Nantes VS Perpignan: where to do an internship in France? France is a vast country, with significant cultural and geographical differences, even within its own borders. Imagine if we had to talk about the DROMs: with islands in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean or the South Pacific Ocean! From Lille to Marseille, accents and expressions vary widely; even the aperitif is heavily influenced: while the north prefers beer, the south prefers wine or a good pastis! And from Nantes to Perpignan, in other words from Brittany to Spain, there are major territorial differences and disparities: here are a few explanations and comparisons to give you a clearer picture, before you send your young people on an internship in France to one of these two cities! Both cities have very attractive locations, but their cultures are poles apart. Nantes VS Perpignan: where to do an internship in France? Let’s go
Nantes VS Perpignan: where to do an internship in France? The location!
From an accessibility point of view, the two cities present major differences: Nantes is well served by train, with rail links to other major French cities such as Paris, Bordeaux and Rennes. Nantes-Atlantique airport offers both domestic and international flights, making it easy to get around by plane, with direct connections to a huge number of cities, from Ireland, Spain, Italy and many more! Perpignan: Perpignan also has a train station, but its connections to other major cities may be less frequent than those to Nantes. Perpignan-Rivesaltes airport offers national and international flights, but there are far fewer options than Nantes airport in terms of destinations.
Both cities are close to the sea – Perpignan is on the Mediterranean, while Nantes is close to the Atlantic Ocean, with direct buses and trains several times an hour. While Perpignan offers sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving, Nantes is all about board sports: surfing, sea kayaking, windsurfing and fishing! In particular, Nantes is next to La Baule, renowned for its waves and surf spot: there are numerous competitions every year, and La Baule was even voted most beautiful bay in Europe in 1999.
From Perpignan, you can reach Montpellier, Béziers and the Costa Brava, while from Nantes, you can head down to the Vendée coast, visit Rennes, the capital of Brittany, Angers, or Paris, and all this in less than two hours by train, departing several times a day, with tickets costing less than 60 euros return!
Because of their geographical location, local cultures are very different: Nantais (inhabitants of Nantes): The people of Nantes are often regarded as warm, welcoming and proud of their city. Nantes is a cosmopolitan city due to its cultural diversity, thanks in large part to its large student population due to its universities. The people of Nantes are often described as open-minded and interested in culture, the arts and music.
Perpignan: Perpignanais (inhabitants of Perpignan): Perpignanese are influenced by Catalan culture due to their proximity to Spanish Catalonia. They are generally perceived as having a relaxed, convivial Mediterranean lifestyle. Festivals and celebrations are an important part of daily life in Perpignan, and Catalan culture is given pride of place, particularly through the Catalan language and local traditions.
Nantes VS Perpignan: where to do an internship in France? Economic dynamism!
Nantes is very dynamic, especially economically speaking, with highly developed sectors such as healthcare, IT, aeronautics and tourism, whereas Perpignan depends mainly on tourism and agriculture. In addition, Perpignan’s unemployment rate is higher than the French national average, while Nantes’ is lower. Nantes is experiencing strong growth, and even more so since the COVID, where many Parisians have moved in. What’s more, the people who work in Nantes are younger, and have a strong impetus to set up small businesses.
Nantes’ infrastructure is also more developed: a new hospital is being built right in the middle of the city, the streetcar and bus network, already very efficient, will soon include three new lines, and unlike Perpignan, Nantes has the advantage of an international airport with direct flights to Asia and even the Caribbean!
This economic variety means that we can take advantage of some very interesting and varied internship opportunities. In particular, we have already welcomed young people from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia and other countries in the following fields: hairdressing, catering, public works, hospitality, sales, electricity, painting, communication, marketing, project management, international relations, analysis, laboratory, social work, early childhood, health, etc. Nantes o offers interesting opportunities, both in French and English. Many companies are fluent in English and can therefore welcome non-French-speaking trainees. Plus, if you’re Spanish-speaking: Perpignan isn’t the place for young people to make rapid progress in foreign languages, but its proximity to the city makes it an easy terrain for Spanish speakers, with a local population well-versed in the language of Cervantes (or Zafon!).
Nantes VS Perpignan: where to do an internship in France? Everything for young people!
Student city: Nantes is one of France’s most popular student cities. It is home to several renowned higher education establishments, including the University of Nantes, making it a major educational hub. The presence of students contributes to a dynamic, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Nantes is also home to a number of private schools, such as Vatel, as well as training courses that are not widely available in France, such as the Ecole du Notariat.
Access to culture: Nantes is rich in culture and the arts. The city offers numerous museums, art galleries, theaters and festivals throughout the year. The Passage Pommeraye, a historic shopping center, is also a must for shopping and culture lovers. The city of Nantes organizes free events throughout the year to promote access to culture for young people and/or the underprivileged: free jazz and electro music festivals, free museum nights and the famous “Voyage à Nantes”, a free quarterly exhibition in the streets of Nantes, to name but a few. The city’s cultural dynamism is truly exemplary.
Nightlife: Nightlife in Nantes is lively, with numerous bars, clubs and concert halls offering a variety of musical styles. The Bouffay district is particularly well known for its vibrant nightlife, offering a wide range of choices for evening outings. The city of Nantes even boasts one of France’s most famous nightclubs, and one of Europe’s top-ranked for its varied electro scene: the Warehouse.
Student city: Perpignan also has universities and higher education establishments, although its student scene may be smaller than that of Nantes due to its smaller size. However, the city attracts students looking for a unique Mediterranean setting.
Access to culture: Perpignan is steeped in Catalan culture, offering a distinct cultural experience. Here you’ll find festivals, art events and exhibitions showcasing Catalan and Spanish culture.
Nightlife: Nightlife in Perpignan has a more relaxed rhythm than in Nantes. Tapas bars and small cafés are popular, and evenings are often spent outdoors in pleasant Mediterranean surroundings. The city has a more intimate atmosphere for nightlife.
In short, Nantes is renowned for its lively student life, diverse access to culture and vibrant nightlife. Perpignan, on the other hand, offers a different experience, with a strong Catalan influence, a smaller student scene, but a relaxed and charming nightlife. Your choice will depend on your personal preferences in terms of student life and leisure activities. On the whole, Nantes is a more dynamic city than Perpignan, and offers a greater variety of internship sites in France, and certainly better accessibility for sending your young people abroad on internships. Nantes is a popular, festive and dynamic city, promising an unforgettable stay for all young Europeans looking for an experience in France.