Moving to France
Boasting the title of most visited country in the world France is filled with the cultural savoir faire, the art de vivre, gastronomy and outdoor sports. France covers 640,679 square kilometres (247,368 sq mi) and has a population of 66.6 million.
Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean to the English Channel and the North Sea and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. Due to its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone “The Hexagon”. France is one of only three countries in Europe to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.
The world famous capital of France is Paris. The city of Paris has a population of 2,273,305 inhabitants, making it the fifth largest city in the European Union.
France covers 640,679 square kilometres (247,368 sq mi) and has a population of 66.6 million.
The currency used in France is the Euro (1 Euro = 100 cents)
Currency Coins: €01, €0.02, €0.05, €0.10, €0.20, €0.50, €1, €2
Currency Notes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500
Three types of climate may be found within France: oceanic, continental, and Mediterranean. The oceanic climate, prevailing in the western parts of the country, is one of small temperature range, ample rainfall, cool summers, and cool but seldom very cold winters. The continental type of climate, found over much of eastern and central France, adjoining its long common boundary with west-central Europe, is characterized by warmer summers and colder winters than areas farther west; rainfall is ample, and winters tend to be snowy, especially in the higher areas. The Mediterranean climate, widespread throughout the south of France (except in the mountainous southwest), is one of cool winters, hot summers, and limited rainfall.
Languages and Culture
The official language in France is French and is the first language for 88% of the population. In the South of France you may encounter some regional Occitan dialects. France comes with the challenges of learning the language and assimilating into a culture steeped in nuanced social conventions.
The French are known as very polite people but can behave very differently with people they know and people they don’t. They have old fashioned values and treat the elder generation or those they have only just met with complete respect. This is reflected in the language by having two words for ‘you’. ‘Vous’ is the formal expression used for older people or those who you have just met. ‘Tu’ is the informal version used for family members and friends. The cardinal rule is to always use ‘vous’ until you have been given permission to use ‘tu’ in any interaction. The French can come across to be quite direct on occassions, this can often be misconstrued as rude, especially if one is not use to such forthrightness.
On Sundays, nearly everything, with the exception of cafés, is closed. Additionally, many stores will close their doors for between two and three hours during lunch time throughout the week; however, this phenomenon is far more common outside of metropolitan centres.