Public Holidays & vacations in France for students

suitcases packed

What will you do during the public holidays and the vacation breaks when we have no school?

I wasn’t surprised by the number of students who had no idea that France has 5 public holidays in May alone which means on these days there is no school and pretty much nothing is open. Students were informed of the holidays on Orientation Day, but perhaps for some internationals they wish to know this information prior to signing up. Having lived here for 4 years I’m aware and accepted that France has a considerable amount of holidays, so like the French I plan ahead. They have their holiday rentals reserved and the Renault Scenic packed to the roof, well, I have my tickets booked for Italy. When I call my parents in Australia one of the first questions they ask is, “You’re not working today?” and my usual off-by-heart response is, “It’s a holiday”. And of course, I’m greeted my the same reaction, “Again! You are always on a holiday!”. Yep, gotta love France for that.

Being in a class of internationals I realized I’m not that much of a foreigner anymore. I pretty much know the ins and outs of France, meaning I know what to expect.

If you are considering studying in France it’s perhaps best to know in advance the vacation periods and whether or not the school you’re enrolled with will follow these vacation periods. I know for some of my classmates, if they would have known earlier they would have considered a short trip back home, or get a good deal on a vacation within Europe.

Here are this years vacation/holiday dates, Jours Feriers:

Monday, April 1st  2013, Lundi de Paques, translated to Easter Monday

Wednesday, May 1st 2013, Fete du Travail, translated to Celebration of Work, known as, May Day.

Week of May 6th 2013, Spring break for Ferrandi students

Monday, May 20th 2013, Pentecote

Thursday, August 15th, 2013, Assomption

Friday, November 1st, 2013, La Toussaint

Monday, Nov 11th, 2013, Armistice

Always best to confirm these dates with the school prior to enrolling.

Excuse me if I alternate between ‘vacation’ and ‘holiday’. Being an Aussie traditionally I use ‘holiday’ but now that I’m schooling in France I’m more used to saying ‘vacation’ which originates from the French version, ‘vacances’.

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