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burntbonez's avatar

Have you lived in another country besides your native country?

Asked by burntbonez (5194 points ) February 16th, 2013

Which one(s)? For how long? What did you learn from the experience?

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14 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Yes, I lived in England for about a year, Scotland for 3 months, the Greece for 6 months. I learned that if you hold to “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” you can adapt to pretty much any place where humans survive without undue struggle.

Sunny2's avatar

I haven’t, but wish I could. It would probably have to be an English speaking country because my German and French skills are limited.. My pronunciation isn’t bad but I have trouble remembering vocabulary. Still, there are a lot of English speakers in the world today. Hmmm. Maybe . . .

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have lived in 6 countries on 3 continents other than my home. I learned early that it’s best to adapt to the host country. It saves on the wear and tear of culture shock.

bookish1's avatar

I lived in Paris for between 2–3 months twice, and gods willing, I’ll be back for another year sometime very soon.

I learned that being a broke vegetarian grad student in France is the most painless and pleasant way to lose 20 pounds.
I learned that getting double pneumonia and having to take a 1-month course of antibiotics doesn’t have to bankrupt you.
Also, that France is at least 15–20 years behind the U.S. when it comes to questions of gender and sexuality, but there are wonderful people there, just like anywhere else.

Symbeline's avatar

@bookish1 Yeah, but for the passed two years, France keeps getting video games like two months before we do in Canada and the States. Fucking world, get some damn priorities straight. And I mean gender and sexuality, not video games.

Born in Limoges, France. My family moved away when my dad got a job in Winnipeg. Been living in Canada ever since. I was six when we got to Winnipeg, and at 21 I moved here to Qu├ębec. Although I’d like to travel around and check out some places, Canada rocks, and I see no reason to ever end my citizenship here.

Brian1946's avatar

I lived the first 8 years of my life in Canada. I’ve been living in the US since 1955.

flutherother's avatar

I lived in the United States for a couple of years. I liked it and the people were friendly but it felt a bit soulless and it was too hot.

thorninmud's avatar

France for 7 years. What I learned was the value of human contact.

In the States, it’s become increasingly possible to avoid interacting with other people. We’ve created a situation where we can interact at any time with the people we want to be in touch with, but we’re rarely required anymore to deal with people outside our chosen circle.

Maybe things are moving that way now in France, too, but when I was there you couldn’t do anything without engaging another human being in a give and take. On a routine shopping expedition, you’d deal with the earthy peasant for your vegies, the red-cheeked Norman for your cheese, the Spaniard for your olives, the aloof Parisian for cleaning supplies, etc. I every case, you’ll be required to exchange pleasantries and explain exactly what you want.

While that level of contact can be tiring, it pulls you out of your isolation—your bubble of self—and makes you see and adapt to people of all kinds. That can be annoying, sure, but it’s also really healthy.

Oh, and I also lived in Texas for 20 years. Does that count?

gailcalled's avatar

I lived with a French family in a decrepit chateau in Burgundy for one glorious summer after I graduated from high school. They owned a small but elegant and world-famous vineyard.

I had a French mother, aunt, sister, brother and little niece and nephew, with whom I spent a lot of time because they spoke slowly and clearly and in short sentences.

There was no hot water and bullet holes in the walls from WWII. We picked mushrooms. cherries and raspberries for meals, biked into town (Beaune) daily for bread, milk and cheese and fresh pastries. All the recipes I took home used the metric system.

During the entire almost-three month stay, I slept on the same sheets. I discovered public showers with hot water, soap and thin towels in town, mercifully.

One of the best experiences of my life.

wundayatta's avatar

I lived in England for a year when I was 15. It was a very influential year in my life. I traveled throughout Europe. I got to travel to the Soviet Union. But mostly I got to learn what it was like to live in a very different culture. I got to see what people in another part of the world saw. It was a different perspective and it was fascinating.

Also, that was the year Monty Python first came on television, so I got to understand it before most Americans did, and I have an insight into British humor that eludes many Americans.

However, there is still something that I don’t understand. Bob’s your uncle? What the hell does that mean?

janbb's avatar

I lived in England for two years. What did I learn? That daily life can be very pleasant, that it nurtures my heart to live in a beautiful country, that I could learn to like beer and that there will always be things in a foreign country that you won’t quite get.

bookish1's avatar

Oh, I also learned that you are a major curiosity if you go out to drink by yourself. I guess that’s acceptable in America because life is so isolating here, as @thorninmud pointed out.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I am australian but have been living in america for about 12 years now – I think it’s great- the most free place I have ever been- (west coast)- and the slang is just the best. I am moving back and maybe I will miss it. Some people commented on, drinking or being in a bar on one’s own. In australia, women didn’t frequent the front bar. Here, you can come in and eat or drink or whatever. Nobody cares. They have stacks of very amusing reading material in every establishment. I hope things have changed, cause I like to play the ponies and hope I don’t have to take a man with me to have a horsie lunch in a pub when I get back lol. PS @wyandutta bobs your uncle means: It’s all good.

trailsillustrated's avatar

oops spelled it wrong @wundayatta it means it’s all good .

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