After getting her bachelor’s degree, Julia left to study engineering in China: “We were just 6 French people”

“When I went there right after my bachelor’s degree, there were only six French people to 100 Chinese.”, says Julia, who went to Centrale Beijing in 2016 after completing her undergraduate studies at the Janson-de-Sailly high school in Paris. After four years of undergraduate education, the young woman continued her education at Centrale Lille, where she completed her education. She is 24 years old and currently works for a large humanitarian organization in Switzerland.

Going to study at Centrale Beijing right after your baccalaureate is quite an adventure. There are three “Centrale” abroad outside France. The oldest school is in Beijing, China, opened in 2005, followed by Casablanca in Morocco and Hyderabad in India. Both were established in 2013. This school, whose engineering diploma is recognized by the CTI (Commission for Qualifications in Engineering), is ranked 3rd in our ranking of the best engineering schools, CentraleSupélec, as well as the Centrale school network with Centrale Lyon, Centrale Nantes, Centrale Lille and Centrale Méditerranée in Marseille.

The level there is high. “In Beijing, education is at a high level as the Chinese students who attend the school all pass the Gaokao, the very selective Chinese baccalaureate. “The level required to be reached for entry corresponds to the best Chinese universities,” he said. Explains Gilles Fleury, general delegate of the Centrale schools group. In France, the school recruits high school graduates based on academic records and interviews; these include primarily those presenting Chinese as a modern language, such as Louis-le-Grand, Janson de Sailly, as well as the École Alsacienne and the Lycée International Pontonniers in Strasbourg.

Centrale Pélin regularly hosts French high school students (here Parisians from the high school Louis Le Grand)Gilles Fleury

The courses of the first three years depend on French scientific preparation. The main language is French, but Chinese courses and English instruction are also available. “In the first year, we mainly took language classes intensively.‘to be “Able to follow courses in both languages”, Remembering her first scientific lesson in Chinese, Julia explains: a mechanics lesson! He notices a difference in pedagogy: “ In China, students do not ask questions in class, classes consist of 100 students, and they are used to doing a lot of personal work.. But he also learned to help each other by communicating with Chinese students.

“These young people can complete a four-year undergraduate education in Beijing. If they want to continue later, they can follow the last two years in Beijing to get a double degree: a master’s degree from Beihang University. (famous university)and the title of French engineer from Centrale Beijing» denotes Gilles Fleury. Students with a bachelor’s degree can also apply to French schools in the Centrale network in France.

How much is the school fee?

Registration fees in Beijing for French students (and non-Chinese) are 4,000 Euros per year. This is not excessive (a year at CentraleSupélec costs 3,500 euros).

For Julia, this experience was very enriching. “This is a very good opportunity. It taught me to live in an intercultural atmosphere, to be part of an international community, and this helps me a lot in my current job.”, he tells. Julia deals with the logistical and technical aspects of humanitarian aid at Médecins Sans Frontières in Switzerland. But she also enjoyed returning to complete her education in France. “The community life was richer at Centrale Lille and I think this led to better cohesion among the students.” He also warns candidates: “You have to wonder, Chinese culture is so far away from ours“.

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