What French Universities Can Offer International Students

France is consistently one of the top destinations for international students. For a student looking for a potential destination, some of the country’s benefits may seem obvious. The opportunity to improve your French in the country that birthed the language. A culture so finely developed, it rivals any other you may care to think of. A beauty that inspired Monet, Hugo and Chanel. A society that has given us such great minds as Proust, Voltaire and de Beauvoir.

The spirit of France is one that attracts millions of visitors each year, but to live in the country, to truly experience it, is something else entirely.

One such way is to study in France and with universities dating back hundreds of years, it offers exceptional education in the arts, innovation, science, technology and many more. One institution you should very much consider is Université Catholique de l'Ouest, or the Catholic University of the West (UCO).

Founded in 1875, Université Catholique de l'Ouest is one of the oldest universities in the West of France and a leading player in modern higher education and research. With over 100 courses available across eight campuses, UCO supports 10,000 students, 1500 of whom are international students.

Backed by a tradition of academic excellence and a worldwide partner network, UCO offers an ideal framework for students to become competent, free and responsible professionals, well versed in French society.

Since more than one student in ten at UCO originates from abroad, there must be a particular reason why they choose to study there. Let us take a look at what these reasons might possibly be.

1 | A respected institution

With a history dating back 140 years, UCO is well recognised by a wide variety of economic and academic institutions. UCO is a key player in the realm of French higher education, respected throughout the Western world.

UCO belongs to the UDESCA network, the Union of Catholic Higher Education Institutions, which since 1973 has brought together five Roman Catholic non-profit higher education institutions, commonly called "the Cathos".

2 | Personalized support and supervision

UCO offers each student a developed framework so that you can achieve your highest potential of skill and employability, whatever your background, culture or course choice.

The students all benefit from a semi-annual meeting with their education guide to take stock of personal work, or any difficulties encountered. Each can also talk to their teachers at any time of the year. Or if you would prefer, a phone call is never far away.

Students can also benefit from services including help finding housing, physical and mental health, as well as cultural and religious support.

And needless to say, UCO maintains a service devoted to orientation and professional integration, the SOI. Psychological counsellors allow students to work individually on their orientation and further education.

3 | An exceptional success rate

In French public universities, the Bachelors graduation rate is around 28%. Conversely, the success rate of Université Catholique de l'Ouest is 80%. UCO enjoys such a high success rate, in part, to strong educational support.

In France, an undergraduate degree is known as a License, and it is split into three segments, L1, L2 and L3. At each stage of the degree, UCO sees an incredible amount of success, which is a testament to UCO’s incredible support system and educational values.

4 | Strong values

The UCO is based on four fundamental values, which are the pillars of the University: Humanity, Proximity, Dialogue and Freedom.

These values, borne by the entire community, are reflected daily in a pedagogical approach focused on success and the wellbeing of its students: proximity, personalized follow-up, tutored projects, accompaniment to the personal and professional project, listening, availability of the teaching team, cultural animation of the campus and more. Everything is done to allow sharing, cohesion and solidarity. All these values are essential in facing the job market of tomorrow.

5 | A proven identity

Université Catholique de l'Ouest has eight campuses across seven areas: Angers, Guingamp, Laval, Nantes, Vannes, Papeete, Reunion. The primary campus is located in Angers, a top French student city, with a rich cultural identity, supported by UCO as well as its many museums and historical buildings, including the Château d'Angers.

UCO offers a wide variety of higher education experiences across its multitude of campuses, related to the needs of the students and what each territory can offer. Nevertheless, UCO maintains a focus on keeping course options consistent and having good communication between campuses for the benefit of all.

The offer of multidisciplinary training allows bridges between each campus sector, thus enabling students to build an "à la carte" course while remaining within the UCO group.

6 | Courses 100% focused on professionalization

All students complete at least one internship (2 to 6 weeks) at License 1.

This period of internship, unusual in most universities, allows students to enrich their knowledge of the trades and better understand the issues and the realities of businesses. The more the student advances in their curriculum, the longer the internship periods are, with up to 6 months of internship in M2 (the second year of Masters study).

Internships also help to refine the student's professional project. This