This section covers questions generally asked by prospective students. An effort has been made to provide as much information as possible. These are also some personal experiences. If you feel that they have not been answered completely or you have a new query, please send your comments/questions. They will be addressed asap.
Note: Some questions and answers are very specific to the context of our school i.e. ISAE but one can imagine that a similar situation exists for other colleges/universities.
How do I apply for a course?
All colleges have an online application procedure which is easy to follow. Each university has its own requirements so, before applying make sure you read all the guidelines and ensure that you meet the prerequisites and have at hand all the information to be provided to the university/college. Scan all your documents and convert them to the format as specified by the website. If you face any problem while uploading the documents, do not worry or panic. Contact the university/college webmaster and they'll be able to provide you a solution.
I didn't get admission in the desired course. What should I do?
Normally, there are lots of competing students with impressive academic/professional background. So, it is quite possible that you may not get admission to the course you want to do. There can be several reasons. Please speak to the concerned head of the course.
Make sure you do a lot of research and apply to different colleges and universities providing course in the subjects that you want to study. Be flexible because all universities might not offer the same subjects for the same course.
It is also important to keep in mind that when you are preparing your CV, cover letter/motivation letter for applying to the colleges, present your case properly with all details relevant to the course that you want to do. Presentation skills are important !!!
Don't hesitate to ask questions to the head of the course or admissions office and get all your doubts cleared. You will live with the decision you make today. So, make informed decisions.
Cost of Education
Course fees varies from one course to another. It is generally higher for international students. Please see prospectus of the specific course to get an idea of the fees.
Almost all colleges provide some kind of scholarship for which there is specific procedure to be followed. Generally you should start one year in advance before your application.
Age is an important factor to keep in mind. If you are below 30 years there is a possibility of getting scholarship but if you are around 24 years or less, chances are high. It is important to remember that the student must make effort on his own for scholarships. It is hard work and be prepared to hunt.
Unfortunately these are not charity institutes so, no discounts/exemptions etc. Support your education with your money or scholarships.
* If you are under 25 in France, there are lots of benefits for travel, insurance, etc. It is almost free or one pays a very small amount.
Cost of living
Generally for students the cost of living is between 500-600 Euros/month. If you participate in extra curricular activities, your expenses will definitely go up. It depends on the student how much lavish his/her lifestyle is, so, if you want to live life king size, there's no limit.
English language requirement
TOEFL is not mandatory for students who have done Bachelor degree in English. However this requirement is different for different colleges, so, please refer specific college/university website.
IELTS for UK universities and colleges is mandatory.
Finding an internship after aeronautical engineering related course is not a problem. All students find an internship in this domain due to close links with the industry and the demand for aeronautical engineers.
If you want to study in France, a student with a knowledge of the French language definitely will have an advantage resulting in more opportunities.
Finding an internship in space domain is not possible because the space domain is open only for European citizens. Anybody, any exception, please ping me back !! :-)
There is a special affinity in people towards finding an internship with Airbus. Yes, many Indian students have found internship with Airbus. But if you have a thought at the back of your mind that you might convert that opportunity into a job, please get rid of it, rather than nourishing false hopes. Airbus recruitment process is very specific even though they claim to be providing opportunities to all. Everyone has to compete along with other candidates as usual. It is possible only with the right kind, level of experience and skills but not to forget the working languages at Airbus (French, German, Spanish, Italian) facilities. So, you should have at least intermediate to expert level of working knowledge in the language of the land. Even today there are projects which are executed in the local languages or the people in team speak only the local language. Preference is always given first to local people.
Accommodation & Food
If you are offered an admission, you will receive the documents from the college/university asking if you would require on campus accommodation. Without hesitating you can opt for it because the facilities are good enough. However if you are deeply in love with the Indian food and can't survive without it, you will have to cook yourself. In that case, you can choose to opt for accommodation in another college like ENAC or INSA nearby which have a small kitchenette. Please talk to the person indicated in the accommodation application form and try to sort it out. Admission office staff is available to solve your problems and are quite helpful. Be polite and speak slowly as they are not fluent in English and may not understand you if you speak fast.
Part time jobs (on/off campus)
Quite an interesting question and so is the answer. Here is an example of France and we try to understand the situation. Remember that Europe is a place of many nations speaking their own language with own cultures and a lot of diversity. The most important to consider is the language where ever you want to study and work.
Legal limit On the French student VISA it is indicated that student is allowed to work 60% of the limit of time for which VISA was issued.
Availability of time I understand the need of students as I was also once in a situation like you. However, it is important to keep in mind the schedule of the course and classes. You will be busy attending classes whole day from morning 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM. This is the normal schedule from Monday to Friday. So, there's no possibility to do part time work. If you're a genius to manage part time work along with such study schedule, go ahead !!
Language Yes, there are off campus jobs available but one should have fluency in French language to be able to perform the job.
How to apply Job opportunities are displayed on the notice board in the hostel accommodation. Students can speak to the social worker available on campus to help you find some part time work. Some other job opportunities can be found on library notice boards.
Job opportunities after completion of course
Of course there are plenty of job opportunities available here in European countries. It is an individuals choice where he wants to work. As is mentioned for internships, the scenario is same for jobs.
If before doing the masters course here, you have a good experience in the same domain, it helps to find an internship/job quickly. If you have experience in other domain but want to work in aerospace, chances are quite slim.
If you are a fresher and want to do masters here, the job opportunities are there but you will have to compete with the local students and this will reduce your chances of securing a job.
Language of the land
It is not mandatory to have knowledge of country's language but it is strongly recommend that you start learning their language very early. It might be cheaper and affordable in your country to do a language course. Before you arrive for your studies, you should have a minimum level as described in the brochure.
In India I know that the French language course fees at Alliance Francaise are around Rs 4500.00 to 6000.00 . If you want to do it here it will cost you anywhere between 450.00-550.00 Euros for the same course. You can do the math !!
Salaries in France
This is an important aspect to look at when you are searching job. In aerospace industry, the salaries are generally below the industry average and salaries in France can be surprisingly lower when compared to neighbouring countries or US. This is due to number of reasons, but the fact remains. So, after you finish your masters and are in the job market here is how your salary projections might look. Keep in mind that these are dependent on your experience and the college where you have done your masters from.
However these figures are only for technical folks in Toulouse. If you are seeking a TL/PL/PM position, the first requirement to meet is the fluency in French language. If one is good at it, then these positions might be in reach provided you have credible experience. The salaries for managers are usually better than these.
Appraisal/Annual Hikes By this time I suppose you have become used to financial shocks, so, here's another one. The annual hike varies between 0-2%. Yes, it is true, if you find it different please be kind enough to update me.
* Only expats/consultants on deputation are paid a hefty amount. * After 2-3 years in a company you can switch to get an increment between 10-15%.
Therefore, if your interest is to gain some post-study experience here, the opportunity is almost nil. Being non-Europeans we are not privileged as there is a consistent pro-Europe drive here. It is quite the same in other countries. My advice for at least 2-4 years to all prospective Indian students is to search other avenues instead of Europe. It might be better to go back and work in India after completing your education here. Evaluate your options and make careful decisions. I'll keep the page updated if the scenario changes in the future.