Studying Abroad in France; Semaine 6
This week was pretty lowkey for me and I didn’t really have many mind-blowing revelations to share, so I’ve decided to dedicate this week to sharing some of the differences between France and America that you might not necessarily know until you live in the culture a bit. (This one’s for you, Mom.)
- Baking soda can only be purchased at a pharmacy, as it is kept in the back with prescription drugs and your motives before use will be questioned.
- Milk is sold in box cartons in a non-refrigerated aisle of the grocery store and doesn’t need to be refrigerated until opened.
- Chewing gum is very expensive (in comparison to prices in the US).
- Men will happily wear shorts well above their knees.
- Latest edition iPhones are heavily sought after but are so expensive therefore are rarely obtained by the general middle-class population.
- Rugby is the new (American) football.
- Cuffed pants and suede sneakers are all the rage, for men and women.
- Garbage disposals are not a thing.
- Most of the time, clothes are left to air dry after being washed. Some people don’t even have a dryer at all.
- Fresh baguettes are purchased nearly every day.
- Most of the time, public transport is used instead of driving a private car (much more Eco-friendly).
- The BAC is the bane of all students’ existence (it’s a required exam students must pass for numerous different subjects between their junior and senior year).
- By many French adolescents, American music is preferred to French music.
- Basically everything is consumed with a fork and knife-no finger food (except for bread).
- Athletic wear is a no-no unless you’re actually working out.
- Stores shut down in the middle of the day for about 2 hours for a lunch break.
- There is hardly anything sold in huge quantities like in the US, everything is just generally smaller.
- SUVs and mini-vans are not a thing.
- If you buy a cup of coffee, even if it’s in a to-go cup, you will likely sit down to drink it at a leisurely pace.
This is truly just the tip of the iceberg on differences I’ve noticed. Don’t get me wrong, both the French and American cultures are majorly appealing but are noticeably different in many ways.
P.S. Here are some awesome pictures of some sights I’ve seen since I arrived here in France!
Downtown Bordeaux, local cathedral.
View of Paris from the top of the Sacré Cœur
Eiffel Tower at night