About Louise McGivern & her Blog
Louise is a winner of Top 25 European Moms - 2012
What's the best part about raising a family in the European Union?
Well, we are Scottish so we have always lived in the E.U. We live in France at the moment and enjoy our little life here, though it is very different from what our life would be if we were in the UK. Life in Lyon is very laid back but not as laid back as our life was further south in Avignon, where we lived last year.
Raising our daughter in different countries is difficult at times, adjusting to the the different cultures, language, laws, education, etc, can be a handful but we manage as best we can, in the hope that she will be more open minded and cultured when she is older.
The added bonus of living in Europe is that we aren't ever more than a quick flight to the UK if we need to return "home" for anything.
We really enjoy our life in France, it may not be where we'll 'settle down' for good, if we ever do, but for now it is the best place to raise our daughter.
What's a great destination for a family vacation in Europe?
The South of France is an absolutely gorgeous holiday destination. (I'm not bias at all! Haha) If delicious wine, cheese, bread, cakes and cuisine aren't enough to tempt you here then the gorgeous scenery, weather, architecture, history of Provence should. The South of France is for everyone. Family camping out in the countryside or staying in a B&B/Hotel on the med, you can do the South of France any way you want. It's a little piece of heaven down here. Come see!
What's the biggest misconception people have about raising a family in the European Union?
Thats a really difficult question actually, as I'm not sure what people think about raising a child in the E.U. Since I haven't raised a child anywhere else in the world it's really difficult to judge. I will say that the language barrier is a major problem for me and if you don't make an attempt to learn the language, life can be difficult.
I still don't speak French very well and it is becoming a problem more and more now that my daughter is in school. I want to engage with my daughters teacher and find out how she is settling into her new environment, etc (she just started school about a month ago, she is 3) but I'm reluctant to communicate incase I make mistakes, etc.
I guess a misconception about the French is that they have a rude/arrogant/serious nature, but thats not true at all. Obviously every country has their own stereotype but having living all over Europe, I've learned that these stereotypes are exactly that, oversimplified images or ideas of a type of person or culture. People are just people, kids are kids, families are just families, we all have similar problems wherever we are in the world.
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