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France

France > Expat Experiences

France

Cynthia Caughey, Chambery (French Alps)

Monday November 28, 2011 (21:17:34)
Cynthia Caughey
France

I’m a 51-year old American expat living in Chambery in the French Alps.

I moved here in 2008 to marry my fiancé, now husband, who is a French citizen. We met when I was vacationing in Provence on a train to Avignon. After a 2.5 year long distance relationship between Chambery and Los Angeles, I moved to France at the age of 49.

It was a very difficult decision since I left behind a city I loved and lived in for 26 years, dear friends, a thriving consulting business, a lovely home, and a six-figure income. Additionally, I never had an interest in France or spent any time there so I didn’t understand the culture. I had lived in Italy for three years and vacationed there for 20 years so I was oriented towards the Italian culture. Surprisingly, these two cultures are almost the opposite of each other so I had more culture shock than I expected to have.    more ...


France > Expat Experiences

France

Alan Simonds, Basse Normandy

Monday November 28, 2011 (21:13:03)
Alan Simonds
France

My name is Alan Simonds. Born in England in 1945 I lived in Balham with my parents and my brother until I was five. The family moved to New Zealand in 1950, but for various reasons my father decided to move us back to England in 1956. We then lived in Surrey where I went to a local Secondary Modern school leaving at 15 with no qualifications. I had always been interested in electronics and trained as an electronic wireman, working for various companies until I eventually became the Production Director of a company manufacturing equipment for the nuclear power industry.

In the early 80's my wife and I went to New Zealand for six months with the intention of emigrating, but at that time unless you were in a profession such as a doctor, nurse, teacher etc. or had a lot of money it was very difficult. On returning to the UK, I decided to go to university to study computing, taking an HND in Information Technology. My career then moved to IT support and systems management coupled with teaching Information Technology at an adult education centre.    more ...