CULTURE SHOCK — je suis en france! (French Study Abroad Vlog #11)

CULTURE SHOCK — je suis en france! (French Study Abroad Vlog #11)

Today I am essentially going to be doing a video on… culture shock. Culture shock! Today I am essentially going to be doing a video on culture shock and all the things that shocked me when I came to France. I can hear people outside! It’s a list, again. I mean, lists are helpful when you lose your words all the time and I do! I can’t speak English or French! Why am I here? I don’t know. Okay! I have a very long list; I will now cover them all today. You just saw it! Crap, oh man, you just told the future! Okay, so. Ahem. Culture shock. When I was coming to France, I knew that there was gonna be things that were different but I had an idea of what it would be like yet, even still, coming to France, there were a ton of things that surprised me and also a few things that I’ve realized along the way that are different between American and French culture. One of the first culture shocks that I experienced has to do with something that I kind of expected. Okay, just put yourself in my shoes here. I am on my way to the university for one of the first times and I’m approaching the entrance, but my way is blocked by a huge mass of people just standing in front of the entrance, mingling about, doing nothing, all in black. Are these the other students? Why aren’t they getting in? Do we have class or what? I was really confused. Turns out, the front courtyard is the place where everyone mingles and smokes and talks together but mainly smokes! The air was, like, filled with smoke, and I was not used to it. So here I thought everyone was locked out or waiting to get in, but no, they’re just all blocking the entrance smoking. And I’ll be honest, I’m one who has never liked being around smoke I– I always hold my breath and– I just– I will never smoke in my life. and I heard about the stereotype that all French people smoke …essentially all– a lot of people. A lot of French people smoke, okay? It’s a thing. I don’t know a percentage. Maybe there’s a percentage. I don’t know. A lot. It was just funny to get hit with it right off the bat there at the university. But also, as time has gone by, I’ve actually grown to not hate it as much. as crazy as that is It almost seems more elegant here. I feel like, in the US, it’s seen as something that’s dirty and gross and taboo Yeah, there’s just, like, a bad stigma around it but in France it’s seen as a way to be social and meet people. In fact, I know other foreigners who have specifically bought a lighter even though they don’t smoke just so they can go around and have it like, have it on hand to light other people’s cigarettes and thus enter into conversation with them. If nothing else, I can see that smoking is very important socially in France, and I didn’t understand that before. The second culture shock is one I’ve actually already talked about in another video so I’ll link that if you haven’t seen it. It’s the French “bise”. That! I know it’s a really normal thing for the French but it just makes me feel super, super uncomfortable I mean… ugh! I mean, it seems like a really nice thing, I– It’s odd. Part of me wants to love the bise, and part of me still feels, like, super, super uncomfortable about it. I like it because, in France, you’re expected to do the bise with everyone. If there is a room of twenty people, you are going around the room and you are “fait”-ing — “fait”-ing? In French, it’s “faire la bise”, so… If there are twenty people in the room, you are expected to go around and do the bise with every single person. So I’ve gone to a couple of gatherings with basically completely French people and people you’ve never met will come up to you and the first thing they do is do “la bise” with you and as they’re, like, passing your cheek, they’ll tell you their name and you’re expected to do the same, thing. It’s the worst thing ever and– and I’ve had my fair share of mess-ups like one time I went left and the guy went right and we almost kissed. Another time, early on, I didn’t know for sure if you had to touch cheeks, and so this girl just, like, kinda like leaned in, like she was expecting me to do it — a French girl — and I just kinda went like I, like– I didn’t even make the sound, I didn’t touch her cheek either way like, we did it both ways I felt really awkward because I think I did it wrong and she felt really awkward and it was just awful. But, again, I see the appeal of this. I don’t think we really have an equivalent in the US I mean, there’s hugging, but if you’re meeting someone for the very first time it can be awkward because you don’t know what to do. You don’t know if you should shake their hand– is that too formal? If you hug, is that too informal? There’s like nothing you really can do except for be like, “Hi. Nice to meet you.” Something like that. But in France there is a social