France remains one of our top draws. IGS was hired by an international organization to handle their Paris-bound clients. We set up twelve different internship options around the city. Our students have worked with investment bankers in the fast-paced world of international finance. On the opposite spectrum, a client worked at the Perfume Museum sharing the history of scent with visitors. Photography is a high demand request and IGS paired a student with a fashion photographer in the city center. An anti-child trafficking advocacy group has handled the highest number of our clients. They have a footprint in developing countries where underage girls are caught up in illegal prostitution. Our clients have helped lead campaigns that promote awareness of this troubling trend. Outside of Paris we have placed students with a leading theater company in Nantes and marketing company in Monaco. Side trips are always a draw with Toulouse and Marseille high on their list.

France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country’s largest city and main cultural and commercial center. France has long been a global center of art, science, and philosophy. It hosts the world’s fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world’s sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, and tenth-largest by purchasing power parity.

 

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ATTRACTIONS

Paris Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with a population of more than 2.2 million people. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Paris is well known for its reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, overflowing with richness of its history, famed for its classic art museums, monuments and architectural landmarks. Beyond such landmarks as the iconic Eiffel Tower; the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world; and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral considered to be one of the greatest examples of French Gothic architecture. The city is a Fashion capital and home of most popular luxurious fashion designers and cosmetics. Paris is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore – a street located in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris. Relatively narrow and nondescript, it is cited as being one of the most luxurious and fashionable streets in the world thanks to the presence of virtually every major global fashion house, the Elysee Palace, the Hotel de Pontalba, the Embassy of Canada, the Embassy of the United Kingdom, and numerous art galleries. Paris was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world. 

Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. It was once a subject of controversy, drawing criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible and those who objected on artistic grounds, but it has become the most-visited paid monument in the world. Eiffel Tower is a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift. An average of 25,000 people ascend the tower every day which can result in long queues. Your trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without visiting its most iconic landmark and the most recognizable masterpiece of nineteenth century architecture.

French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. This coastline was one of the first modern resort areas. It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats. In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. It contains the seaside resorts. It is also home to a high-tech and science park at Sophia-Antipolis, and a research and technology center at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. The French Riviera is a major yachting and cruising area with several marinas along its coast. With more than 10 million tourists a year, the French Riviera, is the second leading tourist destination in the country. Today it’s an established holiday destination, with paths connecting many coastal villages and towns. It includes famously glamorous beach resorts such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the independent microstate of Monaco.

TRAVEL ADVENTURE

France is the largest country in Western Europe. Known to its fabulous cities with popular historical landmarks, museums and monuments. Yet, some of the interesting places to visit are on the remote side of the country. The tides in and around Mont- Saint-Michel are among the most dramatic. The crossing itself could be a deadly enterprise as one had to wait until low tide in order to reach the Gothic-style Benedictine abbey, dedicated to the archangel St Michael, is one of the most remarkable examples of medieval religious and military architecture and was one of Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites from the 8th to the 18th century. With a bounty of things to do, from hiking, climbing, mountain biking, canyoning and even skiing you’d wonder why Chartreuse is best recognized for its eponymous liqueur instead of its more adrenaline-pumping qualities. It is a well-preserved natural area with an adequate number of hiking trails to explore. This Chartreuse Nature Park of Lyon with 69,000 hectares of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and plentiful adventure opportunities is itching to redefine its claim to fame.

In the northwestern corner, the biggest draw is The Alps. And the highest mountain in Europe west of Russia’s Caucasus peaks, Mont Blanc, meaning “White Mountain”, rises to an elevation of 4,810 meters (15,781 feet) and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. There are number of ways to scale the mountain, the easiest of which involves a succession of cable cars and trams. Nowadays the summit is ascended by an average of 20,000 mountaineer-tourists each year. It could be considered a technically easy, yet arduous, ascent for someone who is well-trained and acclimatized to the altitude. Each year climbing deaths occur on Mont Blanc. Some routes require knowledge of high-altitude mountaineering, a guide, and all require proper equipment. All routes are long and arduous, involving delicate passages and the hazard of rock-fall or avalanche. Climbers may also suffer altitude sickness, occasionally life threatening, especially if they do not acclimatize to it.

THE PEOPLE

The French are an ethnic group and nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection may be ethnic, legal, historical, or cultural.

