Where are you from?
I’m from Paris, France. I currently live in Miami Beach, Florida.
What is unique about your home city?
-Paris is the capital and the most populous city in France. The population is over 2 million.
-Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe’s major centers of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
-The nickname is the “City of light”.
-Paris is celebrated for its beautiful city plan, architecture “Eiffel Tower”, museums “Louvre”, bridges, cathedrals “Notre Dame”, parks “Monceau”, shopping “Gallery Lafayette”, flea markets, sidewalk cafés, wide and luxurious boulevards “Champs Elysées”, elegant cuisine “Le Jules Verne by Alain Ducasse”, and numerous monuments “”Arc de Triomphe”.
-The best tours of Paris by boat, “bateaumouche” on the Seine during the night.
What is your job/career?
I’m a Real Estate professional. My challenge is to pass the TOEFL exam and attend an American university. Then I want to work as a manager for an international company in Europe.
Have you had any experiences of ‘culture shock’ in USA or Miami Beach?
American people in Miami give you a hug to say “hello” and “good-bye”.
French people give “Bisous” for everyone! They’ll just lean in and give you a cheek tap on either side to greet you, to say hello or goodbye. For the professional relationship it’s different, we shake hands or just say ‘hello’.
Another ‘culture shock’ is air conditioning. The average favorite temperature for Americans is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius). It’s too cool for Europeans. Percentage of air conditions in houses: 87% USA, 4% France.
The reason why people in Florida use air conditioning is the climate, which has more humidity and hotter temperatures than Europe.
American and French people have different stereotypes. For example:
-American people have the impression that everyone in France smokes
-French people have the impression that everyone in the USA is tattooed
What about learning English is challenging or difficult?
My integration was very fast. Now I say South Beach Languages is my “school family” Everybody helps each other and the atmosphere is positive. If you’re shy don’t worry, the school proposes different activities often after class.
Learning English is a personal challenge every day. But when you have a motivation and focus, you can be successful. You can change your professional and personal life.
What is one tradition in France that we don’t celebrate in the USA?
“Bastille Day”. Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it’s formally called “la Fête nationale du 14 Juillet”. Now there are military parades, fireworks and concerts. This celebrates the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790.
What food do you miss from France?
Food is part of the French culture. When we travel, we miss the food from our country. In the US, we are able to find some identical French products, French restaurants or French corner grocery stores, but they are still not the same.