04 Jul 2022 | Things to know before shifting to France
Studying or working in France is a dream of many, and this craving increases much after having French as an elective subject in school. Learning French is not just limited to the language but also about the rich culture of the French people. It was my dream to study abroad to travel and explore the beauty of France and live there for some time, and there I went for a short 12 months diploma course where I got closely witness the local life of French people. The main pointers to be taken care of before coming to France were avoiding being pick-pocketed, among other such considerations however, I feel there are a few more things that must be added to this list and are rather important to know before moving to France.
Don’t be full touristy and wish to see everything on the first day
Travelling to France can be very exciting, and you would want to see all the famous tourist sites and roam around like a true Parisian. Eiffel Tower and Louvre are the main tourist attractions, and walking around the city can be very overwhelming in a good sense. However, the first week of living in France can be used to get along with the neighbourhood, finding a local boulangerie, grocery shop and other essentials. France can be discovered with patience and explore the best of France, including the best food options. As a student, you will have months to explore the sites after class to places that are accessible.
Walking is the main mode of transport
I knew that having a city life would include travelling on public transport, but I was not prepared to walk so much around the city and catch such public transport. The metro system running Paris is a very cost-efficient and quick mode of transport for a student like me, but even this comes with walking a lot as the streets and even the metro exits are new for us, hence extra walking. I will add another suggestion to this one is to get good shoes because you will need them more than ever to avoid any blistered feet condition. Comfortable walking shoes such as sneakers were preferred more than wearing heels for me.
French people have powers to identify the non- French group
Fake it till you make it will not work when in France as there are many small things from which French people are different from all of us and, therefore, can identify the non-French among the population. At the initial stage, as an international student, one will be intended to roam around with their friends and moving in large groups and talking in your tongue is a very obvious way for the French people to identify the foreign people from the crowd. Let's talk about the small things such as talking in a metro. In a general sense, French people do not talk while in the metro and therefore is the quietest place, so when they hear someone talking and chitchatting in the metro, they will immediately know. Another interesting thing about French people is that they will avoid wearing ripped clothes, crop tops and darker shades, so pack accordingly!
Understand the metro line to avoid ending at a new location
Navigating the metro lines is real tricky during the initial stages as catching the right line can feel like a piece of cake while you might actually be going in the wrong direction. Now, this is not the place to be all panicky, but one in such a situation must get off at the next station and switch sides of the metro to reach the correct destination. The Metro system is very economical for international students like us, and therefore, it is important that you choose your apartment closest to the metro line. Understanding the metro lines and schedules will become easier with time and with technical applications that will help you map your trip and will keep track of the buses and metro times.