More than 100,000 people are granted French nationality every year. This represents around 2.5% of foreigners living in the country and is well above the number in Germany (1,5 %) and Italy (2 %), but way under the UK (4,2 %) and Spain (5,2 %).
Since the Brexit referendum in 2016 many Brits living in France have applied for French nationality.
Before 2015, 386 British residents in France applied for French nationality. The year after the number rose to 1,363 and in 2018 it was 3173.
Why would they do this ? What are the benefits compared to permanent resident status ?
Well, having voting rights is a very important difference, as is the freedom to travel freely in the European Union. Other people have also mentioned being able to avoid long queues at airports and a greater sense of stability.
But it’s a long road to achieving nationality:
Firstly, getting a slot for the interview is difficult as the interviews are limited. Then you have to wait at least a year for the actual interview. In the meantime you have to gather together many financial and personal documents getting copies and translations.
During the actual interview the documents will be scruperously checked, you’ll be asked questions about your motivation and some questions about France…. some easy, some not so easy.
So how much do you know about France ? Enough to pass the citizenship test ? Try this quiz to find out !
Could you pass the test to gain French nationality?
These 40 questions cover just some of the possible questions in the Gaining
French Nationality booklet.
This quiz starts with the most frequently asked questions which most people
could answer, and then it gets progressively more difficult with questions
which people who have read the citizenship booklet should be able to answer,
and then it finishes up with some really tricky questions that will
really stump you ..... Bonne chance !!
Ayurveda the science of life is an medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.
Ayurveda is heavily practiced in India and Nepal, where around 80% of the population report using it.
Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia.
Therapies include medicines, special diets, meditation, yoga, massage, laxatives, enemas, and medical oils.
Medicines are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals, and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra).
Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplasty, kidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects.
The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the gods to sages, and then to human physicians.
In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta’s Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta.
Ayurveda has been adapted for Western consumption, notably by Baba Hari Dass in the 1970s and Maharishi Ayurveda in the 1980s.
Some scholars assert that Ayurveda originated in prehistoric times, and that some of the concepts of Ayurveda have existed from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization or even earlier.
Ayurveda developed significantly during the Vedic period and later some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism also developed medical concepts and practices that appear in the classical Ayurveda texts.
In Ayurveda texts, Doṣa balance is emphasized, and suppressing natural urges is considered unhealthy and claimed to lead to illness.
Ayurveda treatises describe three elemental doṣas viz. vāta, pitta and kapha, and state that balance (Skt. sāmyatva) of the doṣas results in health, while imbalance (viṣamatva) results in disease. Ayurveda treatises divide medicine into eight canonical components.
Ayurveda practitioners had developed various medicinal preparations and surgical procedures from at least the beginning of the common era.
Listen to Renu, an Ayurveda practioner in north India talk about Ayurveda.
One of the hardest things to do alone is to effectively carry out a skills self-evaluation before setting up clear objectives towards a Personal Learning Plan (PLP).
Knowing where one is at a given time is not an easy task due to a variety of reasons, one being the difficulty in being objective with oneself – the ability to take a step back and see things as they are, without being overshadowed by emotive aspects.
It also depends a lot on how we are as a person:
A confident person and a person with lower self-esteem, will have diametrically opposed difficulties in evaluating themselves both realistically and objectively.
Embarking on this task, alone is quite a challenging undertaking.
Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning – SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis can really help in gaining clarity and setting realistic objectives and is a simple tool that can be used alone, but which can be further exploited with the help of a coach.
The SWOT analysis is a simple matrix as shown below:
The idea is to start out by looking at where you are now in terms of your goals, aims and objectives and to discover where effort needs to be focued in order to reach your goals.
The process is reflective and involves a certain degree of metacognition (thinking about your own thinking) in order to be able to effectively accomplish the task.
In order to demonstrate the concept, let’s take Claire, a working mum, who wants to progress in her job – this is just to illustrate an example – it could be any subject and a SWOT can also be used in other contexts.
