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  #21  
Old 04.05.2011, 21:29
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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You can't get into a French university with just a high school diploma. It seems to me that the minimum requireent is the French Baccalaurate.... Not the easiest set of exams.
Indeed. There are actually one formal requirements: a French Baccalauréat (don't even think of comparing it to a high school diploma). The equivalent of it must be recognised, and that is not that simple. International baccalaureate is only equivalent on certain conditions, especially the restricted list of subjects, the second foreign language or other set combinations and language/litterature requirements. But if you are careful and look up the requirements, it's perfectly possible from Europe. Otherwise, you need one year at another university somewhere else first.
There is just no numerus clausus in France, in Switzerland, it is not crowded, just full at the beginning, but totally all right. You just need to stay motivated.
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  #22  
Old 04.05.2011, 22:35
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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Is it possible to successfully study in Zurich and hold a part time job too? How many hours a week part time work is possible while studying hard?
depends on what you study. Some friends had 1/2 up to 2 full days without any lessons (still called full time students), so you easy have time for a job.
In Biology, we had 35h (I had 38 hours, too many interesting lectures there...) per week filled with lessons. So you only could work at the late evening, skip classes for work or work at the weekend, what I think is doable, but very exhausting, as you practically have no free time left.
In the master degree, a friend of mine got the advice to not have any other occupation beside her thesis, otherwise they will consider about allowing her to study there (a part time job shows lack of interest in her thesis, and she would have not enough time and energy to properly do her work. They only take the best).
I usually worked in the big summer holidays for some weeks...

In short: yes you can work and study, but more to get some extra money and not to completely live on a part time job.
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  #23  
Old 05.05.2011, 07:36
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

As many others said: first year is busiest, less so in the ETH/EPF schools. After the first year, exams and studying weeds out the less interested students.

Don't bet too much on skipping classes; profs frowns (rightly) on that, and it is the fastest way to find yourself counted as a weed. Most classes are still relatively small, and with enough professors and assistants to remain quite personal.

I know that upon filling US immigration papers, my EPF diploma was counted as equivalent to MIT. My ex's canadian engineering diploma was NOT counted. He was surprised and peeved
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Old 05.05.2011, 07:38
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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depends on what you study. Some friends had 1/2 up to 2 full days without any lessons (still called full time students), so you easy have time for a job.
In Biology, we had 35h (I had 38 hours, too many interesting lectures there...) per week filled with lessons. So you only could work at the late evening, skip classes for work or work at the weekend, what I think is doable, but very exhausting, as you practically have no free time left.
In the master degree, a friend of mine got the advice to not have any other occupation beside her thesis, otherwise they will consider about allowing her to study there (a part time job shows lack of interest in her thesis, and she would have not enough time and energy to properly do her work. They only take the best).
I usually worked in the big summer holidays for some weeks...

In short: yes you can work and study, but more to get some extra money and not to completely live on a part time job.
Thanks ODI.
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Old 08.05.2011, 10:43
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

I am going to study the French Language at Ecole Agora, then I am going to apply to University of Lausanne for Bachelor of Business Administration!


Thanks for your efforts everyone!
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  #26  
Old 08.05.2011, 13:27
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

To avoid the cattle market of the French University system & the elitism of the Grandes Ecoles, I recommend the IUT (Institut Universitaire Technologique). Classes are not overflowing, you sign in for every lecture & missing three without justification gets you a warning. Do it again and they can throw you out... Partying and time wasting are hard to do. I think that the one in Annecy has a course close to business administration.
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Old 08.05.2011, 22:51
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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To avoid the cattle market of the French University system & the elitism of the Grandes Ecoles, I recommend the IUT (Institut Universitaire Technologique).
It depends what the person wants to study. The elitism of Grandes Ecoles is just high academical level, you are either good enough or not good enough.
The kind of subjects taught in Grandes Ecoles and in IUT are not exactly the same... you can't compare them, they are not made for the same crowd and not even for the same education. You are free to prefer the one you like, no problem. And French universities may be full the first months but that is not even true for every sections, and if one is good enough, one stays and the numbers are no problem anymore the second/thirs year. It's a university, not a high school, I really don' t see the problem beint alone facing one's own responsibilities. But that may be just me.
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  #28  
Old 09.05.2011, 10:40
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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To avoid the cattle market of the French University system & the elitism of the Grandes Ecoles, I recommend the IUT (Institut Universitaire Technologique). Classes are not overflowing, you sign in for every lecture & missing three without justification gets you a warning. Do it again and they can throw you out... Partying and time wasting are hard to do. I think that the one in Annecy has a course close to business administration.
I did looked into IUT long ago, specifically "Mechanical Engineering and Production Course", but I know that I won't study hard to graduate from an engineering school "Since I studied Computer Engineering before and dropped-out from it" so changed my plan into BBA, and IUT is 2-years Diplomas-only section in a French Public University, no Bachelor Degree it provides whatsoever.

