Frequently Asked Questions

What does IFA Paris refer to?
It stands for International Fashion Academy.

Is IFA Paris a registered school?
IFA Paris is a private higher education institution. As such it is not attached to the French Ministry of Education as a University or a Grande Ecole could be. However IFA Paris is registered with the Academie de Paris under the denomination International Fashion Academy as a private academic entity.  

Does IFA Paris deliver degrees recognized by the Ministry of Education?
The French term for a degree recognized by the Mninistry of Education is “Vise par le Ministere de l’Education”. The only types of degrees that bear this characteristic in France are the ones that are delivered by Public Institutions like Universities or Grandes Ecoles. IFA Paris is a Private Higher Education Institution and therefore its degrees are not recognized by the French Ministry of Education. However all its programs are built according to the ECTS System established through the Bologna Convention which allows them to be certified by the Federation for European Education in Europe (or FEDE). Moreover, our graduates are hired by French and international fashion and luxury companies from around the world and additionally, most fashion schools in Europe and America have accepted our graduates into their postgraduate courses.

What is an RNCP Certification?
The RNCP certification is granted by the Commission Nationale de la Certification Professionnelle (CNCP). The certification level is determined by the capability of a school (Private or Public) to provide a degree that will grant its graduates access to a specific industry sector for which they have specialized through their academic programs. While an RNCP Certification Level could grant graduates of postgraduate programs the granting of an APS Visa, it does not confer any equivalency of said postgraduate program with a Master Degree delivered by a Public Academic Institution.

What makes IFA Paris a different school?
Please visit our Mission and Values page. 

Why choose to study in Paris?

  • Tradition: Paris holds a special place at the top of the fashion and luxury world. Generation after generation, designers choose Paris to be their muse and birthplace of their works. 
  • Present: Paris' present is also compelling. As the world's fashion capital, the city is where twice-yearly fashion week, fairs and trade shows, fascinating concept stores, and industry leading trend agencies are. Major luxury groups such as LVMH, PPR and companies like Boucheron, Cartier and Baccarat all have headquarters located in Paris. 
  • Future: Paris also remains an essential stop for young fashion and luxury professionals who wish to understand where fashion came from and where it is going.

Why choose to study in Shanghai?

  • China: China is without any doubt the fastest growing market of fashion and luxury products in the world, consequently, overseas companies and brands are now interested in hiring professionals with experience in China and with Chinese connections.
  • Shanghai: Shanghai is an emerging, international and amazingly flourishing metropolitan city for fashion with worldwide high-end brands wanting to organize their glamorous parties, fashion shows, and retrospective exhibitions. 
  • Advantages and Opportunities: Foreign fashion brands are aiming their collection exclusively within the Chinese market to a point where they will potentially shift their design team to China.

Why choose to study in Istanbul?
Istanbul is the place to be right now in Europe. It is an emerging market where all the actions are taking place right now. It is vibrant and full of energy. It is a great occasion to mix with another culture and have the opportunity to live in an international and fast developing environment. Istanbul does not only strike the world as a fascinating destination to travel to, but its strategic geographic location, where the east meets the west, still unshakably keeps the city well-connected and the most valued meeting point for all kinds of trades.

Where is the school located?
IFA Paris places its' students on three campuses: 18-24 Quai de la Marne in Paris and 350 Xianxia Road in Shanghai. The Istanbul school is located in the heart of the city. Please scroll to the bottom of our fashion school homepage to see the addresses.

How long does it take to receive a decision on my admission?
It takes about 10 working days to receive an answer regarding your admission, once you have paid the application fee, uploaded all necessary documents and taken the interview.

Are there any scholarships available?
Visit our scholarship page for information on undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships offers.

What happens if I don’t have all the required documents now?
The applicant may be given a Conditional Admission Letter if they have fulfilled successfully all requirements for admission but are still missing an essential document, like an IELTS score or a final transcript of previous studies. In such a case, the applicant needs to proceed with the payment of tuition fees as with a normal Admission Letter in order to secure his/her position in the course. The applicant will be fully enrolled upon reception of the missing document. If the applicant fails to provide the missing document, he or she will be consequently rejected for admission and will be refunded 100% of the paid tuition.

