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.

Culture: France is well known for its rich history in art, literature and philosophy, and since the 17th century has produced some of Europe’s most influential artists, writers and thinkers. Descartes, Voltaire, Flaubert, Sartre, Monet and Renoir, to name just a few, are all considered amongst the greats of their field in the last 500 years.

However, what France is possibly most famous for is its food. The country has a strong culinary tradition and has produced some of the most innovative and talented chefs to have ever lived. The wines and cheeses produced in France have also been considered second to none ever since they were first created.

Read our French guide to studying in the UK | Etudier au Royaume-Uni


French Media

  • Le Monde: respected national newspaper
  • France 2: national main public TV network
  • Radio France: national and regional radio network                                                        

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