by: Akmali Mokhter

The France Programme is a programme provided specifically for the JPA’s, Petronas’ and Telekom’s students who are furthering their studies in France. Each year, at the arrival of the young generation to this new land, it has been a culture for the Ambassador to greet them at the Charles de Gaulle’s Airport, along with some seniors of older generations to pour in their knowledge and experience to the questions of the young ones. They will then be brought straight away to their new home on bus.

Before, new students will be divided into three small groups, each will go to a different city which are La Rochelle, Colmar and Blois. And for the next year’s generation, they will go into different cities which are Colmar, Tours and Angoulême, and the rotation will goes on from year to year. But from the last two years, the locations have been fixed to only two cities : Tours, a city in the central region of France and Colmar, a city located in the east part of France.

All students will all be placed together in Tours for the first three months for a language course learning in a language centre which is the Institut de Touraine in order for them to have a firm grab on the language and to prepare them both mentally and physically for the upcoming months. By the end of the third month, they would all be able to speak fluently in French, or at least to have a comforting and nice communication in French.

At this very moment too that they will be divided into two groups : one which consist all of Petronas’, Telekom’s and some of JPA’s students will move to Colmar while the other one consisting the rest of JPA’s students will stay in Tours.

After spending three months honing their language, they will then start their preparation classes of mainly Mathematics, Electric, Mechanical and Language. For Language, they will have French classes and Culture & Communication Skill classes. French classes are necessary to ensure that their communication skill doesn’t deteriorate. Students will be enrolled in a class specifically for Malaysian students. Classes are not necessarily be indoor as they would have lots of outdoor classes like a visit to an ancient and historical castle, a tour of the city while exploring and discovering the historical story behind every interesting spots and the specialities of the city. That is not all as in January which is during the winter season, they will be brought to a ski trip for about a week giving them a great chance to release their stress while exploring the beauty of the white world of nature and trying new thing. And then they will have a cycling trip too.

Some teachers will be tasked to teach grammar as it is compulsory to improve their language and to help them in adapting to the studies especially when it comes to scientific terms. This is also necessary in order to prepare them for the coming years as they will be in a great need of high language level when it comes to applying for a traineeship or facing common problems with the society’s administration system etc.

Classes normally start from 8 am till 11.15 am. Then students will have a lunch break of about an hour and forty-five minutes (1h 45min). The following class starts at 1 pm in the afternoon till 6 pm. Each class is about an hour and a half with a short break of fifteen minutes between two classes. This means that students would have two classes in the morning and three in the afternoon.

As for the examinations, in Malaysia, they are held in a certain period all together, but unlikely in France, they are all held according to the professors’ accord, which means that it could be any time, but usually students will be notified first. This system is for the objective of making sure that student has a complete comprehension of what have been taught in classes and that they be prepared at all times and in all circumstances.

 The enrolment of students in their first year would not be made in the same city where they were during the preparation year. They will each move to a new city according to the course chosen. A person responsible of Malaysian students from the SFERE would notify them from time to time and give them some information on the institution and how the enrolment process would take place. By the end of March, they would all have to submit their decision on the course chosen, the institution chosen either IUT or Grande Ecole, and the city chosen. And by the end of May, they would all have the answers of their application if nothing goes wrong. And do know that their performance in academic do have a great influence on their application. The better the results, the easier for it to be accepted and they would have more choices. So students have to do the best in their studies at all times in order to get the best for themselves.

 And for your information, students would be helped by some of Masaf’s delegacies through all year long. From time to time, the delegacies would pay them some visits to ensure their well-being. This is too for the objective of ensuring that everyone would be able to get along with their new surroundings.

As a conclusion, the younger ones should have no worries over their stay and studying here in France as Malaysians are everywhere, and they would always be someone for them in times of need.

Thank you from Masaf.