I am applying for a fashion design course and need to provide a portfolio. What should I include in my portfolio?
If you are applying for our Bachelor in Fashion Design & Technology or Bachelor Fashion Sustainability - Design Major, please provide: Mood board (collect and collage the reference pictures representing your vision), Free hand illustrations and sketches related to your mood board, Fabric swatches that will fit to your sketches, Photos representing your style, Some research showing which type of customer you are designing for and their personas. If you are applying for our Master of Arts in Contemporary Fashion Design, then you should include your finished looks or final collection.

What if I haven't graduated yet and don't have my high school diploma yet?
For example if you are in your final year of high school and are joining one of our Bachelor programs in the fall intake, you can start your online application and then provide the high school diploma once you receive it. It is important to start your online application as soon as possible to secure your seat.

I am not a native English speaker. What are the language requirements?
As all our programs are taught in English, we require students to provide proof of sufficient English level in form of the IELTS or TOEFL (min. scores required can be found on our Requirements page).
Alternatively, if you have previously followed education in English, we require a letter from that school stating this and you could be exempt from providing the IELTS or TOEFL. We will also be able to evaluate your English level in the interview and the final decision lies with our admissions team.

How difficult is it to be admitted?

IFA Paris values those applicants that are committed to a career in fashion and eager to learn the skills and knowledge needed to reach that goal. We will focus more on your personality, your motivation and your talents than on your past academic results, especially if you are applying for creative programs.

The chances of getting into the course will be largely based on each individual's educational background, motivation and work experiences. For students who have achieved above 75% of average score during their undergraduate studies will stand out among the candidates. Students who have also excelled in extracurricular activities, held leadership roles, and/or developed a comprehensive resume, or taken exams like GMAT or GRE will have a distinct advantage when applying to this course. Please note IFA Paris evaluates each individual without any biases and will consider each applicant based on their application form, supporting documents, interview, exam, personal merits and accolades. Of all applicants who provide all the required documents and count on above two years of relevant working experiences, about 20% may be admitted.

Each portion of the evaluation process will be weighted, thus, an applicant who may feel their desire to learn is greater than what their past educational history may indicate should not waver in their decision to apply. So although the applicant’s supporting files will account for 40% of the overall evaluation process, the remaining 60% will be based on how well he performs in the interview and exam.

What will be asked at the interview?
The purpose of the interview is to get to know you, your motivation and your career goals as well as your academic background, your past experiences in related fields and your motivation of inspiration.

What do the postgraduate courses online exam consist of?
The exam is made of multiple choices and open ended questions. The exam has a time limit of two hours. There is no particular preparation as the test is based on your current knowledge. It will be done online on our Learning Management System. We will provide you with a username and password. 

How can someone who lives overseas take the interview?
IFA Paris accepts students from all over the world and is mindful of location and time differences thus the interview will either take place via Skype, a telephone number you provide, or in some cases a face-to-face interview. 

What if I need to postpone my studies?
The student who wishes to postpone studies after enrollment must submit the Application for Postponement of Studies Form at least 80 days before the beginning of the course or semester. The Undergraduate Department will start the process after the Course Director approves the application. The Student is only allowed to postpone once during the entire Course. The Student who has postponed studies can no longer withdraw or apply for a tuition fee reimbursement.

The Student who wishes to resume studies following postponement, provided there is space in the preferred semester, must contact the Undergraduate Department to complete and submit the Application for Resuming of Studies Form within 2 years from notice of postponement and at least 90 days before the beginning of the next session. Tuition will be charged according to the cost of tuition fees in the year in which the Student returns.

Is it possible to withdraw from my course?
In case of withdrawal from the Course, the Student must complete the Statement of Withdrawal Form and present it to the Undergraduate Department.

