How to stay in touch with French culture when living in UK or US

There are plenty of links to France all over the world - it is just knowing where to find them

Heading to your local Alliance Francaise could be the little pocket of France you are looking for
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Living in France is a very particular experience, so you will likely want to keep up with certain cultural aspects or keep in touch with parts of your French lifestyle if you return to your home country.

The question is: how?

Fortunately, you can find little pockets of France all over the world that will allow you to maintain contact with the country.

Here are a few tips to keep the French dream alive even when you are back in the UK or US.

L’Alliance française

L’Alliance française can provide you with a slice of French culture if you return home.

You can find one in major cities across the UK and the US.

The organisation can provide language classes with native speakers, but also cultural events such as exhibitions and cooking classes.

Its three main goals are:

  • To offer French language classes to everyone
  • To spread knowledge of French culture and practices
  • To improve cultural diversity

Prices are usually very reasonable, meaning you can partake in an activity or take a series of lessons without breaking the bank.

It is also a great way to practise your French as it is generally French native speakers who work there.

Click to find where alliances are in the UK (click on Royaume-Uni) and the USA.

Read also: Try these eight daily life hacks to improve your French

L’Institut français

Similar to the l’Alliance française, l’Institut français aims to promote francophone culture.

It often has different cultural exhibitions, talks from academics of the French language and culture and celebrations to mark various French events.

These can include events for children as well as adults, and they can offer advice on resources for language learners.

They also often have cafes and libraries, meaning you can simply go for a browse of some French texts and enjoy a coffee and a croissant to remind you of your past life in France.

From personal experience, they have a lovely atmosphere and are a nice place to go to spend time or partake in a cultural event to keep your French ticking over.

You can find UK-based ones here or US ones over here.

Read also: Five Netflix TV shows to help improve your French

Subscribe to a French magazine

When I lived in the UK, I asked for a French magazine subscription for Christmas.

This was a fun way to encourage me to read in French - the magazine arrived every month and it made language practice feel leisurely and enjoyable, rather than a chore.

It is also always a nice surprise to get something in the post, so it will make reading it feel like a treat!

Media platforms

Perhaps an obvious suggestion, but when you leave a country it is so easy to fall behind with the news and daily politics of what is going on.

Podcasts are the perfect way to remedy this.

France Culture’s Journal de 18h is perfect daily listening to keep up to date with the bulletins, as is Hugo Decrypte’s Les Actus du Jour, which is very popular with younger listeners and the TikTok generation.

Similarly, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter can be useful: you can follow French speakers, historians, academics, journalists, actors - the list goes on - and this way stay up-to-date with French life while simply scrolling social media!

French cinema

Your independent local cinema will often have viewings of foreign films - what is not to love: support a small business while improving your French! It is a win-win.

For example, if you live in Scotland or are keen for a trip there, the Edinburgh International Film Festival will take place in August 2023 and will have an offering of French films as part of the line up.

The French Film Festival UK is another great way to get involved with French cinema - this year it will take place in November and December showing French films in venues across the UK.

Subscribe to The Connexion!

And of course, it goes without saying that a subscription to The Connexion is a great way to keep up to date with the goings on in France, whether living in the country or not.

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