This time we’re talking about universities because I love my college AUs but damn if I’m gonna read ML College AUs which are based on American tropes in Paris. So first I’ll debunk the most common trope and then try to explain a bit why it doesn’t work in the French university system and develop on other possibilities.
We’ll start with that because it is the most common thing i find in College AU fics. In this case, since Adrien and Marinette both already live in Paris, there is no way in hell they would be living in dorms. In France, and especially Paris where there are so many universities and so many students, the dorms go to the people who live the farthest from Paris, so either people who live in the countryside or people who live in the outer suburbs. Otherwise dorms go to people whose families earn low incomes/have a scholarship.
Marinette and Adrien already live in Paris’ center, in a prestigious neighborhood considering the junior high they’re going to, so they wouldn’t move out until the end of their studies or if their studies took them out of Paris.
2. studying fashion at university
Not happening. Paris is one of the capital of fashion, and as such there are several private schools that train fashion designers. No universities provide courses that would allow someone to work in fashion later on, unless it’s in marketing or other such things.
The good news is though, those fashion schools (they are private so they are expensive, some go up to 10k€ per year) have at every end of year a test, in which the students must find models and make them wear their designs on a catwalk, to be judged by the school staff. Yes, this is exactly the kind of fic you’re thinking of, now go write it.
Like in high school, the French university system is based on curriculum, you don’t just pick an area of studies, like physics or philosophy. You pick a degree, where the classes are all already selected for you and everyone in that degree, and you are only free to choose one or two options, the rest is already set up around the subject you have chosen.
For example, if you take English Literature, all your classes will deal with English language or English/American/Oceanic history; you won’t get an art history class and a physics class as part of your curriculum.
Of course, universities aren’t the only possibilities, there are private schools and classes préparatoires and of course, the med school system is a lot more complicated than a simple university curriculum.
(There are several private schools depending on what people want to
study, film-making can be studied in university and then followed up by a
master in a private school for example.)
Also, French Universities work under the LMD process, as all other European universities do. So the Licence (Bachelor) lasts three years, the Master lasts two years and the Doctorat (PHD) lasts three years (sometimes can be extended to four).
And very unfortunately, French libraries don’t stay open until 3am. The latest they do is maybe 10pm, depending on the uni, however since I didn’t go to uni in Paris, I can’t say this information is exact.