Grenoble has the second largest English speaking community in France, second to Paris. It has a population of 675 122 (2011 statistics), making it the 11th largest population in France after Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyon and Strasbourg. About 10 000 people in Grenoble are from English speaking countries. What is it about Grenoble that attracts these people?
A lot of these Americans, British, Australians etc come to Grenoble with the intention of staying a little while and eventually returning back home but the mountains, sports and general life style keep them here. Some choose to put their children in the international school “Cité scolaire internationale” in order to maintain a good English level. The “American School of Grenoble” is the alternative for those who want the core curriculum to be taught in English. With associations like Open House, these “anglo-saxons” have no trouble organizing events and meeting other English-speaking families. Most of these people come to Grenoble to work in companies like Hewlett-Packard, ST Microelectronics and Schneider.
Grenoble, capital of the Alps, is the fifth most inventive city in the world according to Forbes. It is a scientific center and is most famous for information technology, biotechnologies and new technologies of energy source. Grenoble is a partner of “Silicon Europe” and is recognized for its “triad of innovation” thanks to its close relations between research, education and industry. This triad has given rise to numerous scientific and technological breakthroughs source. The fairly recent construction of the global innovation campus named GIANT (Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies) which brings together research institutes, universities and businesses also contributes to the image of Grenoble being a scientific and technological center.
The University of Grenoble dates back to 1339 and in 1968, the university relocated to its current campus location with a few buildings near the nuclear centre.
The university is composed of four separate institutions which share the campus grounds:
Grenoble is also home to the Grenoble École de Management (management and business administration).
Grenoble is now considered a university centre with over 60,000 students, 16% of whom are international students source.
With such a large university covering all disciplines, a name in science and technology along with the beautiful mountains surrounding the city, it’s no wonder that English speakers find Grenoble the best choice to live and work.
Now the question is: With all these English speakers living and working in Grenoble, does this mean that more grenoblois speak English than locals in other areas of France?