France which is quite fondly called as French Republic remains the top educational destination for foreign students. The country is the third largest in entire Europe and second largest exclusive economic zone in the world.
Geography of France
France lies in between latitudes 41 degree and 51 degree North and longitudes 6 degrees west and 10 degrees East. The country holds an important position in the northern temperate zone.
The country is bordered by other countries like Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Andorra.
Talking about the size of France, the total area of the country is around 547,030 sq km. In fact, the size of France is around 80% of the size of Texas. While the northern part of the country is covered with coastal plains, the southeast part describes the mountain ranges of the Alps. Mont Blanc is the highest point in France. Vosges Mountains which are forest covered lie in the northeast while the Pyrenees lie along the Spanish border. Rivers like the Seine, the Loire and the Garonne flow westwards while Rhone flows southwards.
The climate of France differs from region to region. While there is temperate climate in the north and northwest, there is a Mediterranean climate in the southeast. The western region is predominated with an oceanic climate with occurrence of high rainfall.
France is a unitary semi-presidential republic country with strong democratic traditions. The head of the state who is the President is elected after every five years by adult suffrage and the Prime Minister is elected by the President of the country.
The economy of that of France is mixed one combining both private sector with the presence of government intervention to much extent. France holds sixth largest position as an exporter and fourth largest position as an importer of manufactured goods. An important part of the economy is the financial services, banking and insurance sector.
The official language of the country is French. It is spoken throughout the country and is massively spoken in other parts of the world.
The culture of France is popular throughout the world. There are so many cultural establishments as well as historical buildings that attract several thousands of tourists from throughout the world. Apart from historical monuments, statues, memorials and gardens, there is presence of religious buildings like cathedrals, churches etc in the country.
A secular country, France offers freedom of religion as a constitutional right. People of all religions are considered equivalent in the constitution.
There is free and compulsory education until the age of 16 in France. The university level education is subdivided into public universities and prestigious and selective Grandes Ecoles. The latter includes colleges like HEC Paris for Economics, Science Po Paris for Political studies etc.
The higher education in France is divided into three levels or grades that are:-
A Bachelor degree is awarded to the student only after he completes 180 European credits while a Master degree is awarded after he completes 120 additional credits.