Below are listed the different cases of refund:

  • Once tuition fee payment has been completed, the Applicant has a period of 14 days to withdraw from the Course without giving explanation and will receive full refund of the payment. The Applicant has to provide the bank transfer document to the School in order to prove the date and time of the payment.
  • If the Statement of Withdrawal Form is submitted more than 90 days before the beginning of the Course, The Student will be refunded 100% of the paid tuition fee excluding a 500 € management fee.
  • If the Statement of Withdrawal Form is submitted between 90 and 61 days before the beginning of the Course, The Student will be refunded 60% of the paid tuition fee excluding a 500 € management fee.
  • If the Statement of Withdrawal Form is submitted between 60 and 31 days before the beginning of the Course, The Student will be refunded 30% of the paid tuition fee excluding a 500 € management fee.
  • If the Statement of Withdrawal Form is submitted within 30 days or less from the beginning of the Course, The Student will not be eligible for a refund.

How many students are accepted per class?
We generally accept between 15--25 students depending on the number of qualified candidates. It is highly recommended to apply for priority status or as early as possible to ensure your seat in your desired intake.

What type of background will my classmates have?
Students across the world have been part of the unique learning experience made possible through IFA Paris. To date, our courses have enrolled students from: France, Italy, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, UK, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Colombia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, PR China, only to name a few.

By bringing together a diverse, international group of undergraduate and postgraduate students, IFA Paris gives students the opportunity to gain a global perspective on fashion.

In our postgraduate programs, on average students are about 26 years old and have worked for about 4 years and a large share of them focused on the fashion industry. A typical class should count on about 12 to 17 nationalities.

I am not a native English speaker, what are the language requirements?
When applying to our school in Paris. Non-native English speaking students are required to provide an IELTS score. An overall score of 5.5 is preferred for undergraduate courses and 6.5 is preferred for postgraduate courses. In Shanghai, students whose English proficiency is below par are required to attend additional language classes.

What does the tuition fee cover?
The tuition fee covers the cost of education, which includes academic management, access to the Learning Management System, classes given by lecturers, visits and presentations from the industry, projects, academic materials, classroom space and reading materials. The tuition fee does not cover the student’s airplane tickets, accommodation and personal expenses during the course, fabrics, photocopy and printing fees, transportation for visits, visa application fees for any study location or delivery fees of any administrative documents to be received.

Can I be reimbursed my application fee?
Unfortunately, we do not reimburse the application fee under any circumstance.

What does the application process consist of?
Following an applicant’s admission, registration is finalized when he or she has signed the Student Agreement and submitted the full tuition payment, including all bank transfer fees incurred. Following receipt of these items the applicant will hereby become a student.

  • If the applicant receives the Admission Letter before May 30th, he or she must complete the payment of the tuition fee within 30 days of receiving the Admission Letter.
  • If the applicant receives the Admission Letter after May 30th, he or she must complete the payment of the tuition fee within 15 days of receiving the Admission Letter.
  • If the applicant fails to abide by these terms, the School has the right to give the position to another candidate.

How many ECTS credits do I receive for completing a MBA course at IFA?
Students who successfully complete an entire MBA course will receive 120 ECTS credits.

When will my course start and end?
Please contact us and inquire about your desired course and an education consultant will get back to you.

When does orientation begin?
Following your admission, further information regarding schedule, housing, visa and other related matters will be available on your personal web portal. Students can also be in contact with a member of our Academic Department.

What is the instructional language?
All courses provided at IFA Paris are taught entirely in English.

Who is the faculty?
IFA Paris’ faculty is composed mostly of French nationals of subject-matter experts who are active practitioners in their specialties. To enable students to achieve their best results, the IFA Paris faculty addresses the individual needs of each student. Beyond sharing their extensive experience and teaching students the requisite theory and technical skills, our instructors also pass on invaluable personal traits: enthusiasm, passion and confidence.

I have been admitted and paid my tuition fee but now have a question, who shall I contact?
The answer to your question shall be on your personal online portal. If you cannot find answer to your question, you should contact the Academic Department of your respective course or the education consultant that you have been in contact during your application process.

