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Top 5 Reasons to Study in
Studying Abroad in Paris
So you’re thinking about
studying abroad in France’s romantic, elusive capital city? Whether you’re
looking into study abroad programs for high school or college students, Paris
has much to offer. So much, in fact, you may not have time to do it all.
The city has been
consistently rated one of Europe’s most livable cities, despite the high cost
of living. Paris has an abundance of green spaces within the city and is very
pedestrian friendly, as long as you stay out of traffic and don’t mind dodging
the omnipresent piles of dog poo. Yes, Parisians adore their dogs but they don’t
adore cleaning up after them. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)
Paris is broken into 20
arrondissements, or districts, that are laid out in a spiral pattern like a
conch shell starting at the Louvre and spreading out clockwise to the Seine
River. The city is easily navigable by the Métro rapid transit system.
Sure, Paris is a powerhouse
of cultural attractions, with the region containing 3,800 historical monuments
and some of the most-visited tourist destinations on the planet. However, the
city is also a world center for business, education, science and the arts.
While citizens do love café culture and don’t mind spending hours drinking and
chatting, the metro area is fast-paced and the slow-moving tourist is going to
find Parisians jetting past them.
Life in Paris
While most Parisians speak
English, they take it as a sign of respect if you make an effort to learn some
of their language – and visitors who do so are much less likely to rack up
stories about so-called rude French people. A few things to keep in mind:
Café culture is arguably the
highlight of the city. Most people do not own large homes so cafés are the
preferred meeting spot for the city’s very social citizens. Parisians bundle up
and opt for the ubiquitous outdoor tables at all times of year. Expect service
to be slow, as people are accustomed to lingering over a small meal and a few
glasses of wine or coffee for hours.
If you’re looking for
something less subdued, there are clubs and discotheques. The city is typically
bustling all nights of the week but more on the weekends. Public
transportation is the mode of choice for many Parisians. The city’s Metro
service moves about 4.5 million people throughout the city every day.
Paris has similar latitude
to Vancouver but the Gulf Stream makes the city much warmer than its Canadian
counterpart. Expect hot summers (with very little air conditioning) and mild
winters, with only slight and infrequent snow showers. Rain is prevalent
throughout the year, but may last – literally – only a minute or two before
returning to sunshine.
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