How do you apply for IUT anyways? I never looked into that myself.

Similar to Public Universities or Grandes Ecoles?

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It depends what the person wants to study. The elitism of Grandes Ecoles is just high academical level, you are either good enough or not good enough.
The kind of subjects taught in Grandes Ecoles and in IUT are not exactly the same... you can't compare them, they are not made for the same crowd and not even for the same education. You are free to prefer the one you like, no problem. And French universities may be full the first months but that is not even true for every sections, and if one is good enough, one stays and the numbers are no problem anymore the second/thirs year. It's a university, not a high school, I really don' t see the problem beint alone facing one's own responsibilities. But that may be just me.
Been reading in several forums and columns while googling that hardest thing about Grandes Ecoles is the 2-years preparatory courses to be accepted into one, after that it's breeze (compared to the 2-years of the preparatory).

What I was thinking is that if I get a degree from a Swiss Public University is much more Prestigious than a degree from a French Public University ((Assuming that the difficulty of courses in Business Administration (for example) is the same or near each other)).
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  #29  
Old 09.05.2011, 17:21
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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Been reading in several forums and columns while googling that hardest thing about Grandes Ecoles is the 2-years preparatory courses to be accepted into one, after that it's breeze (compared to the 2-years of the preparatory).

What I was thinking is that if I get a degree from a Swiss Public University is much more Prestigious than a degree from a French Public University ((Assuming that the difficulty of courses in Business Administration (for example) is the same or near each other)).
Prestige is in France not in the diploma... the grandes écoles are linked to uinversities, your master degree is validated by a university but you'd have done more subjects in Grande école than at universities It is a different logic. It leads to the "concours", kind of commando training for the brain. If you survive it, you're in. Otherwise, you just have the same Master degree as everybody else, you may just be more "cultivé, gebildet" (it's not exactly the same as educated in English, sorry). ANd the reason why you don't fail ones you get into a Grande école is just that you had to prove that you are smart and knowledgeable enough before, you are just up for the challenge even if it is at very high academic level. That being said, it depends also the subjects. In languages, people at university don't do anything else, they get better at it quicker than the smart Grandes écoles students. Same with pure maths, university is the place if you want to enter the religion of pure mathematics, the diversity and mass of work in Grandes écoles would distract you from it.
In other subjects, it's only a question of level. The better economics/finance people are already taken by the grandes écoles, the rest is at university, the degree is the same, but you are smart enough to put where you passed it on your resumee/CV.

Anyway, plain normal Swiss uni is wonderful. Just go there and enjoy. The extreemly complex French education system, totally different from anglo-american way of thinking is a topic for another forum.
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  #30  
Old 09.05.2011, 18:33
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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Prestige is in France not in the diploma... the grandes écoles are linked to uinversities, your master degree is validated by a university but you'd have done more subjects in Grande école than at universities It is a different logic. It leads to the "concours", kind of commando training for the brain. If you survive it, you're in. Otherwise, you just have the same Master degree as everybody else, you may just be more "cultivé, gebildet" (it's not exactly the same as educated in English, sorry). ANd the reason why you don't fail ones you get into a Grande école is just that you had to prove that you are smart and knowledgeable enough before, you are just up for the challenge even if it is at very high academic level. That being said, it depends also the subjects. In languages, people at university don't do anything else, they get better at it quicker than the smart Grandes écoles students. Same with pure maths, university is the place if you want to enter the religion of pure mathematics, the diversity and mass of work in Grandes écoles would distract you from it.
In other subjects, it's only a question of level. The better economics/finance people are already taken by the grandes écoles, the rest is at university, the degree is the same, but you are smart enough to put where you passed it on your resumee/CV.

