Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
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NewsletterSeptember 2012

French Food in LA

During my vacation I had the opportunity to eat at Taix restaurant in my old Echo Park neighborhood. I remember Taix from when I was a kid and ordered escargot for my birthday! This time I had the fish.

La Rentrée

September means the end of summer vacation for many and back to school for students. What the French call La Rentrée. This year school: k-12 starts on September 4th. Vincent Peillon, the new Minister for Education, proposed a change in number of school days and the length of summer vacation. On an average French students attend 140 days of school per year, whereas American students average 180 and UK students 195. French students’ school day is longer, usually six hours.
Some recent suggestions are to add a half day of schooling per week in Maternelle (Kindergarten) and École élémentaire (Primary school). Up until a few years ago these students went to school three Saturday mornings per month. Another suggestion is to cut out two weeks of summer vacation, bringing the total to six weeks. Both suggestions seem to be popular with parents according to a recent poll.
There’s already been a change to the school schedule with Toussaint (All Saints Day) vacation in late October/early November being lengthened by two days, for a total of two weeks. These two extra vacation days were added on at the end of the school year, leaving the total number of days unchanged.
K-12 students in France have five vacation periods: Toussaint (All Saints Day), Noël (Christmas), Hiver (Winter), Printemps (Spring) and Été (Summer). Summer lasts eight weeks and the others two weeks. Most students go about six weeks between vacations.
Here is the 2012/13 French school calendar.

Events in France

Here are two events coming up in France. The first is Journées européennes du Patrimoine - European Heritage Days taking place September 15-16. Journées européennes du Patrimoine is a great way to see buildings in France normally closed to the public. Last year I discovered the longest table in France. Another plus, public museums in France are free, and private museums offer reduced admission.
Tous au Restaurant is the other event. Similar to Journées européennes du Patrimoine, Tous au Restaurant is celebration of French heritage, this time food with participating restaurants offering a two for one 'Tous au Restaurant' menu - two people can eat for the price of one.

Expats Radio

During the summer I had the chance to be on Expats Radio. In my first visit I talked about my site, why I moved to France and problems Americans can face when they move here. In my second visit I talked about news and current events in France. The plan is for me to come on at least once a month. Please have a listen!

Le French Book

If you love to read well-written mysteries, edge-of-your seat suspense and gripping thrillers, particularly when they are set in France, than you are going to love Le French Book. This digital-first publisher founded by longtime American in France, Anne Trager, specializes in “French Books you’ll love in English." They are starting off with three critically acclaimed crime fiction novels, including one by “the French Michael Connelly.” For September, they are getting the word out about The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier. Award-winning author Thomas H. Cook describes it as "beautifully written and elegantly structured.” For the first time, this acclaimed master of crime fiction is now available in English. Find out more at Keep your eyes out for a huge promotion they plan this month. Sign up for their newsletter so you don't miss any free gifts and prizes.

More End of Summer Reading

The Chapel in the Woods: Fancy a French mystery laced with sunshine and good food?
French Mamma's Pregnant in France: Learn French & What to Expect: Chapters are in English and French, and includes 350 pregnancy-related vocabulary words and 150 practice sentences. This book is filled with information, personal stories, and advice.
Blossoming in Provence: By Kristin Espinasse of the popular French Word a Day blog. Espinasse illustrates how the life of an American in France is one of continual learning about their adoptive country and from time to time eating humble pie - à la française.

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