It’s March 29th 2019. Ok, we aren’t out of the EU yet, but … isn’t this sort of relationship we should be fostering from within the EU rather than from outside it?
“My name is Enora, I am a 20 years old French girl and I have been living in Brighton since November 2018. I studied Tourism in Paris and I graduated this summer. My qualification is an equivalent of a HND (Higher National Diploma) but in a dual training way: I was three days a week at work (in a museum) and two days at school. After my graduation I was not really sure if I wanted to continue my education or start working but I noticed a little bit before the end of my studies that my school had a partnership with the European programme Erasmus+. This programme gives opportunity to young adults to go abroad and gain an international work experience.
“I choose to come in the UK because I wanted to improve my English skills and I was looking to learn more about the traditions and local customs there. Back in France, I live in a town called Nandy. It is located in the South of the Parisian Region in an area name Seine et Marne. It is a small town but with great access to the big city (45 minutes away from Paris with direct train).
“I decided to come in Brighton because I never lived near the sea and I thought it was an amazing chance to be able to go to the beach every weekend (even in Winter!). It is also really easy and affordable to go to London from there. And more important as part of the LGBTQ community I also knew that I was going to fit perfectly in the background of the city.
“I really enjoy living in Brighton; this is an open minded, colourful, vibrant and wide city. I can stay all day long in the Lanes just walking around and enjoying the shops and taking pictures. As a huge fan of indie music, I really find myself in Brighton with the great musical scenes and I am really looking forward to May to be part of The Great Escape Festival and The Brighton Fringe.
“Every people I met there are really nice and happy to share a bit of their city and I think this is the part that makes me like Brighton the most. As an expatriate it is very hard to move in a city with no landmarks and acquaintances. On my first month I met few people via the app Meetup; you can take part in meet-ups with persons that share an interest for something (e.g music, books, and movies). I am also sometimes going out with my housemates.
“I don’t really have French friends here in Brighton and I don’t regret that because it forces me to always speak English. The only think I might not fancy a lot is the high prices of accommodation in the South of England and the train service here with the daily cancellations and delays (I live near Preston Park Station so I am taking the train every day to go to work). I think this might be worse than the Parisian system!
“When I first moved in Brighton in November, I was working in a language school near the pier in the accommodation office. Unfortunately I quickly realised the role did not suit me at all so I decided to apply for museums and touristic attractions of the city. This is how I find out about the Brighton Toy & Model Museum located just under the station.
“I met Jan – the deputy manager of the museum – and we get along together really fast. The museum is a charity organisation with no council founds that is why all the staff at the reception are volunteers or interns. As an intern for five months I am able to help with different kind of activities within the museum. My principal task is to be at the front of house, it means to be in charge of the till. The museum is also an Information Point so I am dealing with requests and answering enquiries about Brighton and Hove. I am sometimes helping with the promotion of events on social media. I am as well happy to give a hand on the day of the event e.g the Folk Club Night or The Half Term Science Event.
“In conclusion I really like Brighton and its people. I was supposed to stay in the UK until May but I found an opportunity to work in London for three months in an organisation that sets up events about the Japanese culture (The Japan Society). So I will be in England until the end of August and I might decide to stay a little bit longer after that, why not?”
Many thanks to Enora and to the Toy Museum.