Cultural Differences

Patrick M.

The French exchange students arrive tomorrow, so I thought I’d give everyone some pointers on French culture that I learned over Winterim.

In France, smoking is cool. Students gather outside before school, after school, and during breaks to stand in “smoking circles”. It’s perfectly acceptable to spit into the middle of the circle–but don’t worry, the French have good aim (usually).

The concepts of veganism and other dietary restrictions are not widely understood.

A vegan "wrap".
A vegan “wrap”.

Committed vegan Theresa G., class of 2016, was the talk of St. Marie la Verpillière.(“Can she eat anything?” “Yes, leaves.”)

Or as Cyprien, my correspondent, wondered: “vegans can eat fish, right?”

Ask Theresa for more info. She has stories.

Neither is the inherent homoeroticism of the sport of Rugby.


Sorry, Cyprien.


“T’es en France! En France, on boit du vin.”

“You’re in France, in France, we drink wine.” -Valentine, an energetic grandmother from a local theater group.

A review of the OES alcohol and drug policy:

“There will be no possession, use, distribution or display of alcohol, nicotine, or illicit drugs on or off campus.”

Now try translating that into French, passive voice included.

Abercrombie is really a thing (and the power of Basic can not be underestimated).

It helps there’s only one outlet in the entire country.

Scarves are also a thing. (It's just the URL, not necessarily my personal opinion)
(It’s just the URL, not necessarily my personal opinion)

Food is very, very important.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 10.40.19 AM

“French people love people who like to eat.” -Valentine again

When you’re in France, who wouldn’t? French food spoiled me a little.

Anyways, make sure to welcome the correspondents tomorrow! I’m sure they will equally surprised by the quirks of American culture.

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