Ten good reasons to live in France

reasons to live in France

You have opted to come and study in France, within one of the Pass-World member schools…

However, did you know that in addition to the various advantages offered to students, especially international ones, France also offers a whole host of reasons to settle in the country in the longer term? From economic, cultural and sporting dynamism and exceptional geographic surroundings and heritage through to a way of living that is famous all around the world and many social benefits, the birthplace of Molière has everything going for it! 

1- An attractive destination for students from the world over

The number one non-English-speaking host country

In the 2018 edition of its key figures, Campus France announces: “France is back”. With its 325000-strong contingent of international students, France confirms its status as the top non-English-speaking country for foreign students and number 4 in the world behind the US, the UK and Australia and just ahead of Germany.  In the space of 5 years, the number of foreign students in France has risen by 12.2%, almost half of whom are of African origin, followed by EU nations (19%), Asia-Oceania (16%), America (9%) and the Middle East (4%). One doctoral student in four enrolled in France is of an international origin.

The ideal location for international students

According to the Campus France Kantar Sofres index 2017, 9 foreign students out of 10 recommend France as a study destination. The same proportion are satisfied with their stay in France and 88% declare themselves to be happy with the value of their degrees and the quality of the teaching from which they benefit. 

Higher education: excellence for all

The French higher education system is based upon a network of 3500 public and private institutions offering top-quality training at all levels and across all disciplines. An increasing number of these are delivered in English.   

Curricula are largely State-financed and make no distinction between French and international students – entrance requirements are the same, the degrees awarded are the same (based upon the European Licence-Master-Doctorate set-up and therefore recognized internationally) and even the registration fees are affordable. 

2 – A world-ranking economic power

The 7th richest country

With a GDP of $2 582 billion, France is currently the 7th economic power in the world, the 3rd in Europe and, with its 66 million consumers, the 2nd largest market in the continent. It is also the world’s number 6 exporter of goods and the 4th in terms of services, as well as the top European destination for investment in industry. 

Cutting-edge industry and leading businesses on the international stage

France totals 31 businesses among the top 500 in the world (Fortune Global 500, 2014). Many leading French industrial groups in their sector are making waves around the world: Orange (telecommunication’s), Sanofi (health), LVMH (luxury), Airbus (aeronautics), Total, Areva (energy), L’Oréal (cosmetics), Danone (agri-food)…

3 – A celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship

Research at its best

Did you know that the three main French research bodies, the Atomic Energy Commissariat, the National Center for Scientific Research, and the National Institute for Health and Medical Research, feature in the world’s top 10? 

In fact, France is and always has been one of the leading lights in making new discoveries that have contributed to the evolution of humanity. The invention of the calculating machine can be attributed to Blaise Pascal in 1641, the invention of the microchip to Roland Moreno in 1974, the discovery of radioactivity to Pierre and Marie Curie and the discovery of a vaccine against rabies to Louis Pasteur. In addition, France is also a nation of mathematicians, boasting 13 recipients of the 55 Fields medals (the Mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize). This country, still imbued with the spirit of Descartes, has received the most medals behind the United States. 

Dreaming of setting up your own start-up? If so, you’ve come to the right place

In Europe, France is the leading country for the number of companies appearing in the top 100 most innovative. France also features in 6th place in the world for the number of registered patents (OMPI, 2015). The country’s 71 competitive clusters represent an attractive ecosystem that draws in a number of start-ups, laboratories, universities and corporations. The state-supported French Tech initiative provides financial assistance and international-level appeal to digital companies.  

4 – French, an international language

Spoken in around 50 countries’ across 5 continents, French is the official language of a number of states and international organizations and, with its 274 million speakers, is the 8th most represented language in the world. After English, it is the foreign language taken up by the largest number of people and, according to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, it is the number 3 business language and the number 2 international information language. A perfect grasp of the French language represents a significant asset on a professional level. What better way, then, to juggle with the intricacies of the language than living in its birthplace? 

5 – An attractive quality of life, at the heart of Europe

Exceptional geographical surroundings

Holidaymakers swear by France when they want to get away, as proven by the fact the country is the number one destination in the world for the number of visitors from abroad, helped in no small amount by its exceptional geographical location. Situated in the very heart of Europe, France benefits from an almost unique coastline that stretches over 4000 kilometers and includes two seas and an ocean. Few countries in the world can lay claim to so varied a landscape, which comprises plains, forests, mountains and beaches. If this isn’t enough to tip the balance for you, then you should visit certain parts of the country like Corsica or the South-west, where you can enjoy the sea and the mountains all at once. 

