Bienvenue en France!
Share this article
The educational, employment, economic and cultural aspects of life in France are certainly enticing.
That was the takeaway from an enlightening talk by Mr Alexandre Giorgini, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, as part of the Dialogue Series with Consuls General series organised by the Office of the Vice-President (Student Affairs) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 11 November 2020.
“France and CityU have had a very special relationship for many years,” said Mr Giorgini, who has been Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau since September 2018, referencing the numerous scholarly and pedagogic ties in place.
In his address, Mr Giorgini offered an overview of higher education opportunities in France, from undergraduate through to PhD, various research options on offer, and information on scholarships and funding.
“There really are lots of benefits for young people who choose France to further their studies,” Mr Giorgini said. Five main reasons were presented for choosing France as a destination for further studies: the strength of France’s economy, which attracts foreign investment and could benefit greatly from Brexit; being geographically close to the whole of Europe; more than 1,600 higher education programmes delivered in English with huge emphasis on practical experience embedded, including all MBAs; an international reputation, with more than 20% of overseas students coming from Asia; and the famous “cheese and wine” culture found all over the country.
He noted that learning French opened up career opportunities in French-speaking countries like Canada, Switzerland and Belgium; overseas students and local students in France pay the same in tuition fees; living expenses compared favourably with costs in Hong Kong; and 17% of researchers and 41% of PhD students from around the world.
“We are particularly strong in science and engineering,” he added, pointing out that the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to a French scientist, Emmanuelle Charpentier.
Mr Giorgini said that CityU is very familiar with the France’s strengths in science and engineering, where several French scholars are faculty at CityU and the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study. Meanwhile, 24 of France’s most eminent scholars from a range of disciplines, including two Fields Medalists and three Nobel Laureates, have given talks in the France-Hong Kong Distinguished Lecture Series since 2005.
Close connections between CityU and France are further fostered by the 15 full-time undergraduate and post-graduate French students currently at CityU; student exchange partnerships with 22 institutions in France; 80 outbound CityU students to France, and the 237 students from France on exchanges at CityU in recent years.
Among them, the MCs for the event, Valentin Larose, a Year 4 French student studying Asian and International Studies, and Pascal Chen, a current exchange student from France, both agreed that Hong Kong seems far busier than France but said students from CityU would appreciate the different pace of life in France.
There was also a special mention of the art exhibitions related to France at CityU Indra and Harry Banga Gallery over recent years, including Art Deco. The France-China Connection, Cabinets of Curiosities: From The Natural Science To The Art of Nature, and The Roofs of Paris.
Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), praised the Dialogue Series with Consuls General in his welcoming remarks at the event that CityU students benefitted a great deal from learning about different cultures through this series.
“We hope that students have benefitted from the past sharing of the Consuls General, and we will continue to enrich students’ global awareness and cross-cultural understanding through this series,” he added.