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French expatriation vs Indian expatriation

I have received this study (link) by Internations regarding expatriation; I am not sure what the data are worth but the results seem to make sense to me, hence the sharing!

India,France,expatriation,survey,InterNationsI know comparing India and France is like comparing apple and pears, but I am a French working in India so… I was curious to see the results of both countries!

In brief, people go to France for the quality of life and education (which is free).

And they go to India for the money.

Other than that, it seems as difficult to settle in and to work in both countries! In France the language is a problem whereas in India it is difficult to feel welcome – I must say Indians are very friendly and welcoming at first but sometimes, it feels like once they have satisfied their curiosity, they lose interest. You can do a better career in India (at least things go faster than in France) but the big winner in the work-life balance will definitely not be your life (the equation is pretty simple: difficult to socialise + well paid job with responsibilities = long hours at work)…


The study then gives a profile of Indian expats and French expats.

Indians tend to settle down in the host country (versus the ‘normal’ trend of changing country every 2-3 years). The French on the other hand tend to work in more countries than the average.


Indians speak several languages (80% speaking three or more languages) but mostly Indian ones and very few of them (34%) will learn the host country language – they generally relocate to English-speaking countries or in the Gulf (which has definitely more Indians than Arabs!). And they mostly mingle among each other (more than the average in fact). Despite a bad reputation at sucking at English, the French expat seem to know more languages than the average and they tend to learn the local language. But they mostly socialise among fellow countrymen as well…


86% of Indians are in a relationship with someone from their country, which is double the average:  Indians definitely don’t leave the mother land in the search for love… Whereas the French, ah the French… 67% of those in a relationship have a non-French partner.


Interview for Internations

My blog been featured on (a good platform to meet fellow expats everywhere in the world). Here is what I had to say to them! 


Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to India, etc. 

I am a Parisian girl in my thirties. I moved to India in 2006, as this is the only place (outside France) where I could find a job after finishing my business school. And I have been having an eventful life ever since! I have changed companies, jobs, cities and loved it all! I am currently based in Mumbai. 

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences? 

I started my blog the day I landed in India. Initially it was to share my experiences with my family and friends and it ended up as some kind of “therapy”: writing to understand better whatever I came across and startled me in this amazing country. 

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours? 

I have some entries that have received good feedbacks, some funny, like When Jane meets Tarzan; some surprising, as When Superman saves Indian Samourai; and, finally, some interesting, like Why Indians. 

Tell us about the ways your new life in India differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock? 

I had an easy landing as I met an Indian guy a couple of months after arriving and he answered a lot of my questions. I had some difficulties with my first Indian boss which made my life tough. I had a few shocks here and there but generally it’s been a smooth journey… 

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in India? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made? 

I had traveled in India (and other developing countries) before, and since a young age, so I had an idea of where I was going. I wasn’t really prepared though. But I also didn’t have any expectation (bad or good) which I think helped a lot. 

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?  

I have so many! Maybe you can check this list on my blog, which refers to my daily life here, namely My Stories in India. 

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in India?  

  • To be patient – it takes years to start understanding India and there is no end to it… (I like this saying “If you have patience India will make you lose it, if you don’t have patience India will teach it to you.”- I think it is true and it is also a circle!)
  • To be open-minded (easier said than done at times believe me!!).
  • Always try to understand why Indians do what they do (especially at work), otherwise it will drive you crazy and things won’t get done. 

How is the expat community in India? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats? 

I always have had 3-4 very good expat friends, mostly French, but I don’t really know the expat community. It is relatively easy to find expats (through or though we are not so many in India… However, I find it not so easy to find like-minded people – especially since expats usually stay a maximum of 2 years and you evolve a lot after 2 years when you stay in India. Your point of view, your understanding of the place and people keep on changing. 

How would you summarize your expat life in India in a single, catchy sentence? 

Living in India is probably the hardest and yet most rewarding challenge I will ever take up!