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Moving to France, has anyone any advice?

In May I’m moving to France for 8 months (a working holiday) and wondered has anyone lived in France? Do you have any tips for communicating etc for example in some countries what we see as innocent mannerisms/behaviours over here can be seen as rude elsewhere.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
Original post by Redfrost
In May I’m moving to France for 8 months (a working holiday) and wondered has anyone lived in France? Do you have any tips for communicating etc for example in some countries what we see as innocent mannerisms/behaviours over here can be seen as rude elsewhere.

Be careful, they're highly sexed!
Reply 2
Original post by JackF98
Be careful, they're highly sexed!


Oh, I know that ever single item is either a male or female, is this what you mean
Speak French.

You’re welcome.
Hey there, I'm French and currently living in the north! The French are very particular... and social codes are often region based. One thing you need to be prepared for kissing each other hello/goodbye on the cheek (although limited by covid, it still is a common practice). This is called "La bise". Also, French people are rude in general, they love to complain about EVERYTHING, don't take things too personal...
Where will you be next year? I might be able to give you some good recs...
Reply 5
Original post by flaviederville
Hey there, I'm French and currently living in the north! The French are very particular... and social codes are often region based. One thing you need to be prepared for kissing each other hello/goodbye on the cheek (although limited by covid, it still is a common practice). This is called "La bise". Also, French people are rude in general, they love to complain about EVERYTHING, don't take things too personal...
Where will you be next year? I might be able to give you some good recs...


Thanks, will be staying in Orsay for some time
Ah ok thanks for the heads up, I’m not keen on kissing lol. I visited Germany some time ago some locals were very abrupt but then I read in a handbook that they are just a lot more direct than the british. They would probably find my British politeness/long winded conversations annoying. It will be interesting!
Reply 6
In general, brushing up on some basic French might not be a bad idea. It'll be appreciated if you learn some words. But more generally:

If you visit a shop, for example, make sure you say "bonjour" to the person serving you, else it can be seen as rude.

Use "s'il vous plaît" (please) and "merci" (thank you) when necessary.

When addressing a stranger, e.g. if you need directions, always use "excusez-moi" followed by "monsier" (sir) or "madame" (miss).

*Edit - if you plan on visiting the Musée d'Orsay (Orsay Museum), beware of pickpockets that may try to target you outside.

Bonne chance!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Redfrost
Thanks, will be staying in Orsay for some time
Ah ok thanks for the heads up, I’m not keen on kissing lol. I visited Germany some time ago some locals were very abrupt but then I read in a handbook that they are just a lot more direct than the british. They would probably find my British politeness/long winded conversations annoying. It will be interesting!

Don't know that area well, good luck! Tbh for the kissing its not much of an international thing so it will only be when you meet frenchies. I 100% recommend you go on facebook/insta and look up international groups in your area, and find the local international bar, because that is definitely where you will want to get some friends first. frenchies are less open minded than international-minded people (believe me as a frenchie who lived 7 years abroad, it was a culture shock when I came back a few years ago and definitely was challenging for me)... but negative things aside, learn some basic french sayings to get around, and everything will be much simpler. Look online at what is available around you for students/young adults and take the opportunities to travel! SNCF is the national train network and has a lot of affordable options for a variety of people (mostly students and young working people) Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions/pm me!
Learn French
Reply 9
Original post by flaviederville
Don't know that area well, good luck! Tbh for the kissing its not much of an international thing so it will only be when you meet frenchies. I 100% recommend you go on facebook/insta and look up international groups in your area, and find the local international bar, because that is definitely where you will want to get some friends first. frenchies are less open minded than international-minded people (believe me as a frenchie who lived 7 years abroad, it was a culture shock when I came back a few years ago and definitely was challenging for me)... but negative things aside, learn some basic french sayings to get around, and everything will be much simpler. Look online at what is available around you for students/young adults and take the opportunities to travel! SNCF is the national train network and has a lot of affordable options for a variety of people (mostly students and young working people) Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions/pm me!


Merci, will certainly use those tips!
Original post by flaviederville
Don't know that area well, good luck! Tbh for the kissing its not much of an international thing so it will only be when you meet frenchies. I 100% recommend you go on facebook/insta and look up international groups in your area, and find the local international bar, because that is definitely where you will want to get some friends first. frenchies are less open minded than international-minded people (believe me as a frenchie who lived 7 years abroad, it was a culture shock when I came back a few years ago and definitely was challenging for me)... but negative things aside, learn some basic french sayings to get around, and everything will be much simpler. Look online at what is available around you for students/young adults and take the opportunities to travel! SNCF is the national train network and has a lot of affordable options for a variety of people (mostly students and young working people) Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions/pm me!


I’m actually going to say the opposite of your post. As a Brit who has lived in France for about 30 years I’d say avoid anything «*International*» as it will prevent you getting to know anything about the locals and after about 6 months when you’re starting to feel more at ease with the language you’ll realise that quite often the only thing you have in common with the people you’ve met in the International clubs is the fact that you are not French, and if you’d met them at home they wouldn’t be your friends.So if you’re only staying for 8 months I’d say try the total immersion approach and make the most of every minute. As for the French having funny mannerisms apart from the kissing thing that can go from one to four alternate cheek pecks, they really are quite easy going. The Brits to a Frenchman are like the Germans to us, far more disciplined and rigid. The French like having loads of rules but only actually follow them if there’s a chance of getting caught and having to pay a fine.
Original post by Redfrost
Oh, I know that ever single item is either a male or female, is this what you mean

No, I meant that they're obsessed with sex lol, but that is a good point about the lingo.

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