With over seventeen thousand students studying abroad in France each year, it’s no surprise that the country is one of the most popular destinations for international education. Its charming blend of rich cultures, academic variety, and career opportunities makes France a perfect destination for anyone looking for intercultural exchange, as well as academic and professional growth!
Here are six impressive reasons to study abroad in France:
1. The French language is spoken worldwide
Today’s world is more competitive than ever before, and learning French is one of the best ways to distinguish yourself as a globally competent person. Did you know that French is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the Olympics, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, FIFA, and more international institutions? To launch an academic or professional career in international relations, diplomacy, or even sports, proficiency in French is a major advantage. Plus, as a Romance language, knowing French will make it easier to learn Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
With over 220 million speakers, French is used in countries across the globe, including former French colonies such as Guinea, Mali, Haiti, and Madagascar. If you’re interested in international development, knowledge of French is especially useful because it is spoken in a variety of developing countries. When you travel, study, or work abroad, a knowledge of French will enable you to connect with people around the world!
2. French art is superlative
France is home to some of the world’s most famous cultural landmarks and has produced many renowned artists, such as Monet, Manet, and Cézanne. Visit Giverny, an idyllic village in Normandy where Claude Monet lived and worked for forty-three years, to discover where he created many of his most notable series, like the Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge. In particular, the Musée de l’Orangerie is famous for housing eight Monet Water Lilies murals.
The Louvre, the world’s largest art museum, is a must for any art lover. There you will find I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid, Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, and of course, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
And, don’t forget the architectural marvels: The Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, Sacré-Cœur, and Versailles are all bound to inspire aspiring designers, urban planners, architects, engineers, and more.
If you’re considering a career in the arts, referencing the lessons learned from a semester or year abroad in France on your college application will provide a definite boost. Moreover, your own work as a creative will only benefit from musing on the French art that has influenced countless artists. Art critics, historians, curators, and more stand to gain essential knowledge of this timeless art world! Moreover, the art schools in France are first-rate, like the 350-year-old École des Beaux-Arts. Magnifique!
3. It’s a fashion capital of the world
If you’re looking to explore a career in fashion, Paris is the epicenter of fashion design and innovation. Paris is the birthplace of haute couture–exclusive, elegant, and bespoke clothing designed by top fashion houses. Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Louis Vuitton are among the revolutionary French designers that changed the landscape of fashion.
France has some of the best fashion schools in the world, where you can watch fashion shows right at your university, assist designers in their work, and attend workshops with industry professionals. If you want to make what the world will want to wear, go to France and learn from the best.
4. French history shaped the world
As one of the oldest nations in the world, you’ll likely pick up a lot of knowledge of French history during your time there. Even if you’re not a history major, having some familiarity with French history can help better your understanding of European history, colonialism, and French-American relations. The French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars shaped the borders of Europe and modern democracy.
Following the American Revolution, many French people, including the infamous Robespierre, were inspired to declare human rights and egalitarianism, resulting in the modern French motto, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” For up-and-coming political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, diplomats, and business professionals, knowing some French history and the influential ideas of its great thinkers is essential.
5. France leads in science and technology
Throughout the years, the French have made significant discoveries in science and technology. A myriad of French scientists, mathematicians, and inventors like René Descartes, Marie Curie, Blaise Pascal, René Laennec, Henri Becquerel, and Léon Foucault are responsible for numerous contributions to society including the stethoscope, the birth of the metric system, the hot air balloon, radioactivity, and the pendulum.
If you’re interested in science and technology, Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University, Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University, and École Polytechnique are just three French universities that work at the cutting edge. The world of science and technology is brimming with career possibilities and France is at the forefront of technological innovation. Students focused on tech and scientific advancements are sure to benefit from France’s legacy and current position as a leader in STEM.
6. The food is outstanding
This just wouldn’t be a blog post about France if we didn’t mention the food! France is well known fo their baguettes, croissants, crêpes, soufflés, macarons, and overall culinary sophistication. French cuisine is so famous, there are whole movies about it! Ratatouille, anyone? Students with an interest in the culinary arts and hospitality are great candidates for a semester or year abroad in this culinary haven, where a variety of apprenticeships are available.
So, what’re you waiting for? If you want to build your resume, jumpstart your career, and learn from the inimitable French people on your study abroad program in France, get going here!