Expatriation is undoubtedly an asset for children... learning one or more languages, immersion in another culture, openness to the world, capacity to adapt, amongst other things!
Why study in France?
The question arises for these unusual student profiles, products of expatriation. Having spent time in many countries, they often master several languages and are at ease in cosmopolitan environments. These "citizens of the world" have acquired strong linguistic abilities but above all excellent Soft Skills which are particularly sought after in today’s world. They know how to adapt to different situations and have an amazing ability to embrace the cultures of others.
These young French adults could probably opt to continue their higher education in other countries. They generally master English, which opens the doors to Anglo-Saxon universities. So, why would they choose to return to France for their studies?
Some of them have had the opportunity to follow a ‘typical’ education in a French school abroad. They have the same basic knowledge as any French student who has remained in mainland France. In this case, it is quite logical to continue in higher education in France.
Others, however, have had a more varied educational experience, in international schools or perhaps even in the school system of the host country. The curricula and working methods are very different from those in France.
Therefore, the idea of improving their French and joining the French university system is appealing.
These young chameleons sometimes simply need to reconnect with their country of origin. It is only when they return to France that they begin to understand their biculturalism. Even for those families who are particularly keen to maintain a cultural and linguistic link with France, it is sometimes difficult to explain why reading Jules Verne or Lafontaine’s Fables is an indispensable cultural asset. It often takes a third party, at school or university, to make these parental fixations seem understandable. At school, the shared cultural codes make sense and the expatriate student reconnects with what makes up his or her French identity.
From a more pragmatic point of view, France offers a good level of higher education at a more accessible cost than in other countries. In fact, France is the 5th most attractive country for foreign students. In addition to a network of public universities throughout the country, France has, for many years, developed internationally recognised major Business Schools, both private and public, known as Grandes Ecoles.
With the abundance of schools and programmes, it can be complicated to see where you fit in. However, returning to France does not mean abandoning the international outlook that is so important to these students educated abroad.
Innovation, international dimension and the human element at the heart of our programmes
Excelia (formerly Groupe Sup de Co La Rochelle) was created in 1988 at the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of La Rochelle. It is a private higher education establishment of general interest (EESPIG), recognised by the State as well as by numerous French and international accreditations and certifications. Although strongly attached to its region, and its Atlantic coast campus in La Rochelle, Excelia has not hesitated in setting up campuses in Tours (2019) and Orleans (2020), and is continuing its expansion into various regions by joining forces with other leading business schools. Excelia has diversified its offer through five multidisciplinary schools, each of which proposes undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Excelia also offers distance learning and work-study programmes, specialising in promising business sectors such as Health & Wellbeing, Digital Communication, and Real Estate.
The programmes combine academic education with practical field experience so that students acquire a real sense of self-awareness and can envisage their professional future.
Why is Excelia so appealing for students from abroad? The international dimension is a key focus for the School. Our campuses welcome a large number of foreign students as well as many international professors and lecturers. In addition, carrying out internships and university exchanges abroad is widely encouraged. The hybrid profiles of young expatriates will enable them to immerse themselves in French culture while continuing to acquire an outward-looking education.
Another advantage is that Excelia offers a programme known as the "Bachelor First Year", available on both its La Rochelle campus and its Paris off-site study location, designed for those who are undecided as to which higher education programme to choose.
For one year or one semester, students learn about, and explore, Excelia’s different programmes, helping them to fine-tune their future path.
Taking a year to decide whether or not to stay and study in France is perhaps the winning formula for these young expatriates!