Largest British expat communities in France

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Largest British expat communities in France


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Old 3rd May 2011, 04:30 AM
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Default Largest British expat communities in France

Can someone please identify the 5 to 10 largest British expat communities in France? I am considering a move to France and trying to narrow the list of possible communities.

Thanks very much

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Old 3rd May 2011, 05:53 AM
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Can someone please identify the 5 to 10 largest British expat communities in France? I am considering a move to France and trying to narrow the list of possible communities.

Thanks very much
Welcome to the Forum Micha,

I can't list them but there certainly is a large British Expat community in nearby (to Me) Pezenas. This is there local magazine: French English magazine for the Languedoc mai 2011

I don't know what nationality you are but one criticism you hear a lot from the French about the Brits is that many, Not All, stay together in little enclaves, do not attempt to learn the language or try to integrate in French society.

May I suggest that you'll have a much richer experience in France if you "go native" a little.

Good Luck
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Old 3rd May 2011, 05:57 AM
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Due to the French notions of "assimilation" they don't really encourage the identification of distinct foreign "communities" as such. There are clusters of Brits (and/or other anglophones) in certain areas - mostly the larger towns.

Paris and the Paris region probably have the largest numbers of expats of all nationalities. The Cote d'Azur is another anglophone area, along with Aix en Provence. There are quite a few Brits in Normandy (due, I suppose, to its proximity to the southern English coast), though more spread out than in the larger cities.

You should also probably know that outside the Paris area, the locals definitely resent the "English" who stick to themselves and "refuse to learn the language." (Or so they tell me, anyhow.)
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Old 3rd May 2011, 06:59 AM
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Ahhh...but it is hypocritical for sure. I was involved with the sizable French community in Dallas. There you have the NA HQ for Accor and Alcatel with large number of French expats. They would all live literally in the same neighborhood, same schools, same French Drs., realtors, everything. Go to a party, only French. I was one of two American husbands in the group. We would hardly ever be invited to the guy outings like tennis or take in a basketball game...we weren't French...and we knew most of them for 5+ years!

Once I got the French citizenship, that rubbed a few the wrong way too. Yet, they all want their Green card to stay...and want their children to be US citizens born there.

I disagree with that type if isolation and want to experience the culture wherever I am. In France, you will be isolated to the English only speaking community unless you really try and work on the language. To make friends, you will need to be assertive as well...inviting ppl to do things. It will take time to really make French friends here...
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Old 3rd May 2011, 07:26 AM
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Ahhh...but it is hypocritical for sure. I was involved with the sizable French community in Dallas. There you have the NA HQ for Accor and Alcatel with large number of French expats. They would all live literally in the same neighborhood, same schools, same French Drs., realtors, everything. Go to a party, only French. I was one of two American husbands in the group. We would hardly ever be invited to the guy outings like tennis or take in a basketball game...we weren't French...and we knew most of them for 5+ years!

Once I got the French citizenship, that rubbed a few the wrong way too. Yet, they all want their Green card to stay...and want their children to be US citizens born there.

I disagree with that type if isolation and want to experience the culture wherever I am. In France, you will be isolated to the English only speaking community unless you really try and work on the language. To make friends, you will need to be assertive as well...inviting ppl to do things. It will take time to really make French friends here...
Given the prevailing prejudicial climate many ignorant Americans feel toward the French, it comes as no surprise your friends would tend to associate among themselves. My wife is French. I can't tell you how many stupid jokes I had to endure about those "snobbish, dirty, unshaven (women) cheese-eating surrender monkeys, said in a mock French accent". The level of ignorance boggles the mind! Fortunately, there are Americans, such as yourself, who are more enlightened.

Cheers

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Old 3rd May 2011, 07:42 AM
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Given the prevailing prejudicial climate many ignorant Americans feel toward the French, it comes as no surprise your friends would tend to associate among themselves. My wife is French. I can't tell you how many stupid jokes I had to endure about those "snobbish, dirty, unshaven (women) cheese-eating surrender monkeys, said in a mock French accent". The level of ignorance boggles the mind! Fortunately, there are Americans, such as yourself, who are more enlightened.

Cheers
lol...yes, I know exactly what you mean. We have an English friend in Dallas, you should have heard the dinner party bantering between her and my ex-wife as well. I quite enjoyed it and would toss my comments to rile them both up.

I also have an English friend that calls himself a "Wexan"...he is now dual citizen, been in Texas 15 years...but is Welsh.

Don't get me started on the whole "French Fries" thing done at Congress...

One of the problems I have with the US mindset is the dominate majority "average American" has very little experience with anything in the international community...and prefer to soak up the limited true news vs. get out there an open their minds as to why different cultures do and act in certain ways (or draw different conclusions than themselves).

But as this is off-topic...back to the OP. You will find plenty of English groups near any of the major towns...some will be more transient English with vacation houses, others retirees, and still others working expats. It will depend on region, etc. on the make up of those groups.

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Old 3rd May 2011, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by xchaos777 View Post
lol...yes, I know exactly what you mean. We have an English friend in Dallas, you should have heard the dinner party bantering between her and my ex-wife as well. I quite enjoyed it and would toss my comments to rile them both up.

I also have an English friend that calls himself a "Wexan"...he is now dual citizen, been in Texas 15 years...but is Welsh.

Don't get me started on the whole "French Fries" thing done at Congress...

One of the problems I have with the US mindset is the dominate majority "average American" has very little experience with anything in the international community...and prefer to soak up the limited true news vs. get out there an open their minds as to why different cultures do and act in certain ways (or draw different conclusions than themselves).

But as this is off-topic...back to the OP. You will find plenty of English groups near any of the major towns...some will be more transient English with vacation houses, others retirees, and still others working expats. It will depend on region, etc. on the make up of those groups.
Many Americans (Not All) are ignorant not only about other cultures, but there own as well. Their knowledge of geography (No, you can't take a cruise ship to Paris), history, government, literature (Not DC Comics), art, science etc is appalling.

They can however tell you who is in the lead for the the latest reality show or who won last night on Dancing With the Stars.

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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:24 AM
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(No, you can't take a cruise ship to Paris):
Actually, you can. Mainstream cruise lines (such as Royal Caribbean and NCL) advertise the port of Le Havre as "Paris (LeHavre)" and offer excursions to Paris from the port.

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Old 3rd May 2011, 12:05 PM
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Actually, you can. Mainstream cruise lines (such as Royal Caribbean and NCL) advertise the port of Le Havre as "Paris (LeHavre)" and offer excursions to Paris from the port.
I stand corrected. What I meant was a large luxury liner like the Queen Mary going non-stop. It might have a little difficulty negotiating the Seine.

Cheers

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Old 3rd May 2011, 06:25 PM
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I took a look at this thread because I am living in Spain but planning to move to France. I'm hoping to stay away from any large enclave of Brits! I am surrounded by them here. Almost none of them speak any Catalan or Spanish, they talk about it, but don't make the slightest effort to integrate in any way. But they do complain. A lot. And I've run out of things to say when they complain to me that the doctor or the plumber doesn't speak English. This is not why I will be moving (well, not completely), but I sure don't want to be surrounded by it again.

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Welcome to the Forum Micha,

I don't know what nationality you are but one criticism you hear a lot from the French about the Brits is that many, Not All, stay together in little enclaves, do not attempt to learn the language or try to integrate in French society.

May I suggest that you'll have a much richer experience in France if you "go native" a little.

Good Luck

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