When you make the decision to leave your native country to settle abroad, it’s natural to feel a mixture of excitement and apprehension. French people who choose to move to Canada are faced with new experiences, exciting opportunities, but also unexpected challenges. In this article, you’ll find the things I’ve missed most since arriving in Canada. Each experience is unique, which is why I invite you to read Pauline’s article on the same subject.

Family and friends

There’s no substitute for a strong bond with family and close friends. Being away from them can be one of the most difficult aspects of expatriation. Missing important events such as birthdays and anniversaries is also difficult, because you want to be there for the people you love, and you’d like to catch up with them all to celebrate the special occasion. The fear of being forgotten and of seeing certain relationships change with distance are very strong feelings that can be hard to face.

This video can explain it:

French gastronomy

France is world-famous for its delicious, refined cuisine. Croissants, cheese, wine and, of course, pastries are elements of French culture that can be hard to find abroad. Although Canada offers a variety of international products, as well as quite a few French ones, I really miss some of the food brands that marked my childhood.

The feeling of belonging to the country you live in

Although Canada is a welcoming country, it can be difficult for French people to develop an immediate sense of belonging to their new homeland. It can take time to acclimatize to a different culture and environment. It’s a feeling I can’t really explain, but France is home. At certain important events or iconic French dates, it’s as if a feeling of patriotism takes over and the desire to return to France is suddenly greater.

Vacation length

The French are used to long annual vacations. We’re a long way from 5 weeks’ vacation a year. On average, in Canada, expatriates often have 2 weeks’ vacation per year in their first years. That said, more and more companies are offering 3 weeks and flexible vacations. In conclusion, although Canada offers many opportunities and a high quality of life, I think it’s quite normal that some French people, like me, sometimes feel the lack of certain aspects of their home country. The important thing is to enjoy the incredible advantages of living in Canada, and in Montreal in particular.

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