While some expatriates come to France dead set on complete integration, determined to make nothing but French friends, to speak solely in French, to eat/cook only French cuisine; many of us quickly find a sense of community and camaraderie to be lacking in our otherwise happy lives abroad. Sometimes this sense of isolation comes from the fact that, in general, the French don’t easily open their friendship circles to newcomers. And sometimes, despite all the French friends in the world, you just miss being around those who “speak the same language” both figuratively and literally. This need can be especially pronounced in the fall/winter months when traditional American holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving sometimes leave us feeling awfully far away from home and family.
Luckily, clubs and organizations for Americans or, more generally, English speakers abound in France. These organizations are wonderful ways to meet like-minded expatriates as well as French individuals interested in the American culture and take part in cultural events like Thanksgiving feasts or 4th of July BBQs. Many or the club’s annual calendars include book clubs, rummage sales, happy hours, and children’s play groups. While most of the clubs do charge a small annual membership fee, some are completely free of charge. To help you find a group in your area, we have compiled the list below. The clubs/organizations are organized first according to region. Followed by links for women’s groups and political groups that may have chapters in your area. For a complete listing, consult the List of American Associations in France, published by the American Embassy in Paris. If you are interested in meeting French individuals interested in American culture, check out the France-Etats-Unis website to contact your comité régional. Finally, another great resource for up-to-date listings of events and groups in your area is The American Clubs website. Of course, this list is in no way exhaustive, so if we have forgotten anyone, please don’t hesitate to leave us your comment with a link to the club’s website.
American Club of Paris
English Speakers Association of Haute-Savoie