What’s Changing in France in 2009

  • France no longer holds the presidency of the European Union. The Czech Republic takes over for the next 6 months, followed by Sweden.
  • Twenty universities will be autonomous and independent from the state. They will be able to make their own budget and charge their own fees & tuition. If all goes well with these “test” universities, all universities in France could become independent within 5 years.
  • No more commercials between 8pm and 6am on all state channels, starting January 5. No commercials at any time starting in 2011.
  • SNCF should announce a new reduction card for disadvantaged and single-parent families sometime in January.
  • The Carte Orange will disappear in Ile-de-France in February, being completely replaced by the pass Navigo.
  • MInimum cost for a taxi will be 6 € with an increase in fare of 3.2%.
  • The owners of cars that pollute at least 250 g of CO2 per kilometer will have to pay 160 € each year as a “malus.”
  • Employers will have to reimburse employees 50% of their abonnement on public transportation for their commute to work.
  • Employees in the private sector who do not want to retire at age 65 may work until 70, even without the consent of their employer.
  • Mutuelles are increasing their prices by up to 4% to offset new taxes designed to finance the health insurance system.
  • Household insurance will increase by 2 to 5%. Car insurance will remain the same, or even decrease.
  • All banks can now offer the Livret A savings account to their customers.
  • The TV tax (added into the taxe d’habitation) will be 118 € instead of 116 €.
  • Passports, which are now biometric, will cost more: 89 € for adults, 45 € for 15-18 year olds, and 20 € for under 15.
  • The new organization involved in the merger of ASSEDIC and ANPE, called Pôle Emploi, starts operating January 5.
  • The revenu de solidarité active (RSA) will take effect July 1st, and replace the RMI (which is now 454.63 € for a single person with no children.)
  • Low-income housing benefits will be révalorisé de 2.95% while the prestations familiales will increase by 3%.

As 2008 Ends…

+-*I’ve got 2009 already planned as the Year of Travel. The second semester begins January 19 and finishes at the end of April. We’re going to the Dominican Republic during spring break for my brother’s wedding. I’ve got a few exams – maybe two days? – to proctor in May & June, but in the […]

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Decide Already! Yes or No? France or Quebec?

+-*Je n’arrive pas à décider si je veux faire un deuxième Master. J’ai obtenu mon Master en linguistique et enseignement de l’anglais langue étrangère aux Etats-Unis en 2007, ce qui m’a permis de trouver du travail en France (comme assistante et lectrice). Pourtant, je ne suis pas sûre de vouloir enseigner l’anglais à l’avenir. J’aimerais […]

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A Few Ways to Say It

+-*Joyeux Noël ! Buon Natale! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Zalig kerstfeest! God Jul!

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I want a Michigan Christmas with Michigan snow…

+-*Sung by Brian d’Arcy James, who’s from Saginaw and who’s currently starring as Shrek on Broadway.

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Petite Cabane à Sucre de Québec… à Annecy

+-*David & I finally made it to the Marché de Noël at the Imperial Hotel in Annecy. Today was actually the very last day for it, so nothing like waiting to the last minute… I mostly just wanted to visit the Quebecois stands because I had been to the marché before and it’s usually swarmed […]

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Snow + Tractor + Dog = Fun

+-*It’s a good thing I wasn’t flying home this weekend… Even Brandy wasn’t liking all the snow… But Dad and John Deere came to the rescue… And made her a mountain to play on. You have no idea how much I wish I could play on that snow pile with her!

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Vacation time!

+-*Classes are finished and grading is done! Vive les vacances!

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Christmas Vocabulary in French

+-*Even Canaille gets into the Christmas spirit! Ok, he hated wearing the hat, but he still wants everyone to learn some French words for Christmas. You can listen to David reading the list:       Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël ! angel l’ange (m) bell la cloche / la clochette bow le nœud bulb la […]

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English Ad Slogans in Non-Anglophone Countries

+-*This Spiegel article is about German of course, but just replace “Germany” and “German” with “France” and “French” and the outcome is the same. How Germans Really See English Ad Slogans: English is all the rage in Germany — the height of fashion, except that many people don’t understand it. Consumer groups would like to […]

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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 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 a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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