France is well known for the education opportunities it offers international students, with study choices covering renowned universities, specialised schools and cutting-edge research institutions.
"French universities offer more than 1,000 bachelor's, master's and PhD programmes, many of which are taught in English," says Louis Cheung, academic officer at the French Consulate in Hong Kong and CampusFrance representative in Hong Kong and Macau. "Of course, if students speak some French, they will enjoy the experience of living and studying in France even more."
Cheung says that more than 288,000 international students are currently studying in France, including a growing number from Hong Kong and Macau. He adds that France now ranks fourth in numbers of international students, behind Australia, the US and the UK.
He also points out that France, while offering world-class education, has some of the lowest tuition fees in the world.
"International students pay the same tuition fees as a French student would. Without any compromise on quality, the cost of studying a bachelor programme can be less than €200 (HK$2,100) per year," Cheung says.
There are also French government scholarship schemes which are available for Hong Kong and Macau students.
With more than 800 French companies based in Hong Kong, and many more doing business on the mainland, Cheung says career prospects for local students who study in France are growing.
Those seeking more information can visit the European Higher Education Fair (EHEF) 2013 on March 9 and 10 at the Hong Kong Central Library in Causeway Bay. The fair is being organised in cooperation with the Office of the European Union to Hong Kong and Macao, CampusFrance, the German Academic Exchange Service, and various European consulates in Hong Kong.
More than 50 universities from 11 European countries will take part in the event and will showcase Europe as one of the most diverse destinations for higher education.
Garfield Chan, who studied for an MBA in Cultural and Artistic Activities Management at IESA (International Studies in History and Business of Art and Culture) in Paris and the Paris School of Business, says the experience is helping to shape her career.
"I am interested in art and would like to take on positions of responsibility in cultural institutions, develop projects in the art market, and manage cultural events," Chan says.
"French education institutions are good at providing combined art and management programmes, which are not available in Hong Kong."
EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION FAIR
Date March 9 and 10
Venue Hong Kong Central Library, Causeway Bay