moving and living abroad - new lune

Moving & Living Abroad

Moving abroad was one of the scariest and life-changing decision I’ve ever made in my entire life. When I look back, time has flown by quickly and I can’t believe I’ve made a life of my own in a different country.

If you’re going to study or move abroad then I want to tell you that everything is going to be alright and that’s one of the reasons why I’m writing this blog post, to share what I’ve learned and the reality of moving abroad so that you don’t feel alone.

Déménager à l’étranger a été l’une des décisions les plus effrayantes et qui a changé ma vie. Quand je regarde en arrière, le temps a filé vite et je ne peux pas croire que je me suis fait une vie dans un pays différent.

Si vous allez étudier ou déménager à l’étranger, je tiens à vous dire que tout va bien se passer et c’est l’une des raisons pour lesquelles j’écris ce billet de blog, pour partager ce que j’ai appris et la réalité du déménagement à l’étranger pour que vous ne vous sentiez pas seul(e).

Related: How to live stress free

 

WHY I MOVED

I want to start off by saying that I never thought or even imagined to move abroad. The topic came once in a while but I knew it was something I would never do since I was very comfortable living in France. But little did I know that my life was going to change.. I graduated high school when I was 16 and I couldn’t go to uni in my town because you had to be at least 18. I guess that’s the “official” reason why my parents and I decided that moving and studying abroad would be a good idea.

But deep down, I knew I had nothing left in France anymore and that was pretty much why I decided to move abroad. Don’t get me wrong, I love France and it will always be my country but the truth is I’ve outgrown of France and I felt like I didn’t belong there anymore. I’m not going to lie, I had a horrible time in high school and that was probably one of the main factors for my decision.

Looking back, I don’t regret it because I wouldn’t be the person who I am today without this experience and I know, it sounds very cliche but that’s the truth. Most people would say that studying or moving abroad changes their life but for me – it’s quite the opposite. It completed my life.

Je veux commencer par dire que je n’avais jamais pensé ni même imaginé déménager à l’étranger. Le sujet venait de temps en temps mais je savais que c’était quelque chose que je ne ferais jamais car j’étais très à l’aise de vivre en France. J’ai terminé le lycée (Bac L) à l’âge de 16 ans et je ne pouvais pas aller à l’université dans ma ville parce que vous deviez avoir au moins 18 ans. Je suppose que c’est la raison “officielle” pourquoi mes parents et moi avons décidé que déménager et étudier à l’étranger serait une bonne idée.

Mais au fond de moi, je savais que je n’avais plus rien en France et c’est à peu près la raison pour laquelle j’ai décidé de partir à l’étranger. J’aime la France et ce sera toujours mon pays, mais la vérité est que je me suis senti comme si je n’y appartenais plus la bas. Je ne vais pas mentir, j’ai passé une période horrible au lycée et c’était probablement l’un des principaux facteurs de ma décision.

En regardant en arrière, je ne le regrette pas car je ne serais pas la personne que je suis aujourd’hui sans cette expérience et je sais, cela semble très cliché mais c’est la vérité. La plupart des gens diraient que étudier ou partir à l’étranger change leur vie, mais pour moi, c’est tout le contraire. Cela a complété ma vie.

 

MY EXPERIENCE MOVING ABROAD

HOUSES & APPARTMENTS

Moving to a different country sounds as stressful as it is, packing your life into a couple of suitcases is the most terrifying thing ever! The process of moving is emotionally, physically and financially draining. It’s a lot harder than people make it seem like, in my case I didn’t do an exchange or Erasmus program so I had to find a place all by myself.

I moved two times in a span of 3 months, the first place I went to was literally so dirty. It was very tiny and for the price, it wasn’t worth it at all which was a bad start because I had to spend a lot of my savings. But at least, it was in a really good and safe town so I didn’t have to worry anything from that aspect.

The structure of houses and apartments in the UK are completely different to the ones in France, especially for the rent you pay which is a lot more expensive. The rooms and the architecture of the houses are a lot smaller here and it was quite shocking to me because I didn’t expect that.

Déménager dans un autre pays semble aussi stressant qu’il est, emballer votre vie dans quelques valises est la chose la plus terrifiante de tous les temps! Le processus de déménagement est épuisant, émotionnellement, physiquement et financièrement. C’est beaucoup plus dur que les gens ne semblent donner l’impression, dans mon cas, je n’ai pas participé à un programme d’échange ou à un programme Erasmus; j’ai donc dû trouver une place moi-même.

