If France is your preferred study destination, you made a good decision here. Now, you need to beat the next phase, which is the study visa interview. It’s usually not difficult but a lot of students fumble a lot, and give a bad impression for the officer to judge. Today, I will talk about France student visa interview questions and answers to help you succeed in this interview.
Don’t be scared—the French study visa success rate is typically more than 80%, depending on your country. If you can speak French, that’s a bonus to your advantage.
Many people have asked me to talk about the Campus France interview, so here we are. You have made it through the application process in your country and are now waiting for your Campus France interview date. That’s the reason I’m creating this post – to help you get ready for your interview ahead of time. So, let’s get into the details.
Campus France Student Visa Interview Questions and Answers
I’m going to share how my interview experience was and offer some advice based on what others have told me. But we will really focus on the questions to expect. A lot of people reach out to me saying, “I’m heading to my interview, and this is what they asked for.” That’s mainly where I’m getting my information from, just so you know. But let’s get into the kind of questions you will face. The first part is usually about introducing yourself, which is not difficult. You just have to say those things you already have in your document. That said, let’s get into the questions.
1. What universities have you applied to?
When a Campus France representative asks you to list all the universities you applied to, they expect a clear and confident response. If you say something uncertain like, “Um, I think it was the University of Paris, I think it was Montpellier,” it might come across as if you are not sure about your applications. This uncertainty can make it seem like you are not confident, or worse, that you might not have actually applied and are just looking to travel. So, show them that you are serious about the program and that you are genuinely interested in it.
2. Why did you choose this program?
As part of the Campus France student visa interview questions and answers, you will be asked about the program you choose. They want to know why you picked a certain program, so be ready to explain your choices convincingly. Explain why you chose specific programs to show your interest and commitment to your education. For example, if you chose a program because it aligns with your previous educational background in French foreign languages and your professional experiences. This shows that pursuing a master’s in that field is a logical step for you.
You should be able to discuss your reasons, especially if the program is taught in French and you are required to explain in French. Remember that they are not looking for you to recite your motivation letter; they already have it. They want to hear you speak naturally and confidently about why you chose your school and program.
3. Why did you choose to study at this University?
You will also be asked France student visa interview questions and answers about the university you choose. You can say, for instance, I picked the University of Lily because, honestly, from what I’ve heard from former students and from what I’ve seen on their website, it seems to align with what I want for my future. You can start by saying that France is home to some of the best universities in the world. According to Timea Higher Education, France ranks in the top 40 best universities in the world. We have Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris. There are others in the top 100, including Université Paris-Saclay, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, and Sorbonne University.
Well, if I remember correctly, they wanted me to talk about the schools I picked. They were curious about my reasons for choosing these specific schools over others. All I could say was, for example, “Oh, personally, I’ve been living in Lily since I moved to France.” So, it seemed like a good idea to attend university in this city. That’s why I began searching for programs in Lily that felt right for me. Then, regarding another university, I thought, “Oh, it’s in the south of France. The weather is quite nice. I enjoy it.” Also, I’ve seen photos of the campus online and it seems like they maintain high academic standards, which I believe I can keep up with. Or, you can say, “I picked that school because it offers a program unavailable elsewhere.” You can look at the school’s website and the program’s details to see a list of courses that match what you are looking for, unlike at other institutions. You see, that makes sense too.
4. Which of these schools would you prefer?
They may also ask out of the seven schools you may have applied to, which one you preferred the most. They may ask you to rank them according to my preference for getting in. I put the University of Lily at the top of my list, followed by the University of Strasbourg as my second choice. Those were the two I was really aiming for. The rest were options I felt I could still manage, somewhat aligned with my previous studies, and I could see myself working with them. But I was upfront about it, telling them that these were the schools I was truly hoping and rooting for.
5. Why did you choose this course at this University?
Let’s say you picked Business Administration. They can ask France student visa interview questions and answers about why you chose this course in this particular university. In my case, I just said that since I was young, I’ve always had a knack for business. I helped my mom retail things and picked up skills along the way. But, that’s a story for another time, not exactly what you are looking for in this interview. So, what I want to convey here is confidence. You try to speak with conviction, courage, and boldness. You don’t want to come across as shy. I see you as equals, understanding that while this moment is significant, it doesn’t define my entire future. You intend to speak genuinely, from both my mind and heart, and simply answer your questions.
But if they tell you to choose, you might be thinking it’s a trap question. Don’t say it in your interview. They say to choose the best, the one that you are rooting for. You can’t say everything. It’s going to tell them that you just don’t know. You just want to leave the country. So, you need to be able to say, “Oh, this is the highest on my list of my hierarchy. Like, this is the highest of my priorities. Like, this is the next because of this and this and this, and then this follows and others.” You should be able to be honest with yourself and honest with them, which is your best. I don’t know what they wrote to the two universities I said were my favorites and were the ones I was rooting for, because those are the only two I got admission to. I don’t know what they added to my application. I don’t know what they said. I don’t know anything they did. So, you really need to be bold, confident and believe in yourself. So, there’s no point lying to them that, “Oh, it’s everything. I like all at the same level. I don’t like any better than any.” Because there are different programs, different programs. There’s no possible way you have passion for everything equally. So, try to be honest.
