If you are considering studying a foreign language, French should definitely be at the top of your list. That’s because French is the native language in both France and in parts of Canada, so you will have ample opportunity to practice your new language skills if you visit either of those places.
In fact, France is the most popular destination among visitors in the world. And when you consider the cultural riches, historical significance, and natural beauty this nation has to offer, that’s not surprising. This is not even taking into account the world-class cuisine and the finest wine producing regions on Earth!
If you are only planning on visiting one European destination, France should be your top choice. Why? Because France borders six separate nations, each of which has its own cultural traditions and history. One trip to France and you can absorb a taste of not only French culture, but also the cultures of Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg. And England is only a short distance away via either the English Channel or an underwater “Chunnel”.
France also boasts of the world’s most beautiful and romantic capital city, Paris. Whether your visit to Paris includes a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, seeing the world’s most famous artwork at Le Louvre, visiting the historic Cathedral du Notre Dame, or simply strolling along the Sienne River or the city’s scenic boulevards, you are certain to have an experience you will never forget.
A lot has been said about the French people. Some call them rude while others consider them snooty. The truth is that people in France are like people everywhere: As long as you treat people with respect, you will get the same in return.
Another benefit of visiting France is the diversity. There are cosmopolitan areas in France that rank among the world’s most sophisticated cities. But there are also beautiful rural areas that contain the world’s most bucolic scenery. There are exotic beaches along the French Riviera, and snow-capped Alpine mountain peaks. And they are all within a few hours’drive of each other.
France has some of the most beautiful scenery that can be found anywhere. Whether you enjoy golden sunsets over the rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, the cool mountain air pouring down the French Alps, or the metropolitan sophistication of Parisian nightlife, France has something to offer for everybody.
You can spend days or even weeks wandering through the cities and towns of France and never see the same thing twice. It’s one of the most visually rewarding and inspiring countries on the planet and definitely a place that everybody should see at least once in their lifetime.
A single trip to France will create stirring memories that you will cherish forever. One of the most common side effects of visiting France is the strong desire to make a return visit again another time. As the old World War I saying goes, “It’s hard to keep the farm boy down on the farm once he’s seen Gay Paree!”
France also has the best weather in the world. While the weather in London is often foggy and the weather in Berlin frequently gray and oppressing, a typical day in Paris is bright, sunny and warm. France enjoys one of the best climate in all of Europe –indeed, in all the world. With its mild winters and warm, sunny summers, no wonder it’s the perfect location for vineyards and is celebrated as having the world’s most respected wine-growing regions.
Some people are afraid of learning to speak French because they believe it is too hard and intimidating. Learning French is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, many of the French vocabulary words are exactly the same as they are in English. Very often, if you can speak English with a heavy French accent, you are practically halfway on your way to speaking French fluently!
Even if you don’t speak French, many people in France are fluent in at least two languages, including English, German or Italian. So it’s always easy to communicate with native French people, whether you are in a busy city or the bucolic countryside.
Plus, French is a much more beautiful language than Spanish, German, Russian or any of the other commonly studied languages. And once you learn French –often referred to as the “language of romance”–you can have the air of suaveness and be debonair as Maurice Chevalier or Gerard Depardieu.
In short, France is among the most beautiful, historic and culturally rich nations on Earth. It offers everything from the most sophisticated cosmopolitan city on the planet, Paris, to the most scenic and gorgeous rural areas, such as the Bordeaux or the Champagne regions.
Vive le France!