Hey all, this is Hari Prasath, a space system major student from ISAE SUPAERO (2018-2020). I frequently get a lot of questions related to the admission process and living expenses in Toulouse from Indian students. I am listing down all the frequently asked questions with the answers so that it will be easier for you to read and know the info. If you can’t find the information that you need, please feel free to ping me, I will be happy to help you.
Disclaimer: The answers are purely based on my personal experiences with ISAE SUPAERO and Toulouse. It may vary from person to person and facts are subjected to change, if you have any unclarified doubts feel free to mail Supaero admission office and keep checking the university website.
How is the university (ISAE SUPAERO)?
ISAE SUPAERO is one of the best for Aerospace engineering in France. It comes under the category of Grand Ecole (Big Schools) and is recognisable worldwide. It has a lot of ongoing research project which are tailored to the current and future industrial needs. It has 7 different majors that you can choose from https://www.isae-supaero.fr/en/academics/MSc/areas-of-expertise/majors-disciplines/ based on your interest in the field.
Job prospects after the completion of the degree
Job prospects vary on certain factors. As a university, ISAE SUPAERO is recognized among the industries. The job mainly depends on your major and the current situation in the industries. With passion and persistence, you will find the right job after your studies. Remember in aerospace the projects mainly depend on huge jargons who design and manufacture aircraft. If there are no new projects, then the availability of jobs is going to decrease. In case of the space systems major, foreign nationals can’t get into governmental space projects. However, there is a lot of opportunities in the start-up sector and public domain projects. You also have other options such as to do a PhD or to join a lab as a research assistant.
I have completed mechanical in bachelors and have no experience related to the aerospace sector. Will I be selected for the university? What are my chances?
ISAE SUPAERO selects candidates mainly depending on your motivational letter and the letter of recommendation. A decent CGPA is also required. Aerospace requires all type of engineers. For example, if you are from a mechanical background you can place yourself in a structural major. The most important factor is why? Why do you want to work in the aerospace sector? What motivates you? Why do you want to shift? And What does the future hold for you? Answer these questions in a detailed way. If you have enough working knowledge in your bachelors, then explain it in detail and link how it will be useful for the aerospace sector.
Is French necessary for the application and the classes?
No, all the classes are in English. You can apply even if you don’t know French. You will have French classes at the university taken by amazing teachers. It is not mandatory that you must know French while applying but it is an advantage.
Is ISAE SUPAERO master’s degree recognised in India?
Of course, yeah!!!!!! ISAE SUPAERO offers 2 years master course and it is recognisable in India. A lot of ISAE SUPAERO graduates are also working in reputable companies of India.
What is the basic salary for the engineers after the Masters in France?
The basic graduate salary in France is around 2000 euros per month after tax redemptions. (Subjected to change based on your experience, major and the company you apply)
What is the minimum monthly expense in Toulouse?
Room Rent – 350 Euros. The French government provides an allowance called CAF for the students. You will receive around 150 Euros to 200 Euros (Subjected to change depending on if you are scholarship holder or not). Therefore, rent reduces to 200 euros a month.
Living Expenses – 100 to 150 Euros. This includes the food, phone bill, travel expense and the room internet expense.
This is the minimum expense for a month. Going on trips, eating in the restaurant and other expense depends on your financial status.
Can I do a part-time job after coming to Toulouse?
The coursework in ISAE SUPAERO is tightly packed. You will have constant assignments and research project to finish. I would suggest its best not to do part-time. But if your financial situation requires it and you can manage your university work efficiently then go for it.
What are the scholarship options?
ISAE SUPAERO offers few scholarships for the Indian Nationals. Please do check the ISAE SUPAERO website for more details. (https://www.isae-supaero.fr/en/research/toulouse-graduate-school-of-aerospace-engineering/scholarship/) Caution: Apply in the first round for the scholarship. I didn’t know about ISAE SUPAERO until the 3rd round and I didn’t even get a chance to apply for the scholarship.
Charpak scholarship is provided by the Embassy of France in India. Do apply for that, as far as I have seen, students with good CGPA and motivation get the scholarship.
Alteal – Campus accommodation or outside?
I would suggest that Alteal- Campus accommodation is best for the students. It is close to the classrooms, has gym facilities, proper security, good services, and you have got friends close! What else do you need? The room has an oven, a refrigerator, and an attached bathroom. There is a common kitchen on the ground floor that you can access.
Maybe if as a group of friends, you prefer to stay in a rented apartment then chose places that are closer to the university.
Is an Internship mandatory during the summer holidays after a year?
You just had a year full of studies in Aerospace! You can chill a little for 2 months and prepare for the next academic year. But if you are still into learning and building profile, ISAE SUPAERO offers few internships. You can also look outside for the internship but start early.
Would you please explain about your course and your experience with respect to it?
1st semester of the course involves the complete recap of aerospace engineering (13 subjects). For students from a different domain (I am from manufacturing), we must put in extra time and efforts to get good grades in the subjects. For example, in my bachelors, I had C programming course only during the 1st semester. I never had any other programming language course for the next 3.5 years. Python language is the first subject that they start at ISAE SUPAERO. I felt difficult to understand and eventually I didn’t clear at the first attempt. But as I said, I worked extra time, got help from friends, cleared it and now in just 1.5 years, I am confident enough and in fact, I am learning a lot about programming. And other subjects that I felt difficult was in aerodynamics. Believe me, the exam pattern, the method of education is entirely different from India. It will make you work harder and will help you to grow eventually. By the end of the first semester, you chose your major and research project on which you will be working on for the next year. Remember to choose what you love in the major’s field even if you know it is going to be difficult because you will eventually figure out a way.
2nd semester involves further prerequisites subjects to get you ready for the majors along with common subjects such as project management. (More details on ISAE SUPAERO website).
3rd semester involves courses on your major. I personally felt 3rd semester is the most interesting since you learn everything about what you love to do. I will be explaining about space system major here. Madame Stephanie Lizy-Destrez is the HoD of the department. She is helpful for the students and is friendly to approach. Most of the lecturers are from industries and famous organisations such as Airbus, CNES, CNRS, Thales, etc.., teaching you real-life problems and solutions. Space Systems major covers every engineering aspect of space. It gives you a detailed insight into satellite, launcher, space law, economics and what not!
ISAE SUPAERO does an amazing job of taking reviews from the students every year to keep updating the coursework. I personally felt it is most needed to match with the current industrial trends.
You must start applying for the 4th-semester internship as early as possible if you are a space system major student. It is a little difficult for foreign nationals to get space industry intern. But believe me, keep applying, keep approaching and eventually, you will get what you wished for.