conduct for it. There is a rule that you always “fait la bise” any time you’re meeting someone any time you’re greeting someone, any time you’re saying goodbye to someone. It’s just very normal and very expected. So mixed feelings on that. This next culture shock also happened very early on. Certainly not a culture shock I expected to have. It has to do with the supermarket. To start off, French supermarkets are much smaller than their American equivalent. Where I normally go is called “Monoprix”, with an x. Monoprix. But I wouldn’t even call it a supermarket, really because that’s not the main focus it has (it has) all these different things. It has three levels. On the bottom floor is the supermarket area with all the food. You enter on the second floor, what they would call the “rez de chaussée”, and then you go down a flight of steps to get to where all the food is and it’s nice. It’s a little overpriced, but I don’t know if this is because it’s just how Monoprix is or if it’s because I’m in a rich town. I actually just went shopping today. So if you go to Monoprix, you’re either gonna get a lil’ blask basket or a little gray rolly basket. They’re about the same size, but if you’re gonna get heavy stuff, you’ll want the rolly basket. I suppose the rolly one’s a tiny bit bigger. In any case, they’re just little tiny baskets, so you better not get too much. So you’re going around this store; you have your little basket or your little rolly basket. The culture shock occurred when I went to go check out. The whole checking out process has only very recently gotten less stressful for me. So, to start off, when you get up there, you have to unload your basket, which sounds normal, but you have to put the basket at the beginning of the line so while you’re unloading stuff, people are, like, lining up behind you and, like, you’re taking up space, you’re trying to like hold this little basket here and take stuff out and finally, once you get all your crap on the conveyor belt, have to be, like, “Excuse me, excusez-moi, excusez-moi” and like, try and like, push past the line to get this– get this basket back. And if it’s busy, you feel really rushed to do this. Another thing: you have to pay for the plastic bags that you use and you have to tell them how many you want so like, before I even go up to the line, I’ve gotten into this habit of being like — — if I haven’t brought my own bag, of course — I have to think through how much stuff I have and be like, “Okay, I think this is about two bags worth.” Then once you get up to the line, you have to be like, “Je voudrais deux sacs, s’il vous plaît.” and then they’ll charge you for them, of course. To get around this, I usually just bring my own bags. I actually brought them from the United States anyway, though you can buy reusable at Monoprix too. Then, once it’s your turn, you and the cashier exchange greetings and she starts just flying away. She’s just flying. She’s getting everything. She’s checka-check-check-check beep beep boop boop boop and everything is done in, like, five seconds. She gets everything through. Meanwhile, you have to bag everything which, in the United States, you don’t have to bag anything at all. The cashier does it all for you. All you have to do is take it out and put it back in the cart. Eventually I figured it out. You just have to pack while she’s scanning just like frantically trying to keep up with her pace, which I usually can’t but I’m close! I’m getting there. so then at that point you have to pay, of course. so thankfully, even though this culture shock used to be quite stressful for me, I’ve gotten to a point where I’m much more comfortable with it. Like I said, I went to the supermarket just today,and it went totally fine. It was actually really awesome. I actually had a really good experience today because there was this nice woman; she, like, gave me her spot in line after I had offered it to her and then she was telling me, “I have more stuff than you.” It was really — she was a really nice French person and then my cashier that I had, too, was also really nice and smiled at me which I’m always happy when French people smile at me ’cause they don’t smile as much. Speaking of smiling, that’s another thing I’ll talk about. I am naturally quite smiley, like whenever I talk I am, like, always smiling and laughing but here in France they don’t do that. I was actually kinda nervous about coming here because I was nervous that they would all think I was weird because I smiled so much. It’s not like they never smile. They just don’t smile at people they don’t know. so like, it’s not like everyone walks around with this face and it might be different, like, based on where you are, like I’m in a relatively small-ish town, so maybe they’re a little less uptight but they don’t smile as much, in general. It’s actually– No! How dare. How. Dare. I have to wait for my camera — for my phone to recharge.

