Home » France » Christopher GJ Cooley, Bordeaux

Christopher GJ Cooley, Bordeaux

Who are you?

My name is Christopher GJ Cooley, I come from the South-West of England.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I have lived abroad before but on this occasion I moved to Bordeaux at the end of summer in 2013. The main reason was to learn a second language.

What challenges did you face during the move?After being in the country just three days I was stricken down by a sudden crippling malady and had to get myself to hospital, and through hospital, with very limited French language skills.

How did you find somewhere to live? (e.g. how did you locate a suitable property? what was the buying/renting process like?)


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I first found a job. Then I asked around. A friend of a colleague had a friend who was leaving a flat and looking for someone to fill her room. It was simple but I guess I was lucky.

Are there many other expats in your area?

There are certainly a lot of expats in Bordeaux, many people from the UK and the USA.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

I think the relationship is good, Bordeaux feels like a very European city and I’m never made to feel out of place.

What do you like about life where you are?

I’m particularly fond of the urban cycling infrastructure in Bordeaux. I’m also very keen on the region’s red wine!

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Maybe its not such a big deal for a lot of people but coming from England I am not used to constantly being attacked by mosquitoes at night. I HATE MOSQUITOES!

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

I work in a bar and the way French people order – and the drinks that they order – is very different to the UK. In fact it is slowly driving all the English bar staff in Bordeaux insane. One example:

“A beer”

“Um… OK. A lager?”

“Err, yes”

“Pint or a half-pint?”

“Bah, normal.”

What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?

The food is great. I haven’t tried many restaurants yet but the ones I have are superb. I have also cooked and tasted some home-cooked classic French dishes.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Be patient, learning a language takes time. Well at least it does for me.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan on staying in France for a while. I have a rough plan in my head to work in the Alps this winter for the ski season.

Christopher shares more information about life in France through his blog Drinking it all in…


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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