Expat Voices: Isabelle Salles on living in London

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Having lived in France, the US and Belgium, Isabelle would consider settling in the UK. Though the food may not be as good as her native French cuisine, she appreciates British pub culture and the career opportunities.

Name: Isabelle Salles
Nationality: French
City of residence: London
Date of birth: 29/09/73
Civil status: Single
Occupation: Researcher
Reason for moving to the UK: Work
Lived in the UK for: 7 months

What was your first impression of the UK?
My thoughts were that it was very different than the US, which is the country I lived in for nine years previously to the UK. Especially with the language I had some adjusting to do, and getting used to all the different accents.

What do you think of the food?
I would say that I find the food quite ok; it is not France but the food's definitely very good. I can find nearly everything, although of course it’s more expensive than in France. However, I live in London and therefore it may be different in other parts of the UK.

Isabelle in Edinburgh
Overlooking Edinburgh
What do you think of the shopping in the UK?
Very good. There are lots of shops and, as far as retail stores are concerned, they are very good. Again, this is in London.

What do you appreciate about living in the UK?
I really enjoy living in London. They are many things to do, transportation is quite convenient and the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than in Paris. I also like the pub culture; it is nice/easy to socialise.

What do you find most frustrating about living in the UK?
Lots of new rules/regulations at work and in general to get used to. The health system is not as good I believe than in France or Belgium (a country I lived in for five years). Accommodation is very expensive.

Isabelle at Stone Henge
Enjoying British weather at Stone Henge

What puzzles you about the UK and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
I miss having a car sometimes, and a bigger apartment.

How does the quality of life in the UK compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
I would really consider settling in the UK because of the possibilities to have a good career, and although I’m not a native from the country, I do feel it is possible.

I love the fact that London is full of parks and this is really nice for relaxing at the weekends. The salary is very good compared to some other European countries and therefore the quality of life is quite good despite a high price for renting a place.

Isabelle in London
In London

If you could change anything about the UK, what would it be?
Have cheaper accommodation. And cars driving on the right side.  ;o)
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
To not be afraid to share a house/apartment with someone. I definitely was a bit skeptical at first, having lived on my own for a long time and being in my thirties.

Joining Expat Voices
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