100 thoughts on “CULTURE SHOCK — je suis en france! (French Study Abroad Vlog #11)

  1. Hi! I'm French. It's so funny to see an American speak about France. I have a question for you: did u prefer American culture or French culture? Kiss!

  2. Hey ! I ' m learning english and I would like to know if you think you articulate normarly or in effect you don't pay intention ? Thanks !! 🤗

  3. je pense que tu viens en France justement pour découvrir une autre culture et un autre système de vie, je pense que changer de pays pour essayer de retrouver son pays d'origine c'est immature
    Il ne faut pas comparer ce qui n'est pas forcément comparable
    Je comprend certaine différence

  4. Mais le briquet c est pas un moyen pour être sociable ? On achète pas un briquet si on ne fume pas… tu as du comprendre de travers… mdr

  5. i am french so i can help you for some things you said😉 : i understand you i don't like to faire la bise to poeple i don't know, i only faire la bise to my friends or the poeple i know 😜. Monoprix is not a real supermarket, we find it only in downtorwn. And you're right! french people don't smile very often, that sucks!

  6. There was so much drama in that. But liked the way you expressed. A smiley girl, really. The 'bise' part was humorous. I am coming to France this summer. It seems it will be fun.

  7. smiling is different in the régions parisians dont smile as much as people in Toulouse we are really smily in Toulousebut its like NEW YORK !!!In NYC, (USA), people dont smile AT ALL ! and are yelling at all time, disturbing. 😉

  8. OMG! most annoying video ever with that horrible horrible background sound. I dont even mention ridiculous american perspective comments. Ah thanks for all day headache!

  9. I am frenche and I understand your discomfort ! It's true that for us the wind is normal, on the other hand I did not know that in Américain the cashier filled your bag !! On the other hand I know toi have a lot of food… Well, I stop talking, otherwise it is a good video and it is interesting to know the opinion of othet countries !!! 😁😁

  10. Monoprix lol faut pas abuser XD les autres magasins on des caddies (même le Monoprix proche de chez moi à des caddies) . Les panier c'est pour pour les petites superette ou quand tu as peu de course à faire.

  11. Je ne fais pas la bise, je souris tout le temps, je suis pas douée quand je passe en caisse, je ne fume pas et déteste l'odeur de la cigarette,… Est-ce que je suis vraiment française ??

  12. Le bisu? From what I hear, le bisu is what they have for a hug, French react to the hug the same way your reacting to the bisu.

  13. Alors déjà on a aussi des très grand panier (des cadi) ces juste qu'il sont à l'extérieur du super marcher le plus souvent 😌

  14. I am French and same I find that to give a kiss it is very annoying especially in a place where you know nobody.

  15. My culture schock when I arrived in USA was… taxes. Like if you go to any supermarket and wanna buy something that costs 20 dollars, you take your 20$ bill and give it to the cashier. BUT when the cashier check your article, she (or he) add the taxes which costs like 50 cents more, and you don't have enough money because taxes aren't even written on the article, so you have to find some quarters in your pocket and that really annoys me because I forget it every time!!!

    Et pour les Français qui la critique juste parce qu'elle donne son avis, parlez pas de choses que vous savez pas. Je peux vous promettre que la vie aux USA est vraiment facilitée, et je comprends carrément le choc qu'elle a eu. Rien que les interros en cours, y'a QUE des QCM, pas de trucs à compléter (à part parfois en maths et en biologie).

    Anyway, nice video!

