Non, je ne regrette rien

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WOW, what an experience. We already live in France for more than three months and we’ve learned so much. France is so close to Belgium, it’s a neighboring country, but the culture is so different. To be honest, I was really scared to move to France. I love to move and go to new places, but France is the one country I was scared for. It’s because there are so many stereotypes about this country. Think about all those movies and series about France. I was scared for the language and the people.

In this blog I will shortly talk about:


The things I heard about the French people is that they are rude or arrogant, they can’t or won’t speak English, they smoke and drink a lot, they are bad drivers, etc.

I’m so glad that I just did this adventure, because for me the stereotypes are broken. The French are amazing, I really love them. I think in every country you have different types of people and of course I met rude people but not more than in any other country I visited. Besides that, their English is not that bad, at least they try.

My experience was that they want to speak English, but they are a little shy to speak it. When they speak English I understand them, they don’t learn that much English in school and most of the time they listen to French music. The English movies and series are also spoken over (dubbed) in French, so I understand it’s not easy for them and I love that they have the courage to speak it.

To be honest, some stereotypes are right like the food in France is delicious. From starters to desserts, it’s hard to eat bad in France because it’s practically all good. You see a lot of people walking around with baguettes in their hands. All the food you find in a bakery is so good. We loved the viennoiserie, these are baked goods like croissants, pain au chocolat, etc. Besides that, there is the cheese, the pastries, the wine, the champagne, etc. I could go on but there is so much food France has to offer, it would need multiple blogs to explain them al. With this said I think you understand that I like the food and that this stereotype is correct.

Another stereotype is that they wear a ‘béret’ (for women) and ‘casquette’ (for men). Some people wear it, others don’t, it’s what you prefer but in other countries you don’t see it that often and in France you do. Just like pétanque, it’s a game they play in a lot of countries but in France it’s big. So many people play it there, the young and the old, it’s for all.

Okay I could go on with all the stereotypes, but I hope you get it. Everywhere in the world there are stereotypes and I think it’s important to know that there are stereotypes but it’s best to leave them behind and experience the country without any prejudice. It’s easier said than done because I had many prejudices and before I went to France, I acknowledge them so I could try to leave them behind. I just wanted to experience the country my way instead of the stories of others.    

So, I learned a lot during my adventure in France.


In Belgium you start learning French when you’re 12 years old in school. French is an official language in Belgium (there are three official languages Dutch, French and German). I learned French in school from 12 years until 18 years. To be honest, I didn’t like French because I was bad at it. After my 18th I never spoke French again until now, I’m 26 years. I thought I didn’t know anything anymore. My first week was hard, I spoke English and didn’t understand anybody. The weeks were passing by and bit by bit my French came back.

The French people speak different than how we learned in school. They make words shorter like ‘dac’ instead of ‘d’accord’ and ‘bonap’ instead of ‘bon appetit’. They speak really fast and don’t say every word like ‘sais pas’ instead of ‘je ne sais pas’. Besides that, they also speak verlan (‘l’envers’). It’s a type of argot in the French language. It means that they turn words backwards, reversed for example they say ‘meuf’ instead of ‘femme’ and ‘ouf’ instead of ‘fou’ and ‘mec’ instead of ‘keum/garçon’.

Right know my French is not great, I’m still a beginner, but people understand me and most of the time I understand them. My grammatic is still basic, so is my French but my words expanded, and I can talk with French people (I did it all the time, no idea how).

Internship experience

During the lunchbreak, the French people take their time. They enjoy their meal. In Belgium I used to eat fast and sometimes during my work, but in France you take a one-hour break and enjoy your meal. You finish your day when you finish your work. So, normally I worked until 6 pm but if I finish at 5.30 pm then I can go home. Of course, some days I work longer than 6 pm if I’m not finished.

I loved working in France because they take it easier. They also work hard but it’s different than working in Belgium. In Belgium you can always improve, while in France if you do your work correctly it’s okay. I always want to do better and in France they saw that and acknowledged my work, you get appreciated. I’m glad I had this experience, but I don’t think it’s the same in every company. I was lucky that they were so helpful and sweet to me. I had the best colleagues, they are amazing!

Voyage voyage

Okay, what’s next? Voyage, which means traveling.

There is so much going on in this world and I really wanted to clear my head. I looked up the hardest long-distance trail of Europe and that’s how I found the GR20.

The GR20 is a long-distance trail in Corsica, it’s 180 km through the mountains. Corsica is an island from France and a lot of French people go there on vacation, so let’s go…

I’m going to write a blog about my other travels in France.

That’s it for my Life in France, ‘La vie en France’, stay tuned for my next adventures.

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