Bonjour, France!

As the quality of education in France is known to be very high, a not-to-be missed opportunity for students in Malaysia was brought to light.

The ambassador of France to Malaysia, Frederic Laplanche (pix) , said at a recent event, that going to France to study provides for a different education experience altogether. “It is an added value to the Malaysian student,” he said.

“French language is used in a large part of the world. Some 29 countries use it as their official language. Moreover, the quality of education is very high,” added Laplanche.

Deemed an “eye opener” from the Malaysian point of view; the ambassador was an invited speaker at City University’s 12th Distinguished Speaker Series, a programme that provides for an intellectual platform comprising talks and discussions on issues across a variety of topics.

The talk, held on Feb 14, was delivered at the multi purpose hall at City University in Petaling Jaya. Some 243 attendees were present.

Laplanche, who took up his appointment as the ambassador of France to Malaysia in June 2017, shared many insights about his country. He also shared that France has a population of about 67 million people, and that it enjoys its rank as the fifth largest global economy in the world.

The country is also widely known for its rich culture, history, and is an established country that attracts many tourists and visitors from around the globe.

“France is the first (or highest) recipient, recording the largest number of international tourists, last year – receiving close to 90 million visitors, and our population is 67 million,” said Laplanche, adding that the country is expecting to achieve a hundred million by 2020.

The ambassador also informed that there are more than 2.6million students in France, out of which, more than 300,000 were foreign students. “France is the third country, which records the highest number of international students, after the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

France is also the first non English speaking country to receive the highest number of international students.

Many of its universities and higher education institutions are among the top 100 in the world,” he said.

There are 73 public universities, 227 engineering schools, 220 business and management schools, 50 post-secondary schools of art, 22 schools of architecture and 3,000 other schools and institutes.

More than 1,300 programmes are taught in English, the ambassador divulged.

At the talk, it was also revealed that City U has an on-going collaboration with Vatel Group, an international hospitality management school that offers business, hotel and tourism management programmes in France. Through the alliance, Vatel Kuala Lumpur was formed, making these programmes available at City University, PJ.

Among them are City U’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism programme, which offers Diploma courses in culinary arts and hotel management and Degree courses in hospitality management and tourism management.

There is also a Double Degree programme – the Bachelor of Hospitality Management, where the student studies in Malaysia for the first two years, and has the option to complete his/her final year in any one of Vatel’s “schools” abroad.

On this note, Laplanche shared about a “one Michelin star” restaurant in Paris, of which its two chefs are a husband and wife team.

“The husband is from Japan and the wife is Malaysian,” he informed, encouraging students from Malaysia to aim high, have high ambitions and venture out in their education with the Vatel programme.

“Try to reach for the top and try to work in the best places,” he said.

“France is a diverse country and you will enjoy a wide scope of learning, while staying and working in the French countryside.

“We have very beautiful Chateau hotels and heritage mansions that have been turned into hotels,” Laplanche shared.

City U’s Distinguished Speaker Series welcomes outstanding experts and world-famous speakers to deliver talks and share valuable insights every two months.

The undertaking is in line with City U’s academic mission – to inspire its students and its surrounding communities to be knowledgeable and actively engaged as citizens.

For more information, visit city.edu.my