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Engage with locals and student communities in France

By Aline
Reading Time: 3 minutes
student communities in france

Moving to France for studies can be an exciting yet daunting experience, especially when it comes to integrating into the local culture. Connecting with local students and student communities in France is a crucial step towards making the most of your time there. Here, we provide tips on making French friends, joining clubs or associations, and immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture.

Embracing the French Way of Life

France is known for its rich cultural heritage, exquisite cuisine, and a unique way of life. As an international student, embracing these aspects can help you connect better with the locals. Start by learning the language; French people appreciate when foreigners make an effort to speak French. Even basic conversational skills can open doors to deeper connections and show your willingness to integrate.

You can start by reading some language tips and articles we wrote on the topic here: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/category/learn-french/

Making French Friends

One of the most effective ways to meet local students is by participating in university activities. Most French universities organize welcome events for international students, which are perfect opportunities to meet both locals and fellow internationals. Don’t hesitate to strike up conversations and express interest in learning about French culture and lifestyle.

Meetup and other social networking groups

Participating in a Meetup or other networking group will introduce you to people you may never have had a chance to meet otherwise. They’re often activity-based, so you can go in knowing that at least there will be others who enjoy the same things as you do.

You may also find Facebook groups for foreigners in France from your specific country. For example, Socializing with Internationals in Paris is a popular and active group on the platform. With a quick search, you can find student communities in France on this platform.

Joining Student Communities in France

University campuses in France are buzzing with various clubs and associations, ranging from academic and cultural to sports and leisure. These student communities in France are excellent platforms for meeting local students with similar interests. Whether it’s a debate club, a film society, or a volunteer group, participating in these activities can help you build a network and develop a sense of belonging.

student communities in france

Integrating into the Local Community

Integrating into the local community involves more than just making friends. It’s about understanding and adapting to the local customs and way of life. Joining local events is crucial for your integration.

Understanding French Etiquette and Customs
  • Politeness: Always greet people with a polite “Bonjour” and say “Merci” to express gratitude. Politeness is highly valued in French culture.
  • Dining Etiquette: Be open to trying French cuisine and understand the dining customs, such as enjoying long meals and engaging in conversations during dinner.
  • Respect for Privacy: French people often value their privacy, so it’s important to respect personal boundaries.
Exploring Beyond the Campus
  • Local Markets and Neighborhoods: Explore local markets and neighborhoods to experience the everyday life of French locals. This can also be an opportunity to practice your French.
  • Cultural Institutions: Visit museums, galleries, and historical sites to immerse yourself in French history and art.
  • Volunteering: Engaging in community service or volunteering for local causes can be a rewarding way to contribute to the community and meet locals. France Volontaires is the French platform for international exchange and solidarity volunteering.
Know what’s Happening now in France

We recommend visiting France.fr for information on events in Paris and throughout France. The site covers a wide range of topics, including festivals, exhibitions, concerts, cultural and sports events, and gastronomy. The content is available in almost 20 different languages, making research easier for as many students as possible.

Conclusion

Moving to France for studies is not just about academic growth but also about personal and cultural enrichment. By actively seeking out opportunities to connect with local students and student communities in France, you can enhance your experience and create lasting memories.

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