Welcome to Episode #24 of the Profiles in Franceformation Podcast. I’m your host Allison Grant Lounes. In this episode I interviewed Francie Plough Seder who was born in the US and has lived half her life in the States and the other half in France. As a result, her development of cross-cultural awareness has been both empirical and professional. Francie has spent all of her career in education-related professions, working with students of all ages. For nearly 20 years, Francie has worked in cross-cultural exchange with a focus on interculturalism. She helped found and direct a study abroad program for American students and created a cultural mentor program for French American university students to learn about each other’s customs and traditions. She has raised three bicultural children which nourished Francie’s belief that the ability to navigate cultures leads to greater wellbeing. Currently, Francie is involved in several professional projects to promote cultural awareness, including creating her company CrossCultural Directions, which proposed workshops to activate skills for better understanding and communication across cultures.
In my conversation with Francie, you will also hear about:
- Her first introduction to learning the French language and her connection to her mother’s past experiences as a student studying abroad in France
- A funny story of an electricity mishap that gave Francie a crash course in French vocabulary as well as cultural differences one might experience with a repairmen or landlord in France
- What inspired Francie and a colleague to create their company and assist others in understanding a different culture from their own, and what Francie finds so interesting about cross cultural understanding
- Her first experiences in France including the challenges she experienced when first arriving as an expectant mother as well as her initial jobs
- The importance of meeting French people while in France, which can be much more difficult than it sounds as an expat in a new country, Francie explains how building this network is precious in your experience of exploring a new culture
- The difference between the terms ‘impat’ and ‘expat’ and what Francie’s has observed in working with these two groups of people
- Francie explains how it can be very helpful to understand the ways in which criticism is delivered in France compared to America and how her business helps people to understand this concept among many others
- What it is that Francie enjoys about living in France including otherness, aesthetics, and the love of debate and discussion among other things
- Francie’s recommendations for anyone wishing to visit France
For more information about Crosscultural Directions, you can check the following links to their website, Facebook and Instagram pages:
If you are considering moving to France like Francie, Foolproof French Visas can help you navigate the path toward finding the right visa for you. It can be purchased here: http://www.yourfranceformation.com/books or in paperback on Amazon.
If you would like to pursue your own Franceformation, you can also request a free 30-minute clarity call with Allison to review your visa options and decide how to move toward creating your ideal life in France: http://www.yourfranceformation.com/free-call
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