French Education

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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

You'd find it hard to beat Montpellier.

We don't live there, but a vibrant cosmopolitan student life. Accom for them in the city, parents close-ish. If I was a student and they offered what I wanted, then that's the place.
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Thank you, interested and kind people! I have to be in NYC all day tomorrow so I will look at all the details you sent and reply to each thought on Thursday.

"Trains!" I thought during the day. My daughter can take the train into Poitiers or Toulouse or Montpellier. Forget about a car and traffic! France has excellent trains, n'est ce pas? Buses?

So I am going to print out the train routes for several cities, circle the towns where the trains stop, and look at properties in those towns. Bonne idee, oui ou non?

Norman, I appreciated your remarks especially because I esteem Bertrand Russell, and Russell was a great friend to the Chinese, and my three Chinese daughters are super-achievers. So it would have been more correct if I had written "where my daughter can obtain by her own efforts and via the bonds she forms with experts in her field--her professors and peers--a first-class education." My husband and I worked with many individuals who obtained their degrees in public French Universities and they were all well-trained and highly-educated. If we had the resources, of course I would prefer to send our daughter to one of Les Grandes Ecoles.  The average US college or University has very average students, and each of the Ivy Leagues (I think) still has Greek Life: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth....what goes on in the fraternities is much in the news. I'm not pointing any fingers, but I hope that at the very least, some of the devoted :"frat boys" learn, in Bertrand Russell's words, that "Drunkenness is temporary suicide." You can go to a "first-class" University in the US and waste your time, or work hard at a low-ranked college and get a "first-class education."

Enfin, several people mentioned towns and regions I do not know at all....so I can't wait to learn more! A bientot!

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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Having two sons (20 and 21) one who is following the Grande Ecole route and the other FAC (University), I think what you are suggesting is not possible, nor fair on your daughter. At her age you would be pushed to say which BAC she will take (L, ES or S) and then what subject she would wish to take at FAC or Prepa (if capable) or Bac pro options. Our son did Lycée in Avranches, Prepa at Nantes, GE at Toulouse. The other S and then licence in Physics at Caen. Theoretically all FACs doing the same subject are at the same level. There are however some that are better in some subjects (Caen for Medicine for example, others for Sports). I would concentrate on finding somewhere you would like to live, with college nearby (bus routes exists but pickup points are limited) with a decent Lycée, also nearby. If you rent, then if you want to live near your daughter when she (not you) chooses her Uni, then you can move easily.

When our eldest was the same age as your daughter, we thought of buying a flat in Rennes to future proof their accommodation as it was the nearest University town. Thankfully we did not as neither went to a Uni at Rennes!
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

In terms of Grenoble, have a look at 'Voiron'.

My OH went to school there and loves the place. Although it may have changed over the years.

In terms of Lyon have a look at Ecully, which is the only nice place I think in/on the edge of Lyon. I lived there and it is very nice safe place. You may scrape a place at the top end of your budget. Or you could certainly rent !!!!! Have you considered that ? Ecully is the place to be for Lyon and you are 15 minutes from the centre.

If you want to play safe head for the Loire cities or certainly areas around them. But bare in mind, the more rural you go the more bored your 13 year old is going to be. So it is a balance.

Still think Tours is a good shout. You should get a an appartement in Tours on that budget and your daughter can walk/cycle to university.


ner ner nee ner ner!!
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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Traffic from Voiron to Grenoble is horrific, as bad as anywhere and I was stuck in it recently after visiting friends in the region. The buses usually get through and when the trains are not on strike they do to, but at the moment they are all too often on strike.

Ecully is expensive, nice, but expensive.

Will you be able to move to France? Visas etc?

Also, you may be making this choice, but as has been pointed out, as your daughter may choose a subject that is best studied elsewhere, your specific move may be in vain.





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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

You can buy a nice little cottage in the Gers for your budget. Might need some updating, there are loads.
Auch has a regular train service to Toulouse.

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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

Yes, dharma.wheel; as idun mentions above, I was also wondering whether there is any problem for US citizens (which I am guessing you are) moving to France.
Worth checking before you are much further down the line with your plans.

Angela

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Re: Where to purchase modest dwelling 30-minutes from major University

So much to absorb here - much positive, some that shows me I need to probe and research - can't get much done today, but a few quick notes.

Regarding meeting VISA and other residential requirements, yes we would be fine. My husband's parents retired to Pezenas and we helped them with out that years ago, and yes, I recognize, things may have changed.

Regarding Universite vs Grand Ecole and course offerings, commute, location, and so forth. Yes, this is what is dominating my thinking and planning, and my daughter's welfare and satisfaction are paramount to us, guiding where we settle and when. To be frank, once we buy a house we are on a very small income; we adopted three amazing daughters from China when we were not young. So our youngest's horizons are somewhat constricted as her two older sisters did amazingly well at small US liberal arts colleges. For our youngest, now in US 8th grade, that is still a possible path but now that her parents will have half their previous income when my husband retires and are older, they (we) will likely not qualify for any more Federal loans, having borrowed for two older daughters. Hence, the scheme for much-cheaper best-quality-we-can find University in France that will accept our youngest with Le Bac and, I assume, the TCF language proficiency test. If we were able to settle near Toulouse or Poitiers both of which I know offer diplomas in her main interests, I would not feel bad imposing one school on her. This was commonplace for New York City dwellers who went to City University in the 1920s-1960s. Besides, she is keen to go and has a carefree que sera sera nature. As for Les Grandes Ecoles, I do not think this daughter would like to attend such an intense school. And she would need to achieve a 3 on the TCF to be admitted to LGE which I don't think is a sure thing for her.

I need to find out what Lenaut is referring to vis a vis the details in this quotation: " I think what you are suggesting is not possible, nor fair on your daughter. At her age you would be pushed to say which BAC she will take (L, ES or S) and then what subject she would wish to take at FAC or Prepa (if capable) or Bac pro options. Our son did Lycée in Avranches, Prepa at Nantes, GE at Toulouse. The other S and then licence in Physics at Caen. Theoretically all FACs doing the same subject are at the same level."

I would like to understand what you mean by saying my scheme is "not possible" and "not fair on my daughter." I am easily persuadable if one or both of these things are true, but you go on to say this, which seems to contradict the "not possible" and "not fair" remarks." I know for sure that she would follow through Lycée an academic path--not a vocational path. I have already shown her that Toulouse Paul Sabatier offers a BA in Computer Science, her main interest.

Leant goes on to say this which is more encouraging and seems to suggest that my scheme is "possible" and fair":

" I would concentrate on finding somewhere you would like to live, with college nearby (bus routes exists but pickup points are limited) with a decent Lycée, also nearby."

Yes! Voila! That is our intention! But just not a Grande Ecole, which can cost a great deal of money, as you know!

In closing, I will have to look up L, ES, FAC, Prepa, etc. All new to me. --Merci encore.
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