Bordeaux Expats https://bordeauxexpats.com A guide for the International community of Bordeaux Tue, 06 Aug 2019 10:30:48 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 https://bordeauxexpats.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cropped-Logo-3-32x32.png Bordeaux Expats https://bordeauxexpats.com 32 32 THE ROBOTS HAVE ARRIVED AT CAP SCIENCES https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/08/robots-exhibition-cap-sciences.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/08/robots-exhibition-cap-sciences.html#respond Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:01:17 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5233 Useful, disturbing, indispensable, insensitive: Robots intimidate as much as they fascinate. The robots have arrived at Cap Sciences in Bordeaux, come and explore this new revolution! […]

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Useful, disturbing, indispensable, insensitive: Robots intimidate as much as they fascinate. The robots have arrived at Cap Sciences in Bordeaux, come and explore this new revolution!

Over the last few decades we have seen technological progress with the appearance of autonomous robots that aimed to assist humans in daily life. Now with the introduction of AI we are experiencing the future with robots playing roles in the household, industry and collaborative.

Ever present in our lives, from the cinema to literature and music, robots are not just a cultural symbol. The coming years will determine the relationship that we have with them and the position that they will take in our existence. So, will they replace us?

Expo Robots - Cap Sciences Bordeaux

Play a part in this ethical debate and delve into these intriguing challenges that have been put in motion by Pepper, Nao, Cozmo and other Robotic counterparts.

All audiences / above 7 years old
Visit Duration: 1hr 30min
#RobotsBdx @capsciences
Bilingual exhibition French / English

WHERECap Sciences, Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

WHEN10th July 2019 until 3rd May 2020
Tuesday to Friday 2pm – 6pm
Saturday & Sunday 2pm – 7pm
Every day during school holidays

COST: 
Full price : €9
Discount price : €6.50
Online reservations and ticket purchases are available at: cap-sciences.net

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COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – NATURAL WINE CELLAR https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/07/cousin-et-compagnie-natural-wine-cellar.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/07/cousin-et-compagnie-natural-wine-cellar.html#respond Fri, 26 Jul 2019 10:02:05 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5214 Founded in 1993 by 2 Danish expatriates and cousins, Cousin et Compagnie is one of the oldest wine shops of the historical Bordeaux, and one of […]

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Founded in 1993 by 2 Danish expatriates and cousins, Cousin et Compagnie is one of the oldest wine shops of the historical Bordeaux, and one of the first who started to speak about bio-dynamic or natural wines in the city.

Truly committed to the preservation of their natural patrimony, they are convinced at Cousin et Compagnie that it also comes through their practices in the vineyards as well as in the cellar. Therefore, their range is composed for 90% of organic, biodynamic or natural wines from small-batches productions.

Stopping by Cousin et Compagnie’s means to unearth gem wines from all over the country and from abroad, from the prestigious Classified Growths to the narrow and unknown family run estates. Novices or connoisseurs, everyone will find what they want, helped by the very open and knowledgeable staff.

NATURAL WINE CELLAR BORDEAUX NATURAL WINE CELLAR BORDEAUX

Cousin et Compagnie is not only a wine shop, you might be alone or a group and whatever budget or time you are willing to spend, Cousin et Compagnie is able to welcome you every day for short commented tastings or private tastings and wine dinners in hidden places of the historical Bordeaux, on reservation.

In addition, every Saturday at 12h, an introduction to the tasting of 4 great wines of Bordeaux in an 18th century lounge for 2 hours of exchange and sharing around emblematic areas of the region.

But also, throughout the summer until the end of September, every Monday at 18h and Tuesdays at 11:30, Cousin et Compagnie will take you aboard its cruise over the wine for 1h30 tasting of great Bordeaux wines and local products. under the sign of conviviality and good humour.

  COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – WINE BOAT CRUISE IN BORDEAUX COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – WINE BOAT CRUISE IN BORDEAUX COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – WINE BOAT CRUISE IN BORDEAUX

Tastings, wine dinners, events, wine cruises or worldwide shipping, everything is possible at Cousin et Compagnie’s, where there is always a glass of wine waiting for you and where friendship and fellowship are the key words, every single day of the week, all year long from 10am to 10pm.

WHERE: Cousin et Compagnie, 2 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux

https://www.facebook.com/CousinandCo/

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LEARN FRENCH BY LISTENING TO THE RADIO https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/learn-french-by-listening-to-the-radio.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/learn-french-by-listening-to-the-radio.html#respond Tue, 14 May 2019 11:08:19 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5176 If you’re new to France, struggling to learn French, or trying to understand the culture, we highly recommend that you start listening to French radio. It’s […]

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If you’re new to France, struggling to learn French, or trying to understand the culture, we highly recommend that you start listening to French radio.

It’s a great way of injecting French popular culture into your day, during your commute, workout, or downtime, and will provide you with something to talk about with French people.

Here is a selection of hits you’ll hear on the radio this spring. Try reading the lyrics while you listen, and practice translating them to boost your French skills.

Author Letty David

Patrick Fiori – Les gens qu’on aime

Written and composed for Patrick Fiori by Jean Jacques Goldman (known for 1982 “Quand la musique est bonne” which is still a cult dance track), this catchy song has a lovely message. We’ll be humming it all summer. Goldman makes a cameo appearance in the official video clip; see if you can spot him.

 

Maître Gims – Miami Vice

Aside from his work with Sexion D’assaut, Maitre Gims’ voice has enlivened French radio with many solo hits including “J’me Tire” (2013) and “Sapés comme jamais” (2015). Miami Vice is is his latest release.

