Moving to a foreign country
I'm moving to Paris tomorrow for hopefully a year. I'm a little nervous as my French is very bad but I'm hoping it will improve a lot.
Does anyone have any tips or experience they would want to share about their experience of moving to France or any other country?
What are you going to be doing in Paris? My big tip for you if you want to improve your French - get a French boy/girlfriend who speaks very little English. Worked for me :)
Culture shock is a completely normal thing. I do not know how much traveling you have done, but definitely be prepared for a little culture shock.
If you do not have any friends, try couchsurfing.org. Have fun!
Wow, good for you! Enjoy yourself and I'm sure within a very short time your French will improve...because it must.
When I moved to the Czech Republic, the first few months were the "honeymoon period". Everything was new and interesting. So my advice is enjoy those first few months and Joseph B is right, couchsurfing is an excellent way to meet people.
Given that you live in the UK, is it safe to assume you are British? If so, you'll probably have been to France many times before, and even if you haven't, culture shock will not be major factor. My experiences of living and visiting France over the years have all been very positive. I do speak French though, which is important. Many of my British friends who don't speak French have had a tough time with the locals in France as the French generally aren't too keen on speaking English in their own country, and why should they be? It's important to try and speak in French even if your level is low - it will go down well. Meanwhile, if you get homesick, it's only two and half hours to London on the Eurostar so escape is possible at almost any time. And for a cheaper fix of home, check out the Frog and Rosbif. It's hard to find good beer in France but you'll find some there.
I agree with James. Try and speak French as much as you are able. They will appreciate it. I discovered that the more I spoke French, the better the person's English became! I was trying to say something in French one time and was butchering the language so badly the lady chuckled and asked if I would like to speak in English. I think she just appreciated that I tried.
In Paris, if you're not a tourist, it will be not hard to be integrated. We love strangers and don't be afraid with the french, you will be able to switch to english language, even if we didn't get the english accent, a lot of people speak english here.
Do not hesitate to message me if you have questions about Paris, events, places, people..
Good luck! Making a leap overseas can be hard but it can also be very rewarding. When I moved to Korea many years ago I couldn't speak, read or write. It was quite the shock. One if the best things to do is join in when you can. Couch surfing, meet ups and find the expat community. And...keep a journal. 10 years from now you'll laugh, you'll cry from the experiences you had.
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