Business-school programs respond quickly to the demands of the economic environment and reflect the latest management practices. In most programs internships and international exchanges play prominent roles.

France has about 230 free-standing, private schools of business and management, many of which are affiliated with chambers of commerce and industry.

Most programs emphasize internships and international exchange, offering students ready access to the huge European job market. Teaching methods make use of the latest technology. French schools of business award national diplomas, signifying their adherence to international standards of quality.

International students who have completed two years of postsecondary education may apply for admission, sit for the entrance examination, and in 3 years earn a business degree. Graduates may go on for an MBA or specialized master's.

Among the best-known schools of business and management are the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, known as HEC, the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP-EAP), the Ecole Supérieure nationale de Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC), the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales du Nord (EDHEC Lille), and the Ecole de Management de Lyon (EM Lyon). All are members of CampusFrance.

Earning an MBA in France

The MBA (master of business administration), developed in the United States a century ago, is the international standard for business degrees. The curriculum prepares students for management positions.

The most prestigious French business schools have MBA programs, many of which are accredited by EQUIS and AMBA.

MBA programs are aimed primarily at young international managers. Instruction is strongly oriented toward professional practice, drawing heavily on students' experience.

Many French MBA programs are taught in English. Classes tend to include students of many nationalities. In fact, their international orientation and flavor are among the strengths of French programs.

Admission is very selective. Students must submit an application, then appear for an interview. Tuition is high compared to other French programs. The precise amount varies from one institution to another.