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Expats stories - Caroline from USA to Lyon

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

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

I moved here from San Francisco, where I am from, but had been an expat in London for a decade previously.

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

I went a little crazy and just went for it! It happened very quickly.

Why did you choose to live in Lyon?

I came here to do a 2 week French class while I was staying in Paris for the summer and fell in love with Lyon.

How to deal with culture shock in Lyon?

I just try to pay attention when I feel like I've been rude accidentally or felt like someone has been rude to me, 99% of the time that perceived rudeness is a rule that I didn't understand!

How to overcome difficulties during living in Lyon?

The expat community has been a great source of guidance and friendship. Anytime I get scared or worried about what I'm doing here, I can walk around and see where I am and remember why I'm here.

What do you plan to do in Lyon ? What are your projects at the moment?

I am a wine educator in English. That means hosting wine classes, tastings, and events in English for tourists and expats.

What are your favorite things to do in Lyon? 

I am also a cook so of course I am in love with the markets! I love to explore the staircases of Les Pentes as well.

What is your advice for people wishing to come and live in France?

Be patient. Being in France requires patience on many levels.

Is it easy to make new friends in Lyon?

I have found it to be pretty straightforward, it's always challenging to make new friends as an adult in a new place.

Do you hang out with locals or foreigners mostly?

I spend a lot of time in the Croix Rousse and I know the local merchants and feel like I am part of this community, but in terms of socializing I mostly spend time with other expats.

Is it easy to do networking in Lyon?

So far it's been great! There is always something on.

Where is your favorite place in Lyon to hang out with friends?

I love to have friends over at my house for dinner parties, so Chez Moi!

Can you share with us, a memorable experience that you have in France?

Driving down to Côte-Rôtie, a hop, skip, and a jump away from Lyon. I'd been in love with this wine for ten years, and it was so incredible to truly see how close these vines were.

Do you have any tricks/tips to settle more easily in a new city?

Get support from your fellow expats. Learn French, and keep practicing even if you think you are terrible. You will get better.

What have you learned from living abroad and about expat life?

The depth of culture and history in Europe has been incredible for me, as an American.

A word or two to define Lyon!

Better than Paris.

A word or two to define Sojoourn!

Great community!

More about Caroline

Caroline has lived and worked in food and wine in London, Paris, San Francisco, and now Lyon. Her approach to wine tasting is inspired by her blind tasting experience, focusing on teaching wine analysis skills in an approachable and fun way.

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