Studying at a French language school is a dream come true for so many people! There are many things that you will discover during your immersion in the French culture. When you speak French, you will be privy to the beauty of the French culture. Take the best from the French culture when you return chez vous and you can feel reconnected to your wonderful time at your French language school.
French in France: Language, Culture and Food
Sundays and Holidays
Yes, you will need to adjust your way of thinking if you come from a culture of 24/7 shopping. Some find this a real challenge, but once you relax into it, the ritual of turning off and slowing down can be a total life changing habit. For the most part, shops and grocery stores are all closed on Sundays and holidays. Some small grocery stores and shops in tourist areas (such as the Marais district in Paris) are open at least in the morning if you have emergency needs or you are in total need of retail therapy.
Adapting to having one day a week to turn off and detach can help you to recharge your batteries. For a cultural exercise during your studies at a French language school, observe what your French acquaintances and friends do on their Sundays off. Strolling the avenues, group sporty hobbies like biking or hiking, spending the day at lunch with family or friends…you might add some of these activities to your Sundays and discover how great it feels to have some true downtime each week.
Love of the Arts
Anyone who has even had the slightest contact with French culture through visits or in French language classes has experienced just how deeply the French love the arts. Everywhere you look in France, art is there. You can broaden your vocabulary and speak French with other art lovers and take in the arts by going to as many cultural events as you can during your time at a French language school. There are many ways to discover what is going on at any given time: a visit to the tourist office, local newspapers such as La Gazette that comes out every Thursday, search online for the tourist office site. No matter your preference, there is something for everyone: museums, concerts, theater, dance, opera…Jump into the deep pool of French culture and enjoy! When you return from your time at a French language school, you can indulge your love of culture chez vous!
Three Course Meals
One of the best habits you will no doubt adopt during your stay at a French language school is eating smaller but three or more coursed meals. In place of one large plate with all of the food piled and touching, you will learn to savor smaller portions artfully plated. Fixed price menus not only are great deals in comparison to the à la carte offerings, but give you the opportunity to try all kinds of different dishes. You will soon find yourself craving the entrée-plat-dessert trilogy at every restaurant you visit.
The Café Life
Of all the ideas that we need to steal from the French culture, the café life is the best! The art of idly sipping a coffee or a glass of wine while watching the world pass by and catching up with friends…time freezes and is at is most beautiful. Nothing says French culture like spending an afternoon in a café. What better place to speak French than in a café – whether in France or chez vous! Even if you cannot find someone to hang with, take a book…better yet take a book written in French and take in French culture and add to your French language school lessons at the same time.
The Art of Dressing
Give up on fads and trends. Release your inner sheep! Embrace your inner Frenchness! Take what’s popular and layer it up. Throw a scarf and boots with a mini skirt and leather jacket. Mix up colors and textures. The French have an inner confidence that gives them style no matter how they are dressed. A bit of lipstick and mascara and a big dose of self-confidence is all you need to let your inner beauty shine. Add that to your newly acquired ability to speak French and you will feel so French!
Work is Work and Life is Life
Maybe it is the difference in French culture – they are not yet a capitalist culture, but when the French are away from work, they – in general – do not deal with emails and demands from their job. When on vacation, they are truly on vacation and do not phone into work at every given opportunity. The world of their job does not fall apart while they are on vacation. What a difference that can make when you can turn off the demands and duties of everyday life and completely disconnect. Everyone has to come back from vacation to the huge amount of work that piles up, but at least you will know for that short period of time you can be devoid of all responsibilities of the daily grind.
Enjoy your time at your French language school and immersed in French culture. Pick your favorite activities from the French culture and try them out when you return home. Life will seem that much more beautiful! La vie est belle!!