J’ai déménagé deux fois en l’espace de trois mois, le premier endroit où je suis allé était littéralement si sale. C’était très petit et pour le prix, ça n’en valait pas la peine, ce qui était un mauvais début car je devais dépenser beaucoup de mes économies. Mais au moins, c’était dans une ville vraiment bonne et sûre, je n’avais donc rien à craindre de cet aspect.

La structure des maisons et des appartements au Royaume-Uni est complètement différente de celle en France, en particulier pour le loyer que vous payez qui est beaucoup plus cher. Les chambres et l’architecture des maisons sont beaucoup plus petites ici et c’était assez choquant pour moi car je ne m’y attendais pas.

 

GROCERY & SHOPPING

When I first moved in the UK, everything seemed a lot cheaper compared to France but that turned upside down pretty quickly. After a couple of months, reality really hits you hard on the face.

Where I live it’s pretty much very convenient in terms of grocery shopping, you can easily run errands at any time of the day. There are so many vegetarian options compared to France, I literally went from a size S to a size L within 3 months lol (now I’m back to a size S/M).

There are so many amazing places to shop in London but you have to prioritise your main expenses which is a weird thing for your mind to comprehend because you feel like you’re on holiday but you are not.

Quand je suis arrivé au Royaume-Uni, tout semblait beaucoup moins cher que la France, mais après quelques mois, la réalité vous frappe vraiment au visage.

Là où j’habite, c’est assez pratique pour faire les courses, vous pouvez facilement faire des courses à tout moment de la journée. Il y a tellement d’options végétariennes par rapport à la France, je suis passé littéralement d’une taille S à une taille L en l’espace de 3 mois (maintenant je suis revenu à une taille S/M).

Il y a tellement d’endroits incroyables pour faire du shopping à Londres, mais vous devez hiérarchiser vos dépenses principales, ce qui est une chose étrange à comprendre pour votre esprit, car vous avez l’impression d’être en vacances mais vous ne l’êtes pas.

 

COLLEGE & UNI

When it comes to uni, it was really hard to find a place with the course I wanted since I didn’t do my research beforehand so don’t be like me haha! The coursework wasn’t easy but it wasn’t difficult either, I found high school to be harder than this. Before studying abroad, know your strengths and weaknesses which will make a huge difference when studying.

En ce qui concerne l’université, c’était vraiment difficile de trouver une place avec le cours que je voulais car je n’avais pas fait mes recherches au préalable, alors ne soyez pas comme moi, haha! Les cours n’étaient pas faciles mais ce n’était pas difficile non plus, j’ai trouvé le lycée plus difficile. Avant d’étudier à l’étranger, connaissez vos forces et vos faiblesses, ce qui fera toute la différence lors de vos études.

 

LIFE

If you felt like I was complaining too much then it’s because I was, not everyone has an exciting and happy experience when moving abroad and it’s completely alright! The moving and decorating part might feel exciting at the beginning but you have to take into consideration other parts as well which are very stressful.

You are in a new environment, in a new culture and speaking a language you are not familiar with so it will take some time to adjust. You will miss your friends and family which will take a toll on you some days.

The biggest adjustment is the fact that you have no one here in this new country (depending on your situation) but it’s something that I never really cared. I am an only child and I’ve always been alone the majority part of my life, so I’m quite used to being independent which made things easier for me.

Si vous vous sentez comme si je me plaignais trop, c’est parce que je l’étais, tout le monde n’a pas une expérience excitante et heureuse lors d’un déménagement à l’étranger et c’est complètement okay!

Vous vous trouvez dans un nouvel environnement, dans une nouvelle culture et vous parlez une langue que vous ne connaissez pas, il vous faudra du temps pour vous adapter. Vos amis et votre famille vous manqueront, ce qui vous causera des problèmes quelques jours.

Le plus gros ajustement est le fait que vous n’avez personne dans ce nouveau pays (selon votre situation), mais c’est quelque chose qui ne m’était jamais vraiment soucié.Je suis fille unique et j’ai toujours été seule la majeure partie de ma vie. Je suis donc habituée à être indépendante, ce qui m’a facilité les choses.

 

FRIENDS

I’m quite comfortable on my own and like my alone time so I didn’t really care if I couldn’t make any new friends. But people here are much more open and inviting so I would say it’s quite easy to make friends here.

I never had a best friend or BFF, I always had/have friends that are very close to me if that makes any sense. From a very young age, I knew that friendship isn’t something that lasts forever; like any other relationships and things in life. I’m not saying that friendships in general will end on a bad note or that you’ll drift apart after a couple of years. Sometimes, life gets in the way and people distance themselves which is a natural thing, it doesn’t mean that the other person did something bad or there was any arguments or conflicts.

