After living here for several years, I’ve decided to compile a list of the questions that seem to be shot at me every time I meet a new person here. There is nothing wrong with that – people are just being nice and being interested in my life – but it sure does become repetitive!
So, here is some information that I find myself constantly answering in France. Maybe you’re interested, too!
How long have you lived in France?
I’ve been here for about 4 1/2 years total since 2010: 1/2 a year as a student in Caen, one year as an assistant, two years as a Masters student, and a year as a full time teacher. However, I’ve really “lived” here for nearly three years.
Do you like living in France?
Obviously I do, or else I wouldn’t be here! (This is my sassy answer.) I do enjoy French life and culture. Plus, the love of my life is here, as well as my trusted pup and bunny rabbit. I’ve made friends over the years (although several of them have moved back to the States), so I’m really starting to feel like I have a life here.
What do you miss the most from home?
My family. My friends. Tex-Mex food. Mexican food. Several cultures making up one big American culture. Good Asian food close to my house. Automatic cars. Outdoor pools / hot summers. I could probably continue the list but those are the things that come to mind first!
Which is better, France or the United States?
They are just different!
Do you like teaching high school English?
Just because I’m a native speaker does not mean I’m a good teacher, as most Frenchies assume. However, I do hope that the students can learn something different with me than they can with a French English teacher. I do try my best to share my own cultural experiences and knowledge, but how much they learn depends on the students as well.
Was it hard to learn French?
I started French class at Baylor in 2008 and studied it for two and a half years before spending a semester in Caen. When I got there it was pretty difficult to follow everything, but I’m so thankful I went there when I did. After my semester, I’m sure my language skills doubled. Now, I tell people that I’ve reached a plateau in my French skills. I still make errors on the genre or conjugaisons, but oh well, it’s just part of my Texan charm.
Do you and M speak in English or French?
M is basically bilingual. He lived in Ireland for a year while he was a student and his English is straight up amazing. When we met for the first time, we spoke English together. (We were in Dublin at the time.) I think something stuck, because we speak in English most of the time together. Sometimes I’ll speak in French and he’ll respond to me in English, or vice versa. I don’t know what makes us change!
How did you get a visa to work in France as an American?
M and I got PACSed (like a civil union) in July 2014. This gives me a visa de vie privée familiale, which automatically gives me the right to work.
Will you ever move back to the States?
It is a possibility!
How often to you get to see your family?
Usually twice a year. I went home for Christmas 2014, October break 2015, my parents came for March break 2016, and I’ll be home for a few days in October 2016. Maybe for Christmas too? Who knows. I also have more and more friends coming to visit, which is lots of fun!