France

Strasbourg, France

Country Information

There is more to France than just the city of Paris. Each region of France looks and feels different. The beautiful countryside stretches from the Atlantic to the Alps and from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea.

Lifestyle and Family

French people like to laugh and joke with everybody; they may make fun of the way foreigners speak French or of customs that are unfamiliar to them. They do not mean to be unkind; it is just part of their culture. Showing feelings, expressing satisfaction and gratitude are customary in France.

Teen Life and Sports

Because schools place a heavy emphasis on academics, few extracurricular activities are offered during the week. However, limited sports and drama opportunities are available. Soccer and Rugby are popular. French teens, like most teens, enjoy socializing by going to the movies or getting together at each other’s homes or in local cafés.

Diet

Food is very important to the French. They like to eat and drink, and when they are not eating, they enjoy talking about food! There are different varieties of cheeses as well as local specialties like foie gras, escargots de Bourgogne, crèpes and cassoulet.

In France, there are three main meals: breakfast is the smallest meal of the day and consists of coffee, tea or hot chocolate with toast, butter, marmalade and sometimes cereal. A very light meal, the goûter is very often available after school for children. It’s made of bread, butter, chocolate and juice. Dinner is the most important meal. The whole family eats and socializes together, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Lunch and dinner are warm meals and consist of three or four dishes served one after another: first course (soup or salad), main course (meat or fish and vegetables), cheese and/or dessert.

The French observe certain table manners such as not helping yourself before having been invited to do so, not leaving the table before the end of the meal and helping to clear the table and wash the dishes.

Language and Religion

French is the official language but local languages are also spoken: Provencal, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Occitan, Basque, Alsatian and Flemish. 83% of the population is Roman Catholic.

Become a Host Family