Our four-instalment series of French expats ends today with, last but not least, New York City! Even though Emelyn does not live in NYC itself but actually in Millburn, New Jersey, a few miles away from it, it’s as good as the same!
“Living in the USA was a childhood dream. After completing my studies in France, doing a few odd jobs and saving enough money, I decided to pack it up and fly 4,000 miles away from France to live the American dream!” While being an au pair in an American family, she attended college three times a week.
“The hardest part was to stay focused 24/7 on the American language. Nobody spoke French and the American accent is utterly different than the English accent I learned at school. After a month, however, it got a lot easier.”
The American Life
In spite of the distance from her family and friends and the lack of “real food”, Emelyn is literally in love with New York, “The American eat so unhealthy. Too much colouring substances and chemical stuff. But people are so much more welcoming and friendlier than in France. They are always willing to lend you a hand or help you out in any way they can.” What makes New York so unique? The young French woman cannot make up her mind: “the huge amount of food, restaurants, fast-food, Starbucks, hot-dogs sellers around each and every corner! Also fashion stores selling clothes of all styles and colours – which would shock the French, technology on the cutting-edge, great music, huge cars, the famous yellow cabs and limousines used as taxis. The clean streets and subway stations, the colossal skyscrapers all around, you kind of feel like an ant. I love the cultural diversity, where every country is involved, it’s a cosmopolitan and very dynamic city.”
Living anywhere else than in the USA is not an option to Emelyn “I would love to live in NYC, it’s so speedy, there are so many things to see and to discover. It’s constantly changing.”
To sum up her American experience in a nutshell, Emelyn quotes “Once you’ve tasted New York, every other city seems dull.”