In each stage of your life, you will meet new people and become friends with them. It doesn’t mean that your other friends are any less better or anything, you will have a different closeness and relationship with each one of them. With that said, I’ve met some amazing people here and I’ve learnt so much from their culture and views which is something that probably would never have happened if I had stayed in France.

Je suis assez à l’aise toute seule et j’aime bien passer du temps seule, alors je ne m’inquiétais pas vraiment de ne pas pouvoir me faire de nouveaux amis. Mais les gens ici sont beaucoup plus ouverts et invitants, alors je dirais que c’est assez facile de se faire des amis ici.

Je n’ai jamais eu de meilleur amie, j’ai toujours eu/j’ai des amis très proches de moi si cela a du sens. Dès mon plus jeune âge, j’ai compris que l’amitié n’était pas quelque chose qui durait éternellement; comme toutes les autres relations et choses dans la vie. Je ne dis pas que les amitiés en général se termineront sur une mauvaise note ou que vous allez séparer après quelques années. Parfois, la vie fait obstacle et les gens se distancient, ce qui est naturel, cela ne veut pas dire que l’autre personne a fait quelque chose de mal ou qu’il y ait eu des disputes ou des conflits.

À chaque étape de votre vie, vous rencontrerez de nouvelles personnes et deviendrez amis avec eux. Cela ne veut pas dire que vos autres amis sont moins bons ou quoi que ce soit, vous aurez une proximité et une relation différentes avec chacun d’entre eux. Cela dit, j’ai rencontré des gens extraordinaires ici et j’ai beaucoup appris de leur culture et de leurs points de vue, chose qui ne se serait probablement jamais produite si j’avais resté en France.

 

MY EXPERIENCE LIVING ABROAD

Now that I’ve lived here for a while, I can say that the United Kingdom is such a warm and welcoming country. There are certain areas in London which reminds me so much of France in terms of architecture and atmosphere. It’s such a cultural place as well, you can see so many people from all over the world so you don’t feel ‘alone’. One thing I noticed is people are very competitive here which can add so much pressure if you start to compare yourself with others.

When it comes to uni, it’s not easy but it’s not as difficult as high school in my opinion. I love my modules and courses which makes it much easier when studying. I do hate group presentations/public speaking and it makes me realise how we take some things for granted. I was thinking doing group presentations in my mother tongue was hard (oh boy) but doing it in another language is much more nerve wracking and stressful.

Maintenant que je vis ici depuis un moment, je peux dire que le Royaume-Uni est un pays si chaleureux et accueillant. Il y a certaines zones à Londres qui me rappellent tellement la France en termes d’architecture et d’atmosphère. C’est aussi un lieu culturel, on peut voir tant de gens du monde entier, donc on ne se sent pas seul(e). Une chose que j’ai remarquée est que les gens sont très compétitifs ici, ce qui peut ajouter beaucoup de pression si vous commencez à vous comparer avec les autres.

En ce qui concerne l’université, ce n’est pas facile mais ce n’est pas aussi difficile que le lycée à mon avis. J’adore mes modules et mes cours, ce qui facilite grandement les études. Je déteste les présentations de groupe et les discours en public et cela me fait comprendre à quel point nous tenons certaines choses pour acquises. Je pensais que faire des présentations de groupe dans ma langue maternelle était difficile mais le faire dans une autre langue est beaucoup plus stressant.

 

AM I GOING BACK TO FRANCE?

The answer is no. Never say never but I don’t see myself going back there. France will always be a part of my identity but it’s not my home anymore.

La réponse est non. Ne dites jamais jamais, mais je ne me vois pas y retourner. La France fera toujours partie de mon identité mais ce n’est plus ma maison.

 

AM I GOING TO STAY IN THE UK?

To be honest I don’t know but I’m leaning towards yes. Once you move abroad, you see so many endless possibilities and the idea of making a new home in a different country or continent doesn’t sound that crazy anymore. However I still have so much to learn here and most importantly I want to build a life for myself here. I feel at home when I’m in the UK and it’s a feeling I never had anywhere else.

Pour être honnête, je ne sais pas mais je me penche pour oui. Une fois que vous avez déménagé à l’étranger, vous voyez une infinité de possibilités et l’idée de faire une nouvelle maison dans un pays ou un continent différent ne semble plus si folle. Cependant, il me reste encore beaucoup à apprendre ici et, plus important encore, je souhaite me construire une vie ici. Je me sens chez moi quand je suis au Royaume-Uni et c’est un sentiment que je n’ai jamais eu ailleurs.

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!

xo N

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94 Comments

  1. Loved to read your story. I moved away to another country at 17 and I’m now in a new country once again. Once you open yourself to the idea of living abroad the whole world opens up, it’s a cool feeling to know that potentially we can live where-ever we want in the world 🙂

  2. Really great post, I relate so much to not feeling at home in your ‘home’ country anymore! Would love to study abroad as well!

