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French Pressed – Mar. 12 edition

Submitted by Pauline Mothu on March 4, 2014 – 1:19 pmNo Comment

Pauline Mothu

It is almost time for spring break at UALR!

School breaks are a little different in France, but thanks to American movies, French students know what to expect what someone talks to them about it: going to the beach, parties, drinks and more parties.

Except for fall break, Christmas break, and summer, school breaks in France are not at the same time for everybody. Indeed, in order to avoid over-crowding in tourist resorts, the country is divided up into three zones that have staggered dates for winter and spring break (February and April).

While spring break is a major vacation time in the United States, I do not think there is a major vacation for French college students, excepting summer break. During the short breaks, French students usually keep up with their homework or find a job. They usually do something productive during the short breaks and leave the fun for summer break. However, some decide to take some time off and go away from their homes. They usually do so during winter break because spring break is followed by finals.

France is not a big country like the United States—it is approximately the size of Texas—but there is a lot to see and do in this country during holidays. Most French people actually prefer to do less during the year and save money for winter and/or summer breaks. During winter break, the streets of touristic cities like Paris empty out. Almost everyone—students included—visit ski resorts in the Alps or the Pyrenees. France actually has the biggest ski industry after the United States.

The ski resorts are mainly composed of small villages that come ‘alive’ during the winter season, where families gather and enjoy some winter activities. Activities in ski resorts include skiing—obviously—but also ice skating, hiking and enjoying drinks like wine or hot chocolate while watching skiers.

Although going to the mountains during winter break is attractive, it is also expensive and many students cannot afford to go on ski vacation. Therefore they find other ways to enjoy their breaks and do local activities such as hanging out with friends, watching movies, reading, exercising or visiting museums. Some also decide to spend a day in Disneyland Paris or other theme parks.

As I mentioned, French students have a different view about enjoying their break than American students. Spring or winter break does not necessarily mean going to the beach and partying every night for the French. I am not sure why vacations are not as a big deal in France. Don’t get me wrong, we also look forward our vacation, but it is just different for us. It may be because we have more school breaks than American students.

Anyways, whether we are American or French and spend our break differently, we are all looking forward to school vacations!

A bientôt pour de nouvelles aventures! (See you later for other adventures!)


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