What type of work can I do after gradution?
Please visit Careers in Fashion for more information on potential careers that a fashion design graduate can pursue.

Will the school assist me in finding a job after graduation?
Our Career Center is available to assist our students and graduates who are looking for internships or job opportunities. Most of the opportunities are located in France and China. Nevertheless, our offices do have relationships with companies in other countries as well.

How do I obtain a visa to pursue my studies?
The Student must obtain a visa from the Chinese/French authorities before pursuing studies in PRC/France. The School will assist the Student in the application process to facilitate visa procedures. However applying for and obtaining the required documents are the Student’s sole responsibility.

How do I obtain a visa to be able to study in Turkey for an EU resident and a non-EU resident?
You have to apply from the Turkish embassy located in your respective countries. Several countries in the region do not require a visa to study in Turkey. Please visit http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa for more information.

What if I am refused a visa?
Students who are denied an entry visa to China/France will be reimbursed their tuition fee. IFA Paris will not be liable for any financial loss (accommodation, airfare and any fees or charges) incurred by students due to visa refusal. IFA Paris will assist students in their application process to facilitate visa procedures. However applying for and obtaining the required documents are the student’s sole responsibility. 95% of all students are able to obtain a visa.

Can I apply for an APS visa after I graduate from IFA Paris?
No, as only Masters graduates from public universities or business schools from the Conference des Grandes Ecoles can apply for an APS Visa.

Do I need am international health insurance while studying abroad?
The Student must purchase an International Health Insurance Plan before arrival into China/France and is advised to provide official proof of insurance to the Administration Department. You will need an International Health Insurance to study in Turkey as well. The fact that Turkey doesn’t have reciprocal health-care arrangements with other countries means that having travel insurance is highly advisable.

Does the school provide accommodation in Paris, Shanghai or Istanbul?

In Paris
It is not common to have a school dormitory in central Paris where the school is located. Consequently, all of our students stay in apartments or studios either near the school or located near local public transportation. Renting an apartment on your own or sharing it with a classmate is the best way to integrate to a new city and its neighborhoods.

There are various website where foreign students can find housing in Paris. Please visit our Living in Paris page to find out more. 

In Shanghai
In Shanghai, We also do not provide a dormitory. There are various websites (City Weekend, Smart Shanghai) where foreign students can easily find a roommate or rent an apartment on their own. There are plenty of choices and most students can find suitable accommodation within a few days upon arrival.  IFA can also provide contacts of English speaking real estate agencies to assist students for those who can’t find housing through those websites. Please visit our Living in Shanghai page to learn more. 

In Istanbul 
Unfortunately accommodation is not provided by the school. There are options for furnished and unfurnished apartments and houses in Istanbul. Most expats tend to live in ‘Sites’. The ‘Site’ (pronounced seet-ay), or housing estate, is a very common concept in Istanbul. Expats can find sites containing housing options to suit every budget and taste, ranging from large villas with private gardens and swimming pools to apartments with a communal pool, gym and garden. More infos in the Living in Istanbul section.

Do I have time to find a part-time job?
While in Paris, foreign students are allowed to work up to 21 hours a week. In Shanghai, foreign students can’t legally work but can get involved in various projects or freelance work. It is not legit for one to work in Turkey under a student visa. However, you will be able to be involved in projects as a freelancer.

Is it possible to live in Shanghai without speaking Chinese?
It is definitely possible to live comfortably in Shanghai without speaking Chinese. Many of the 250,000 foreigners living in Shanghai do not speak Chinese. In the downtown area, services in English are widely available. Nevertheless, in order to make your life more enjoyable in China, we strongly suggest foreign students to learn some basic Chinese skills. Any foreigners thinking on working in China upon graduation should know that Chinese language skills may be a requisite for many job opening.

Do I need to speak Turkish to be able to live there as a foreigner?
No. Turkish citizens speak various languages depending on their education level, it will be always a plus if you can know some basics to get around and to be appreciated by locals.