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The Just Student Jobs Country guide for gap year travel in Europe - France


Where to Go - Europe (exc UK)

Click on the links below to view information on a specific country.

Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Czech Republic | Denmark
Estonia | Finland | France | Georgia | Germany | Holland | Hungary
Italy | Lithuania | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia
Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey


France

Population : 59,329,691

Literacy rate : 99%

Life expectancy at birth : male –74.85 yrs, female –82.89 yrs

Infant mortality rate : 4.51 deaths/1,000 live births

Population growth rate : 0.38%

GDP growth rate : 2.7%

GDP per capita : £15,600

Unemployment : 11%

Inflation : 0.5%

TI index: 6.7

Climate : generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean.

Time : GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity : 220 volts AC, 50Hz. 2-pin plugs are widely used; adaptors recommended.

Websites : The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/

An idiosyncratic country, but a rewarding one to work and live in. France has always gone its own way and persists in staying out of NATO while supporting the EU and EMU but on its own terms.

The best hint for getting along here is; try to learn as much French as possible. Parisians can be somewhat less than polite (read: rude), but outside the capital people are friendly as long as you make some sort of effort to speak French. Commercial experience is valuable in finding a job. French companies must put aside 1% of their budget for training, and English courses are a popular choice. Business English is therefore a good bet. There are a number of private schools, and the British Council has a very useful publication: “Teaching English as a Foreign Language in France”.

This is a large and very varied country. There is as much difference between a Parisian and a Basque as there is between (say) someone from the Shetland Isles and someone from Kent. However, the richness of French culture is undeniable. Food and drink excellent. If you go nowhere else in Europe, this will be quite enough for a good taste of culture and civilisation.

Entry requirements

EU nationals will have to apply for a carte de sejour within three months of arrival. If applying before this time, you must show you have enough money to live on. It may take several months to come through. Find a job first. Non-EU nationals will find it difficult. There are heavy fines and deportation for those (non-EU nationals) found working on a tourist visa.

Vaccinations

Nothing special here. Garlic is very healthy. Red wine, too.

Tax and Insurance

Variable, depending on status. Around 20% would seem to be a good guide. Hospitals and doctors expensive, so get health insurance.

Getting Around

Click here for further information on great value bus travel with Busabout

Gap Year Programmes

Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in France



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