Studying abroad is a great way to travel while simultaneously furthering your education. You’re thrown out of your comfort zone on a daily basis, and straight into the deep end… Living in another country forces you to literally live in another language. And if you’re like me, you might well be considering a study abroad programme in the land of cheese and croissants (as well as the land of my ancestors!). Here are 10 reasons to study abroad in France:
Editor’s note: Sophie from the future, here. What I guess I never realised when I wrote this post three years ago, is how much my life would have changed from a study abroad in France back in 2015.
At the time, I was lucky to hold a European passport and so going on a study abroad exchange cost no more than a year of university back in the UK. During my year abroad, I not only started this blog, but fell head over heels in love. Today, I’m working on this blog as a full-time job and I live in Paris!
#1 You get to travel
First things first: studying abroad allows you to travel! Growing up, I always wanted to travel. More than anything, I wanted to see new countries, new places, and new cities. Studying abroad gave me the chance to travel while continuing with my studies.
It was the perfect excuse to indulge in my wanderlust, and learn new things, all while furthering my education and continuing with my degree! And, it may well be the best solution for you to travel as well…
#2 You’ll have great stories to tell
From the moment I applied to my programme at my university, I knew that my year in Paris would give me dozens of unique stories to tell. From the amusing time someone called me ‘rosbif’ to the weird and wonderful experiences I would never have had at home in London. Studying abroad is the kind of opportunity you only get once in a lifetime… And it’s the kind of opportunity you should definitely say ‘yes’ to if you can.
#3 You’ll have the chance to learn a new language
To state the obvious, if you’re heading out on a year abroad, chances are you’re probably heading to a destination where English won’t be the primary language spoken. And if you’re planning to study abroad in France, then every single day will be a new opportunity to further your French language skills.
After all, the easiest way to improve your speaking is to live it every day. Soon, simple things like ordering a coffee or buying your groceries in another language will be second nature to you. And when that day comes, there is quite literally no better feeling than knowing you’re well on the way to language proficiency… Read more: Simple steps to learning a new language.
#4 You’re forced outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis
It’s pretty cliché to say that you’ll be forced out of your comfort zone on a daily basis when you’re living in another language. But then again, clichés are normally cliché because they’re true. To give just one example, discussing politics around the dinner table is the kind of thing people never do back home in the UK. But in France, it was not only acceptable but encouraged…
#5 You’ll learn all about a new culture
I only moved a couple of hundred miles over the English Channel (fondly named ‘la Manche’ in French- literally the sleeve) and yet I found that the culture to be entirely different than that of home.
From drinking hot drinks from a bowl rather than a cup to being actively encouraged to spending plenty more time with loved ones, much of french culture was entirely different and entirely new. Read more: French Habits You’ll Love.
#6 You’ll get to taste all the French food and drink
Of all the reasons to study abroad in France, though not the best excuse, there’s no denying that the food is still a good excuse to go. After all, there’s no other food in the world quite like French cuisine.
Because once you’ve tasted baguette in France, wine in Provence and patisseries in Paris, nothing will ever taste the same again. Read more: If you’re looking for a little French inspiration before you go, here’s a guide to the best French desserts to sample in Paris (and where to find them!)
#7 You’ll acquire new skills
Living abroad isn’t just about learning a new language, or studying at another school. It’s actually about so much more than that. It’s learning to manage your finances (opening a bank account in French was definitely an interesting experience!), interacting with new people on a daily basis and even learning new norms.
It’s about gaining new independence (you never even knew you needed) and figuring out how you really feel about long-term travel. And finally, studying abroad is a great way to boost your resumé and stand out in a crowded job market!
#8 You’ll make new friends
Studying abroad doesn’t just give you a chance to get out of your comfort zone. In fact, it actively forces you to make friends with people you might never have even met. And besides, I can already tell that some of the friends I made while studying abroad will be friends for life…
#9 All the French Châteaux (and other history, of course!)
Longtime readers of this blog will know how much I adore French architecture, food, and above all, Châteaux. Well, if you want to see some of the best castles, palaces and royal residence in the World, then you should totally head to France- especially if you’re an architecture or history major! Read more: Fairytale Castles near Paris.
#10 Study abroad in France is more than just Paris
If you thought that France was all about Paris then it’s time to think again. From great lakes to mountainous regions to rural communities, there’s a wealth of places to explore (and study abroad at) outside of the French capital. Many other French cities are significantly cheaper as well, with Lyon, Toulouse, and Montpellier all being top contenders for being some of the best places to study in France.
#11 You’ll truly appreciate home more than ever!
Here’s something I didn’t expect after returning home from study abroad in France: I missed home quite a bit! But then again, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of coming home after a year away…