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Studying abroad: Preparing for post-baccalaureate

By Expat.com, student partnerpublished on May 04, 2021

8 mins

Studying abroad, at least in part, has become a classic step in the schooling of young high school graduates. The advantages can be numerous both on the academic level with an added value on the variety of lessons, by mastering a new language or even on the personal level with a precious human development. If the experience is no longer rare, a departure for an education abroad is prepared well before the Baccalaureate exam and several options are available to candidates.

Enroll directly in an establishment abroad after the baccalaureate

If the Baccalaureate is a purely French diploma, it is nevertheless recognized in many countries and can open the doors of a institution of higher education outside France. However, the bin may not be enough.

Indeed, the first step in the process leading to a international schooling post BAC is to target the country you are targeting and to learn about the functioning of its school system. As a candidate for integration into a foreign establishment, you will face competition who already speak the national language and whose academic record matches the country’s standard. It will be up to you to make your file attractive by finding out about the selection criteria for the establishments you like. In some countries, entry into university or in school is conditioned on the one hand by your academic results (in high school but also possibly in an entrance exam) but also by a commitment to associations or by the practice of extra-curricular activities such as music, art or sport.

Depending on the country of destination, you may have the opportunity to apply in the different universities and schools without limitation (Canada, for example) or be restricted due to your foreign status. You will then have to take care of the procedures relating to any visa Where necessary permissions for to study in your new host country.

Choose a international school curriculum by enrolling directly in a establishment abroad is certainly cumbersome in administrative procedures, but allows you to follow your entire training in the host country or to control the duration freely. This will give you a better chance of find a job locally once schooling is completed.

Be careful, some school systems are not as financially accessible as French university courses and will require a significant investment of up to tens of thousands of euros for a complete education (Canada, UKUSA, South Korea…).

It is advisable to start the process well in advance. Indeed, although the baccalaureate is recognized in many countries, a application abroad will often require an official translation of their diplomas and exam marks as well as other administrative procedures such as a official language exam (the best known being the TOEFL for English) attesting to your ability to follow lessons in a language that is not your own. Do not hesitate to ask for letters of recommendation from your former professors, if possible, in order to consolidate your file.

Participate in an exchange program abroad offered by a French school

The simplest and most classic way to follow part of his education abroad under the most secure and financially advantageous conditions is university exchange. Over the years, bilateral agreements between higher education institutions (and not only universities) have multiplied in order to allow french students to benefit from a experience abroad in the best conditions. Thus, it is possible to choose your French study establishment according to a international mobility project that a student would have for the future.

This strategy has the advantage of granting a departure at a lower cost, most of the time by avoiding the french student to have to pay a very expensive registration fee in their host country, while benefiting from the lessons provided.

Be careful, however, the selection of candidates is done on file and will require significant involvement in order to maintain satisfactory and competitive results in order to be able to go to the country of your choice. In addition, the duration of the exchange will be limited in time and will rarely exceed one year.

Choose a school that offers an exchange abroad from the first year

If a registration directly in school abroad is impossible for you but you still want to go on exchange from your first year after the baccalaureate, it is still possible. Establishments offering to send you abroad as soon as you leave high school are rare but do exist, this is particularly the case for EM Normandy or EM Strasbourg Business School and his Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs.

Choose a internationally oriented career path will increase your chances of being able to track some of your study abroad thanks to your school.

Enroll in a language study program after the baccalaureate

Although you do not necessarily plan to pursue language studies, it is quite possible for you to take a so-called gap year between high school and the start of your higher education. A gap year does not mean “holiday” so it would be very profitable for you to go abroad in order to learn a language, in particular in a school or academy intended for this purpose while integrating you into your host country (and why not take a student job to maximize your use of the language).

Please note, depending on your destinationregistration in a language institute, although not necessarily issuing a state diploma, could cost several thousand euros per semester and require the application for a special visa, it is therefore important to calculate your budget correctly and to plan his departure, again, sufficiently in advance.

In France there are organisms who organize with or for you, a language stay adapted to your expectations and abilities and will relieve you of some of the administrative procedures.

The advantage of post-baccalaureate language staysin addition to giving you a greater mastery of a language, is to allow the student to mature his plan for the future and to choose his future course as a student more carefully.

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