Historically the heritage of the French people is mostly of Celtic, Roman and Germanic origin, descending from the ancient and medieval populations of Gauls, Aquitani, Ligures, Latins, Iberians, Franks, Alamans and Norsemen. France has long been a patchwork of local customs and regional differences. Modern French society is a melting pot. From the middle of the 19th century, it experienced a high rate of inward migration, mainly consisting of Arab-Berbers, Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese and other peoples from Africa, the Middle East and East Asia, and the government, defining France as an inclusive nation with universal values, advocated assimilation through which immigrants were expected to adhere to French values and cultural norms. Nowadays, while the government has let newcomers retain their distinctive cultures since the mid-1980s and requires from them a mere integration, French citizens still equate their nationality with citizenship as does French law.

The culture of France has been shaped by geography, by profound historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. Paris in particular, has played an important role as a center of high culture since the 17th century and from the 19th century on, worldwide. From the late 19th century, France has also played an important role in cinema, fashion, cuisine, literature, technology, social science and mathematics. The importance of French culture has waxed and waned over the centuries, depending on its economic, political and military importance. French culture today is marked both by great regional and socioeconomic differences and strong unifying tendencies. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw France ranked as the country with the fourth most positive influence in the world.

Housing & Commute
Cost
Visa
Safety
Languages

Rail, road, air and water are all widely developed forms of transportation in France. There is a total of 29,901 kilometers of railway in France, mostly operated by SNCF. Six cities in France currently have a rapid transit service. Full metro systems are in operation in Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Light metro (VAL-type) systems are in use in Lille, Toulouse and Rennes. A fast-growing number of France’s major cities have modern tram or light rail networks. Recently the tram has seen a very big revival with many experiments such as ground level power supply. Trains have long had a monopoly on inter-regional buses, but in 2015 the French government introduced reforms to allow bus operators to travel these routes. In most, if not all, French cities, urban bus services are provided at a flat-rate charge for individual journeys. Many cities have bus services that operate well out into the suburbs or even the country. Fares are normally cheap, but rural services can be limited, especially on weekends. French companies operate over 1,400 ships of which 700 are registered in France. Marine transport is responsible for 72% of France’s imports and exports. The national carrier of France is Air France, a full service global airline which flies to 20 domestic destinations and 150 international destinations in 83 countries (including Overseas departments and territories of France) across all 6 major continents.

The cost of living in France is 5.62% higher than in United States. France is considered to have a fairly low cost of living, but it is higher than in neighbouring western European countries, probably Paris has something to do with this. The rest of the country, particularly the countryside and the south of France, has a lower cost of living. Those who are moving to France you will need to take many factors into consideration. The cost of education and child care is much cheaper than many other countries as these are subsided by the French government. Healthcare also is something that needs to be paid for but is reimbursed by the government. If you think the high costs of living in France, particularly in major cities, is too much to handle, keep in mind that France has one of the highest standards of living in the world. It ranks above average in work-life balance according to the OECD.

Currencies: Euro, CFP franc

Your nationality plays a vital role what type of visa you need to visit France, and how long would you stay. France allows citizens of many countries to visit without a tourist visa for 3 months. If you need a Schengen or long-stay visa to enter France, then you must have an appointment with the French consulate and provide the required documents. Determine whether you need a tourist visa depending upon your home country. If your native country is part of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), then you do not need a tourist visa to France for any length of time. But if your country is not listed, then you will most likely need to apply for a 3-month Schengen visa to visit France. The Schengen visa is based on an agreement between 25 European countries that allows tourists to enter 1 of the 25 countries and go between other Schengen countries without showing their passport. If you need to stay longer than 3 months, you must apply for a long-term stay visa. This is required for any nationality outside of the EU and EEA. Usually, the applicants for long-stay visas are applying to work or study.

The primary concern when planning to visit a country is the Safety. Is France safe? Like any other countries, France has its own share of thieves, pickpockets, potential terrorists and even mere opportunists. Thieves and pickpockets are particularly attracted to foreign-looking tourists, especially the wealthy ones, since there is a good chance that they will be carrying money, credit cards, passports or other items of value that can be sold on the black-market. Wealthy cities with lots of tourists also attract thieves and criminals. So the places in France where tourists should be most on their guard and take most extra precautions are Paris and Nice. Both of these cities have seen a rise in acts of theft and aggression against tourists in recent years. And with a massive police presence, Paris is today arguably one of the safest tourist cities in the world. France is ranked 58th out of 162 on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking. As the world’s most visited country, France is safe. Even there were occurrences of terror attacks from the past, France will remain a safe place to visit.

Of the languages of France, the national language, French, is the only official language according to the second article of the French Constitution, and its standardized variant is by far the most widely spoken. Several regional languages are also spoken to varying degrees as a secondary language after French, such as German dialects, Celtic languages, and other Gallo-Romance languages. Some of these languages have also been spoken in neighbouring countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy or Spain. Arabic is also widely spoken, arguably the largest minority language in France as of the 21st century.