Why Study in France?
France is a part of your everyday life and you may not even realize it. And no, we're not talking about French fries-those were invented in Belgium!
First of all, it was France that gave the United States one of its greatest gifts, the Statue of Liberty. But if that isn't close enough to your heart, you can thank the French for the camera you use to post pics on your Facebook, the country made huge strides in photography, and even invented cinema.
There are French names all over maps of the United States, and if you've ever been to New Orleans, you know just how deeply the French influence can run.
What does all of this mean to you? Not much if you don't go to France to see all it has to offer you. A study abroad program in France will not only give you an appreciation for French culture, but also a renewed appreciation for your own.
More than 17,000 students study abroad in France each year, and international students now make up 10 percent of the country's college student population. Higher education in France is given praise around the world for its excellent teachers and research.
When you study abroad in France, you can expect to be treated the same as your native classmates, whether in a lecture or in a 'travaux diriges,' or seminar class.
While you can study abroad in France and concentrate on nearly any subject, it's the students with a passion for the arts, architecture and history that flock to the country in the highest numbers. And that's no shocker considering that France has been the center of the arts, as well as an international player, for centuries.
What's Studying in France Like?
Students of the arts, you will literally have to budget your time given all that France has to offer:
- Visit the Louvre to view the works of French artists such as Monet, Matisse and Renoir;
- Read the works of such French literary heavyweights as Baudelaire, Proust and Voltaire;
- Listen to the music of Debussy, or more contemporary artists like Air and Daft Punk.
France is also a prime destination for architecture students, as you will see architecture in nearly every style:
- The Gothic Chateau de Chambord, built in the 1500s;
- Place Dauphine was built in 1607 in Baroque style;
- The post-modern housing development, Marne-la-Vallee.
History students will find that France has been where the action is for quite some time. Over the course of the centuries, it has been the stage for the most important developments in the history of mankind, including the French Revolution, the rise of Napoleon and the rise of the Fifth Republic under President Charles de Gaulle. It was also the site of the D-Day invasion of WWII.
More than an Education
From its food to its art, France is one of those rare destinations whose reality completely lives up to its reputation. And as a possible study abroad location, there is arguably no better place in the world, because the combination of educational institutions, arts and culture, and national history are second to none.
From the beaches of Nice to the Avignon countryside, the eclectic seaside city of Marseille to the historic province of Alsace, Paris is definitely not the only game in town. However, no study abroad program in France should leave out the 'City of Lights,' as it is truly the capital of the country:
- Visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Museum of Mankind;
- Wander the Tuileries Garden or the Parc Monceau;
- Shop for French fashion by Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior.
Paris is also the center of business and nightlife, with tons of bars, clubs and restaurants, many of which are open late hours. You can dance with friends, take in a film or chat and eat at one of the many cafes.
Paris' Le Grand Cafè Capucines is open 24/7, and it's a great place to sample that food France is so famous for:
- Don't ask what they are, just try the foe gras, beef bourguignon or the escargot;
- The country boats more than 300 varieties of cheese. Step aside Green Bay, the French are the true 'Cheese heads,' as they eat the most of it in the world!;
- You can wash it all down with one of those fine French wines.
But just as Mom used to say, 'Chew slowly!' When you study abroad in France, whether eating or not, leave your sense of urgency back home! The French slow down and savor everything, not just their food. Leisure is taken as seriously as work in the country, so take your time.
If, for some strange reason, France isn't enough for you, then you can visit nearby countries like Belgium, Germany and Spain. But there is so much to a study abroad program in France that we simply can't cover it all, you'd better discover it all for yourself!