6. What do you think about the education system in France?
The consular office will often ask what you think about the education system in France. Do you think you’ll be able to cope with the education system in France? Like, studying a program taught in French and you know, for the first time being in France as a student and everything. So, all your responses here should be based on your research about education in France. You can be talking about those investments that the French government is making in education. Just provide new information based on your research.
7. Where will you stay?
This question is about your accommodation. If you will be staying with a friend or a family member for your studies, let the officer know. If you have reserved an apartment or secured a spot in the dorm, let the officer know. You can talk about how you made the reservation, and present printouts of your proofs.
8. How will you fund your education and living expenses?
France may be doing well financially but it’s not willing to add financial strain to its economy. So, if you do not have funds, your visa can be rejected. France student visa interview questions about funding are usually one of the reasons for visa rejections. If you have a sponsor, talk about them and your relationship with them. It could be your sibling, parent, or a third party. If your tuition is being covered by a scholarship, let the officer know about the scholarship and the sponsors.
9. Do you have any relatives in France?
If not, just say you don’t. If yes, talk about your relationship with the person or people you know in France. It doesn’t matter if you have nobody currently residing in France.
10. Will you work in France after your studies?
This is one of the trick Campus France student visa interview questions you will face. Your answer should be ‘No’. You are on a study visa and not a work visa. If you give the officer the impression that you will work in France, they can reject your application. From here, you may be asked if you plan to return to your home country. Just say that you will be returning to your home country after your education. Nonetheless, if you hold a long-stay student visa, you may work as an employee without a work permit. However, you can’t exceed 964 hours (i.e. 60 % of full-time work) of work per year.
France Student Visa Interview Process
First off, make sure all your documents are in order. The next thing is to be familiar with your motivation letter. You should know why you applied to each school, especially if you applied to several. Know your own interests and drive for each program or school.
If you apply to a program that’s taught entirely in French, expect the interview to be in French. Similarly, if the program is in English, the interview will be in English. It’s unlikely you’d apply for a French program without speaking the language because, during the interview, a Campus France representative will take notes and essentially provide a recommendation for you to the schools. This can lead to schools waiving interviews or exams for applicants through Campus France, unlike their own citizens. So, after submitting your application for the program, they will send out emails to all the applicants, inviting you to an on-site exam.
Tips for France Student Visa Interview
Aside from arming yourself with Campus France student visa interview questions, you also want to know these tips to help you prepare and succeed in this interview.
Gather Your Required Documents
Before your interview, Campus France will provide you with a list of documents you need to bring, including your CV. Make sure you have all these documents ready.
Apply from Your Home Country
If you are already in France and can’t go back to your home country for your Campus France interview, explain your situation and ask if you could do the interview online. The person in charge may agree to it. But in many cases, if you are in France working, for example, as a language assistant and applying for your masters through Campus France, you will be told to apply to French universities through a different process because you must travel to your home country for trying interview.
Put on something cozy that you’re sure lets you move freely, lets you feel alive, and be yourself.
Try to Ask Questions
If they ask whether you have any questions, definitely have one ready. It could be anything, really. For instance, you might want to know when you can expect feedback from Campus France or the schools you’ve applied to. You could also inquire about whether there’s a visa waiver available. Even though there is one, it’s good to ask just to show you’re engaged. Questions about the visa process are also fair game, like if they offer step-by-step assistance. Just make sure to ask something, and remember to keep a smile on your face.
Don’t Be Nervous
Try not to be nervous. Being nervous, especially when you have to speak a foreign language, can really mess things up. When you are all nerves, it’s like you can’t even remember any French to speak. So, just try to stay calm and be yourself.
Don’t go in with the mindset of needing to lie or anything. Just be honest and true to who you are.
When it comes to answering questions, no matter how tough, tricky, or challenging they seem, give your best shot at responding to each one.
Be Familiar with Your Information
And really ask yourself, “Why do I want to leave my country for France, to go to this university, to pursue this program?” They’re going to ask you about the universities you applied to, even though they already have that information. They ask again to confirm that you really did apply and that you know what you’re aiming for. So, you really need to be familiar with these programs and the universities. I mean, that’s just how it is.
So, we have looked at common Campus France student visa interview questions and answers. You have to answer your questions naturally without sounding like you are reading from scripts or rehearsing. Just be natural and honest. With a good impression, the consular officer is more likely to speak highly of you. Remember, they’re not looking for perfection or a C2 level. They understand not everyone will be at that level. So, if your French is around B1 or B2 and the interview is in French, don’t worry. Don’t let it stress you out. Everything will turn out alright.