Expats stories - Angela, from Ireland to Lyon

Hello Angela, can you tell us where you come from?

Come from West of Ireland, moved from Brussels where I was an expat.

What is the best way to prepare for moving to Lyon?

Key challenges for me were schools for my 9 & 11 year olds and where to live. I was lucky that my work were managing my move for me so many things were handled by them. We did a lot of research, reaching out to friends who knew Lyon, joining Facebook groups, forums, newsletters as well as a couple of visits.

Why did you choose to live in Lyon?

As I work for a French company France was always on my mind as a good destination. We had spent 4 years in Brussels and even if my daughters were in a British school they had a good basis of French. Key locations in France for my company are Paris and Grenoble. Lyon was a good happy medium with good transport links as my role is global and necessitates lots of travel!

How to deal with culture shock in Lyon?

I am not sure we had issues with culture shock as Brussels has many similar practices, lots of paperwork, not commercially minded (many shops closing for lunch and not open Sundays). Of course Brussels is very international in comparison with Lyon but the only real challenge in this case is language (which of course is a huge challenge!!).

How to overcome difficulties during living in Lyon?

Learn the language. Our entire family are doing lessons, it will take time but an absolute necessity. In Brussels we tried to practice French but everyone spoke back to us in English (clearly shows how bad our level is!!). This does not happen in Lyon. The bureaucracy can also be a little frustrating so plenty of patience needed.