25 July 2017

Anne Canaveera - Expat in Ireland

Anne Canaveera - Expat in Ireland

We’ve had the chance to talk to Anne Canaveera, 36, a French expat who has moved to Ireland alone. Mrs. Canaveera who has been living there for 15 years, now works as an account manager.

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?

A: I’m from Brittany, France.


Q: What made you move out of France?

A: I always wanted to live abroad for a while, discover another country, experience another way of life, another culture... And I loved speaking English! That’s why I studied International trade. I knew that one day I would work and live abroad.


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: I live in Ireland, in a small seaside village, about an hour from Dublin. I came to Ireland because this is where I found a job. After my studies, I applied for different positions and I received a positive answer for a job near Dublin, so I took the opportunity and moved.


Q: How long have you been living in Ireland?

A: I have been living in Ireland for 15 years.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?

A: I came to Ireland alone, but then I met my husband (in the pub, so cliché!) and now we have two kids. My husband is from Mauritius and we are both expats, so there wasn’t much adjusting to do! We just had to understand each other culture while blending in a third one!


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Of course I miss my family and friends, but I am not too far. France is only a short flight away and I go there at least once a year. I also talk to my parents and sister/brother regularly. As for my friends, I kept the most important ones and I still see them every time I go home.


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: I love Irish people, their laid back attitude, their humour and their hospitality. I only had good experiences with locals, which makes me wonder if I’m just lucky or if my own attitude has paid off. And it’s probably a bit of both!


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Ireland? How did you manage to find a social circle there?  

A: Making friends is not always easy, no matter which country you’re in. I found it easier to make friends with expats at the beginning because we were experiencing the same thing, but I had the chance to live in an Irish family and have friends who worked with Irish people so I also made friends with locals. Having said that, the French and the Irish socialise very differently and it’s a bit more difficult to have a deep long-term friendship with an Irish person. But of course, it’s not impossible!


Q: How does the cost of living in Ireland compare to your home?


  • Q: How much is a cup of coffee?

A: €3.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: €25.

  • Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: €100.

  • Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: €10 for the wine (I want to cry just by writing it!) and €11 for cigarettes.


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Ireland?

A: You need a proof of address, a letter from your employer and your PPS number. Also, banks opening hours can come as a shock for foreigners: 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and 10am-5pm on Thursdays.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?

A: You will need a lot of patience! I personally didn’t need a visa, but my husband needed a work permit until we got married. Once that happened his status changed and we had to go to immigration to renew his residency every year.  I had to take time off to go with him each time, just to show my face and prove we were married. We even had to queue for 8 hours once!


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Ireland is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?

A: Healthcare could be better like in many countries. The public service works well, the only problem is the waiting lists for everything. But on the other hand, everything is free and once you get into the system, you’re in. I would advise expats to take an extra private insurance.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in France or Ireland? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?

A: I could have paid for a French insurance specialised in expats, but it was too expensive. I think the best solution is to pay for a private health insurance in your host country, but I guess it all depends on the country you’re in.


Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Ireland? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?

A: The most memorable thing is when I lost my flight tickets the day before departure and I was afraid I would miss my flight. Thankfully the travel agent was still opened and I managed to get a new ticket! I only had 2 suitcases, so no need to involve a mover!


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?

A: I moved to Ireland because I was offered a job, but when I arrived, the job didn’t match my expectations at all and I had the most difficult first days in my new country. I resigned after a week and had to find a new job. It was a very stressful situation but I knew I wanted to stay in Ireland so I made it work and 6 weeks later, I had a new job.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Ireland?

A: The positive side is the people, and life is I think more relaxed than in France. The negative side is definitely the weather and the price of wine!


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?

A: Dublin is a young, vibrant and culturally rich city. There is something to do for everyone, it all depends on your interests! There are museums, parks, shops, and pubs of course! The rest of the country is beautiful, there are a lot of great spots to visit in Ireland like Kerry, the Connemara, The wild Atlantic Way, Belfast, Cork etc.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: I don’t have any intention of going back to France anytime soon. Moving to a different country, why not, but at the moment I am happy where I am.


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?

A: Try not to stay with people from your home country. Meet other expats and locals by signing up to an activity or going to a meetup for example.

Learn the host country language as soon as possible if you don’t already speak it. Communication is the key to integration. 


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Ireland?

A: http://www.discoverireland.ie/ , http://www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com/