Here are some updates from our Living in France Expat Forum, which covers an expat report, some forum activity and a report about securing a mortgage in France.
Here is a France Culture Shock Report from Courbevoie from an expat that took the opportunity to get a few things off their chest:
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
I merely dislike most of how things are organized in France. I prefer freedom which is lacking here. I still shop by phone in the USA and have everything sent to me. I refuse to shop in France for anything except medical care and food.
What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.
I notice I get angry when I order something, pay for it, and they refuse to return your money when the product is defective or improperly prepared.
I also dislike the lack of customer service here. I understand all transactions here must be final in order for the state to be certain of its revenue. This is why I refuse to shop in France.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
I like they are helpful when you are lost on the streets. I also like they have helped my 87 year old grandfather when he goes shopping. I also appreciate that all members of the family are invited to dinner.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Just getting used to the French who are always afraid and scared. This is due to their training to be docile to authority. France is run like a civilian military, so you have to do things accordingly, but all is administered by uncaring state agents.
Two expats are looking for some help on finding an expat opportunity in France. Here is what the originator of the topic included:
I am looking for an expat opportunity. I am an American with a Bachelors and a Masters in Economics. I also have an MBA and a certificate in Corporate Treasury Management.
I currently work for Bank of America in the credit policy group and have experience in pubic consulting with Deloitte and government. My current salary is 125K USD.
I am open to all opportunities and would be traveling with my wife and two young children.
Any advice on places I can look would be appreciated.
Please offer some advice if you’ve got it for someone with his qualifications!
And finally, there was a recent report about the difficulty of expats in France getting mortgages:
French banks are tightening the reins and saying “non” to some non-residents wanting mortgages.
Those affected are expat borrowers without large deposits or with insufficient income levels to match their requirements.
And while expats may find their mortgage applications turned down, French residents are also having a tougher time getting home loans.
However, the grass is still greener in France than in the UK. House prices are up about eight percent year on year while in the UK, Halifax’s house price index recorded a 4.2 per cent fall. And the credit crunch was not so bad in France, where sub-prime mortgages were rare.
Interesting how though it’s getting tough in France, it’s still tougher in the U.K. Makes one wonder how that might affect the British expats that have been reported to be on the way home due to the financial and housing crises.