Anyway, plain normal Swiss uni is wonderful. Just go there and enjoy. The extreemly complex French education system, totally different from anglo-american way of thinking is a topic for another forum.
Your first paragraph is so complex for my simple brain to understand but it's ok.

I agree completely with your second paragraph about the French education; I've had a hard time getting information and comparing.

Also on a side note: Swiss Universities websites all of them have english translation to their own website and they're user-friendly compared to the French counterparts, should give an idea about the University really.


-One last question: I did only get 12 years of high school, am I supposed to study for one year the "13th year" in the form of Preparatory year in Switzerland?

Or it is just getting good in French and then start my Bachelor/Undergraduate degree right away? (i.e. 1 year of Intensive French Course + 3 years of Business Administration/Management)?
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  #31  
Old 09.05.2011, 22:51
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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It depends what the person wants to study. The elitism of Grandes Ecoles is just high academical level, you are either good enough or not good enough.
The kind of subjects taught in Grandes Ecoles and in IUT are not exactly the same... you can't compare them, they are not made for the same crowd and not even for the same education. You are free to prefer the one you like, no problem. And French universities may be full the first months but that is not even true for every sections, and if one is good enough, one stays and the numbers are no problem anymore the second/thirs year. It's a university, not a high school, I really don' t see the problem beint alone facing one's own responsibilities. But that may be just me.
What a learned person you are Faltrad! In fact, I completely agree with you, the Grandes Ecoles are academically excellent. Fine if you are made for the hard work and no play of the preparatory classes.

Just a couple of final remarks, because it is interesting for those who can choose to see the pros & cons. ZappaJr is doing computing at the IUT after a disastrous 3 years in lycée, almost lost to World of Warcraft and other vices. So he was not up to facing his own responsibilities. The IUT has been perfect. After two years there he can either go to a Grande Ecole, avoiding the hell of preparatory classes or join the EPFL 2nd year, avoiding the 1st year massacre. Of course, there is no free lunch, so in both cases he'll have to be sharp to catch with all the maths that he's missed by taking a lower level course intially.

Last edited by FrankZappa; 09.05.2011 at 22:52. Reason: spelling mistakes
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  #32  
Old 09.05.2011, 23:30
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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lost to World of Warcraft
That's so me in my previous University.

One of the main reasons to fail for me, along with my stupid choice of studying a rigorous Major.

Anyways, past is gone and learned from my mistakes, now gotta get on track with my education in Switzerland (Assuming I'll success in getting a Student Visa ).
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  #33  
Old 10.05.2011, 00:10
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Re: How "Crowded" Are The Public Universities?

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Just a couple of final remarks, because it is interesting for those who can choose to see the pros & cons. ZappaJr is doing computing at the IUT after a disastrous 3 years in lycée, almost lost to World of Warcraft and other vices. So he was not up to facing his own responsibilities. The IUT has been perfect. After two years there he can either go to a Grande Ecole, avoiding the hell of preparatory classes or join the EPFL 2nd year, avoiding the 1st year massacre. .
The Grandes école thingie is simple:
- if you are no French, don't go there
- if you are French, think twice before going there
- if you are going there, what the hell are you doing on that forum, you have work to do for the rest of today's and tomorrow's 28 hours (yes, from now on, your days have 28 hours).

I'll never understand the French obsession with maths, the first test a French medecin student has to pass is... maths. Mind you, they lead the world in pure maths research (so I've heard). By the way: grandes écoles means staying in France, as you'll never manage to explain to non-French what your degree is and I am not even touching the subjects of "concours", even though you'll be able to teach them maths or philosophy that they have never heard of. I tried once to explain why I didn't want to sit for Agrégation to German colleagues, I think I lost them by the second sentence of my explaination. Don't get me wrong, degrees from other universities in the world are perfect, but that level of "out of the planet" studying is only achieved in France (if you go to Rue d'Ulm, école normale, a future English teacher will have to brush up his/her German to read philosophy in the original language.... go figure). Totally useless anywhere else and not totally useful in France either but sssssssssssh that's a secret.

Please stop me if I bore you, but I can't get enough of the exoticism of French education. Untertaining seen from abroad.


EDIT: A French Baccalauréat is equivalent to Swiss matura. You can go directly from French lycée to Swiss university if you do it right when applying (paper work, read the small print).
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Last edited by Faltrad; 10.05.2011 at 00:20.
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