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The French and how to Integrate

French People

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It is always stereotypical writing in general about a population of 60+ million. However, not just because I’m English (I have two French grandmothers as well), but the French are “different”. That is to say, you may take a while to adapt to their culture. Firstly, I found the French are in general not as welcoming as other the majority of other Europeans - but maybe it was just Grenoble. If you’re a girl then you have an advantage because French guys are known to be “charming” and in my vocabulary sometimes “sleazy”. I consider myself social guy, good at holding conversations with almost everyone I meet, but I found it rather difficult to integrate at many of the French house parties that my female housemates had been invited to. I succeeded, but not without a lot more effort than I’m used to. Wearing some sort of controversial shirt is a good idea; for me, an Englishmen in an All Black rugby shirt worked nicely. In the end, it is a good idea to sign up for a Tandem and a Perrin, simply to meet French people, who introduce you to their friends etc. You’ll find more about this through Intègre, who are a student organisation of the university to help people settle in, and are based in the EVE building (http://www.integre-grenoble.org/website/).

On the other hand, there are so many Erasmus people in Grenoble, so if you head to any of the integration nights you are almost guaranteed to meet a lot of people. I found the Columbians, Mexicans, Brazilians and Greeks good fun. They have completely different cultures and I got to practise my Spanish as well!

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