Expats in France slam survey citing French unfriendliness

Expats in France slam survey citing French unfriendliness

Expats in France slam survey citing French unfriendliness

France has long been a favourite destination for British and other nationals looking for a new life and new experiences, with the majority more than happy with their choice. '

Many long- and short-term expats living in France are astonished by the published results of a recent survey stating the French are amongst the most unfriendly people on the planet and invariably make new arrivals feel unwelcome. In the InterNations survey, France came a miserable 55th out of the 65 countries surveyed, with the so-called French lack of friendliness towards foreigners a major reason for its fall. Even so, France was placed higher than Britain with its 56th place, Denmark with its 60th, Switzerland with its 63rd and Austria with its 64th. I

nterNations explained France’s poor showing by saying most expats find integration very difficult due to the unfriendly attitudes of French people, a statement it might well live to regret as the number of respondents who slated the French totalled just 30 percent of those polled, twice the world average of 16 per cent but still 70 per cent short of total condemnation. Expats, according to the survey results, struggle to make friends locally and don’t feel at home with French culture.

A shower of negative comments by respondents was used to back up the survey’s findings, including describing locals as ‘distant’, ‘dismissive’ and ‘unwelcoming’, with respondents referring to the language barrier as insurmountable and leading to isolation. Since the results came out, expat Francophiles have responded in kind, describing the kindness, friendliness and welcome they’d received in their own personal experiences, although many pointed out it’s essential to learn the language.

In general, the sharing of friendly, positive experiences in the adopted country was based on interactions with local people, as some expats didn’t consider their negative experiences with local bureaucrats as fond memories! One female expat told it like it is, saying French people are welcoming – it’s the government that’s unfriendly and unwelcoming, whilst others reasonably pointed out that’s the same everywhere in the world.

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