39 Reasons to Live in France
Even for a Temporary Stay!
39, why 39? Well to be honest we could of carried on into the hundreds but we felt we had to stop somewhere. This list is what we feel sums up France and great culture, experience and variety the country offers.
- Superb choice of bread (baguettes, bread rolls, bread) …
- Cheese – over 350 kinds of cheese!
- Croissants, cakes, macaroons, baked goods … in short: j’aime les pâtisseries!
France, next to Italy and Spain, is one of the largest wine producers in the world. Also in terms of wine consumption, the French are world leaders, why not be surprised: French wines are among the best! At the same time, table wines (vins de table) can be bought for almost a pittance … And how can you not enjoy? Here is a list of French Wines.
- French cuisine. World renowned cuisine
“Cooking skills like the French do, in French cuisine, are the shortest way to happiness, pleasure and delicious fun.” (Susan Herrmann Loomis)
- 35-hour work week and paid overtime
After exceeding 35 hours of work per week, each extra hour is paid either to additional pay (+ 25% extra for the first 8 hours worked in the same week and + 50% for subsequent hours), or additional rest depending on the number of overtime hours worked (eg day free from work).
- 5 weeks of full annual leave (average in France is 6 weeks) plus 13 public holidays
As a comparison: in my current job I have 25 days of leave (plus 8 public holidays), and my partner only 20. In the previous job (a large public hospital), it was possible to plan a maximum of two weeks of holiday in a row, and in special circumstances – three. Meanwhile, my friends from France are leaving for a month-long vacation, usually in July and August. For me, at work, this system applies: first come, first served (with emphasis: priority for those who have children), so it is more and more often that holidays are planned with a years notice, if not two years in advance!
- An effective and easily accessible system of health care and health insurance
It’s worth adding: one of the best in the world.
- Fast and cheap railways
Just try to compare with what Great Britain offers: UK prices! Constant delays!
From my student days, I remember my journeys in France perfectly. Even the student budget can withstand travels by TGV fast trains or weekend trips. I also remember how for a few months I commuted by train to work and how little it cost me.
- Wonderful landscapes
Atlantic Ocean, Alps, Provence, Provence and Cote d’Azur, Paris, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Normandy and Brittany, Alsace, Auvergne, Aquitaine, Pyrenees, Massif Central, Vosges, Corsica, Languedoc …
- French style
I do not think you need to remind anyone about it, do you?
- French men and French women
I have heard a lot about the French being rude, arrogant and self-interested boars who will not learn the basics of English for anything in the world. I do not know where this unflattering opinion comes from or whether it does not concern mainly residents of the capital or snobs from the French Riviera.
I have a completely different experience in this matter: The French whom I met, are in my opinion curious about the world, knowledgeable about culture, open and chatty, and above all positive about Europeans. Moreover, most of them speak basic English (some even fluent). They also have a sense of humour close to mine, they like to have fun, discuss and easily make contacts.
In addition, the general pride of being a Frenchman or French, a passion for produits du terroir (that is, local products), and attachment to culture or elements of tradition that we would easily define as “French” draws attention.
- Marché … de puces … de fruits et légumes, or a flea market and shopping at the local fruit and vegetable market (where you can buy not only groceries but a whole variety of goods)
- Museums, castles, palaces …
Over 40,000 monuments, 39 objects on the list of World Cultural Heritage, 80,000 museums, 2000 cinemas and around 500 festivals …
- Culture: great literature, cinema, theater and dance
15 literary Nobel prize winners are French, which gives them the first place when it comes to the number of literary Nobel prizes.
In France, long-term observance of Sunday as a day different than other days is in force. I remember myself, just a few years ago, the centers of big cities (eg Strasbourg) were empty on Sundays. Closed shops (with small exceptions: small grocery stores) and practically no shopping opportunities. From last year’s holidays in the province I remembered, among other things, that the supermarkets were open on Sunday until noon. At least, that’s something. Nevertheless, Sunday in France is time for the family. Time to relax and unwind, not to fly around shopping malls. Time for a trip to the swimming pool, to the cinema or restaurant, a trip to the bosom of nature or just lazing around at home. And I like France for it.
- Weather and climate diversity
The so-called (broadly understood) south of France: almost 160 sunny days a year! Most of the sun (over 3000 hours per year) “falls” into Corsica, together with Marseilles and Nice, Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier.
- La joie de vivre
That is the joy of life. Grab the life by the balls, travel, explore the world around, laugh, love and enjoy small things and little pleasures. It can be a glass of wine, a picnic in the meadow, a breath of warm wind, a nice napkin on the table, a dog that is wagging his tail, the smell of fresh herbs, freshly brewed coffee, interesting reading, an evening with friends … perfect. The French know how to enjoy life.
- Friendly welcome and reception, as well as opening to the rest of the world
- French language
One of the most popular languages in the world (in fifth place): over 270 million people around the world use French on a daily basis (for 201 million people it is the main language, and for the remaining 70 million the second language everyday). French is used by residents of over 50 countries on five continents. It is also, along with English, the official language of all international institutions.
French is useful not only in France, but also in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, Seychelles and Africa. Besides, this is the sexiest language in the world and it is absolutely not subject to the slightest discussion!
- Diversity: cultural, historical and architectural
- Education (including higher education)
It is also a topic for a separate article.
France is currently the sixth economy in the world (data from last year) and one of the largest economic powers in Europe!
- Costs of commuting to work by public transport (metro, buses, trams, trains and even city bikes) half covered by the employer
- The cost of living (Excluding Paris and other big cities)
I will write about it in the next blog article.
France is the most visited country by tourists in the world!
- France: in the heart of Europe
France borders directly with eight countries: Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Monaco and Andorra. How many holiday (and not only) options! De Gaulle airport near Paris is the second most important airport in Europe after Heathrow (and 10 in the world). In addition, France has one of the world’s largest road networks, as well as some of the fastest trains (TGV), which can reach, among others, London, Amsterdam and Geneva …
Being so close to everything!
- Free time, or la dolce vita
- The cost of applying for a French citizenship: 55 euros
For comparison, British citizenship: 1,300 pounds!
- Lunch break
L’heure du repas, c’est sacré! / The meal time is sacred!
- L’heure du goûter / Tea time
Tea. Mandatory. Yummy.
- Pre-school education and childcare
France has a long tradition of pre-school education. Despite the fact that education at this level is not compulsory, all children go to école maternelle (kindergarten/nursery school), from the age of 3 and sometimes even 2 years. The kindergarten is open to all children aged 2 to 6, but in the case of 2-year-olds, the number of vacancies is decisive for admission to the institution. Public kindergartens are run by the ministry of education and children attend them free of charge.
- La France profonde
So “real France” … The French province is really a big long topic. Not everyone would like to live in a village or a small town, but I have a different opinion about it. After many years of living in big cities, I have a huge fondness for little hamlets and villages. And somewhere subconsciously, I’m looking for such a place …
- Public transport
- Security of life
- There are places (and even a lot of such places) where you can buy a property at a really attractive price …
- People are nice and friendly
And most importantly: they do not react allergically (or contemptuously) when they find out that you are a newcomer from abroad…
And if you have more ideas to add to this, please leave a comment.
This article translated courtesy of Lena.