The single most valuable resources available to American expatriates living in France are the numerous associations whose mission it is to provide support, helpful advice, and a sense of community to both those trying to adjust to their new life abroad and to veteran expatriates who have decided to make France their permanent home. We got the chance to talk with a representative of one such group, the American Club in Lille. Here’s what they had to say:
Who belongs to your support group?
Acting as a social network, the club is made up of individuals, families, professionals, students, and even military as Lille has been home to a NATO command post since 2006. Our constituency is made up primarily of people in their 30s and the largest group is made up of American citizens, with smaller groups of French and dual-citizenship folks. In quite a few families one spouse is from the U.S. while the other is French, so we have some know-how about diplomacy and tact to keep smooth Franco-American relations. 🙂
We have a core group of 60 households, but reach out to nearly 200; our flagship event is Thanksgiving where we hosted 134 people in 2008.
What is your mission?
The American Club of Lille supports Americans and kindred spirits living in Northern France. By celebrating US national holidays and other American cultural events, the Club helps young and old, individuals and families, in creating venues where the American culture can be experienced in larger social settings.
Our membership provides a support network to assist newcomers through the difficult transitioning of adjusting to French culture.
When is your next event?
Our next event is a Day in the Country and Annual Meeting to be held on August 30, where we will gather in one of our member’s beautiful country home. People will enjoy a BBQ and the children will engage in a scavenger hunt. Also, we will welcome all newcomers to the area, and will perform our annual meeting and Board elections before school starts again.
How can we contact you?
You can visit our website http://www.AmericanClubLille.org