 

Zaz – Demain C’est Toi

Her first single “Je Veux” (2010) made Zaz famous and is a radio classic that you’ll hear while walking round the supermarket. “Demain C’est Toi” is a hauntingly beautiful track from her new album “Effet Miroir”.

 

Angèle – Balance Ton Quoi

Referencing the #MeToo movement (called #BalanceTonPorc in France), 22 year old Angèle’s upbeat song is a feminist anthem whose video clip is a hilarious comment about the patriarchy.

 

Clara Luciani – La Grenade

Another rising star in the French music industry, Clara Luciani’s lyrics in “La Grenade” are a battle cry for all women.

 

Jenifer – Slimane, Les Choses Simples

Since winning the first season of “La Star Academy” in 2002, Jenifer has released many hit songs and been a coach on “The Voice”. For “Les Choses Simples”, she collaborated with Slimane (who won “The Voice” in 2016).

 

Calogero – On se sait par cœur

The video clip for “On se sait par cœur” was filmed live at the Olympia in Paris during Calogero’s hugely successful “Liberté Chérie” tour.

 

Kendji Girac, Claudio Capéo – Que Dieu me Pardonne

“Que Dieu me Pardonne”’s gypsy-pop vibe reunites two singers from “The Voice” whose budding friendship could lead to even greater musical achievements.

 

Patrick Bruel – Pas Eu Le Temps

A veteran French star of stage and screen, Patrick Bruel’s latest song is a melancholic yet upbeat reflection on the passage of time.

 

Maëlle – Toutes Les Machines ont un Coeur

In 2018, Maëlle was the first female winner of “The Voice” at only 17. Her first single was composed by Calogero and questions our technology-dependant society, reminding us that behind each screen is a human being.

About the author:

Letty David - Bilingual organisational mastermind and people person par excellence.

Letty David was born and brought up in France but her family is originally British. Being bilingual but not understanding British culture at all, she wanted to learn all about it so she spent 5 years in Scotland catching up on English TV, discovering Scottish music, and bingeing on curry… She is now proud to call herself not only bilingual but bicultural. She is happy to be back in France, even though she knows that she’ll never properly fit in anywhere because she’s not 100% British or French… She is however a true European!

Letty specialises in communications, and she would be happy to connect on LinkedIn here: You can find out about her work as a photographer: www.lettydavid.com / @PhotographyLettyDavid

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SANCTUARY SURF – GLAMPING IN THE MÉDOC https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/sanctuary-surf-glamping-in-the-medoc.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/sanctuary-surf-glamping-in-the-medoc.html#respond Thu, 09 May 2019 10:30:33 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5135 James & Olly are two mates from Uni in England who both ended up in Bordeaux 7 years ago. When they’re not building and delivering the […]

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James & Olly are two mates from Uni in England who both ended up in Bordeaux 7 years ago. When they’re not building and delivering the slickest Glamping holidays around, they’re lecturing in Business Schools around town.

They love living in the city but since their arrival they’ve always looked to get out and explore the region. But after they had driven through the Médoc’s “Route des Châteaux” and ended up on the empty dunes looking over the Atlantic coast, they knew it had to be shared and that this is where they would eventually set up shop.

Plage du Pin Sec - Beach near Bordeaux

Back in 2008, they became close friends thanks to their involvement with their Uni’s ski society, organising the annual student ski trip to the Alps. After graduation, not convinced by the choice of Grad’ schemes on offer, they both jumped ship to South West France in 2012 following years-abroad in Paris and Nice respectively.

With the Atlantic ocean on their doorstep it was inevitable that they should try to transpose their ski/boarding skills into surfing, but they never expected to get hooked on the sport so easily, let alone build a surf camp!

Check out this great Surf Guide to waves in France!

For the first few years living in Bordeaux they would take any free time off from the freelance teaching gigs to head back to the waves.

Within 1h15 there are so many spots within reach of the city. Although this sounded like a lot to Brits, driving in the French countryside is a genuine pleasure and time on the road flies by.

Sanctuary Surf - Map Medoc

Learn more about where the are location: www.sanctuary.surf/where

A little throwback to their early surf days. 7 years ago when they arrived in Bordeaux.

It was exactly on one of these trips back from a mid-week session when full of post-surf buzz they asked themselves “Why can’t we do this everyday?”.

“Let’s start a surf camp!”

“It’s been done” Came the reply.

“Yeah but not with the home comforts we’re used to…..”

“It’s always nice to go home after a surf to chill, but instead of going home, why not take all the best aspects of home and bring them to the surf?”.

The rest as they say, is history… From there onwards they made the most of every drive to their surf sessions to develop the concept.

Over the next four years and after much discussion and fine tuning they arrive where they are today: making their idea a reality, being in the position to actually offer what they have been planning for so long, and most importantly, living what we love doing…

SANCTUARY SURF - Camping in the Medoc near Bordeaux

They built Sanctuary Surf to share “The best France has to offer” for those travelling from abroad (outside France). But they are still surprised today how undiscovered this area of the region is to people from Bordeaux, whether native or Expat.

That’s why James & Olly want to welcome new guests and we have put together some special offers for the Bordeaux Expat Community

2 NIGHTS FULL-BOARD ONLY €139 pp

We have put the first weekend of June aside exclusively for Bordeaux Expats so get booking!

They can’t wait to see you at Sanctuary Surf this summer!

SANCTUARY SURF - James & Olly

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INTERVIEW WITH STREET ARTIST – JEAN ROOBLE https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/interview-street-artist-jean-rooble.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/interview-street-artist-jean-rooble.html#comments Mon, 06 May 2019 11:51:05 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5120 Jean Rooble is a talented street artist from Bordeaux. He has created murals across the globe, and we wanted to know more about this artist that […]

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Jean Rooble is a talented street artist from Bordeaux. He has created murals across the globe, and we wanted to know more about this artist that manages to create super life-like works using only spraycans.