Breath-taking architectural heritage

Diversity is also plain to see on an architectural level: lovers of old-style stonework (castles, fortified towns, tree-lined parks, manors, abbeys etc.) will be just as happy with what they find as admirers of more modern, simplistic styles, thanks to the work of internationally-renowned architects such as Jean Nouvel. 

A comprehensive transport network

You can take full advantage of all these cultural treasures thanks to the tightly-run ship that is the country’s transport network (international airports, high-speed trains, a highway network among the most dense in the world, 21 000 kilometers of cycle tracks etc.). The airline and train networks in particular make it possible to travel around the 551 000 km² of the country from north to south in just a few hours.   

6 – Knowing how to live, French style!

French lifestyle – refinement exemplified

A gourmet paradise

It’s impossible to not think of France when someone evokes countries where the taste buds get tickled. You just have to imagine the bread (especially the famous baguette), which is both light, crusty and soft all in one. Eat it with butter or with a croissant or pancake (two of the country’s most famous specialties) on the side for breakfast, for example. Otherwise, enjoy it as a quick snack or at the end of a meal, along with one of France’s 500 different cheeses of all types, which can be found in all four corners of the country and are notable for their “protected designation of origin” label. Basically, when in France there’s no chance of eating just for basic nourishment. Dining is a veritable institution in itself. The same goes for drinks too, judging by the aromatic range of different coffees and 210 varieties of authorized grapes (red wine, white wine, rosé, sparkling or flat…), all of which are bursting with flavor. 

A paragon of elegance

Chanel, Givenchy, Yves-Saint-Laurent, Hermès, Jean-Paul Gauthier… France’s haute-couture designers are just as well known for their clothing as their luxury accessories (perfume, jewelry etc.). Paris is one of the world fashion capitals, along with London, Milan and New York.   

7 – One of the cornerstones of global democracy

“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. Since the beginning of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, the slogan of the Republic has been emblazoned on the front of official buildings and shines out like a beacon around the world. The French democratic model has served as direct or indirect inspiration for the establishment of various states, starting with the United States of America. The country is also a founding member and has been a cornerstone of the Union European since the 1950s. Plus, as one of the five members of the UN Security Council, it also has a major role to play in maintaining peace around the world.   

8 – Heart on the sleeve – a proud tradition of health care and social welfare

With a legal working week of 35 hours and a minimum 5 weeks of paid leave per year (to which you can add 13 national holidays), France is one of the countries where employees spend the least amount of time at work. It is also a country where a minimum wage is in operation, one that is among the highest in the world (around €1500 gross per month). 

Also accessible is a range of highly advantageous social benefits, including family allowance, various sources of financial aid for the least well off, and support for students. The obligatory, universal public health insurance scheme leaves no-one uncared for. The country ranks 6th in the world for the quality of its health infrastructure (IMD, 2017) and in the top 10 for life expectancy at birth. 

9 – A rich cultural life and academic tradition

A simple look at a few figures will give you an idea of the cultural richness that France has to offer: over 40 000 protected monuments and sites, 39 cultural sites with UNESCO World Heritage status, 80 00 museums (the Louvre in Paris being the most visited in the world), 2000 cinemas and almost 500 music, theater, dance, multimedia and literary festivals). Nightlife is suitably hectic too, especially in the larger towns and cities, with many clubs not closing until 4am. 

As for French artistic creativity, it can be found in all areas. France’s 15 Nobel prizes for literature is a record.

The invention of the cinema is down to the Lumière brothers back in the early-20th century whilst nowadays France can boast a large range of film productions, the quality of which has also been recognized by Hollywood, as was the case in 2012 when The Artist received an Oscar. 

The same goes for music, which amounts to much more than Edith Piaf and Serge Gainsboug, Daft Punk being international stars of the dancefloor and French to boot! 

10 – A flagship sporting nation

Unless you have just come down from Mars, no-one can go unaware of the French football team’s success in July 2018 at the World Cup. However, the country figures high in terms of sporting achievements for other disciplines too, including judo in the form of Teddy Riner and men’s handball, the national team of which holds the record number of titles. International sporting tournaments held in France attract fans from the world over, either within the country’s many sporting infrastructures or via the small screen, including headline events such as Roland-Garros, the Le Mans 24-hour rally and the Tour de France. In addition, Paris will host 33rd edition of the summer Olympic Games in 2024!

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