Paris: How to blend in with the locals
While living in Paris, it’s important to keep up appearances, otherwise, the locals will sniff you out as an outsider in no time. What you wear, eat and even how you greet people can be a quick giveaway that you haven't always been living la vie Française, so if you want to effortlessly fit in during your year overseas, here’s a few key things to keep in mind:
If you want to blend in, it’s probably best to leave any flip-flops, sweatpants or hoodies at home. Parisians are known for their fabulous fashion sense, but less is often more in the style capital of the world. To be on the safe side, stick to skinny jeans, a stylish top (but avoid any garish colors) and a blazer or trench coat. Unfortunately, no locals wear berets anymore (unless they’re moonlighting as a mime for tourists) so if you just have to buy one, maybe save it until you’re back home.
Meet and greets
Despite what you may have heard, the French are actually very friendly people and greet each other with “bonjour” (hello) in all formal and informal situations; even when they walk into a shop or an elevator. However, make sure to switch to “
When you meet someone, whether it be for the first time or they’re an old acquaintance, it’s also typical to exchange a light kiss on each cheek. First-timers in France often get caught off guard by this, so if the next person you meet leans in a little close, remember they’re not intentionally crossing boundaries of personal space, they’re just saying hello.
Learn the lingo
Having a few key French words and phrases in your vocabulary will only help you during your time in Paris, as not everyone there speaks English. Plus the locals really appreciate it when you make the effort, so you may get better service and even make a few new friends while you’re at it. There are tons of language schools offering classes across the city or you could even participate in a language exchange, where you meet with a French speaker who also wants to improve their English. It’s a great way to meet new people and, best of all, it’s free!
Change it up
Parisians enjoy a different schedule to what you may be used to and while the city is fast-paced in comparison to the rest of France, locals still like to take time in the day to appreciate the joie de vivre, so get ready to slow things down. The French prefer to eat their meals late and take their time and don’t be surprised if the waiter doesn’t rush over with the cheque straight away.
Also remember that, by law, most shops have to close on Sundays, and they often shut during lunchtime (between 12 and
Home sweet home
There's nothing that helps you get in the French mindset more than finding the perfect Parisian apartment to call home for the next few months. After all, once you feel like a local, it's only a matter of time before you start acting like one.
Finding the right place to live in Paris can be hard, but Study Abroad Apartments has you covered. From stylish rooms to grand apartments, you’re bound to find something you love and can spend your first few weeks instead of frantically searching for somewhere to stay.
Want to get the chance to learn about a new culture and live in the heart of a thriving European city? Study Abroad Apartments offers some great options for students planning to live abroad. Just get in touch with us if you need any help finding somewhere to stay and we’ll make sure you have one of the best options out there!