Bordeaux Expats took a break to have a chat to Jean Rooble about his influences, the cultural climate in Bordeaux and how it adds up to other international cities…

Check it….

Who are you ? And where are you from ?

My name is Jean Rooble, I am an artist, I am 38 years old, I live and work in Bordeaux.

Jean Rooble… obviously the tag you go by. Where did it come from?

Like all my nicknames, I found ROOBLE by tagging on a piece of paper … I have always liked when the letters have a “flow” and the words have meaning. It became “Jean Rooble” over time.

What are your main influences – art and otherwise ?

My main influences and origin of my painting are the graffiti and the hip-hop culture that I discovered in the mid-90s . However, I am influenced by many artists, illustrators, painters and graffiti artists. I am influenced more and more by muralism, something that I want to tackle further .
I’m also motivated by a lot of photographers, mainly analogue, and I’m a big fan of music.

Can you remember the first time you picked up a spray can, and what you created ?

It must have been in 1997/98 in my parents’ garage … My first lines must still be there, but the first time I ventured out to do some colour lettering it was in 1998, in a vacant lot next to my house. There’s no trace of it now!

Your technique is extremely lifelike. How have you developed this over the years?

I am self-taught, so learning has been long and tedious. I started with portraits in a single colour range, trying to master the shape and the volume. Then I tried to reproduce the nuances of skin and smaller and smaller details. With the evolution of spray-paints, low pressure, new colours, as well as the adoption of the “stencil cap” technique allowed me to push realism. The rest is stubbornness…

Teaser Le M.U.R. de Bordeaux Performance #40 // Rooble from We Want Art! WebTV on Vimeo.

How have you seen street art in Bordeaux, and Bordeaux City, develop over the years?

I started in the late ’90s and the city had a different face: no tram, no bridge after the les hangars de Saint-Louis (Chartrons) and there was wasteland nearby. The city was covered with tags and for me street-art was all about posters and stencils.

So, I started to appreciate graffiti because it was still present in the city. There were frescoes made by many active collectives and you could find chrome and tags everywhere.

Then the tram arrived and the big clean up started.

There are (fortunately) still active graffiti artists in the city center, but anything that displeases the cleaning services disappears in a few days.

In short, as most French cities, graffiti (tags, lettering, stencils) have largely been erased and there is a a systematic cleaning of downtown and surrounding areas. So now we see a new generation of artists, graffiti artists or street-artists, get involved. They are better accepted because their work is often more figurative, colourful and easily understood by the general public.

How do you rate street art culture in Bordeaux and France? How does it compare to other cities from around the world?

Difficult question… Bordeaux remains a small French town, clean and quiet. It’s artistic culture resembles the soul of the city. The same goes for the “street-culture” here. However, Bordeaux has always been a pleasant place to live and there are many artists who come from here. Some head out and work aboard, but many continue to work locally to promote the local ‘know-how’.

Favourite place to chill in Bordeaux?
Home

Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez - Jean Rooble

You’ve recently exhibited at the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez for your show “Zone Blanche”. How was the experience?

It was a great experience! It’s been a while since I wanted to do my first solo show. It enabled me to spend 6 months in my workshop developing an exclusive series. Over this time, I was able to really work with material, framing and evolving my technique. It was exhausting but so addictive. Then to be guided by such a professional and pleasant team was a luxury! I am delighted with the rendition and set design, with the opening being a huge success with over 1200 visitors !! It was crazy!

How do you feel about the movement of street art into galleries?

I am asked this question very often, but I like to remember there are many artists out there. Even if our art was born on the street, our practices, influences and goals are all different.

When I started, I didn’t imagine becoming a professional and being able to live off my painting.

In my opinion, it’s not about not being pure to the art form just because we have put it in a frame. It’s more about if we continue to evolve despite that?

Personally, I don’t put importance on this. There are always new artists who appear and who do this just for the sake of their art. Or perhaps, it’s just to find their place in society that moves at a million miles an hour.

If a creation or the artist is sincere, where their art is displayed doesn’t change much for me.

Where can we find your work and get in contact with you?

Facebook, Instagram and my website – www.jeanrooble.fr

Jean Rooble’s work is on exhibition until the 19th May 2019, at the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, 16 rue de Tivoli, Bordeaux.

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FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE COAST – JAMES MARTIN https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/expat-interview-james-martin-sanctuary-surf.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/expat-interview-james-martin-sanctuary-surf.html#respond Thu, 02 May 2019 09:40:49 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5108 James Martin is an Englishman balancing time between being a teacher and a surfcamp founder in Bordeaux. With these two activities, he has managed to find […]

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James Martin is an Englishman balancing time between being a teacher and a surfcamp founder in Bordeaux. With these two activities, he has managed to find the perfect harmony of life between the city and the coast.

Bordeaux has been James’s home for the past 7 years, but his connection to region goes back much further. He was born, raised and studied in England, but spent every summer and school holidays in France as his father lived in the Médoc most of his life.  So, he’s been flying to and from Bordeaux since the days when British Airways only had 1 flight per week on a Saturday, compared to up to 15 per day from the UK in peak season now.

He says that he was lucky to grow up exposed to both cultures, and try to take the best of both worlds.

“I understand ‘la belle vie’ and don’t just love but respect food, merci La France. But you can’t shake off the politeness, efficiency and GSOH that comes from being a Brit”.

After working for a couple of years in France before, and during uni, straight out of an International Business degree James headed back in 2012 to start his “career” and to avoid a soulless graduate scheme in some satellite town of London.

