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A Slower Pace – Living in France

Getting to live abroad is the chance of a lifetime. And getting to live in France is a dream come true.             But before you pack up your things and move to the French countryside, there are a few things you should know about culture, language, and living in France.

Learning French

Probably the most important thing you can do to make the most of your time living in France is to learn to speak French. While many people in France, especially in large cities, do speak English, you will be much better received if you at least make the effort to speak French. Take a class before you move, either a traditional class or one online, and brush up on your vocabulary. The French people are proud of their language, and are generally quick to help if you make the effort to learn their language. The more you speak, the better you will become. In fact, totally immersing yourself in the language is the quickest way to learn.

Embrace the Differences

French kitchens can be quite small. Many people shop daily and while there are several large supermarket chains a lot of grocery shopping is done at local markets. Even in many of thesmaller villages you will find fruite and veg markets one day a week. If there is not butcher in the village often a butchers van will come round, and of course buying bread from the bakery is a daily ritual. While McDonalds have cropped up around the country, fast food isn’t really a part of life as it is in the United States. Living in France you will learn to embrace the slower pace of French meals and the joy that is associated with eating. When you read about how “French women don’t get fat,” one of the main reasons is that they walk instead of drive to get places. Smoking is also much more accepted in France than in the United States even though smoking in public places is by law banned. Restaurants often have a  smoking section too, sometimes quite close to the non smoking section. Living in France you will also find that the French take leisurely lunch breaks and long vacations. They love life, and there is a culture of living life to its fullest. Be sure to take your lunch breaks, enjoy sitting in a café, and using the opportunity of your vacation to see what else Europe has to offer.

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