The Tuesday Club is a group of local English speakers who meet in the town of Pézenas. Each week, a different speaker joins the club, and this past 27th of January it was my turn to pick the brains of the Tuesday’s Club’s finest. Funnily enough, after working on this project for more than a year, this was actually the first time I presented Renestance in English!
I put together some slides to test the business concept with the group and my brief presentation of our mission was followed by over forty five minutes of lively discussion. Questions like, “what was your main reason for coming to France?” and “what would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?” generated a lot of interesting answers and insights. Similar to our market survey results so far, many people came here for the lifestyle, or what we ended up calling the “French quality of life.” Several people wished they had rented their first home so that they would have had more time to test out different areas before purchasing. Others would warn prospective newcomers to come visit during the off-season, as there is much less activity outside of the warmer months. The final question for the audience, “what would improve your life today?” was the most important for us to understand. While we’d all like warmer winters and less dog poo on the sidewalks, the most actionable desire we heard was feeling more at home and integrated in the French community. Although most people seem to be getting by with less than perfect French, it can seem like an obstacle to making French friends and being able to fully participate in local life.
Renestance has several strategies in mind to foster the feeling of “being at home” here and to nurture integration. One involves improving the level of spoken French, and another will include more exchanges and outreach into the French community. Maybe there is something else, large or small, that would improve your life here in France? We would really like to hear about it and would be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to fill out our online questionnaire – it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, and all of your information will remain private. If you know of others who might be willing to provide input, please do share the link, especially if they are male! Over 80% of respondents so far have been women.
There is also a questionnaire for people who are considering a move to France so if you know of anyone in that situation, we would again be grateful for the help. If you have any questions or comments directly for me, please feel free to get in touch via our Contact Us page.