Could France be one of the most difficult countries to adapt to?

November 9, 2021 | xpath.global

Living in France as a foreigner can pose several challenges, as highlighted by the Expat Insider 2019 survey conducted by InterNations.

Survey Findings

Over 20,000 individuals participated in the survey, which ranked 64 countries based on personal finance, ease of settling in, quality of life, and work and family life. The survey aimed to provide insights into the experiences of expatriates worldwide and shed light on the factors influencing their satisfaction with life abroad.

France ranked 42nd out of 64 countries, scoring low in the “ease of settling in” category. This category encompassed various aspects of expat life, including the ease of finding housing, navigating local bureaucracy, and integrating into the community.

Language Barrier

The primary challenge identified by expats living in France was the difficulty in speaking the local language. Despite efforts to learn French, many foreign citizens found it challenging to become fluent, which hindered their ability to communicate effectively and integrate into French society.

Consequently, France ranked 61st out of 64 countries in the language category, reflecting the significant language barrier faced by expatriates. This barrier not only impacted day-to-day interactions but also affected expats’ access to employment opportunities and social connections.

Cultural Adaptation

In addition to the language barrier, the survey revealed challenges in cultural adaptation. Expats reported that the French culture can be markedly different from their own, requiring adjustments in behavior, communication styles, and social norms.

Furthermore, expats noted that locals sometimes appeared unwelcoming or reserved, making it challenging to establish meaningful relationships and friendships. This lack of social integration contributed to feelings of isolation and loneliness among expatriates living in France.

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