Emigration advice: What do you wish you'd known?
May 17, 2009 11:41 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving country on Tuesday. For those who've done this before - what do you wish you'd known before you set out? Is there anything I can do now to make it easier?

Details: Moving from UK->France (Grenoble) for 1 year maybe 3 depending on contract status. I have a bank account, but no flat yet, and will be staying with a friend whilst I get one sorted. My husband's staying behind (but we plan to meet eachother at least once a month either visiting or catching up at conferences etc). I'm moving with a couple of bags rather than shifting my life over; I have every intention of returning to this house with my cats and garden and husband and so on (once I've finished my French adventure).

I'll be working in a uni. I'll be taking language classes as my French might be charitably classed as "intermediate".

I'm beginning to fret a bit.
posted by handee to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've done this once and am doing it again in about 3 weeks (but for a much shorter time this second time around). What I wish I did the first time and what I'm really trying to do now is: relax. Really. Just take deep breaths and relax. Try to keep your stress at a minimum. Everything will work out. It will.

Do stuff. Go out. Just because you aren't shifting your life, don't use that as an excuse to not get involved in things. Meet people. Make friends. Keep those friends you make when you go back home. Stay in touch with all your friends in the UK. Take loads of pictures. Write notes about the things you do so you'll remember them later.

Mostly: just enjoy yourself. And don't forget the breathing part.
posted by cooker girl at 11:54 AM on May 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

Things are drastically simpler moving from the UK to France so a lot of tedious issues are taken care of. The single biggest regret I often here is not taking advantage of the language. You already mention classes but it is easy to be lazy. Study study study and it will immeasurably improve your experience in France! Good luck.
posted by avex at 12:23 PM on May 17, 2009

Moving from Canada to the UK the one thing I wish had known more about was the legal differences. Things like renter's rights (or from my perspective the lack thereof in the UK) have had a big negative impact on my stay here.
posted by srboisvert at 1:30 PM on May 17, 2009

Take less stuff! You will have too much stuff from the get-go. But you can totally have The Hubster bring stuff with him on visits (the train's got more luggage allowance than the plane usually, btw...).

Study French AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY. Buy French newspapers, watch French TV, and try to write letters to your friends and relatives in French and let them decode your messages! My favorite free French-language resource online is this: http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/overview.html

Oh, and learn where the euro symbol, accents, and "°" are on your keyboard if you're not sure already. I live in Poland and only learned last week how to turn e into ę, which makes it a lot easier to write "thank you!" (dziękuję!) at the end of friendly e-mails.
posted by mdonley at 2:42 PM on May 17, 2009

Make photocopies (or get multiple 'real' copies, if possible) of important documents and identification, and keep them in a separate place. UK-->France it's maybe not so urgent or difficult, but it's always a good idea.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:11 PM on May 17, 2009

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