Actually, getting to University in France is pretty easy and I remember when I was a student I had chinese friend with me that where really bad at french to start with and got better as the year went. I think they had to go for some king of "choose an answer" type test and they had to get someting like 500/1000 a bit like the toefl for usa.

French university is usually easy to get in for the simple fact that you start with 900 student the first semester than it get half by the end of the year and by the year 4, there are about 50 people left. It's only the 5th year that you will specialise in something like management or brand but I have no idea which path you have to follow.

Well good luck anyway and if you need more help do not hesitate.

Cheers,
Pauline
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Have you looked into Parsons school in Paris? ÉCOLE PARSONS À PARIS

This school is affiliated with Parsons School of Design in New York, I think it is, and much of the curriculum is taught in English. It IS, OTOH, rather pricey as schools go in France.

"Fashion" as such isn't really considered a university level academic program in the French system. So Parsons could be your best option. In any event, take a look at the website and see if this is more like what you're thinking of.
Cheers,
Bev
bev, bev, bev, bev, bev bev!! why, oh why did you have to suggest parson's paris!? i love that school to death!! before i joined, i was very interested in going to the new york campus and transferring to paris...that is until i realized it was like $40,000 USD for a year at the new york campus...i'm afraid i wouldn't have enough to complete my education...and i'm afraid the same is still true now, even with $75.000 USD for my education set aside that is not enough. which pains me to say that because i love that school so much and it's ideology is so in tune with mine. they look at the big picture and they want to be innovative, but in a productive way. it's pure genius! thank you though for the suggestion, but i'm afraid my school search is still underway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Your "destin" is to be in Paris!
Actually, getting to University in France is pretty easy and I remember when I was a student I had chinese friend with me that where really bad at french to start with and got better as the year went. I think they had to go for some king of "choose an answer" type test and they had to get someting like 500/1000 a bit like the toefl for usa.

French university is usually easy to get in for the simple fact that you start with 900 student the first semester than it get half by the end of the year and by the year 4, there are about 50 people left. It's only the 5th year that you will specialise in something like management or brand but I have no idea which path you have to follow.

Well good luck anyway and if you need more help do not hesitate.

Cheers,
Pauline
well, the only thing would be competing with those other 900+ applicants beforehand. i'd come with no related college experience. i have an opportunity to get my associate's in spanish, i just need to make time to do my general required courses (which it seems impossible to do, lol). i think the universite might be better than the grand ecoles that i've been coming across so far (esmod and parson's paris, both are great schools especially parson's but it's a bit too pricey for me). i wonder if i could go to the universite for general business (business management, international business, something along those lines) and still work in fashion?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
51,980 Posts
well, the only thing would be competing with those other 900+ applicants beforehand. i'd come with no related college experience. i have an opportunity to get my associate's in spanish, i just need to make time to do my general required courses (which it seems impossible to do, lol). i think the universite might be better than the grand ecoles that i've been coming across so far (esmod and parson's paris, both are great schools especially parson's but it's a bit too pricey for me). i wonder if i could go to the universite for general business (business management, international business, something along those lines) and still work in fashion?
You need to study the Campus France website pretty carefully. Business is another of those professions that isn't really "university" study, but rather specialized tertiary (i.e. post-high school) education in France. The universities are pretty much limited to "traditional" academic subjects here.

It's also useful to know that, for admission concerns, a US candidate normally is expected to have one year of college or university successfully completed in order to be considered for entrance into the first year of university in France. With an associate's degree you may or may not be allowed to enter in the second year - or they may just start you out at the beginning of the program. (French universities are VERY different in format from US ones.)

One possibility would be to study business in the US (and pick up a fashion or design class on the side when you can) and then try for a summer internship or other "job exchange" thing in Paris in order to develop some contacts. That might give you a firmer footing for landing a job in the fashion industry here - that would come with a full fledged employer sponsor for a visa. It's the long-term approach, but it might work out better in the end.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You need to study the Campus France website pretty carefully. Business is another of those professions that isn't really "university" study, but rather specialized tertiary (i.e. post-high school) education in France. The universities are pretty much limited to "traditional" academic subjects here.

It's also useful to know that, for admission concerns, a US candidate normally is expected to have one year of college or university successfully completed in order to be considered for entrance into the first year of university in France. With an associate's degree you may or may not be allowed to enter in the second year - or they may just start you out at the beginning of the program. (French universities are VERY different in format from US ones.)

One possibility would be to study business in the US (and pick up a fashion or design class on the side when you can) and then try for a summer internship or other "job exchange" thing in Paris in order to develop some contacts. That might give you a firmer footing for landing a job in the fashion industry here - that would come with a full fledged employer sponsor for a visa. It's the long-term approach, but it might work out better in the end.
Cheers,
Bev
thank you bet, i'm headed over to their website now. i have to plan this thing out, i realize that maybe it would be better to stay in the US for one more year (at least) than i planned and take some french and other college courses...
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top