Student Exchange Stories

Pius Binder - Let’s give French another try!

After two years of avoiding the French culture and language, I decided to give it another try. I applied to study abroad at MU's partner university in Angers, France and was accepted to do so, and left for my exchange semester.

Some of my first impressions of France were quite surprising! France is known as the birthplace of the best chefs in the world, and I expected that all French people are “gourmets”. Unfortunately, my expectations were only partly fulfilled, since even here in France, one can find McDonalds and other fast food chains.  Nevertheless I still think that France is the country where “mere mortals” know the most about food and also that the people have an elementally natural relationship with nutrition and beverages.

When I entered the first French supermarket in the center of Paris, I was astonished from the variety of different meat they have: rabbit, chicken hearts, and veal liver aka “foie gras" to name a few.  There were also so many types of cheese, vegetables, and seafood available in such a diverse quantity that I had never seen before!

Generally speaking, French people (even if they are working) spend 2 hours between noon and 2pm to eat and get together. This does not mean that they are working less, but simply that they work longer.

Aside from the food in France, other things certainly caught my eye! No matter where I went, I noticed that I was always surrounded by young and beautiful people. Maybe this is a result of the French lifestyle “Vivre sa vie”, meaning that one has to live his or her life on all levels. Or perhaps it's because, within Europe, France consistently rates as being one of the countries with the highest quality of life.

I am very happy that I gave the French culture another try. Going abroad has allowed me to have some new and positive experiences!