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French and British etiquette: How to avoid the faux pas

As a French expatriate, there are some faux pas you should avoid in the UK and vice versa. Although only separated by a small channel, there are numerous cultural differences to be aware of. Subjects of conversation can differ greatly between French and Brits: philosophy is regarded by some as boring and stormy debates are not often experienced between British people, though the French love this. When it comes to punctuality, the French can be very approximate, sometimes even referring to being 15 minutes late to be polite. For the British, especially in business, punctuality is key and a sign of respect and determination. As a French expat, you will have to make a real effort and learn not to skip the cues as often as you would do in France. Finally, while the art of writing has almost been lost in France, the British love sending cards. So if you are looking to integrate and make a few British friends, get used to sending cards and to thank your host in writing after a dinner invitation….  This is to name only a few of the many cultural differences to be aware of.


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