7 Things You Must See as an International Student in France | FindAPhD.com
Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now
Posted on 23 Jun '23

7 Things You Must See as an International Student in France

There are many great reasons to do a postgraduate degree in France. With a population of over 250,000 international students, you could join a thriving community. Aside from university culture, one of the great things about studying abroad is you have a whole new country to explore!

We’ve put together seven of the most exciting things every international student should see in France.

#1 The streets of Paris

Paris is France’s ultimate tourist hotspot and for good reason. With historical cultural sites such as the Eiffel tower, fascinating museums like the Louvre and an array of famous patisserie shops, you’ll be hard pressed to run out of things to do.

Many events also take place in the country’s capital, most famously Bastille Day which is the oldest running cavalcade in Europe. Each summer you can catch an impressive military parade, fireworks displays and a free evening concert.

#2 Paris’s underworld

Once you’ve explored the top side of Paris, head down into the catacombs for a glimpse into the city’s dark past. The catacombs are part of a tunnel network originally built to consolidate the city’s stone quarries. But when Paris’s cemeteries began to overflow in the eighteenth century over 6 million bodies were placed below. Now, you can visit on guided tours year-round.

#3 Palace of Versailles

Heading outside of the capital city, the Palace of Versailles is a must-see. Built by King Louis XIV just 19 kilometres west of Paris, the Palace is a glowing example of courtly extravagance. For the art lovers, you’ll find regular exhibitions hosted year road. In the summer, visitors can also attend music and fountain shows in the gardens. Also, keep an eye on their upcoming schedule as many historical plays perform in the grounds.

#4 Mont Saint-Michel

If you prefer to spend your off-time down by the coast, then Mont Saint-Michel is a beautiful and culturally rich day trip. Sat in a bay between Normandy and Brittany, Mont Saint-Michel has been a prominent Christian pilgrimage site since the eighth century. Now, many of its spectacular monastic buildings have been converted into museums, restaurants, hotels and shops.

In order to keep the soft land around the site in-tact, visitors can get a shuttle or walk across the bay to the walled commune. For those able to splash a little extra cash, you can even hire a horse-drawn carriage to take you!

#5 Etretat

Another great coastal retreat is Etretat. Situated in the Normandy region, Etretat is best known for its remarkable chalk cliffs hugging a serene, pebbled beach. Enjoy the beauty of three natural arch formations and the famous L’Aiguille (the Needle), a rock formation which reaches 70m above sea level.

In addition to making all your Instagram followers jealous, make sure to head into the town where small streets are lined with pretty restaurants and shops. You can also visit the local market for souvenirs.

#6 Strasbourg

For those wanting to see everything France has to offer, spend the holidays in Strasbourg. Sitting on the boarder between France and Germany, the city boasts a beautiful mix of cultures. Walk the colourful medieval streets in the La Petite France neighbourhood by the banks of the Ill river. Or, visit the Cave Historique des Hospices de Strasbourg winery to lay eyes on the oldest barrel of wine in the world, brewed in 1472!

We highly recommend visiting Strasbourg near Christmas as their holiday markets are renowned.

#7 Cirque de Gavarnie

Finally, take your mind of study with a day in nature. There’s no better place than Cirque de Gavarnie, located in the Pyrenees National Park. With many family-friendly hiking trails available, all you’ll need is a good pair of trainers and an emergency waterproof.

Make sure to catch Gavarnie Falls, one of Europe’s greatest waterfalls. Throughout the area you’ll see many waterfalls cascading down the natural amphitheatre formed thousands of years ago by huge glaciers. While you’ll be out in the wilderness, Cirque de Gavarnie is very accessible by both train and bus.

Find a PhD in France

Head over to our course listings and find your French PhD degree.




You may also like...

Applying for a PhD in France

This guide tells you everything you need to know to apply for a PhD programme in France.

Read more
What a PhD in France Actually Looks Like

Interested in studying a PhD degree in France? We tell you all about how a PhD in France is structured, covering supervision, assessments and more.

Read more
Scholarships for PhD Students in France

Our guide tells you exactly how much a PhD in France costs and how you can find the right funding for it.

Read more
Guide to Student Visas for PhD in France

Want to study a PhD in France? This guide gives a detailed introduction to the kind of visa you need to study in France and how to apply for it.

Read more
Living in France – A Guide for PhD Students

What's it like to live in France during a PhD? Our guide covers accommodation, student living costs, working and other key information.

Read more
Student Accommodation in France – A Complete Guide

We cover the types of student accommodation available in France, typical costs and what to keep in mind when booking.

Read more


Last Updated: 17 November 2023