PACS is 10 years old

PACSing was created in France in late 1999, originally as an alternative to gay marriage, but straight couples are also allowed to get PACSed. In 2000, there were 22,108 PACS. In 2008, the number had risen to 144,716. However, less than 6% of the PACS in 2008 were gay couples. The majority of PACS are actually straight couples who intend to eventually get married, or who get PACSed for the tax benefits. These statistics are probably unwelcome to the anti-PACS crusaders who claim it deteriorates the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Too bad the divorce rate is still much higher (about 50%) than the de-PACSing rate (about 15%).

Recently couples have been celebrating their PACS in their town halls. PACSing is actually done at the tribunal, but couples nowadays in certain cities can also go to the mairie to have another ceremony that resembles a marriage ceremony. (Remember in France all marriage ceremonies must be done at the town hall. Church weddings are not legally binding because separation of church and state actually exists here.)

I have yet to come across statistics on how many PACS partners are foreigners though. I’m interested in knowing how many foreigners get PACSed just for the right to live in France legally (provided their préfecture actually gives them a carte de séjour). It’s not exactly law, but usually non-EU citizens who are PACSed to a French citizen or even another EU citizen can get a visitor residency card for a year, and then after that, they will have the right to live and work in France like any EU citizen.

David and I have been PACSed since March 2007 and I now have the right to live and work in France thanks to being PACSed. I still have to renew my residency card every year, and I have to wait longer to apply for citizenship (5 years instead of the 4 required if you’re married to a French citizen); but it’s worth it to not be separated from David just because we were born in different countries.

So happy 10 years PACS! Here’s to hoping that all countries someday allow civil unions AND marriage to ALL people.

Where does the time go?

I’ve finished my first full week of classes (all 16.5 hours) and even though I only work Monday-Wednesday, I am exhausted! I would prefer to work 4 hours a day over 4 days, but the students don’t have classes on Thursday afternoons because of sports. So as of 6:30pm Wednesday evening, I am en week-end. […]

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I.D. se prononce Heidi

I somehow came across the French School of Detroit’s site when I was reading France-Amérique and I thought their page on American vocabulary was so cute. The students’ parents are not always fluent in English, so they explained a few American words that the parents will probably encounter. Lunchbox: Concrètement, il s’agit des repas pour vos […]

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My new favorite applet for teaching and learning languages online: NanoGong

I just discovered this awesome applet called NanoGong from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. It’s a mini-recorder that you can use on webpages (and Moodle) and it will work perfectly in my vocabulary classes! The students listen to my pronunciation (by using flash mp3 players that I already embedded into the flashcards) […]

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Year Four Begins…

I completely missed my 3 year anniversary of living in France! In some ways, it seems longer than 3 years. In other ways, not so much. Year four brings a new apartment and city to discover, the same job but new students to teach, and another year closer to officially becoming French. I feel like […]

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My rentrée is almost here

Tomorrow I will finally start classes again! We are just doing placement tests so we can divide the groups by level, but it’s still work, especially since we’re using our lovely computer lab with Windows 2000 and so far 3 out of 18 of the computers are already dead. New computers will be installed, but […]

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Colloquial French Grammar

I just finished reading Colloquial French Grammar by Rodney Ball, which I highly recommend to those who want to learn the “rules” of everyday spoken French. You do have to have some knowledge of French because sometimes there are no translations given, and a linguistics background would be helpful to understand all of the grammatical […]

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Hot Potatoes and Audio Flashcards

As of September 1, 2009, Hot Potatoes (and Quandary) became freeware software. Anyone can download and use the flashcard and exercise authoring programs, whether or not you’re affiliated with a university or upload your work to the web. I use HP for work and for my website. I’ve made several flash cards and quizzes for French, […]

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Foire de Savoie

Last night David & I went to the Foire de Savoie, mostly because one of their main exhibits was Tahiti et ses îles and I’m still really interested in seeing French Polynesia one day. Everyone was dressed in traditional Polynesian outfits and they were selling flowers, oils, jewelry, clothes and vacations to Tahiti. They even […]

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Hazardous Effects of Dubbing

Ok, maybe not hazardous, but the effects sure are annoying. France dubs almost all foreign TV shows and movies into French instead of leaving the original spoken language and adding subtitles. I absolutely hate it because the lips don’t match the words, the voices don’t match the actors, and it’s really distracting when the French […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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