HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU FELT MISUNDERSTOOD BY NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS?
You don’t want to be labelled as the “weird expat”.
Fitting in with native English speakers can sometimes be hard.
You feel homesick . You just want to be with friends and family members. People who ‘get’ you. People with whom you can easily socialise in your native language.
You have to go to that company dinner party next week.
You’re so nervous!
You start to worry “Oh gosh! What if I say the wrong thing? What if I make a fool of myself? I’ll be the laughing stock of the office the next day!”
But really and truly, you’re not asking for much!
You just want to feel accepted and integrated in your new life abroad.
That time will NEVER come unless YOU do something about it…
“What can I do?” you may ask.
It’s simpler than you think.
One word: culture.
That’s right! Learning the culture behind the English language. Once you understand the culture, accept and embrace it, you’ll be confident about socialising (even if you’re an introvert).
And guess what? You’ll feel accepted by your English-speaking colleagues and friends.
Why is this so important to me?
Why do I care so much? I’ll tell you why.
I’ve been where you are now. I know what it’s like.
I know what it’s like not to feel integrated in a foreign country.
I know what it’s like to feel like the “weird expat”.
When you move abroad, you have so much paperwork to take care of: social security, bank accounts, apartment rental, work contracts… and the list goes on and on.
But to add to all of that, you struggle emotionally.
You want to fit in with your colleagues.
You want to fit in with your neighbours.
It isn’t easy. I completely understand! That’s why I want to help you have a smoother transition when you move abroad.
Who am I?
Hello there! I’m Leandra but my close friends call me Lee. I’m a native English-speaker from the beautiful island of Barbados in the Caribbean. I love learning about languages and culture.
Your Story And Mine
I’ll tell you more about my story. I studied French all the way up to University. I won several awards for great work in French over the years. Even graduated with first class honours!
So when I decided to move to Martinique, to work as a language assistant in 2013, you can say I had an advanced level of French.
But guess what?
I struggled to socialise even though I spoke French well. I struggled to fit in.
I was never taught how to make small talk in French. I was never taught French culture in school. Well, only a little. All I was taught was that wine and cheese were important to the French. That was what I learned about French culture.
I was never taught that “la bise” was important. La bise is a kiss the French use when they greet each other. So as you can imagine, I made a lot of mistakes! I was labelled as rude and I was told that I’m “strange”.
I bet you weren’t taught about culture in your English classes at school either. Am I right?
It’s only when you started living around native English speakers that you started noticing certain things.
And we all know what happens when you make cultural faux pas or say the wrong thing. You get these “strange looks” like if you’re a “weirdo”.
But it’s not your fault! And you’re not a weirdo. You just weren’t taught these things.
That’s why I want to teach you. So that you no longer need to worry. So that you can socialise with confidence (even if you’re an introvert)! So that you can fit in!
Wanna hear some fun facts about me?
- I’m a huge TV buff but my favourite show of all time is Survivor. If you’re French, you’ll know that Survivor is the English version of Koh-Lanta but it’s way more interesting. Promise!
- I love purple.All shades of purple: lilac, plum, mauve. Check out my wedding pic. Can you tell how much I love purple?
- I love travelling to tropical destinations. And yes, I know my country is a tropical destination but since I live and work here, there’s not much relaxation for me. And in case you’re wondering…”No. I don’t live in a hammock under a coconut tree.” LOL