Getting into teaching…

Like many other fresh Expats, he started in Bordeaux with the English teaching gig: working freelance for agencies, being expected to work like an employee without the perks.

“I thought I was balling to begin with: “Ohhhh €15-20 per hour, that’s much more than minimum wage !!! Get in!” I would convince myself: not factoring in travel time, lesson planning, no holiday pay and extremely limited social security”.

The precarity and pittance soon pushed him to up his game. He managed to sneak a foot in the door of a business school and has since developed his activity to lecturing in 4 different schools with over 450 students per year.

Expat Interview - James Martin

These days it’s less and less English teaching, with many classes of his classes focusing on Web Marketing, Digital Strategy and Change Management with regular but impromptu “lessons” on what perplexes many students here: respect, work-ethic and speaking because you have something to say, not because you have to say something.

“I genuinely do love teaching though and never expected to become a teacher. It allows you to meet people from all walks of life and to really understand how people live here in Bordeaux. When starting off working with “particuliers” I worked with ages ranging from 7 to 77!

Higher education works differently in France to the Anglo-saxon system however. In a nutshell, on the one hand you can go to public uni which is basically free but you may struggle to get a seat in the amphitheatre, your teacher will rarely know your name and you can expect months off at a time due to strikes. This might explain the 50% dropout rate after 1st year?

On the other hand, you’ve got private business schools where either you work on apprenticeship (“Alternance”) and your company pays for your studies (and gets you as cheap labour), or your rents stump up the hefty tuition fees without government loans etc like in the UK (there’s also the grand-ecole system but we’ll save that for another day…)”.

Nowadays, he only work with young “adults” between 18-25 in private business schools. The interactions are priceless and he can easily see how to manage/enjoy the more difficult egos.

“You’ve got the archetypal blasé bourgeois kid repeating his 2nd year for the third time, always late except for at the end of lesson when his coat is on and bag is packed with 10 minutes left. Just like the ones who drop Verlan and Arabic in convo saying “ouech” like their “frères” in the banlieue, but themselves have two good catholic first names, the first one is Jean, the second either Pierre, Paul, François or Baptiste. I’m guessing they don’t speak like that during Sunday lunch with the family at the weekend house in the Bassin however”.

But for every one of these clichés, he has come across even more top-notch hard-working and ambitious students, some of whom have become his close friends and really makes his job worthwhile.

From the classroom to the coast…

For all the peaks and troughs of the classroom, the teaching gig only represents 8 months of the year. Thanks to the ridiculously long summer holidays, from April to September you can find James up on the Médoc coast where for 3 years, he and his best mate from uni, have been running an active glamping holiday operator, “Sanctuary Surf”.

They’re located just next to Plage Le Pin Sec near Hourtin, a wild beach with only basic amenities meaning you avoid the hoards in Lacanau and the Bassin.

Plage du Pin Sec - Beach near Bordeaux

The concept is to offer the hotel experience under canvas, showcasing the best France has to offer in terms of food, drink (wine) & nature, whilst providing access to surfing on Europe’s longest beaches & standup paddle boarding on the country’s largest freshwater lake.

If good vibes, having fun in the sun, being outdoors and enjoying fine cuisine appeal. Escape the city for the weekend and join them out in their little corner of paradise.

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HOW TO INTEGRATE & GET A JOB IN FRANCE IN 4 STEPS https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/how-get-a-job-in-france-in-4-steps.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/how-get-a-job-in-france-in-4-steps.html#respond Mon, 29 Apr 2019 10:45:23 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5086 When arriving in France from overseas we are all faced with the same problem. How do I find a job and how to I integrate into […]

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When arriving in France from overseas we are all faced with the same problem. How do I find a job and how to I integrate into my surroundings? Here are four tips that will help guide you into getting settled and finding employment!

Author Letty David

Step 1 – Pôle emploi and learning French.

First things first, if you’re job hunting in France, sign up to Pôle emploi; they will register you, and support you, and can prescribe free French lessons and subsidised training courses. You will be assigned a personal advisor (“conseiller”) whose job is to help you. If you have worked in the EU prior to arriving in France, bring them your U1 form which can entitle you to unemployment pay (long story and not the subject of this article, but well worth googling).

Now I’ll state the obvious; if you don’t already speak passable French, get learning as fast as possible. Find out if your Pôle emploi can get you free classes, and while you’re on the waiting list, get a card for your local ‘médiatheque’ (library) and borrow books, CDs and DVDs so you can immerse yourself completely. Médiathèques often host events, book clubs, and sometimes language exchange sessions as well so sign up for their newsletter and check their public notice board.

A friend arrived in France having only ever been here for a long weekend and learned enough to get a permanent job (CDI) by reading children’s books and listening to the radio. Within a year of working in a French speaking office, they were nearly fluent.

It isn’t easy, but it is doable; you just have to be determined. Watch French TV, subscribe to French YouTube channels, use French recipe books, and join local associations; yoga, dance, painting, football, whatever your hobbies are, do them in French! (Go to your mairie and ask for the list of sporting and cultural associations; some of them even do language exchange and lessons.) Switch your phone and other devices to French, even switch your mobile applications and Facebook to French. All this will help you to learn the language, but, almost more importantly, it will help you learn about French culture and meet French people, which is KEY to getting a job.

Aside from learning French, remember that your language skills and cultural background make you stand out.

An acquaintance found a permanent job in France after 3 months even though they spoke no French simply because they spoke fluent English which no one else in the office did.

