Bonjour, Bon Appétit (But Leave the Family at Home): French Law Makes Studying in Paris a Solo Affair


Japa UK French

Hold onto your croissants, folks, because the French parliament has served up a new law that’s as spicy as a baguette with jalapeños. Turns out, studying in Paris might soon come with a “no-family-allowed” policy, leaving Nigerian students and others facing a decision: Eiffel Tower selfies or cozy family dinners?

The culprit? A little law that waltzed through Parliament with the support of both President Macron’s centrists and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally. Talk about an odd couple – it’s like having a croissant date with a baguette-wielding baguette enthusiast.

Now, this law wasn’t exactly a surprise. Last week, it got tossed out like yesterday’s croissant when both the National Rally and the left voted against it. But the government, determined to turn this legislative omelette, whipped up a new version with even tougher provisions. Think extra border checks and enough paperwork to fill the Louvre.

According to a report by the BBC on Thursday, the law was backed by both President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renaissance party and Deputy of the French National Assembly, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally.

A previous draft was rejected by parliament last week when the National Rally, as well as the left, voted against it. In response, the government redrafted the bill, making some of its provisions tougher.

Ms Le Pen welcomed the amended bill, calling it an “ideological victory” for the far-right.

Le Pen
Le Pen

“This is our bill,” said Eric Ciotti, the leader of the right-wing Republican party. He called it “firm and courageous”.

But left-wingers said Mr Macron was enabling the far-right. “History will remember those who betrayed their convictions,” Socialist party leader Olivier Faure said.

So, what does this mean for aspiring Nigerian scholars and their families? Well, prepare for a love story with a twist: long-distance relationships with a side of French fries (at least they’ll be affordable, right?). Imagine video calls with the Eiffel Tower in the background, punctuated by the cries of “Mommy, can we come too?” and frantic searches for babysitters who understand both French and “wahala.”

All jokes aside, this law raises serious questions about France’s commitment to international education and family unity. While some argue it’s about tackling immigration concerns, others see a whiff of xenophobia in the air. Whatever the case, one thing’s for sure: studying in Paris just got a whole lot more dramatic, and the only tears you’ll be shedding are from missing your mama’s jollof rice.

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