  3. It’s so lovely to hear that you consider the UK as your home now! You are so so welcome here, and it warms my heart to see you are happy here! I would be interested to hear your views on the current political climate, as there as been a lot of uncertainty concerning the EU. This was such a lovely read and I hope you have a lovely day x

    1. Aw thank you Rosie! I’m not going to lie it’s very confusing and stressing me out. The most stressful part is the fact you don’t really know what’s going to happen. There are so many people in the same boat as me so I know I’m not alone which is kind of comforting. You too lovely! Have an amazing day x

    1. Thank you so much! Unfortunately no I haven’t! 😭 I’ve been so busy with uni that I didn’t get the chance to travel around. But it’s on my bucket list 🤞🏼 I’d love to go to Wales! x

  4. Loved reading your post! 2 suitcases and a heart full of hope and determination! That was me in 2005, Heathrow Airport! Still here, still smiling, still believing that was the best decision I’ve ever made! No regrets!😆

  5. An interesting read. The U.S. is so big, moving from one region to another sometimes feels like going to a different country. I’m curious to see where my daughters will choose to live. Blessings!!

  6. I can relate to your post. Moving and living abroad is truly an eye opening experience. Resolve, will, values… all are put to the test; in the end we come out on the other side being better versions of ourselves 🙂

  7. ahh what an amazing + wonderful blog post! i’m glad you feel settled and happy in London – to move to a different country with a different language must of been super scary so well done for conquering your fears!! you’re so admiring and brave!! i’m so sorry to hear that your time in high school was bad – this is such an inspiring post and i hope you have/have had a lovely day 💗💗

  8. Loved finding out more about you! I’ve not moved to another country but my parents moved to France years ago! Must’ve taken some adjustment but I expect you did the right thing for you and your family in the end! Fab post x

    Samantha | thebeautyspyglass.com

  9. What an interesting post, I loved reading about how and why you made the move to the UK. I think the points you made are great: moving abroad certainly isn’t for everyone but an awareness of similarities and differences before you take that step is key. I’m so glad things have worked out for you! x

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  10. What a great post, and an interesting read. I’m glad to hear you’re liking the UK, and thinking about staying. It must have been so daunting at first, but I’m glad you found your feet xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    1. It was so good to read this post. I’m in the middle of the relocation process. We are going to move here (London) during the next couple of months. My husband has just started to work here, and I can’t wait to join him permanently with our kids (but I have a few things to do at home first). It’s a stressful but exciting period. 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing your story, it was really interesting to read. Moving abroad sounds like such a brave thing to do, a huge step out of your comfort zone. I am so glad it worked out in the end and you have settled in the UK and enjoy it here. Such an inspirational post, thank you!! ❤ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  12. This is such an interesting and informative post, thank you for being so honest. I’ve always played with the idea of moving abroad (from the UK to somewhere sunny in the US or Aus) but I’m a serial over-worrier so I’m not sure it will ever happen. It’s great to hear about what should be considered though!

    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

    1. Thank you babe! I never thought I’d move abroad, I’m a over-worrier like you as well but here I am, living in another country speaking another language! Life works in mysterious ways sometimes x

  13. This was such a lovely post to read! I really felt like I got to know you through this post and I definitely feel like you shared some really useful advice for people in a similar situation to you who might be wanting to be move abroad or have done so but need some clarity. I’m so glad you’re feeling happier in the UK xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk

  14. interesting. good enough you’ve probably gotten used to staying abroad now. If you believe, one day you and many of us are gonna go abroad, outside of this world, into heaven. Once again, we gonna have to get used to it: GET USED TO CREATION, no matter which part of it we go to.

    happy blogging.

    1. The food in France is amazing but there aren’t a lot of vegan/vegetarian options but here in London, it’s quite the opposite. Haha we both had a good time eating that’s what matters right 😜

  15. Another post of yours I’ve really enjoyed, It’s crazy how I feel similar to you! Perhaps one day we could meet up over a cup of coffee in London:-)

  16. Thank you so much for this post. Over a year ago I moved to France. It was such a good decision for me. Studied in Tours, France the only region where French is spoken without accent. Studying abroad is such a good idea. Whether you want to go to Spain, Italy, France, or Germany, I strongly recommend using this website — if you want to check it out https://castleworldtravel.com Great service guaranteed.

  17. Came across your blog post because I’m currently living in Switzerland. It’s my first time to live abroad (I’m originally from somewhere in Asia). Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You’re very fortunate to be able to live somewhere else. I want to live in the UK too. 😉

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