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France > Expat Experiences

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Catherine Broughton, Bourges and Charente-Maritime

Published Sunday June 17, 2012 (01:51:46)
Catherine Broughton
We faced inordinate difficulties when we moved to France, the worst being the bureaucracy. I set up my own little estate agency because my teaching qualifications just seemed to confuse the local Headmaster and he wasn’t interested. It was too far to drive anywhere else, I had three small children, my husband spoke no French whatsoever, and we needed money fast. At that time the British were still snapping up properties even in the centre of France, where we at that time lived.

The British do not realize how lucky they are. If you wake up tomorrow morning, in Britain, and decide you want to be, say, a hairdresser – hey presto, you can be a hairdresser. You may do the job well, or you may do the job badly, but you can do the job. The French have no such freedom. Being an estate agent without the appropriate qualifications carried a prison sentence – yes, a prison sentence!    more ...


Janine, Pas-de-Calais

Published Thursday April 19, 2012 (12:09:22)
I’m an ex Londoner and I bought an old farmhouse that needed a lot of work about ten years ago. I moved here full time a couple of years ago when I decided to take a sabbatical from my job as a freelance project manager for financial corporations. Within months I took in a stray cat and then 3 more and then 3 dogs. I act as chief gofer to my husband as we attempt to renovate the house and I grow all my own vegetables and fruit.

Many years ago I and my husband started taking my Dad on French day trips as he liked to shop for wine in Calais and we would have lunch in villages in the Pas-de-Calais area. After a couple of years we started to really like the country side around Calais, particularly the Seven Valleys region – a string of lovely rural villages linked by streams and rivers. Most people drive as quickly through Calais as they can, rushing off to the South of France but this area has an awful lot to offer – we feel we were lucky to discover it.    more ...


Claire Connor, Paris

Published Tuesday February 14, 2012 (03:17:55)
Claire Connor
My name is Claire and I'm originally from Nottingham, England. As part of my university studies, I spent one year living in Paris from 2008-2009, fell in love with the place and decided to come back for more in May 2011. I blog about my Paris experience on

I love the experience of living abroad: where even the tiniest thing can be a challenge and the simplest achievement, such as working out how to send registered mail or sorting out your health insurance, can seem like a real accomplishment. As well as having French friends, I also know a lot of international people and I never get bored of listening to people's stories as to what brought them here. I can't imagine moving home for the next few years: I love the food too much, the city is too pretty and the subtle cultural differences make everyday life much more interesting.    more ...


Laura, Lille

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (23:16:46)
My name is Laura and I am an American girl currently living in Lille, France. Find out more about my life in France on my blog: The Everyday Life of a Young American Girl in France, and keep up with me day to day on Twitter @LauraLaLilloise.

I spend a lot of my time being baffled by the French (including, but not limited to, their culture, food, and language), despite having a handy dandy interpreter in the form of my very own French boyfriend (otherwise known as FBF).

My junior year of college at the University of California in Santa Barbara, I took the plunge and studied abroad in Paris, France despite having taken only one quarter of French before I left. I fell in love with the language and the delicious cheese. Upon my return to UCSB, I decided to continue learning the French language, and graduated with a minor in French.    more ...


Vicki Riley, Nice

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (22:27:04)
Vicki Riley
My name is Vicki Riley, I was born in England, grew up in Shakespeare's county of Warwickshire and moved to Nice in 1999 for 6 months. 12 years later, I'm still here and I write a blog about my everyday life in the Cote d'Azur over at

I moved to Nice in 1999 as part of my degree course. I was studying French at the University of Nottingham and came to Nice to work as a teaching assistant for 6 months.

I fell in love with the South of France and extended my year out by another 12 months, during which I worked in a bar in Vieux Nice (not so different to teaching English to 8 year olds really)    more ...


Claire, the Camargue

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (22:23:08)
Saintes Marie de la mer
I am an English mademoiselle who moved to the South of France with her petit copain start a new enhanced way of life.

I love latin dancing, bloggin, reading, spending time with friends and family, learning French, experiencing new experiences everyday, living close to the beach.

My boyfriend and I met in England in 2008, we danced together and then fell in love and now we are living in the South of France. We moved to France in July 2010 after my boyfriend was transfer by his company in England to be the Director of the France office. Him being French this was to make it a bit easier. Plus his hometown in the South of France.    more ...


Richard Nahem, Paris

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (22:17:09)
Richard Nahem
My name is Richard Nahem, and I am a private tour guide in Paris and write a popular Paris blog

I lived in New York City all my life till I moved here 6 years ago in 2005. I had always dreamed about living in Paris since I first visited in the late 1970s.

I planned the move very well for about a year, so it actually went quite smoothly. I was also lucky to find an apartment within just a few weeks of moving. The only thing that was difficult was setting up utilities & bank accounts not knowing the language that well but I had friends help me. Also at some of the places they spoke English.    more ...


Stephanie Dagg, Creuse

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (22:11:32)
Stephanie Dagg
We are the Anglo-Irish Dagg family consisting of myself Stephanie and husband Chris, children Benjamin (now 19), Caitlin (now 17) and Ruadhri (9), and an ever growing menagerie of animals including alpacas, cats, dog, goats, guinea pigs, hens, llamas, rabbits and turkeys.

In August 2006 we left Co. Cork, Ireland, our home for the previous 15 years, and came to Creuse, France. We had always loved France, spending longer and longer on holiday there each year. A redundancy loomed and it was truly the 'now or never' moment for making the leap.    more ...


Harry, The Charente

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (22:04:29)
Sou-Sol bungalow
Many many years ago, way back in the 60s, I was stranded in France. The aircraft I was flying in developed engine trouble and we were forced to land and await parts from the U.K. before we could continue on our journey.

The wait and subsequent repair to the aircraft lasted about a week, so we were housed in a "transit hut" on the airfield, but were allowed to wander around the local area. That is when I said to myself...One day I'm going to live here.

Advance now to 2005, I am due for retirement, my wife, Sue, is six years younger so we decide I shall work on until she retires.

I have already started trying to prime her about a move to France but she is pooh-poohing the idea, saying we are staying here in the U.K.    more ...


Erica and Eric, La Cote St Andre

Published Monday November 28, 2011 (20:40:35)
Erica and Eric
My name is Erica; I am an American citizen living in France.

I am married to a French citizen. His name is Eric, and he lived in the US for over 20 years. I am an original cowgirl and poet from Cody, Wyoming and he is an outstanding jazz guitarist and guitar instructor educated in France with live music experience in the US and France. He is also a music gear specialist and an excellent salesman and manager!

I have lived in 5 different US states including, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Hampshire and Oregon. Most recently, I worked at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), in Portland, Oregon as Assistant Academic Advisor and International Studies Programmer.    more ...

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