List the languages you speak on your CV, and mention your background in your cover letter. Speaking English fluently is a great start, but it’s worth reminding people that you also have a cultural understanding of Anglophone/English/American/or other foreign clients and their expectations. Depending on your experience, you can also list that your work ethics and customer service skills were formed by your experience in American or British working environments (if that’s the case), meaning that you are hardworking and have excellent customer service skills for example. In short, no matter which country you come from, show HOW this makes you the better candidate. If you’ve lived and worked in Asia, that is likely to impress, so accentuate it in your application. Foreigners are exotic, so get out there and brag a little bit!

Step 2 – Applying for jobs: CVs, Lettres de Motivation, codes of conduct.

Your CV:

Your CV is expected to be one page maximum emailed in PDF format or printed out. Most people now include a picture of themselves. You can be as creative as you like with layout and colour schemes so it reflects who you are and your skills. Research the key skills expected for the jobs you are applying for (see fact-box at the end of this article) so that you know what is expected and which vocabulary to use. Make sure that they stand out by putting them in a box out, or in bold for example (soft skills are called “savoir être” and hard skills are “compétences”). Look at other people’s CVs on LinkedIn, and don’t hesitate to ask people for feedback on your CV. Be ready to regularly tinker with layout and update your CV.

Your cover letter or “lettre de motivation”:

This is expected to be no longer than one page in PDF format. Attach it to your application rather than send it as part of your email’s content.

Traditional layout is expected with your name, address, and contact details at the top left of the page, the employer’s name and address top right of the page, a subject line, an opening (“A l’attention de…recipient’s name”, or “Madame, Monsieur,”), followed by your text (and formule de politesse), and then your signature.

Your structure should have three parts; “you” (the company you’re contacting), “me” (your background, experience, qualities), “us” (how you can work together/what you can contribute to the company).

The first part shows that you have researched the company and are aware of their current projects and aims. The second is your chance to sell yourself. The third can be as short as one sentence synthesising your enthusiasm about working with the company and how you can drive their development.

Give concrete examples in your cover letter, and use keywords. This is your chance to add things that wouldn’t fit on your CV or expand on something that’s very important. Make sure to personalise your cover letter for each application.

Your application email:

Put the details of the position you are applying for in the subject line, for example; “Candidature au poste de -job title-” or “Candidature à l’annonce N3458” (advert number).

The content of the email should be short and sweet, something along these lines;

Madame, Monsieur, (use the person’s name if you have it)

Avec plus de 5 ans (insert number of years)  d’expérience dans (your industry or speciality) , je vous adresse ma candidature au poste de (job title) (référence n°45656). Vous trouverez ci-joint mon CV ainsi qu’une lettre de motivation plus détaillée.

En vous remerciant par avance de l’attention que vous y porterez.

Bien Cordialement,

(Madame or Monsieur your Surname and Name)

Handwritten applications:

Yes, some companies still ask for manuscript cover letters to be delivered in person or posted. If you’ve been asked for a manuscript letter or a writing sample (also a thing) it’s because you will be judged on neatness, handwriting, and presentation. Use plain white paper, blue or black ink (use a nice ink pen or fountain pen instead of a biro), and make sure to write neatly in straight lines. I always put a lined sheet of paper underneath the sheet I’m writing on to make sure my writing is evenly spaced and straight. Use cursive handwriting.

“Formules de politesse”:

“Formules de politesse” are your opening and closing lines and they’re a bit of a fetish in France.

The easiest opening to use for emails and cover letters is “Monsieur -insert surname-” or “Madame -insert surname-”. If you are unaware of the gender or name of your recipient, you can use “Madame, Monsieur,”.

Closing formulas come in all shapes and sizes. Usually, the more important the person you’re addressing is, the longer and more complex your formula is. You can end emails slightly informally with; variations on “Cordialement”, “Salutations distinguées”, “Respectueusement” or “Salutations Respectueuses”.

Here are a selection of ones you can use at the end of a cover letter;
  • “Dans l’attente de votre réponse, veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes sincères salutations.”
  • “En espérant que ma candidature retiendra votre attention, veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, ma considération distinguée.”
  • “Veuillez agréer, Madame, Monsieur, mes meilleures salutations.”
  • “Je vous prie d’agréer, Madame, Monsieur, l’expression de ma considération.”
  • “Veuillez recevoir, Madame, Monsieur, l’assurance de ma considération distinguée.”

If none of these inspire you, google “formules de politesse” or “formules de courtoisie” and have fun!

“Relances”:

When to remind someone of your application is a tricky subject. Try to find out what the deadline for applications is, and don’t contact a recruiter about your application until after that. If there is no information regarding the application deadline, most people wait about 2 weeks after they sent in their application to contact a company. There is no solid rule about this though, so play it by ear. Just try not to come across as desperate because it could make recruiters nervous. Don’t hesitate to ask your Pôle emploi conseiller or anyone in your network what they think about this subject as it can vary according to your situation.

Other communication:

If you have been given an interview for a job, it is usual to email the recruiter within 24/48hrs to thank them for their time. Keep it short and snappy.

Step 3 – Networking

Why network?

Someone working at Pôle emploi recently told me that 60% – 70% of people hired in France get their jobs through the “marché caché”. He described the “marché ouvert” as the open job market; jobs advertised online and in papers; the visible part of the iceberg. The “marché caché” is the larger, hidden part of the iceberg; it encompasses jobs which are never advertised because they are offered directly to acquaintances, interns, or people who sent in spontaneous applications. Because of this, your most prized job catching apparatus is your network; your “réseau”. The larger your network is, the more flies will get caught in it.

Ok, so how do I network?

