During the time I was studying for my Master's exams I went outside of Paris.
No, I am not disciplined enough to sit and study by myself for 8 hours a day. I have to have breaks, and people that make me food, and not be alone. Otherwise I will end up at the grocery store buying food for a new meal I plan to test out and that means breakfast takes 3 hours (including cleanup). And by then, of course, we should start lunch if we are going to eat at a decent hour.
So I went to province. Not the lovely place you are thinking of in the South of France with fields of lavendar, fresh herbs and the good life.
Province is not Provence. Province is any place outside of Paris. (So technically Provence is in Province. Confused yet?)
Yes, there is Paris and a word for everything outside of Paris. Because Paris is it's own country with its own cranky language and snappy irritated-about-having-to-move people.
Province is full of fields and round abouts without signs, and enormous grocery stores called LeClercs (pronounced: leuh klair - if that doesn't sound like a line of french beauty products, I don't know what does). It has tiny towns with tiny churches and local castles. And people that wouldn't prefer to spit on you rather than talk to you.
Actually, I like both Province and Provence.
And sometimes Paris.