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An insider’s guide to the French

France1For a better understanding of the French, this post is a must read if you’re planning on studying French, taking a language course in France or simply stopping by the most visited country in the world!

Here are three things you should  know before meeting us ‘froggies’.

 

 

 

 

 

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A tour in Tours

toursLocated in the central region of France, Tours is a well preserved jewel of French History. The “City of art and history” was the capital of the French Kingdom in the 15th and 16th century. Tours is crossed by the Loire River, a place that has been sparking numerous artists’ inspirations throughout the times. Tours is also famous for its “art de vivre” (art of living) thanks to the architecture of its many magnificent monuments, its mild climate (important for wine production), as well as its world-renowned gastronomy. Read more…

Lyon – La Ville des Lumières

Lyon6Situated 290 miles from Paris, 200 miles from Marseille, 260 miles from Strasbourg, 100 miles from Geneva and 170 miles from Turin, Lyon has seized the opportunity offered by its central location. Third biggest city of France in terms of population, its economy is the second ‘healthiest’ in France. Lyon is a major centre for banking, chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, not surprising that its population is booming! The city is within easy reach from every major European city, given that it has a well-connected airport 25 km east of its centre.

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Discover Montpellier

Montpellier3Montpellier is one of the most beautiful and fastest growing cities in France. With a unique energy, the city offers an incomparable student life and has large young population who provide the capital of Languedoc region in the south of France with a vibrant, youthful feeling.

Situated on the Mediterranean coast, Montpellier is the 8th most populated city of France and keeps attracting more and more people thanks to its relaxed southern atmosphere, its thirst for culture and its festive mood. This French Riviera city has enough to make any European city envious: golden sandy beaches just 6 miles away, 300 days of the sun per year, a buzzing nightlife, outstanding history and architecture are just some examples of what you will experience there. It is not by chance that the New York Times nominated Montpellier in 2012 as one of the top 45 places to visit worldwide!

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Insider tips for beautiful Bordeaux

BordeauxAt the crossroads of the Atlantic Ocean and the Garonne River, Bordeaux is a charming port city situated in the south west of France. Capital of the Aquitaine region, “La Perle d’Aquitaine” (The Pearl of Aquitaine) is the ninth largest city of France with a population of 240,000 inhabitants.

The founding of Bordeaux dates back to the fifth century B.C, when some vineyards already started to spring up! Burdigala, as it used to be called, experienced a significant development thanks to its port, whilst some of the the ancient city constructions and remains are still visible today. Don’t be surprised if Bordeaux seems to have a certain “English flair” – the city was actually ruled by the English for a long time!

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Toulouse – Welcome to the pink city!

All year round, Toulouse has an excellent, temperate climate: winters are mild, summers are hot and autumns are sunny – that’s why it is an ideal location to learn French!

Whether you are into history, shopping, science and technology, sports or all of the above, the pink city (La ville rose) has wonderful surprises waiting for you and there is always something fun or different to do.

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Things to do in Brest

Brest_Coast

Brest is the perfect location to have a short break in France. Come and have a complete change of scenery, fill your lungs with fresh, Atlantic Ocean air and enjoy amazing landscapes off the west coast of France.

If you like fish and seafood, Brest is a place for you! Thanks to its coastal location, there are a lot of seafood restaurants where you can savour a delicious seafood platter with crabs, langoustines, oysters and typical French steamed mussels! If you prefer to observe fish than eat them, you can go to the Océanopolis. A lot of tourists and marine-life lovers come from all over the world in order to visit it! It is not just an aquarium: there are three pavilions dedicated to the polar, tropical and temperate marine ecosystems, you will have a complete immersion in an underwater universe to discover the flora and fauna of oceans, and have the opportunity to see some really interesting exhibitions about marine biodiversity. You can even touch some species if you want to!

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DELF/DALF exam preparation courses

Formally recognised by all French-speaking universities and many international organisations, the DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) and the DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) are diplomas issued by the French Ministry of Education .

Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the DELF/DALF have 6 levels.

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French and Sports in Chamonix!

The French commune of Chamonix sits higher than the tallest mountain in England, yet the gargantuan French-Swiss Alps tower over it still, making it a fantastic base from which to go skiing or boarding in the winter and enjoy biking, climbing and many other outdoor sports in the summer.

I visited Chamonix in the winter and could not recommend it enough! If I could go back every year I would. Very close to the town centre, within easy reach by public transport are several different resorts and slopes that cater from the complete beginner (me!) to much more advanced winter sports specialists.

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Experiencing French life in Rouen

Rouen, the capital of Normandy, is most notable for being the place where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake! However, the city has so much more to offer than medieval history.

In 2013, Rouen will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Armada and is expecting millions of visitors to come and admire the 50 ships sailing from all over the world. People will have the amazing opportunity to get onboard several of these ships and have a tour around them. The festivities will also include fireworks as well as free concerts of French and international artists such as Mika!

Whether you are into sports, history or shopping, Rouen certainly has something in store for you! The city has two shopping centres, one on each side of the river Seine. In the South, you will find the Centre Commercial Saint-Sever which hosts most of the high-street brands whereas in the North, Les Docks 76 offers less common shops and boutiques.

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