Your network includes everyone you’ve ever met. Traditionally, people’s network would include school mates, ex-teachers, parent’s colleagues, mentors, and extended family members. If you’re new to an area and don’t have a lifetime’s worth of acquaintances stored up, you’ll need to start from scratch. Tell everyone that you’re job hunting! Practice dropping it into the conversation; mention it at your children’s schools, to people you meet at social events, your neighbours, and your local baker (bakers know everyone, especially in smaller towns and villages). It’s a good idea to carry business cards you can hand out if anyone looks even vaguely interested.

Ask your Pôle emploi conseiller about their network; do they know anyone in your line of work who would be happy to meet up with you or chat over the phone?

Meeting people in person has to be your aim because it builds trust. People who have met you in person are more likely to recommend you and help you. You can do this by going door to door handing out cards and CVs and speaking to people. However, this can be very time consuming, and you risk only speaking to people who don’t have the power to hire you such as secretaries or interns. This is why I strongly recommend using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn and “entretiens de réseau”:

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, sign up and get going. Make sure that your profile picture is an accurate representation of you, in focus, looking professional. It’s a good idea to have a banner picture; you can find one by googling “your industry/speciality + linkedin banner”. Your headline should list your speciality and that you are actively seeking work. If you speak several languages, make sure to fill out your profile all of them (find out how here). The more detailed your profile is and the more skills you list, the more likely to are to come up when recruiters search for candidates. Make sure you list your current location or mention that you are mobile. Start adding people to your network.

Use the search bar to find people in your industry near you and ask to connect with them. When you do this, there’s an option for adding a “note” to your request. I recommend adding a note explaining that you have recently moved to the area, are job hunting in X industry, and are trying to expand your network. You can also use this note to ask for an “entretien de réseau”.

“Entretiens de réseau” are networking interviews. Start by asking people you admire if they would be so kind as to share their expert advice with you. Ask lots of people because not everyone will respond. When someone agrees, organise a phone or Skype call, or a meeting in person (even better if you can). Prepare for the meeting by rehearsing your elevator pitch introducing yourself, your experience and skills, and laying out your aims. Then prepare some questions to ask. You can also ask for constructive criticism on your CV and cover letters.

Ask about your interviewee about their network; do they know anyone else who would speak to you?

Do they know other people in your industry?

Do they know of companies you could approach who might be interested in your profile?

The idea is for you to get advice but also expand your network using other people’s networks. If you didn’t meet your interviewee on LinkedIn, ask if you can add them. After someone has given you an entretien de réseau, send them a thank you email and demonstrate how they have helped (send your updated CV and list the steps you have taken). When you do find a job, let them know, and thank them again for their support.

Step 4 – The extra mile; “candidatures spontanées”, “immersion professionnelle”, “stages”,and “service civique”:

Once you’ve applied to all the job offers you’ve found advertised, make a list of organisations you would like to work for or whose missions or ethics you admire, and send them spontaneous applications. People often look through their archived spontaneous applications before even advertising a position so this can give your profile extra privilege.

Ask your Pôle emploi conseiller about doing “service civique”, an “immersion professionnelle”, or a “stage”; which are all great ways of getting a foot in at the door of whichever industry you want to break into. You’re more likely to be hired by someone who knows you, or a friend of someone who knows you.

It’s a good idea to mention in your spontaneous applications that you are available to undertake an “immersion professionnelle” with the aim of developing your skills and making yourself known. “Immersion professionnelle” is an unpaid opportunity to integrate a company for a short time (usually a week) so that you can develop your skills, learn about the organisation, and demonstrate what a good employee you would be. Asking for such an opportunity is a good way of standing out; if you undertake an “immersion”, you will expand your network and are more likely to be hired later on by that company as they know you. A contract is signed between your Pôle emploi, the company, and yourself, laying out the aims of the “immersion”. This is designed to protect you from being exploited. You can download an information pack to send out with applications on the pole emploi site (see fact-box).

“Stages” are internships; the pay isn’t huge, but this can be a great way of building experience of working in France with French people, and might help you find your dream job. You can search for “stages” on the Pôle emploi site and all other job hunting sites.

“Service civique” is similar to volunteering but you get paid between 500 and 600 euros a month. This can be a great way of practising French, meeting people, and developing skills to enhance your CV. For more information and to search and apply for positions go here.

Job hunting seasons:

January-April: This is a good time to job hunt in most industries as it’s the new year and new financial year. If you work in tourism/hospitality/entertainment, this is when people hire for the summer season. As companies come to the end of their financial year in April, personnel might be very busy and take time to get back to you so don’t stress; send a polite email reminding them of you about two weeks after you applied.

March-May: Good time to find last minute summer seasonal jobs. If you’re thinking about doing training or pursuing further education, you need to get organised now to start in September.

June-July: If you work in tourism/hospitality/entertainment and want a winter seasonal job at a ski resort, this is a good time to start looking as the good jobs with included accommodation tend to go early.

July-August: Bear in mind that the high summer season is from approximately the 14th July to 15th August; if you work in tourism you’re unlikely to get any rest during this period. If you’re job hunting in the tourism industry, make sure you’re available during this period; no one wants to hire staff who have holidays planned when they’re most needed!

August: If it’s the 1st August and you still don’t have a job, it’s time to take a break from sending out applications. Most of France shuts down over August; even my local nursery school and bakery close for three weeks. You’re unlikely to receive many responses from companies until the first week of September. This makes August a good time for you to recharge your energy, focus on updating your CV, practising your French, improving your cover letters and LinkedIn profile etc. Why not improve your chances further by taking an online course? There are plenty of free courses run by universities which can enrich your CV and show that you’re a proactive candidate (see fact-box).

