I have lived overseas for 7.5 years. Like most expats and migrants, every week I am being asked the top 10 French expat FAQ.
1. What’s your background? At first this question would confuse me. I wasn’t sure if people meant professional background or field of study. Since I learnt it’s just the Australian diplomatic way to ask “where do you come from?”
2. Where in France are you from? I have developed a standard answer: “I was born in Paris but I grew up in the South of France“. I noticed all people hear is ‘PARIS’. Then they start telling me about their last trip there and how much they loved it. Or worse, they tell me about their upcoming trip and ask for recommendations. I left Paris when I was 4. Most tourists now it better than I do!
3. Do you like it here? I can’t imagine the face of people if I was to answer, “no actually, I don’t!”. I should try once, just for fun 🙂 Luckily I do love it here, and that always brings a big smile to the face of whoever asked the question. I justify by explaining how grateful I feel for the opportunities I have had since moving here. Sometimes I also mention the lovely weather, amazing wildlife and friendly people 🙂
4. Do you miss home? Of course I do. I am from France! Not from a war zone country which I always dreamt of escaping. The good thing is after so many years of living away from home, I got used to it, and it has become easier and easier to be far from family and friends.
5. What do you miss most about home? Family and friends always come first. Then THE FOOD. Indeed. (I always say the food here is great though – because it is pretty good.)
6. Are you going to stay in Australia forever? Who knows. As much as I love Australia, it is a very isolated part of the world and with my parents growing old it is worrying and making me feel guilty to be so far from them.
7. Why brought you here? My aussie fiance. We met in London in 2006, we were both living there.
8. Did you learn English at school? I sure did, from the age of 12 (compulsory). It took me 10 years of theoretical learning and over 2 years of in-country practice to speak it fluently. The hardest challenge of my life so far. But I made it and it’s highly rewarding to live a life in a different language.
9. Can you cook French food? I love to think I can. Even if it’s only 1 or 2 recipes!
10. Do you eat snails? No way! How gross!
Are you an expat?
What questions are you asked most often?