French Republic publicly known as France is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe. France also comprises of different overseas island territories located in other continents. The geography of Metropolitan France stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. The people of France often refer to Metropolitan France as L’ Hexagon because of geometric shape of its territory. The countries that border France are Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. France also shares land borders with Surinam and Brazil. France is linked to United Kingdom by Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel. France is founding member of the European Union and the United Nations and is one of the five members of United Nations Security Council.
The surface area of Metropolitan France is 213 010 sq mi possessing different variety of landscapes from coastal plains in the north and west to mountain ranges of the Alps in the south-east, the Massif Central in the south-central and Pyrenees in the south-west. The Mont Blanc is the highest point in Western Europe, which is situated in the Alps on the border between France and Italy at 15770 ft above sea level. Camargue is the lowest point situated in the Mediterranean Sea at 6.5 ft above sea level. Corsica lies off the Mediterranean coast. The Metropolitan France has extensive river systems such as the Loire, the Garonne, the Seine, and the Rhone that divides Massif Central from the Alps and flows into the Mediterranean Sea at the Camargue.
Since pre historic period France has paved the way for travel and trade. The people living in present day France are mainly blends of three ethnic groups- Celtic, Latin, and Teutonic. France has recorded highest birth rate from 1945 to 1960 among European nations. Though in later years birth rate in France has fallen but still higher than most other west European countries. About 85% of the population is Roman Catholic, 10% Muslim, less than 2% Protestant, and about 1% Jewish. French is the official language and one of the six international languages recognized by United Nations.
France is a unitary semi – presidential republic with highly valued democratic traditions. On September 28, 1958 the constitution of the fifth republic was approved by referendum. The French constitution gives stronger executive power to the President and the Prime Minister. The President is elected for a five years term. The French parliament has two houses- the National Assembly and the Senate. The members of National assembly represent local constituencies and directly elected for 5 years term. An electoral college chooses senators for 6-year terms.
The economy of France is fifth largest in the world; the economy is well supported with extensive agricultural resources, large industrial base and highly skilled work force. The French governments’ economic policy is based on creating more jobs and reducing the high unemployment rate through recovery – supportive policy. France has adopted Euro as its currency in January 1999 and since then its monetary policies decided by the European Central Bank, Frankfurt. France has dropped its national currency and coins in favor of Euro bills and coins on January 1, 2002. France has been highly successful in developing dynamic telecommunications, aerospace, and weapons sectors. For energy, France depends on Nuclear power, which fulfills 80% of total electricity requirements. France is the second-largest trading nation in Western Europe.
France is a major producer of agricultural products. Large wheat farms characterize Northern France. Dairy products, pork, poultry, and apple production are strenuous in the western region. Beef production is to be found in central France, while the production of fruits, vegetables, and wine ranges from central to southern France. The execution of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Uruguay Round of the GATT Agreement resulted in reforms in the agricultural sector of the economy.
Some Facts About France
- France is the home of the International System of Units (the SI System / metric system).
- In mathematics, France uses the infix notation like most countries. For large numbers the long scale is used. Thus, the French use the word billion for what English speakers call a trillion. However, there exist a French word, milliard, for what the English speakers call a billion. Thus, despite the use of the long scale, one billion is called un milliard ("one milliard") in French, and not mille millions ("one thousand million"). The names of numbers above the milliard are rarely used. Thus, one trillion will most often be called mille milliards ("one thousand milliard") in French, and rarely un billion.
- In the French numeral notation, the comma (,) is the Decimal separator, whereas the dot (.) is used between each group of three digits especially for big numbers. A space can also be used to separate each group of three digits especially for small numbers. Thus three thousand five hundred and ten may be written as 3 510 whereas fifteen million five hundred thousand and thirty-two may be written as 15.500.032.
- In finances the symbol associated to the currency is put after the numbers and not before. For example €25,000.00 is written 25 000,00 € (always with an extra space between the figure and the currency symbol, and often a space between every block of 3 digits).
- Cars are driven on right.
- In computing, if a bit is still called a bit, a byte is called an octet (from the Latin root octo, meaning "8"). SI prefixes are used.
- 24-hour clock time is used, with h being the separator between hours and minutes (for example 2pm30 is 14h30).
- The all-numeric form for dates is in the order day-month-year, using a slash as the separator (for example: 31/12/1996 or 31/12/96).
Visa Requirements To Study In France
International Students require to apply for a Visa to study in France. The common minimum requirements to apply for a Francen student visa are:
- Accepted by a college / university in France to pursue a Full Time Course.
- Possess required eligibility certificates to take admission in one such.
- Hold a valid Passport for the intended period of stay.
- Proof of income or sufficient means to support studies in France
- Health Certificate issued by a competent hospital from the home country.
- Candididates holding above documents may apply for Visa with nearest Foreign Mission Office of France in the home country.
France also welcomes candidates for part time sudies, log term studies like research programs and training programs etc. For detailed visa requirements for different level of studies you are advised to check with Official Website of France Government.
List of Universities in France
France @ A Glance
Official Name: French Republic
Largest City: Paris
Official Languages: French
Government: Semi-presidential unitary republic
- French State 843 (Treaty of Verdun)
Current constitution 1958 (5th Republic)
Accession to the European Union: March 25, 1957
Total Area: 260 558 sq mi
Population: 64,102,140 (According to January 1, 2007 estimates)
Currency: Euro, CFP Franc (EUR, XPF)
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)
Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Internet TLD: .fr
Calling Code: +33