Salut Youtube! Today I want to talk to you about my biggest life hack to date which changed my life forever which was coming to study in France in English for free. That just sounded really scammy and no this is not a scam don't worry I will not be asking for your credit card details So in this video I wanted to share all the juicy details of how I came to study in France for free and how I also earned an income on the side as I did so so that you can do exactly the same! So let me take you all the way back to 2013 when I was googling away trying to find jobs here in Europe and what I was noticing is that a lot of the entry-level roles were asking for a master's degree which I didn't have at the time, I had studied for only four years not the five that are required to achieve a master's degree. In new zealand all you need is a bachelor's degree because basically it's just seen as your ticket to get into a company but everyone kind of knows that the academic world doesn't really translate to the real world and the working world and so it's kind of good enough - it proves that you can learn, it proves that you've got a good work ethic, and the rest is going to be determined on your eagerness to learn, your hunger to do well and a positive attitude. A master's degree is totally unnecessary to get into the job market unless you do medicine or pharmacy or something like that But the more research I did, the more I realized that it was becoming the norm for students in Europe to go straight from their bachelor's onto their master's degrees to be able to enter the working world So anyway it got me thinking that I could still get to Europe but I just have to study first It was going to be a great way to meet new people, a great way to build a network and start getting those sort of more professional contacts for when I'm starting to job hunt and of course as a non EU citizen it's a really easy way to get a visa to get into Europe. So I'm in HR (Human Resources) and so I started googling International Human Resources master's programs Europe in English and basically in the top few results came my program which was based in Paris which is the international human resources master's program at CIFFOP which is a private school within the Sorbonne / Panthéon Assas University Network and I remember looking at the website and being like what is this?! 1: Study international human resources in English in Paris 2: Work part-time while studying with a big international company 3: You will have zero tuition fees and 4: You will earn a monthly salary while you're working for the company part-time even while you're at school studying like what's the catch? Am I gonna have to work for the company for 10 years after finishing my studies? Am I going to form part of an international student human trafficking cult? But it turns out that this is actually a relatively common thing on offer here in France So basically France has this thing called the Apprentissage or Alternance system or Apprenticeship system I guess in English and what it means is that you can do your year of study so whether that is your third year of your bachelor's degree or the first year of your masters or the second year of your masters - whatever - and you can do it in a way that allows you to study part-time and work part-time. So I had a 12-month master's program because I had already studied for four years beforehand and what that meant concretely is that I spent the first 10 weeks at school studying learning the content and sitting exams and then I would be in the company for work for two weeks and then back at school for one week work for two weeks back at school for one week etc and then you finish up basically doing your last sort of four to six months full-time with the company and during this time you write your master's thesis and it's a professional master's thesis for the company so it's based on the real world and a real practical case study in your work environment And there are many many schools and universities in France offering this kind of apprenticeship way of studying. So not only is it an amazing way to get professional experience of course and start to build your network on that side but it also allows you to directly apply what you're learning in theory in your courses straight away into the real world And of course there are some of these more financial benefits So firstly the company pays your school fees or whatever remains of them after the government has subsidized them For me personally my school fees were around 10 000 euros and I didn't have to see a single euro of that I didn't have to pay anything upfront it was completely taken care of by my company Secondly the company will pay you a monthly salary for those full 12 months of study even when you're at school so even though I was at school for the first ten weeks I was earning a monthly salary that enabled me to pay all of my living costs here in France The amount you get will depend on things like your level of studies and your age but there are legal minimums so for example if you're in at least your third year of studies and you're 21 years old or older you are entitled to around 1154 euros per month and that's in 2017 and that works out to be around 78 percent of the minimum wage but there are plenty of companies as well especially the bigger ones that will pay you at least a hundred percent of the minimum wage I personally was earning the minimum wage while I was studying which worked out to be around 1,500 euros per month at the time so even though you live a relatively frugal lifestyle you can still pay for everything you need to your rent your food your bills etc completely independently Another huge advantage to the system is that you are considered like a legal employee which means that you get the same benefits as other employees in France so this means for example you get the same annual leave benefits and in France annual leave is five weeks paid per year And because you're considered like an employee you also get other advantages for example your company pays for 50% of your transport per month and they subsidize your lunches that you eat every day So you may be thinking like I was why would companies offer such a sweet deal to students in the Apprentissage system? And it turns out that they kind of have to because if you're a private company earning over a certain threshold you are obliged by law to have a certain number or quota of positions within your company to offer to these students to support the French education system Thank You French Government! Secondly it's not perhaps as expensive as it seems upfront because they get a lot of tax breaks and refunds from the things that they pay for for us including our tuition fees so it's not that bad compared to what you see on paper and if you think about it they're still actually getting really cheap labor because they're paying these people minimum wage and they're kind of profiles who have been studying for five years now, they've usually got one to two years of internship experiences behind them on average and they're doing the equivalent often of kind of entry-level jobs even if that's not really meant to be the case. So that's it the only thing to keep in mind aside from finding a study program that offers this Apprentissage system is making sure that it's offered in the language that you understand so I personally search for a program in English but of course they offer the programs in French as well so if you're speaking French, lucky you, and the other thing to keep in mind is that you do need to be 26 years old or less to benefit from the system and if you are older than 26 there are other options, so there are paid internships, there are professional contracts and I won't go into the details in this video but there are sort of other options out there as well so it's still super interesting I'll never forget that moment when I saw the email in my inbox saying 'Welcome to the International Human Resources Master - Congratulations!' I just saw that subject line and I flipped out I started jumping on the bed, I was trembling it was hard to explain, but when you're from little New Zealand which is so so far away from what seems the rest of the world and you're from a family that's never really travelled...To think that I was moving to Paris to study just blew my mind that was probably one of the happiest days of my life So anyway guys that was my little secret to studying in France or in Paris for free in English Basically you're looking for a program that's offered in English and has an Apprentissage component or an apprenticeship offer that goes alongside it Of course you can always find normal study programs as well the universities in France are usually pretty cheap 400 to 600 euros I think on average for their tuition fees but I think that the Apprentissage system is pretty special and just so win-win all around and so convenient that I would 10 out of 10 recommend So that's all for this week guys, thank you for watching! I hope that was useful for some of you Internauts out there! Please hit the subscribe button if you're interested in seeing what comes next because I will be doing a video on what it's really like to study in France in a lot more detail than this, but until then - à bientôt!