20 Things I’ve learnt from my time in France


1. School secretaries can be your best friends or the ultimate enemies.

2. You WILL be expected to sing. Solo, in front of 30 children. And there is no way of getting out of it by declaring your inability to do so. On a brighter note, the kids will love you for it!

3. Never underestimate the appreciation of your students, or of your school. You may just end up with some nice leaving gifts at the end!

4. Adolescent girls are mean, even though they are the ones that think that Washington is the capital of England…

5. You need to be a walking Français – Anglais dictionary to be a teacher. Works wonders for your charades skills.

6. Young French children love word searches, telling you stories about their friend’s cousin’s grandmother and funny cat pictures. They are also unsure as to whether cars exist in England.

The Culture:

7. When speaking to French natives, pretend that French food is your favourite.

8. The supermarket checkout ladies hate their jobs. They hate their customers more.

9. French ‘youths’ will do anything to get out of paying bus/train/metro fares.

10. The French like to practise their schoolboy/girl English, the minute they discover that you are English. Awkward for everyone.

11. Men will stare at you and try to start a conversation, no matter what time of day it is or what you look like.

12. France/Toulon seems to have a ridiculous normal : weird ratio. Particularly on the buses.

13. It is normal practice to walk around holding baguettes.

14. It doesn’t rain in the south of France. It monsoons.

15. Jeans are appropriate for all occasions in weather of up to 27 degrees. Apparently.

16. Christmas is an excuse to whack out your Aladdin costumes.

The food:

17. The French can’t do chips.

18. Life is better with lots of cheese and lots of bread.

19. The French can’t do Indian food.

20. Wine doesn’t count as alcohol.

This list will definitely grow…


4 responses to “20 Things I’ve learnt from my time in France

  1. yes to the french not doing indian food. one I went to with french friends and they were all like ‘mais c’est TROP bon’ – and you just have to roll your eyes because it was so standard. Take me back to Manchester, anyday.

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