For francophone Canadians who live in Quebec, many aspects of French life may be quite familiar to their everyday routine. Those looking for tips for relocating to France, however, should know that the two countries are quite different.
Known as one of the great welfare states of Europe, France prides itself on not working nearly as hard or as long as some other EU nations. It has proven to work quite well, since France’s GDP is second-strongest in the entire EU and shows no sign of slowing down. The average work week is only thirty-five hours, retirement is available at age sixty, and three to five weeks of vacation are permitted per year. This makes France one of the best places in the world to live for anyone who wants to find work, but not too much work. In comparison to the hustle of Canadian corporate world, it may be a paradise for some.
Perhaps not part of French culture is as well-regarded as its food, and for good reasons. While frog legs may be one of the first dishes that come to mind, there are a bevy of different French entrees that you cannot find anywhere else on earth. Begin with any number of cheeses, from brie to mariemont, then add olives and grapes for an appetizer. Au jus is a method of stewing a piece of meat in its own juices, then serving it alongside a crispy baguette.
Seafoods like oysters and shrimp are rich additions to the French diet, especially in the thick cream sauces that turn any dish into a true memory. Once you have finished dinner, have some dessert — whether you would like custards or bombasse cakes, there are plenty of options. Wash it down with the red and white wines of the nation, source of a great deal of national pride, including the Bordeaux wines that cannot be called Bordeaux unless bottled with grapes grown in the region.
French Canadians will not have a problem speaking French in France, although the attitudes of many French is that the Canadian dialect is not the “true tongue”. An Anglo Canadian can quickly learn French, since the language is similar to English, in a matter of months, although there is a great deal of bilingualism and trilingualism in France to ease the language gap.
Any Canadian needs a bit of advice when they go abroad for a few days or a few years. If you are interested in relocating to France, we at Canuck Abroad can help you find valuable information that will make your relocation hustle free.