September: The first Monday of September is “la rentrée des classes” or “la rentrée”; children go back to school, adults go back to work, and you’ve got a few months of productivity before the Christmas shopping season starts and things tail off again. This is a good time to grab people’s attention when they’re freshly rested from their summer break. You might not get many responses in the first week of September as people catch up with colleagues, attend meetings, and sift through all the emails they received in August, but by the 15th September, things should be more dynamic. This is a good time to expand your network, ask to meet people, search for mentors, and apply for jobs. September is also when most associations and meetups start again. Ask your local mairie or google “forum des associations” in your area; these are like Freshers fairs where associations and clubs have stands and hold displays to attract new members in the autumn. Joining clubs and associations will help you expand your network and integrate. This is also a good time to search for last minute winter season jobs.

December: This can be a difficult month; some people have given up by this time and have left the office early to go skiing and Christmas shopping. However, some people will be desperately trying to get things organised (and hire people) before going on holiday, so it’s worth continuing to make yourself known. You can also use the season as an excuse to wish people “Joyeuses Fêtes” or a “Bonne fin d’année” by email (remind them of your existence and dynamic attitude), and schedule January meetings with mentors or people from your network.

January: In France, New Years cards are more popular than Christmas cards. In fact, people spend most of January and February wishing each other a happy new year. Again, this is a great excuse to send out messages wishing people a “bonne année et bonne santée” and attaching a cheeky updated version of your CV, or asking for an entretien de réseau.

FACTBOX:

Pôle emploi:

Sign up to Pôle emploi + check job listings here

If you’re in the Gironde department, follow their Pôle emploi Facebook page; they’re active and host networking and job dating events all over the Bordeaux area.

Education/Socialising:

France université numérique is a platform hosting free digital courses run by French universities. The courses cover a wide range of subjects and some are available in English.

Use MeetUp to find social events and even meetings aimed at professionals in your area: “After work” meetups often attract a large crowd of people worth adding to your network.

If you are in Gironde, check out Bordeaux Expats Facebook pages and groups, as the international community is very active.

Your CV and lettre de motivation:

Search these sites to find out about key skills in your industry/job, and French vocabulary:

studyrama.com

pole-emploi.fr

www.onisep.fr/Decouvrir-les-metiers

ONISEP is the national office for information about training and professions. Their site is a gold mine of information about education and jobs. Visit this page for practical info about job hunting, tips for writing your CV etc.:

Find free CV and cover letter templates here:

Layout template for lettre de motivation:

Great advice for putting together your motivation letter here

This blog is full of great tips and info.

Christopher is based in the Bordeaux area and also offers help with CVs, cover letters, and interview preparation. He has a big network so check him out on LinkedIn too.

LinkedIn groups to join:

Job pour TOI Sud Ouest (people post job adverts here, also a good place to share your CV):

Linkeat&Events Sud Ouest (lunchtime networking events organised all over the southwest)

Business Sud Ouest (for business owners, but still a useful place to be present)

People to add on LinkedIn:

Stephane Pusset runs the Linkeat events; he knows loads of people in lots of different professions and his events are incredibly worthwhile: he’s very approachable and always happy to help.

Amandine Carrier is a coach specialising in helping people with their CV and interview skills. She can take you through mock interviews and give constructive criticism in person or over Skype.

Entretiens de réseau information pack and template:

Download here

Immersion professionnelle information pack:

Download here

 

About the author:

Letty David - Bilingual organisational mastermind and people person par excellence.

Letty David was born and brought up in France but her family is originally British. Being bilingual but not understanding British culture at all, she wanted to learn all about it so she spent 5 years in Scotland catching up on English TV, discovering Scottish music, and bingeing on curry… She is now proud to call herself not only bilingual but bicultural. She is happy to be back in France, even though she knows that she’ll never properly fit in anywhere because she’s not 100% British or French… She is however a true European!

Letty specialises in communications, and she would be happy to connect on LinkedIn here: You can find out about her work as a photographer: www.lettydavid.com / @PhotographyLettyDavid

 

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CAFÉ ERIU – IRISH INFLUENCED COFFEE SHOP https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/cafe-eriu-irish-influenced-coffee-shop.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/cafe-eriu-irish-influenced-coffee-shop.html#comments Tue, 16 Apr 2019 10:29:35 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5063 Nestled along the rue Fondaudège, only 500 meters from Place de Tourny, is a new specialists coffee shop with an Irish twist. Café Eriu calls upon […]

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Nestled along the rue Fondaudège, only 500 meters from Place de Tourny, is a new specialists coffee shop with an Irish twist.

Café Eriu calls upon strong international influences, named after the patron goddess of Ireland, the café / eatery is the project of native Galwegian, Grace Lohan. With Irish, French and South American team members, she aims to bring a touch of her international voyages to Bordeaux. Café Eriu Bordeaux -

Grace began her French journey almost 3 years ago, after stints living in Dublin, London and Sydney, she travelled through France with her partner before they chose Bordeaux for its human and cultural appeal.

“After living in other large cities around the world, I was looking for a city that was smaller than I had previously experienced. However, I didn’t want to give up on the cosmopolitan vibe that I had grown accustomed to… Bordeaux was a great option, somewhere I could easily project laying down roots”.

With a blank slate greeting her upon her arrival in Bordeaux, she grappled with plans for future projects and working opportunities. Having come from a finance background, she knew that she didn’t particularly want to head back to a world of stuffy office jobs. Seeing that she was raised in a family that owned gastro-pubs and hotels, opening her own speciality coffee shop made sense.

“From an early age, I was always around people and hospitality as my parents had several businesses back in Galway. For me, starting a coffee shop in Bordeaux seemed like second nature”.

