General Information

Having always wanted to experience living in another country, we decided to spend a year in France. We divided our time with a 3 month stay (April – June of 2012)  in an old Catalan farmhouse outside of Ille-sur-Tet in the “peach valley” at the base of the Pyrenees and a 10 month stay (September 2012-June 2013) in St Etienne de l’Olm, a small village north of Nimes in the department of Gard in Languedoc Roussillon.

These pages outline the posts related to our year in France including lots of hiking and visits to quaint towns, markets and other regional places of interest, short trips to other destinations in France, as well as general information on practical matters such as obtaining a French visa and opening a checking account. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

Year in France

Pyrenees page
Outlines posts related to our first three months in France.

Languedoc Roussillon page
Outlines posts related to our 10-month stay in France.

Other Destinations page
Outlines posts related to short trips taken in France and Belgium.

General Information
The Search for a Rental House in the South of France
Talks about the process we went through to find a suitable rental property.
Obtaining a French Long Term Visa
Recounts our application process at the French Consulat in DC.
The OFII Stamp – Completing the Long Term Visa Process
Recounts our visit to the local OFII office to complete the process. What they don’t tell you on the website.
French Bank Account – Round I
Our attempt and failure in obtaining a French checking account.
French Banking System Round II – The Get
How we finally got a checking account.
Baking American Cookies in a French Kitchen
With all the necessary adjustments for temperature, measurements and ingredients baking cookies can be a real challenge.
An American’s Visit to a Doctor in France
Antidote describing a visit to a local doctor.

Thoughts on Learning French
No Kidding I Really Do Want to Speak French
What Does it Mean to Be an Advanced Language Learner?
Maintaining French in the US
Back at Last
Language difficulties on our return to France.
The Effect of a Second Second Language
Talks about how learning French influences former knowledge of Spanish.
So How’s that French Coming?
Final assessment at the end of our year in France.