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One of the most common cultural differences in France concerns the consumption of alcohol. In France, drinking occurs in different contexts than in the U.S. People drink in moderation at meals, whether at home or in restaurants, clubs, and pubs. Your host family may offer you wine with dinner, for example. This is a normal part of French culture. Nearly everyone abroad, however, including young people, considers binge drinking rude, unnecessary, and inappropriate. If you drink to excess, you reinforce negative stereotypes of American students abroad, and you put yourself and your friends in danger.

Here are some specific suggestions for your time in Talloires and France in general to avoid unpleasant encounters and reduce the risk of being a victim of a crime:

  • Use discretion and common sense in your behavior and dress.
  • Never let your friends go home without you late at night and do not go home after leaving your friend alone with people you both do not know.
  • Be aware of radical groups that target non-host country residents in Europe. It is not common for U.S. students to encounter problems, but you should be aware of the social challenges presented.