Introduction

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Brenna’s Story

Brenna first came to France after college. She didn’t end up in Paris right away, but in Rouen in Normandy (aka “Bovaryland”). Enrolled in a program to get the diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF), Brenna came over on a Student Visa and used the year to get her Irish passport (Sam curses being one generation removed from Irish citizenship). To make some money, she worked as an Au Pair for a local family. At the end of the year, she moved to Paris to complete a Masters degree in Economics.

Despite having it all: EU citizenship, a French degree, solid comprehension of French nursery rhymes (thank you Au Pair work), Brenna left France to go back to D.C. and work as a consultant. One thing led to another and she ended up at the World Bank, still pining for Paris and life as a jazz singer. Thanks to her EU citizenship and her very International employer, Brenna was able to get transferred to the Paris office where she currently works…and is still pursuing that singing career (www.brennaclerkin.com).

Sam’s Story

Sam first came to Paris her senior year in college for study abroad. A born Francophile, Sam knew she wanted to stick around to see if she could begin a career. However, she quickly learned that very few French firms would be willing to jump through bureaucratic hoops (and pay the steep taxes) necessary in getting her work papers. So, she decided to go to plan B: getting a degree from a well-known French school.

After a 2 year long Masters program in Communications from Sciences-Po, Sam had not only received a top-notch education, but also was exposed to an amazing network of some of the most influential people in the world of marketing, advertising and media. It was thanks to this amazing network that Sam was eventually able to find employment at a communications agency, first on a temporary contract (CDD), then finally as a permanent worker (CDI).

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About Author

Brenna

I've lived in France since August 2006 with a stint back in Washington, DC for a year. Ten months of my time in France were spent in Rouen - the Normandy town known for, among other things, Joan of Arc's death and Monet's study of light. With the years that pass, Paris is constantly transformed by the interesting people I meet who open up new doors in this amazing city.

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