Appart

Finding an apartment is ridiculously hard in France. David and I have been searching for a few months now and everything is either too expensive, too small or too far away from public transportation. He only has a CDD (short-term work contract) and I’m unemployed. We were approved for Loca-Pass, but some landlords won’t accept it because they prefer a human co-signer (preferably a family member) instead of a business. Most apartments are rented through agencies instead of directly through the landlords, and they charge a few hundred euros for their “services.” We have a few friends who want to leave their apartments, but the problem is that they need to find new apartments too before they can move.

France has a problem with housing (not just affordable housing, but housing in general). I heard a few months ago on the news that there is a shortage of one million housing units. This does not mean that one million people are looking for housing. This means that there is no housing for one million families or couples or anyone else who could live together in an apartment or house.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment where I live runs more than 650 € ($873) a month, with no or few utilities included. I have no idea how single people survive here. That’s about the same price as my friend’s one-bedroom apartment in LA. In comparison, my one-bedroom apartment in Michigan was only $500 a month (372 €).

Anniversaire

It’s May 18 here, so I’m officially 25 years old. And awake at 2:30 am thanks to M. Décalage Horaire.

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Going home

I return to France tomorrow. Well, it will be Thursday by the time I get there. I have two suitcases packed to the maximum weight limit (one of those being full of books…) plus a carry-on that might be a little too heavy for me to lift over my head and a “purse” that’s actually […]

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Back in the USA

I’m currently in Michigan. I spent two days in London before flying home. It was fun to be back in that city, but I was a bit lonely. My friend Jess was able to hang out for a little while, so that was nice of her. I’ll upload the pictures when I get back to […]

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Unemployed

I said goodbye to a lot of good friends this past weekend. They’re all returning to their home countries soon. Fortunately not everyone had to go. The lucky EU citizens can stay here as long as they’d like, so my British and Irish friends are still sticking around for the summer. Monday was my very […]

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Coming to an end

David and I finally were able to record an mp3 for the Informal French & Slang page. We’ve only done the first section so far (Informal Ways of Speaking) but we will continue to add more audio files throughout the summer. Today was the last day of work at one of my schools. I did […]

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Votez

Today was the presidential election in France. Well, round one anyway. There are twelve candidates total this time, but only two move on to the next round. (However, if a candidate manages to get over 50% of the vote in round one, s/he becomes president and there is no round two.) Big surprise… Sarkozy (Right) […]

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Website Updates

I’ve uploaded the Informal French & Slang page. David will be helping me to add sample sentences and sound files soon. I’ve also joined the affiliate program at Champs-Elysées, so if you’re planning on buying the French, Italian, Spanish or German audiomagazines, please use my links. I’m currently working on a French & Italian comparative […]

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Le Plateau des Glières

On Friday, David and I drove up to the Plateau des Glières, the famous hiding location of the French Resistance fighters during WWII. There’s a Resistance Monument, a few restaurants, and several hiking trails on the plateau. David had heard about Chez Constance and their delicious meals of beignets, so we decided to head there […]

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How did I miss learning this?

Friday the 13th is a LUCKY day in France. I don’t know why I never learned that before. David never knew that it is an unlucky day in the US. Now he finally understands why that horror movie was called Friday the 13th.

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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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My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at Amazon.com.

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is now available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.

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