Go ahead, follow the rest of the herd to Paris.
We say, you can have Paris. We’re just fine right here in the South of France. We’ve got the Mediterranean sea, we’ve got the mountains, we’ve got 300 days of sunshine a year. Here are some great reasons to spend your semester or year abroad in the South of France.
1. The Weather
The South of France: 300 days of sunshine per year, average yearly temperature
Paris: 180 days of rain per year
Need we say more?
2. Paris is Expensive
This year, The Economist listed Paris as the 2nd most expensive city in the world! Aix-en-Provence and Marseille are less expensive, be it for going out, transportation or other daily expenses. And, because the fruits and veggies come from local farmers, the produce (and many of the derivative products) in the South of France is much less expensive than elsewhere in France.
3. In the South, You’ll Speak More French
Paris is an international hub, on par with New York and London and it attracts hordes of tourists. This also means that, contrary to popular belief, many people do speak English in Paris. Often, if a shopkeeper hears a hint of a foreign accent, they automatically switch to English. Most tourists would be relieved, but you’re coming to France to learn French, right? In the South, it’s much less common, and you’ll feel that much more immersed in the French community as you get to know your local market vendors and other commerçants
4. Celebrities love the South of France
Ok ok, not a fantastic reason, but we’re not ashamed! John Malkovich, the Beckhams, the Jolie-Pitt family, they’ve got it all figured out. The South of France is the place to be! Bradley Cooper, star of Limitless and The Hangover (known as Very Bad Trip in France) is now fluent in French after spending six months studying and living in a host family in Aix-en-Provence when he was a student at Georgetown. He said of his time in France:
« Quand j’étais étudiant en littérature à l’université de Georgetown, j’ai voulu faire ma fin de cycle en France. J’ai passé six mois à Aix-en-Provence, dans une famille charmante. Je suis venu leur rendre visite l’an dernier, et ils étaient très impressionnés parce qu’ils avaient vu Very Bad Trip et qu’ils m’y avaient reconnu. »
5. It’s got a whole lot of life
Aix-en-Provence and Marseille are cities that are simply put, on a human scale. You can walk nearly anywhere you’d like to go: restaurants, bars, and shopping galore. The Mediterranean Sea and the Sainte-Victoire mountain are at your doorstep, so from water sports to hiking, there really is always something to do and somewhere to go.With thousands of university students that come to the Aix-Marseille University, both cities are simply buzzing with life, and the smaller scale of the cities allows students to truly become part of it all. The Aix-Marseille region is a cultural hub, too! Music festivals such as the Festival Pont du Gard, Marsatac and the Festival d’Aix bring international rock, electronic & classical artist to the region.
6. And well, come on. It looks like this.
7. And this.
8. And this.
And After All, It’s Not THAT Far From Paris
Ok ok, we’re not going to knock on Paris the whole time. Paris is wonderful! And even better, it is just a 3-hour train ride away. With new low-cost trains available, students can easily find round-trip tickets for under 50€! Visiting Paris has never been so easy. And, you can come back to a quaint, beautiful, cosmopolitan and sunny region that simply feels like home.
For more information on Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, visit the Living in Provence section of the AUCP website.