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It is still only the end of July, so the slow pace of summer is on and will continue a bit into August as well. However, time flies, and soon enough it will be mid-August and you will start to see, and hear, the expression La Rentrée everywhere in France.

So what does la rentrée mean? It signifies “Back to school”, but also a fresh start for all sorts of businesses, companies and even families. The French have somewhere between 5 and 10 weeks of holiday per year, and some of those weeks are taken during the hot summer weeks. It is not uncommon that the kids are sent to spend some time with their grandparents while the parents work, taking advantage of long apéros and late night dining. The family then reunites to spend the rest of the vacation together, often in the South of France – lucky us living in holiday paradise!

When the lovely, lazy and hot summer break comes to an end, la rentrée revs things back up to normal speed, with everything that entails. The air is vibrating with the excitement of life picking up speed again!

If you have kids that are going to school, a letter containing a detailed list, la liste de fournitures scolaires, of what school supplies to buy and bring on the first day of school will find its way to you a week or two before school starts. Here is a short example:

  • Trousse – Pencil case
  • Stylos (bleu, rouge, vert, noir) – Ballpoint pens (blue, red, green, black)
  • Crayons – Pencils
  • Gomme – Eraser
  • Ciseaux -Scissors
  • Colle en bâton – Glue stick.
  • Taille crayon avec réservoir – Pencil sharpener with container for shavings.
  • Règle graduée – Ruler.
  • Chemises à rabats – Binders
  • Cahier – Notebook
  • Et bien d’autres choses encore – and much more!!

There are companies online that specialize in these supplies, but you will find these products in bookstores and all the bigger supermarkets as well.

This is also the time to start planning for any sports, clubs or organizations (culture, sports, health, etc) you want to participate in.

To help you find out about all the different clubs, associations and groups, cities organize a “Journée (or Forum) des Associations”; a day when all actors get together in one place to present what they do and take sign-ups. Google ”journée des associations 2022“ together with the name of your city to find out more.

Here are some good to know words for that day 🙂

  • Culture – culture
  • Éducation – education
  • Santé – health
  • Sports – sports
  • Loisirs – hobbies
  • Philosophie et religions etc – philosophy and religion etc

If you are thinking about joining a sports club, I recommend you to read our blog “How to join a sports club” published in May 2022!

We hope you enjoy everything that August has to offer while making your plans for La Rentrée…and please let us know if we can help in any way!


Ann-Lii De Maré

I grew up in the southern part of Sweden, where the eye meets Denmark and the Hamlet castle Kronborg only 4 kilometers away. I have spent the major part of my adult years in our beautiful capital Stockholm. In 2004 we packed up the family, i.e. my husband, our two, now adult children, a guinea pig and me and moved to Basel, Switzerland. We stayed for 3 years and then returned to Stockholm again. In 2018 we decided that it was time for a new adventure, this time we moved here, in Montpellier, and settled in the city center. We absolutely love it, even though it can be a challenge sometimes. Since the children still live in Sweden, we visit every now and then and they come here to enjoy the French life in the sun. I have experience from both the retail and the production industry, where I have focused on customer service and logistics for the last 10 years. I speak Swedish, English, some French, German and Danish. It is well known that the French way of doing things are not always the way one would expect, but it is their way. I hope that I will have the opportunity to assist you settling here in France.

All articles by: Ann-Lii De Maré

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