Help! Life in Lyon for 3 months this fall?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Aug 23, 2012 12:56 PM Last Post By: gibbler
Aug 22, 2012 1:55 PM
Help! Life in Lyon for 3 months this fall?I'm a 28 year old woman from the US and I just had a potentially amazing travel opportunity drop into my lap. A very good friend of mine is friends with a French family who would like to have an English speaking woman live with them for the fall (mid-September to mid-December). I'd have the days to myself and would be home at night to interact with the family in English. They would provide housing, food and laundry. They seem like a wonderful family and my friend speaks very highly of them. The hitch is that I speak ZERO French and won't have much time to prepare. How hard of a time will I have navigating the city with just basic phrases for the first month or so?
My worry is that I might be socially isolated, outside of my interactions with the family (who I'm sure I'll become close with). I want to learn the language, but realistically with only 3 months, I'll be getting the hang of the basics by the time I have to leave. So, I know I will need to meet some other English speakers in order to stay socially fulfilled. Are there many english speaking ex-pats in the city, and if so, what areas? Are there any important things I should know about living in Lyon?
I feel a bit foolish posting this because it betrays the lack of research I've done, but this opportunity JUST dropped into my lap and I have a very short time frame to make a decision. Normally I'm cautious and meticulous about researching an area before I travel there out of respect for the culture, but it looks like this one may be more improvised than I would normally prefer...
So, anyway, I'm just looking for any tips or advice!
Aug 22, 2012 2:23 PM
Just very briefly from me....
I know many (UK) ex-pats in quite a few European countries who have been there for years.
They still can't string a sentence together in the local language.
If you give it just a bit of a go, people will be more than impressed.
You won't be isolated at all - don't worry about it.
Go, enjoy, don't worry - and experience the fun ! !
Good luck with everything.
Aug 22, 2012 3:31 PM
2#1. I think the expats you talk about are living in expat-clusters in Spain, Portugal etc. They live in a local UK in Spain (or...) surrounding, have their social contacts with other Britishers and basically do not need the local language, because they have their social contacts within their local UK-community. I think the situation of the OP is different, because she is going to be in a french family. However, I think that a person should not be so afraid of taking the plunge. It is only for three month. Schengen would not allow her longer. From personal experience I feel that at age 28 you can learn a lot of french in three month. On top there are a lot of almost french words in the english language. I'd say go for it!
Aug 22, 2012 4:27 PM
3You will be suprised at how much you will learn in 3 months. Just really try your best to plunge yourself into learning it. As far as social isolation, it definitely will be different than how you normally socialize with your friends in your city (obviously). Just keep in mind it that it might be difficult to make friends right away, as with any move to a new city, but that it okay. It is easy to make huge expectations for your visit, but just try to stay away from making those and come in with an open mind to a new culture and way of life/socializing. DEFINITELY take the opportunity! You won't regret it, and you will learn a lot about yourself as well. Bonne chance!
p.s. You will be there for the "Fete des Lumieres" which is great! Very impressive, despite the huge crowds of tourists.
Aug 22, 2012 10:32 PM
4Ah yes, Schengen. In all my excitement I forgot that means I wouldn't be able to do any other traveling in Schengen regions once I'm done living with the family (since I'll have used pretty much the full 90 days with them). Man, that's really a bummer. Perhaps I can work something out with the family (start later, end earlier, leave for a week or two in the middle). It'd be a real bummer to spend $900 on a RT flight and not be able to spend much time in other countries.
Ohhhhh Schengen, all I want is to spend my (weak) American dollar in your countries! Why must you thwart me!?
Aug 22, 2012 11:09 PM
5At first we do not need your US Dollars as we have in most of the EU countries a thing called Euro, thats what you need.
Back to Lyon. This city is well situated for day trips or weekends somewhere else. You have the high speed train and an international airport with some low cost connection to other parts in Europe. As you are from the US with your passport you dont need any visa so you can go wherever you will (in your 90-day time) or if you will stay longer GB, Irland and all other countries out of the Schengen zone are open for you. The conditions for concerning a visa or not you can find out easy via http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html
Aug 23, 2012 12:56 PM
6I'm aware of the Euro. I was making a joke about the exchange rate (and how little my American money will get me once exchanged).
I'm going to try to apply for the French long-term visitor visa (since I have enough funds to demonstrate that I could live there with no additional income for a year). That way, from what I gather, the time I spend in France under the long-term visitor visa would not apply towards my Schengen limits so I could travel extensively after living with the family...
Has anyone else done this?
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night