Guide to Greece

Quick Facts


Population: 11 million

Major Language: Greek

Currency: Euro

Calling Code: +30

Greece has an ancient and rich history which can still be seen today in many areas of everyday life throughout the world. Ancient Greek civilization is considered the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, literature and drama, the Olympic Games and many mathematical and scientific principles.

Guide to France

Quick Facts


Population: 66 million

Major Language: French

Currency: Euro

Calling Code: +33

France is the largest country in Western Europe and is a key figure on the global political stage. It has a rich and varied history which still very much shapes the country today. It was one of the main colonial powers in the 19th century, and had territories in North Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean. Today, it still has over a dozen overseas territories spread throughout the world, as well as one of the most richly diverse multicultural populations.

Capital City: Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated in the north of the country. Thanks to its influence in business, culture, politics, science, media and fashion, it is considered one of the world’s most important cities.

The city is steeped in history and culture, which attracts more than 40 million tourists a year, making Paris the most visited city in the world. The tourists flock to see such attractions as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre art museum (which houses the Mona Lisa) and the Arc de Triomphe (all of which you can see above).

Government: Since 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy has been the elected President and Head of State. He appointed Francois Fillon to lead the Government as Prime Minister.

Guide to Lithuania

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Population: 3.2 million

Major Language: 

Currency: Lithuania litas

Calling Code: 370

Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic states. The country's history is typically chequered for the area in northern Europe it sits, and it has alternated between independence and occupation for centuries.

For two centuries it was the largest country in Europe, covering parts of modern day Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Russia. However, during the 18th century the country was broken up and by the end of the century it came under the Russian empire. In the 20th century, the country flitted between German occupation in WWI, to independence for two decades, to Soviet occupation from 1944.

Lithuania eventually regained its independence in 1990 and quickly aligned itself with Western Europe. The country became a member of both Nato and the EU in 2004 and enjoyed rapid capitalist economic growth. However, after becoming one of the worst victims of the global economic crisis it is still suffering today.

The centuries of independence matched with the country's varied recent history means that Lithuania has a very diverse culture, taking elements from almost every ruler in the last 400 years.

Guide to Taiwan

Quick Facts


Population: 23 million

Major Languages: 
Mandarin & Taiwanese

Currency: New Taiwan Dollar

Calling Code: 886

Taiwan, the tropical Ilha Formosa, is located in the western Pacific Ocean just off the southeastern coast of China. From the 1400s onwards the island has attracted attention from other nationalities, with the Chinese being followed by Portuguese, Dutch and then Spanish settlers. From 1895 it was under Japanese control, until in 1945, after WWII, the newly created People's Republic of China was handed power.

Guide to China

Quick Facts


Population: 1.34 billion

Main Language: Mandarin

Currency: Yuan

Calling Code: +86

The Chinese are the longest-lasting civilisation on earth. Historians date the development of the earliest Chinese society back to the 1700s BC, and the writings of Confucius, the most transcendental Chinese philosopher, date to the 500s BC. For hundreds of years the country was under the control of two dynasties- the Ming and the Qing. However, this all changed during the 1940s, when the devastation of World War II allowed Communism to gain more and more support in China, until Mao Zedong declared himself leader of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

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