Oh la France.

Getting a job in France is very hard, even for the French. Jobs here are based on your diplomas or degrees, not experience, which forces young people to go to university for years in order to obtain jobs that 16 year-olds do in the US.

Every job is a contract; CDI if it’s long-term (no end in sight), or CDD if it’s short-term (a few months to a few years). Not only is there no job security with a CDD, but it’s also very difficult to buy or even rent a place to live if you only have a temporary job.

Living in France is just a series of long waiting periods between receiving official papers and requesting others. Getting your Carte de Séjour, applying for CAF, obtaining your Carte Vitale, opening a Bank account, joining a Mutuelle, applying for unemployment… and almost everything changes as soon as your CDD runs out or you move.

For example, I am currently in the process of changing my address, renewing my Carte de Séjour, figuring out if my health insurance is still valid, exchanging my American driver’s license for a French one, and waiting to see if I receive a new work contract (CDD, of course) – which I will need to renew my Carte de Séjour yet again in 3 months.

Granted, I didn’t have to get PACSed, or exchange my driver’s license, or move two times (which seemed to increase my paperwork by 30%) but the amount of paperwork needed to do even the mundane things can seem ridiculous.

This stress of constantly collecting paperwork and waiting for the bureaucracy to do something with it, coupled with the uncertainty of work/money factor, makes me want to stay in this country less and less each day. But at the same time, knowing that I have been able to survive here makes me feel strong enough to stay.

At least for another year or two.

dimanche le 17 juin

Bonne Fête des Pères ! Father’s Day is the same day in the US and France – the third Sunday in June. Which is slightly less complicated than Mother’s Day, which is the second Sunday in May in the US and the last Sunday in May in France – unless that last Sunday is also […]

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Freebox

Our internet/telephone/TV finally works! We have so many channels in so many languages. I should never be bored again.

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Je suis toujours là !

The new apartment is perfect for David and me. We still have to attach the douchette to the wall and hang some curtains, but we’re all moved in. Except the electric oven doesn’t work yet, the dishwasher is too far from the kitchen to be plugged in, we have yet to buy a microwave, and […]

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Wonders

I just visited the last remaining Wonder of the World (pyramids at Giza) and came upon this site yesterday: New Seven Wonders of the World You can vote for new Wonders out of 20 candidates, such as Taj Mahal, Chichen Itza, Great Wall of China, Acropolis, Stonehenge, Easter Island Statues, etc. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, […]

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Le retour

I’m back in France, once again. I feel really tired even though Egypt was only an hour later than France, and I still have this weird stomachache that is not going away. I definitely think I’m done with travelling for a while. Wasting time in airports and on planes is not how I want to […]

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Greetings from Egypt

I’m in Cairo! It’s hot and there are a bazillion people everywhere. But I’m liking it. Even after an 11 hour wait in Milan and Alitalia losing my luggage (which I still haven’t got back.) It’s so chaotic and crowded, and the gap between rich and poor is ridiculously wide, but it’s still interesting and […]

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DAEFLE

David went to Lyon today to take an Alliance Française test. He’s hoping to get the DIPLOME D’APTITUDE A L’ENSEIGNEMENT DU FRANÇAIS LANGUE ETRANGERE (DAEFLE) so he can teach French in Canada. First, the candidate must pass a written exam to determine their command of French. We were thinking it would be a grammar test, […]

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In happier news…

Vancouver is the world’s best place to live, a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has found. The EIU ranked 127 cities in terms of personal risk, infrastructure and the availability of goods and services. All the cities that fell into the top “liveability” bracket were based in Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Top […]

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Oh, those red states!

“A Web site operated by the Alabama Department of Homeland Security identified gay rights organizations, anti-abortion groups, environmentalists and people opposed to genetically-altered foods among those who could be classified as terrorists.” “Allison Neal, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, says she has looked at parts of the Web site and is […]

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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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