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Enjoying France!

École Polytechnique is located 20 km South of Paris, one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Students have the opportunity to discover the French capital on their free time, but also the whole country through organized trips or by themselves. Throughout the academic year, the Bachelor Office organizes cultural visits in Paris and across the country. For instance, last September, a weekend in Normandy was organized to help students get to know each other.

Beyond Paris, France is a culturally rich and incredibly diverse country, whether you are interested in music or architecture, classical design or contemporary styles. You are sure to find something of interest in the hundreds of cities offering numerous museums, galleries, cinemas and festivals.

In April, a dozen of students had the opportunity to travel thanks to Thierry Dulouard, one of the coaches of the Bachelor, who organized a 5-day trip to Provence; in the Southeast part of France “We’ve been accommodated in my former military high school “Lycée Militaire d’Aix” in Aix en Provence. We had a busy schedule: hiking and bathing in the Calanques, visit of Marseille and its unavoidable sites: the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, the Old Port, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations etc. We have visited Aix en Provence, the city of the French painter Paul Cézanne and we hiked on the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, a mountain that has been a source of inspirations for many painters. And we also visited the medieval city of Avignon and its Palais des Papes. Students really enjoyed the Mediterranean landscapes, the tonic and fresh bath in the En-Vaux Calanque and the student and touristic atmosphere in Aix en Provence. They all were very happy of this trip!

In order to help French learners students to well discover the French culture, French lessons are mandatory all year long. These classes also include cultural visits and activities: some students could visit Giverny Monet’s Gardens in Normandy and the beautiful town of Vernon. In February, French learners attended a play in French in Paris (students have asked for this activity!) More, the cultural student association X-Cultures organizes a languages and cultures week in March promoting the numerous countries at École Polytechnique. Bachelor students can take part in the diverse activities and workshops and meet up with the Ingénieur Polytechnicien students!

Jiwon Park is South Korean and enjoys going out in Paris: “The main reason I decided to come to École Polytechnique was to get a rich cultural experience. Even though our program is in English, since it is a French Institution, there are many French-speaking students in the Bachelor, and also through “binets” (student associations) and other activities, there are many opportunities to meet other French students. I really enjoy music and industrial arts, and living next to Paris, I get to enjoy different quality concerts at cheap student prices, and through binets, I get to see the French way of doing music and industrial arts. By taking part in the construction of a student garden, I learned a lot of different wood working terminologies in French, and through the choir student association, I sang La Marseillaise (the French national anthem) at les Invalides for the military music festival. Also, with my coaches and friends from the program, we went down to south of France for the spring vacation. It was really nice to see different parts of France, and we could enjoy the nice weather on the beautiful beaches with the delicious southern cuisine!