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What You Will Miss About the UK When Moving to France

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 29 Jul 2012 | comments*Discuss
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It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what you will miss when you start your new life in France. There will be some things you miss about the UK that everyone will understand - your mum, Eastenders and Dairy Milk, for example.

But there will other crazy things that you don't realise you miss until you are reminded of them, or a craving for a particular food hits you and you realise there is nothing like it available for a 700 mile radius.


This is the biggie - the real heart wrenching homesickness that comes from missing your family can be terrible when you start your new life in France. It is very exciting for your family to come and visit you and they will be pleased that you are following your dream, but it is hard to explain the differences in no longer sharing the normal details of your every day life.

If you were used to talking to or seeing your family on a regular basis, perhaps sharing childcare or attending a class together, you will feel quite a long way from home. Make sure you organise a low cost phone service to be able to speak to your family frequently without worrying about the phone bill.


Keeping in touch with your friends from home is important - they help you realise that you are embarking on an exciting adventure. Involve your friends in your move and make it clear that they are very welcome to visit you in your new home. Be careful to not only talk about yourself though - pay attention to their lives, too.


Even if you never really liked Marmite or Coleman's Mustard when you lived in the UK, it is amazing how much you crave these things when you can no longer buy them at every corner shop. The larger supermarkets and hypermarkets tend to have international sections nowadays, so you can act like a classic expat and pile your trolley high with over priced imported goods.

Sunday Shopping

The majority of shops are closed on Sundays and often on Mondays, too. This can take a little bit of getting used to as you need to organise your time better. You will not be able to go to a shopping centre on a Sunday as you may have done in the UK, although some supermarkets may open in the morning only.


Not understanding the language in France can be quite isolating at first. You do not realise how interesting and comforting it is to be able to understand the people chatting behind you in the supermarket queue or walking down the street. If you are working in France or have school age children, you will pick up the language quicker than if you stay at home or within an expat community. Do not underestimate how much more a part of France you will feel once you are able to speak and understand more of the language.


There are many services available now for expats to be able to get UK television channels. At a cost of around €400, you can have a Sky box and dish fitted and aligned to the correct satellite to be able to receive both paid for and free to view channels. While it is a good idea to watch French television to help your language skills, it is very comforting to sit and enjoy your favourite English programmes.

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