Canada VS. France—A French man's perspective

10:51 AM

After all the excitement that came with my nomination, it seemed like I suddenly had so may new things to worry about and pertinent questions that needed answering. I made a post on the exchange club facebook page for my school seeking a french student currently studying here that came from the school I will be attending in France, luring them in with a box of timbits. Not long after I got a response and met up with a super friendly and helpful guy who went above and beyond in answering all my questions!

Having experienced university life in both countries, he was able to compare and contrast the biggest differences I'll likely come across or notice during my stay abroad.

Life in Canada VS France:

- Girls never go out in "pyjama-type" pants in France
- Meals are a big deal in France and your schedule is set around them
- French people will pull through if they say they will do something
- A 60% is a GREAT mark in the eyes of the French
- French professors teach you everything you need to know in class--no textbooks
- Canadians have a lot more homework
- French people have a very different path to reach university and tend to let loose a bit once they've finally been accepted
- Canadian milk is too watery
- French waiters aren't rude, it's just not custom to receive tips and so they don't put up a super nice and friendly act to get a good tip like all the waiters in Canada do
- HOWEVER, they do have Nesquik!
- Lunch and dinner are typically 3 course meals
- Canadians eat as a necessity, when they are hungry or have time
- The french eat like it's a social event, taking their time & lasting from 1-3 hours
- French students are a lot more productive and efficient in group project meetings
- French cheese is WAY better and WAY cheaper

A lot of the differences were food related, and to be honest I think they are for the better. 2 hour long, 3 course social lunches sound way more more appealing than my lunch habits here. Anyone else eaten breakfast or sushi during a lecture or was it just me who had some terrible schedules? I'm not too worried about the "pyjama-type" pants as I've been slowly preparing for this trip by buying nicer clothes and steering clear of the yoga/sweat pant variety that has become such a comfort go-to for most girls in this country. I actually am really looking forward to seeing the fashion differences in the every day french university students, even things like their makeup and hair preferences etc... I think it will be interesting to see! He mentioned that school in Canada seemed a lot harder and people in France usually don't take it as seriously as he noticed us Canadians do around here. I don't know if I can ever adapt and think that 60% is a good mark. I'm hoping that my fluency in English will give me an upper hand, but who knows what their marking criteria is even like...

I was really happy with this meet up and encourage anyone else who is thinking of going on an exchange to seek out someone from that school or even city/country. They are so knowledgeable and have great real life tips and experiences that you might not find online. The person I talked to passed on great information ranging from travel tips, sights to see, telephone companies and housing options and advice. At the end of the day, you are heading somewhere you know nothing about and it's very reassuring to have that extra insight before you go. I want to be as prepared as possible and I'm sure I'll be contacting him again as the date approaches.

                                                                                                à bientôt!

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  1. I LOVE THIS. So much of this will be such a shock, but like you said a positive one. I'd love three course meals for lunch and dinner but who has time for that? I can't wait to come visit you and spend two hours eating fancy but cheese and drinking wine!


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