Reassurance post for French students / future expat’
You were asking for expat’s experiences in France, so I thought I’d give mine ^^! I’m currently living in Provence and working as an English tutor. At the same time I’ve been attending lycée to further help me learn the language. I just wanted to say that I’ve met some of the loveliest people here; despite the language barrier they’ve welcomed me with open arms and done their best to make me feel welcomed. Probably the best place I’ve visited would be Roussillon - if you’re in the south, this is a must-see! Oh, and my best moments have always been with my nez friends: discovering a local cuisine with them, partying with them… all! :) Definitely take the leap and study abroad! it won’t always be easy, there’ll certainly be some difficult times, but it’s the good times that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, not the bad. :)
Hi there, I’m just going to share a quick story about one of my favorite stories from when I studied abroad in France. For starters, There are numerous stories that I could tell but one that sticks out to me the most is quite mundane to be honest. I loved going to the grocery store with my host mother. It was a time where I got to work on my French and compare the differences between my culture and France’s but it also allowed me to connect with my host mother. My host family was fantastic.
Salut! I’m an American who spent about 18 months in Nancy. It’s a great (albeit, slightly overlooked) city! My favorite memories were just getting drinks at a café in centre ville or on Place Stanislas with friends. The people, in general, were very kind and for the most part, I had very positive interactions with everyone I came in contact with. Once, I was waiting for the bus when a woman struck up a conversation with me. After a few minutes, we realized that her daughter was a student in one of my classes (I was an English assistant in a collège). She invited me over for dinner the following night, and all of her daughter’s friends (most were my students as well) came over to chat with me about my life and American things, like Gossip Girl and Michael Jackson.
I saw your request for former exchange students who lived in France to talk about their positive experiences. I have to say that I will always remember my very first day in France. I’d never been so far away from home, I was terrified, and my french was absolute crap. The sheer number of complete strangers who made sure I was ok was phenomenal. I reached Saint Etienne, my host city, and two men on the bus made sure I got to my dorm without getting lost, even though they didn’t know me at all. <3
Coucou! I’m currently studying/working in Paris. I received a scholarship to travel the country and write about the food. My favorite trip was to Le Havre, where a local restaurant owner sat down and started talking to me. We talked about the history of Le Havre, and why it’s so different from everywhere else. It shocks people when I tell them this, but it’s honestly one of my favorite cities in France.
Hi there! Just wanted to share my awesome experience while in France. I was there for about five months doing study abroad, and what really made my trip was plugging into the things I like to do back home. For me, that was doing service (teaching in highgschools) and going to church. I was able to make a lot of really good friends both ways, teachers and fashion students, expats from other countries and a lot of really sweet French people who are still my friends. And the best part is, once you find your group and bring your hobbies and interests into play in another country, it immediately begins to feel like home and you become more at ease. The friends I made in Paris are some of the most loyal and genuine I’ve ever made and I’m excited to see a number of them this summer in NYC!
Well, I spent one semester in Besançon at a language institute studying French. It was really hard to integrate into French life because I was at a school with only international students all day long. The best thing that I did was live with a host family. All of my friends lived in CROUS housing. They were miserable and only spoke English because they were always together. My family was incredible; they taught me the history of the region, how to cook, we watched television together, and they made sure that I had time to sit and talk every night. I wound up loving it so much, that I came back in the fall as a lectrice in the local university. So, my recommendation is, wherever possible (and push if you need to), to live with a host family or in a colocation. They aren’t too difficult to find in France! Another piece of advice from my time here as a teacher, find the local university’s conversation table for English, or start one of your own, and make yourself available as a native speaker. You’ll make friends this way, and you and your new friends can split your time speaking French and English!
Thanks to all who submitted!
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