What do British expats regret about their move to France?

Posted on 14 Oct at 6 PM in France
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What do British expats regret about their move to France?

What do British expats regret about their move to France?

British expats in France tell of their biggect regrets concerning the move.

It’s a fact that very few Britons who’ve decided to make the move to France have any regrets as regards their new lifestyles, but some wish they’d done things differently at the start of their adventure. ‘If only’ is a common phrase used by Brit expats when a job doesn’t work out, a newbuild home is slightly disappointing or the choice of location missed out on somewhere even nicer.

One problem especially relevant for single female expats seems to be the reluctance of their French counterparts to form lasting friendships with newly-arrived incomers. This lack, if known in advance, might have resulted in a choice of destination popular with other expatriates in order to avoid loneliness. As one female expat puts it - girls need girlfriends. The opposite sex has it’s problems as well, especially if one reason for choosing France was the chance of meeting the love of one’s life.

Career issues can also be a disappointment, especially as regards retraining or getting further qualifications enabling upward mobility in the workplace. Would-be but unqualified English teachers are particularly vulnerable, as getting a TOEFL license after arrival can be tricky. The French language is another minefield for those who didn’t take at least a year or so of tuition before they left the home country. Many French people object to expatriates who haven’t made the effort to learn at least the basics.

Another minefield for many expats is the purchase of a traditional property which needs more than a few coats of paint to become liveable. Restoring an old barn or dilapidated cottage can be an expat’s worst-ever nightmare, especially if living in a caravan until the work is finished is the only option. Renting a home is also tricky, as many new arrivals don’t realise the best way is to get a full, one-year lease, thus ensuring stability whilst adjusting to a new environment.

Given the worldwide fame of French cuisine, it’s a surprise that some expats don’t take full advantage of the easily available culinary delights literally located almost on their doorsteps. It’s unbelievable that a number of Brit expats actually miss smoked back bacon, Marmite, Weetabix and even traditional fish ‘n chips! Regretting moving to France for this reason is incomprehensible at best, but it’s also true for a good number of Brits!

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