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The French lifestyle

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By moving to France, you will discover a brand new lifestyle and environment. Find an overview in the article.

Located at the crossroads between Northern and Southern Europe, France is a beautiful multicultural country, blending Nordic rigor and the Latin warmth. By moving there, you will merge in a welcoming and hospitable nation, no matter what people may think or say. The French people are patient, polite and respectful, especially towards expatriates. They are also very attached to their traditions which naturally bring a sense of pride. They are always pleased and willing to share their national expertise with foreigners.

The image of the French with his beret is somewhat worn-out. However, the famous baguette remains and inseparable part of everyday life in the country. Indeed, the French are generally very lively people and their fine gastronomy is world famous. The unparalleled French wine is also a class above. You should definitely take the time to discover and taste it during your stay.

Traditions

In general, the French are known for being hard working people despite their five weeks of annual leaves and their Récupération du Temps de Travail (RTT). In fact, they are known to be one of the world's most productive nations. Their secret? Maybe the ability of having the right balance between their professional and private lives.

For instance, the French never hesitate to take a 10 minutes morning break to have a cream at the bar next to their office. Sometimes, whole teams are likely to have lunch together in a pleasant setting, maybe once a month. Christmas, Easter and Candle-mas are usually the ideal moments to take a deep breath and have a break, but without forgetting their duties and objectives.

Society

The French highly value their social achievements and like to voice it out! French people abroad are often considered as moaners, permanently dissatisfied people and unhappy with what they have. While discussing with your friends, colleagues and neighbors, you will understand that what they actually have is the result of tough negotiations, some of which are even resolved with violence. Sometimes, attempts of amending the laws are seen as the undermining of their hard-won social achievements. Trade unions often go on strike in these cases.

Religions

The French people generally abide to Catholic traditions. But like in most countries, you are likely to come people from all faiths, including Muslims, Jews, Buddhist, among many others. Note, however, that France is a secular country. This implies that religion is totally separated from the State.

You can still enroll your children in private Catholic, Judaic or Muslim schools that you can find in most major cities. You will also find churches, temples, synagogues, etc, almost everywhere.

Gastronomy and wine

France is inseparable from good food and great vintages. This is not a cliche! In fact, pubs, coffee shops and small traditional restaurants are often full at lunch time. The French people like to please themselves during their lunch break whenever they can. Professionals often compose fast and relatively cheap meals for employees, including a glass of wine and coffee at an affordable price.

History and culture

The French history dates back to the 5th century. As a historically rich country, it France has much to offer, especially through its magnificent architecture, museums, forts, monuments, etc. The French people are also naturally open towards multiculturalism and novelty.

When traveling by bus or subway, do not be surprised to see most travelers aboard with a book in their hand. Indeed, the French people are very keen about reading and often enjoy their favorite hobby during their trips.

You will also discover the country's great historical and cultural treasures as you walk along the streets of major cities and villages. Some of these have several centuries old histories. Indeed, the French are very proud of their legacy and show great respect towards their ancestors.

Regions

As at the 1st of January 2016, France consists of a total of 18 regions against 27 since many years. Each of these regions has its own specialty, namely in terms of culture, gastronomy, wine, etc. Find more information in the “Useful links” listed below.

Education

The French education system comprises three main levels: school (pre primary and primary), college and high school. Education is compulsory for all children as from 6 yeas and until a minimum of 16 years. Note that primary and secondary education is free of charge, secular and neutral.

 Good to know:

Higher education, for its part, is cheaper in France than in many other countries. This is why the country attracts foreign students in large numbers every year.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Everyday life in France Forum 
Departments – Specialties les-departements.fr
Cartesfrance www.cartesfrance.fr
France.fr ee.france.fr
Frenchentree www.frenchentree.com

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