Is there a way to say in French something like:

As a student, I used to go out every night.

I know the long translation:

Quand j'étais étudiant, je sortais tous les soirs.
Quand j'étudiais, je sortais tous les soirs.

but I wish to know if there is a shorter version, like in English.

(I know there is a shorter with “En tant qu'étudiant”, but I think it's wrong because it is not used for the past.)

  • "En tant qu'étudiant" can be used in the past aswell. But "En tant qu'étudiant" and "Quand j'étais étudiant" are exactly the same size (4 words). However, "Quand j'étudiais" is a bit shorter but very ambiguous and doesn't really fit. It would translate to "When/As I studied, I would go out...", which makes absolutely no sense, because you can't be studying and going out at the same time. – MorganFR May 10 '16 at 9:02
  • It depend of the context, but you could say "Étudiant, je sortais tout les soirs." Could you give some clue of the subject, the way to bring this information to the reader? – Twiky-san May 10 '16 at 9:11

The easiest and shortest way is to simply start your sentence with "étudiant" :

Étudiant, je sortais tous les soirs.

"Quand j'étais étudiant" also works, but "en tant qu'étudiant" has a slightly different meaning ; it means that your status as a student causes or enables whatever comes next.

En tant qu'étudiant, j'avais 25% de réduction sur mes places de cinéma.

=> [Because I was] a student, I got 25% off on my movie tickets.

En tant qu'étudiant, je me sentais concerné par les réformes de l'université

=> [Because I was] a student, I felt concerned about the university reforms.

"Quand j'étudiais" doesn't work either : it means "as / while / when I studied / was studying".

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