How to make great new friends in France
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If you’re wondering how easy or difficult it might be to make friends and connections in France, this handy advice might help
Q: "Myself and my partner want to move to France, but our main worry is that we will become isolated and miss our friends and family back in the UK too much, do you have any advice for making new friends and connections in France?"
A: Dennelle Taylor Nizoux, president of Renestance which offers relocation services to France, said: "The number one way to improve your chances of making friends, and your overall experience living in France, is to learn French.
"One of the most delightful milestones is cracking a joke in your new language. And when you can finally express your personality freely in French, you know you've made it! You often make friends while learning French too, thanks to group classes or conversation exchanges.
"Another way to avoid isolation is to reach out to other expats. There are loads of Facebook groups and forums for English-speakers where you can find people near you. Often, going to an English pub or another place where expats hang out is enough to find that first person. You only need one or two people you're friendly with to begin building your social circle. Many Britons in our area help out at pet shelters or with La Croix Rouge. This is actually a good way to meet both locals and expats.
"Finally, the best way to meet like-minded people is by pursuing your interests. If you play tennis, for example, join the local tennis club and meet people who share your interest. If you like painting, take an art class through the town cultural centre.
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"As for staying in touch with family and friends back home, there are a few things you can do. For those in your close circle, it's a good idea to set up regular times to call and put them in the diary. If it's not scheduled, people get busy and time passes and then months have flown by since you last spoke.
"Even better than a phone call, try to get some face time with a video call, like Skype or another free app. Seeing each others' faces is much more satisfying than voice only, especially when talking to young children. And best of all, of course, would be in-person visits. There are many low-cost carriers now who make it easy and economical to go back or have your loved ones come to see your fabulous new home in France!"
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