French abroad

Today, we count 2 million French citizen living abroad, mostly in Great Britain (300 000 in London), in Germany, in the United States, in Canada, in African and Asian countries. Immigrants are mostly young and qualified without a clear will for a long term stay. This population is made of very distinct sub-categories, going from the searcher in an American university to the industrial technician in an oil field in the Middle-East, or again the Franco-Madagascan shop keeper and the Franco-German student. French citizens have the double citizenship, (close to 50%), become permanent resident or even cut all links with the French administration when the host country offers them attractive life styles.
French abroad are represented at the parliament and contribute to make the French language live on the five continents. Some of them manage cultural networks and active memorials, such as the Barcelonnettes from Mexico, the Cajuns in Louisiana, the Acadians in Canada or more isolated small islands.

“Life conditions and job opportunities in host countries and the nature of historical bond of those countries with France influence the behavior of French citizens”
(INSEE Première, La population française immatriculée à l’étranger est en forte hausse, Bernard Gentil , Cellule statistique de la direction des Français de l ‘ étranger et des étrangers en France, ministère de Affaires étrangères, n°919, Août 2003).

© Anaïs chaine, Septembre 2009 Reporting «Grape picking in the Vissoux domain», young russian who came grape picking in Fleurie.

In today’s globalized context, it is not surprising to see young French citizens move thousands of kilometers away to work or live another life. Often, they start as students. Since 1987, the ERASMUS program encourages young Europeans to study for one year in another European country. Other similar programs have been created with the province of Quebec, the United States, South American, South Korea, or China.
This exile phenomenon has developed itself greatly and favors mixes, exchanges and all kinds of relations (such as working relations but also, and for example, love relations); The number of French citizens living abroad has apparently increased in the order of 40% from 1993 to 2002.

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