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Sophia Antipolis - Local customs

Public and private schools follow the holiday programme set by the Ministry of  Education.  France is divided into three groups, each with different dates for the holidays. Sophia Antipolis belong to group B
Group B: Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Besançon, Dijon, Lille, Limoges, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Poitiers, Reims, Rouen, Strasbourg

Business etiquette

  • Dress code
    The companies based in Sophia-Antipolis work within technology, IT, research etc. The mentality in these kinds of companies is not the same as for example a financial company. Most of the time people wear casual clothes (jeans or casual trousers with a t-shirt or a shirt) when they work in front of a computer all day. However, if you have contact with suppliers or customers, it is recommended to wear a suit, but it's not necessary to have a tie! It's more important to arrive on time for meetings.  
  • Working environment
    Since the law of the 35 hours working week, people can begin work at  8.00 or 9.00 and finish 4.00 or 5.00, with one or two hours for lunch. People are now freer to organize their own days at work and plan the timetable with their teams.
  • Greetings
    In the work place, both men and women greet each other by shaking hands. In Sophia-Antipolis you will be in contact with many different nationalities and it's important to respect other people's habits.
  • Gifts
    The gift policies depend on the company. An important thing to be aware of is that sexual harassment exists in France. So be careful if you have to choose a gift for your assistant or a colleague!
  • Tipping
    At work, tipping is NOT appropriate.

Social etiquette

  • If you are in the north of France, people are reserved and it takes time to get to know each other. But when you succeed, you will become friends for ever. However, in the south of France, in the Sophia-Antipolis area, people are smiling and friendly. But if you come from abroad, it is easier to get contact with foreigners like yourself.
  • Eating out
    In the smart restaurants, a tie and a suit are recommended. They are open from 7 pm until 1 am.
  • Smoking
    It is it is forbidden by law to smoke in public places like airports, stations etc. All restaurants propose a room for smokers and another one for non-smokers.
  • Dinner
    If you are invited for dinner or lunch, it's polite to arrive on time or maximum ten minutes after the time.
  • Clothes' fashion is VERY important for teenagers. You MUST wear the right Jeans with the right t-shirt and etc. if you want to be part of a teenager's group. As we are on the French Riviera and not far from Italy, fashion is present everywhere! This is very clear when you go to Nice on the Promenade des Anglais, which is the big road along the sea where teenagers go rollerskating or talking together. In Antibes-Juan Les Pins, this mentality is also very present.
  • Having a scooter or a car is really important here in Sophia-Antipolis because you are far from the places where teenagers like to go…Nice or near the sea!
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