After searching for a location, that took around a year to find, Grace was pleased with the opportunity that presented itself when choosing to set up shop on rue Fondaudège.

“I really wanted to find a location where I could develop my activities within the community. It’s an important part of Café Eriu that we welcome the locals, get to know them and create a ‘have-a-chat’ atmosphere”.

With tasteful decor, Café Eriu demonstrates their true colours with a stylish emerald green tiled motif installed behind the barista’s workstation. Visitors are greeted with tremendous natural light that radiates through the establishment’s front window, making a quick coffee break or a spot of lunch an inviting experience.

Grace wanted to offer locals the chance to experience authentic Irish products, with a real emphasis on natural and organic produce. She works with independent Irish coffee roasters and butchers, along with local French fruit and veg suppliers.

“When looking into our creating our menu, it was evident that we needed to blend typical Irish themes. Pork and seafood dishes were key, as these are things that I find to be synonymous with my Irish heritage”.

On the menu you will find favourite staples such as smoked salmon, smoked haddock & pork sausage rolls. Not to mention vegetarian friendly plates, speciality coffee roasts and yummy desserts.

With the Bordeaux coffee shop culture exploding, it is truly refreshing to see so many new establishments forming a strong community. All of which have their own identity and personality. Pulling on influences from around the globe, it’s easy to see Café Eriu making its home in Bordeaux and offering locals a taste of the Emerald Isle.

Address: 119 Rue Fondaudège, 33000 Bordeaux / @cafeeriu

Many thanks to Laura Macías for proposing this collaboration and her excellent pictures.

Find more of her work here: lauramaciasph.com / @lamacias_

Lonely Planet Pocket Bordeaux (Travel Guide) (English Edition)

 

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BORDEAUX – TRAFFIC CIRCULATION https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/bordeaux-traffic-circulation.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/bordeaux-traffic-circulation.html#respond Mon, 15 Apr 2019 12:58:38 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5055 If we thought that moving to a moderate size city in the South West of France would make us immune to poor traffic conditions, think again! […]

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If we thought that moving to a moderate size city in the South West of France would make us immune to poor traffic conditions, think again!

The Intrix Institue have just released their yearly Global Traffic Scorecard. According to this article on le Bon Bon , Bordeaux is now hoisted to the unflattering 2nd position of hours lost in congestion.

The study aims to track the road mobility trends in over 200 cities, across 38 different countries. Whether you are travelling into the city or around it, ‘l’heure de pointe’ is a nightmare anyway you put it.

It is nice that Bordeaux has an ever growing international reputation, however isn’t exactly what we’re looking for!

  • 8th global position of hours lost in congestion
  • 2nd global position for inner city travel time
Bordeaux - Inner City travel time

Inner City travel time

 

Bordeaux - Hours in traffic jams

Hours lost in congestion

Lost in traffic jams

On average, each motorist in Bordeaux spent 223 hours a year in traffic jams (in comparison of 237 hours in Paris)!

The average time to travel 1.6km was tracked at 9 minutes. While in Paris, it it takes 7 minutes.

That said, if these figures seem terrifying, don’t hesitate to check out our Colombian friends in Bogota. 1st in the world rankings, who loose on average 272 hours in traffic…

 

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BORDEAUX SET TO HAVE A METRO LINE? https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/bordeaux-set-to-have-a-metro-line.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/04/bordeaux-set-to-have-a-metro-line.html#respond Fri, 12 Apr 2019 07:57:25 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5050 In the midst of mobility debates in Bordeaux, Mickael Beaubonne, doctor of public law at the University of Bordeaux and lecturer-researcher at the University of South Brittany, […]

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In the midst of mobility debates in Bordeaux, Mickael Beaubonne, doctor of public law at the University of Bordeaux and lecturer-researcher at the University of South Brittany, has relaunched questions surrounding the project of a metro in Bordeaux.

Some may recall that this debate has raged on for years, with a great recap being told in this article from Invisible Bordeaux. Only a few major French cities do not have a metro system, seeing the likes of Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille and even Rennes running tracks underground.

Bordeaux made the choice of implementing the tram, however in this article from the 20 mins,  Mickaël Beaubonne is convinced that the city will suffer in the long term without a metro system in place. The reasoning behind his argument is that the tram will eventually become over saturated. However, the implementation of a metro is not a replacement of our beloved tram but an addition to the current transport network offered by TBM

22%  LESS TRAVEL TIME
To support his argument, the teacher-researcher has based his arguments on two criteria: the reduction of travel time and the amount of passengers. According to his study, the construction of a metro would notably reduce travel time by 22% on average.

THE PROJECT ?
The study of the academic provides two lines. The M1, leaving from Talence by reactivating the station of the Médoquine, which is currently disused. There would be a common line until Bourranville, which would then switch to the belt line and head to Ravezies.  The line the would dive underground to reach the old station of Saint-Louis, pass through the train yards to reach the Gare Saint-Jean and then finish up at the Arena de Floirac.

Bordeaux Metro line M1

The layout of M2 starts in Pessac center, then moves onto Mérignac, then the district of Bourranville. It would then plunge underground and take an east-west axis direction the right bank crossing rue de la République, Gambetta, Chapeau-Rouge, then under the Garonne direction Niel to stop at Galin.

Bordeaux M2 Metro line

 

These current plans for a Metro Bordeaux are reported to offer approx. 38 km of network, of which only 17km are  underground. The network would serve 34 stations and 8 different municipalities across the metropolis. An estimate of the cost has said to be in the order of around one billion euros for one line.

Other avenues are also being studied in the regards of solving the congestion problem that Bordeaux and the region is set to ever increasing face. Some other ideas include cable cars and even trolleybuses.

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