I've been lucky enough to have spent the past two months in Provence, France, and with living here, I've learned that Americans have been doing meal-time all wrong. These are the tips and tricks I'm bringing back to the States with me.

Lunch, egg, brunch, meal spread, avocado toast, avocado, fries, ketchup, sandwich, sauce, lettuce, vegetable, salad
Denise Uy

1. Take a lunch break 

In France, lunch isn't a quick salad at your desk or running between classes with a McDouble in your hand. The French look at dining as a time of relaxation and social interaction, instead of eating for the fact of eating. It's about sharing food and spending time with the people you care about. It may be hard, but take the time to really sit down and enjoy a lunch break. Appreciate the time and food you have together, and see how much better you feel when you go back to your work. Everyone needs to take a study break, so pull your face out of your textbook or laptop and get some good food with the cute guy you've been staring at across the library.

scotch eggs, bread, toast, egg
Shelby Cohron

2. Only eat (and pay for) good food 

The French do not put up with any bullshit, especially when it comes to their food. This doesn't mean each meal is from a 5-star restaurant with gold leaf on it. Instead, it's eating well rounded, well portioned, filling meals with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Know what you're eating and where it's coming from, and don't pay for anything that isn't going to make you feel great. Your money is very important, so invest it in yourself and how you're nourishing you body. It may not be the cheap and easy option, but it's the option that going to give you the most in the long-run.

chips, Mexican food, burrito, sour cream, avocado, guacamole, salsa
Shelby Cohron

3. There is no such thing as a diet

In America, we are obsessed with telling ourselves we can live without things: sleep, love, happiness, and especially food. Fad diets and new health crazes tell us to only eat this and never eat that. In France, they're eating everything, and the French are significantly healthier than Americans. Why? Because instead of cutting out bread or red meat or anything else, their meals are made so that you get all of the nutrients your body needs without any of the added chemicals. There's a bigger focus on mindfulness when it comes to eating instead of the cults that develop over food trends. Therefore, instead of jumping on the latest juice cleanse and never eating bread again, look at what you're eating. Do you know what's in it or where it's coming from? No? Mmmm... better not...

beverage, liquor, glass, cheers, red wine, wine, alcohol
Caroline Ingalls

4. Know how much you're drinking

There's a huge difference between drinking in France and America, and you really realize when you're out with your friends and the French people are probably thinking, "Oh my gosh, who let them come out?" The French drink, and they love having a good time. However, the French know that alcohol is not made to be guzzled or chugged; it's to be shared and gradually ingested. They are very aware of how much they're drinking, and most of the time, everyone around them is at the same level of intoxication. The next time you're out with your friends, or at the frat party, take your time and enjoy your alcohol. Don't drink to get drunk; drink to have a good time with people you care about. If that's not the case, then you can definitely find something better to do rather than not remembering what you did.

baguette, jam, cheese, butter, cream, bread
Caroline Ingalls

5. Bread, cheese and wine fix everything

One thing that defines eating in France is there is always room for a piece of bread, a slice of cheese, and a glass of wine. Whether it's 10 'o clock in the morning or 10 'o clock at night, pulling out a baguette, round of cheese, and a bottle of wine will bring everyone together for a night of good memories and lots of storytelling, laughing, and bonding.

Pro tip: Make sure you've got the good stuff. Everyone has a better time when they can rave about how great the food and wine tastes.

espresso, milk, tea, coffee
Rica Beltran

Bonus Tip: Starbucks is not real coffee 

Never ever forever ever never ever forever ever NEVER, tell a French person that Starbucks has good coffee. As a former barista, I can tell you right now that Starbucks coffee is nothing compared to a French espresso. Just please, save yourself the embarrassment and don't.