  16. je ne te conseille pas le Monoprix pour faire tes courses c'est vraiment cher si tu as un franprix a cote de chez toi je te conseil c'est beaucoup moins cher et plus petit alors les gens sont souriants et sympas, surtout si tu es étrangère je pense 😋 et puis je vois dans les commentaires que tout le monde est comme "tu est choquée parce que tu ne range pas tes courses…" alors que c'est tout à fait normal comme tu a toujours vécu aux USA (je crois) tu perds une habitude mais sinon j'ai beaucoup rigolé pour l'histoire de la bise, parce que pour moi c'est tout à fait normal aha
    sinon je suis tombée par hasard sur ta vidéo et je te trouve très mignonne très souriante (tu le dis toi même) donc +1 abonnée 😚

  17. lol the beeping music combined with the clip results in a somewhat surreal experience. I feel like I am being subjected to an experiment. However, nice vid ^^

  18. La bise tu l'a fait à t'es amis ou t'a famille mais au inconnu tu leurs dit juste bonjour ou a des connaissance aussi pour le sourir c'est surtout en ville que les gens sourient très peu

  19. Bonjour, je suis une jeune francaise, et ce que tu dis me fait beaucoup sourire ! C'est vraiment ca en France !

  20. Idk where you are in France but it's all depends on the city (even smiling) and Monoprix is a little supermarket, Auchan and carefour are bigger

  21. You're sometimes xrong. If you meet someone for the very first time you musn't do la bise, actually you can do it but in my opinion, I'm french and I live in France, it's not really polite


  23. you don't do la bise to everyone … When it's people that you don't really know like your boss or someone that is not going to be your friend for sur

  24. Is it even possible to listen more than 2min of this vidéo ? The music is so anoying… too loud, really bad choice (at first i was thinking it's just a sound bug…).

  25. Je suis français, et moi non plus je n'ai jamais compris comment j'étais supposé remplir mes sacs à la vitesse des caissières.

  26. On ne sourrie que au gens à qui on a envie de sourrire 😂 On va pas ce forcer à sourire tout le temp comme le font les Américains ! Et en plus en parlant de sourire j'trouve que vous souriez trop à mon goût j'ai limite l'impression que vos sourires sont hypocrite 😪

  27. Amusant!
    ah oui à la caisse il faut faire son sac!

  28. I think you live in Aix en Provence.
    This is not a normal supermarket, it is a city supermarket, that is why it is small

  29. pff , quels stéréotypes… est ce que nous on crie sur les toits que les américains se goinfrent de mauvaise bouffe ?

  30. Je suis française mais je ne supporte pas la bise ! c'est vraiment agaçant de devoir faire la bise aussi bien à une seule personne qu'à dix ! je deteste vraiment ça du coup je ne fais pas la bise… ^^

  31. I really wish everyone making youtube videos will understanding how irritating a backtrack is for us viewers. And one that is so loud. I cannot hear what the pretty blonde is saying because theres a cacophony of irritating tinkling and bopping noises.

  32. I'm French…..I like your video, but I could not keep watching with that HORRIBLE NOISE in the background…agh..
    ps. You are doing great, don't take etiquette etc. so seriously. ie. cut out any worry or stress, it will all make sense soon enough.

  33. Super helpful video! I just made a Year Abroad Survival Tips video on my channel Would mean the world if you could check i out! Thanks 🙂

  34. Euh les caissières en France ne sont pas payé à ranger les courses, d'ailleurs en Espagne en Italie et même en Angleterre ils ne rangent pas tes courses et au passage on a aussi des chariots 😂😂😉

    La bise chez nous ça s'appelle une marque de politesse je sais que chez vous aux états unis vous vous dîtes juste bonjour comme ça ou vous vous serrez la main (ce que je trouve étrange quand ce n'est pas pour du pro) mais ici on fait la bise par politesse 😁

  35. You feel shock by doing a kiss sound, putting your chick to another chick. But you love to hugh and press your bress to another body that is not your boyfriend or a member of your family. What is the most strange ? None of them. But maybe the hugh a bit more.

  36. Sorry no the franch kissing its not possible evry where it's only wen you fund somme lovely pepole.

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