Using a SWOT to enhance personal learning is great for strategic planning and project feasibility studies as the focus is largely a 360° approach and very analytical, but one which entails action steps and change as a consequence.
Claire has a strong desire to progress in her job, but she has never really been able to succeed due to many barriers which systematically get in the way, and which she cannot seem to surmount, at least on her own.
She has never really been obsessively nor aggressively ambitious and has always put her family before herself, but now wants to move to a more interesting job with more responsibility.
When embarking on a SWOT, it is easy to fall into the trap of being able to fill the Weaknesses section easily and then be short of Strengths – it is sometimes dialectic, in as much as a Weakness can also be an Opportunity as a Threat can also become a Strength.
She has decided to start work with a coach to be able to get things moving as she has never quite got there alone and feels that this is a good opportunity for her, both in her life and in her career.
Her coach has asked her to fill in the SWOT matrix, which she does before they meet again.
STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES are known as Internal elements that either create or reduce value, whilst OPPORTUNITIES and THREATS are known as External elements that can form barriers to learning but that are often not fully controlled by the learner.
The questions to ask are: What am I good at / what qualities or skills do I possess?
What are the qualities / skills that I need to develop that I am aware of ?
How can I use my STRENGTHS to overcome my weaknesses, to move into new areas of learning?
What hinders or prevents me from reaching my goals?
Communication, Punctual, Telephone manner, Organised, Conscientious, Experience in the company, Motivated
IT Skills, Foreign Language skills, Time Management, Management skills, Lack of experience of team management Gets easily stressed, Lack of self-confidence
More responsibilities, Variety in new job, Learn new skills, Higher salary, Company car, be part of the decision making process
Lives far from work, Difficulty to travel, Family commitments, Age, etc.
Coaching a person through a SWOT analysis is both a negotiated and an awareness process, predominately made up of questioning, but essentially, it must be free of judgement or preconceived ideas.
The coach decides to use another tool to complement the SWOT process, a Confrontation Matrix, which is used to offset the Strengths with Opportunities and Threat, and the Weaknesses with the same, as shown below:
In the SWOT matrix, the coach helps the learner to offset STRENGTHS with OPPORTUNITIES / STRENGTHS with THREATS and consequently, WEAKNESSES with OPPORTUNITIES / WEAKNESSES with THREATS in order to produce a set of action steps or a PLP to help the learner progress to the next step, which, in this case, will be a set of decisions and plans to move into the new job.
The value of a SWOT is that it is a way of seeing where a learner is at a given point in time and where they need to be in the future.
It can help build a clear Learning Action Plan with specific goals, timescales and measurement variables built in.
If you intend using a SWOT analysis there are some do’s and don’ts to be aware of in order to guarantee the success of the process:
Don’t expect people to be able to fill in the matrix without a clear briefing of how it will be used and the type of elements that it should include.
Ensure that there is adequate thought and process time to be able to complete the matrix.
Understand that the SWOT is ephemeral. That it could be filled-in today and change tomorrow. People, contexts and situations are constantly in a state of flux.
Ensure that there are clear guidelines and boundaries on confidentiality. The only sharing is done by the learner – who can invite the coach/mentor to be present if they want to debrief their managers on the process and outcomes.
Be aware that people with low self-esteem will naturally include more weaknesses than strengths – they will need help evoking their qualities, skills and qualities more than confident people.
The process should be viewed as a positive and fun process, with benefits clearly set-out for the learner.
Remember that the coach will learn a great deal from the process, which can be used as another building-block in the coach’s development.
There needs to be a bond of trust between learner and coach/mentor, built before embarking on a SWOT
There is no doubt that the successive lockdowns of 2020-21 have dramatically changed our daily lives on so many levels, and figures show that more people have experienced anxiety due to the social, financial and work restrictions that have been placed on us.
We took the opportunity to talk to Said, who is using his personal experience with overcoming a serious illness to pass the message about the benefits that a positive mindset can have on health outcomes.
So, we asked him to give his take on how our attitude can affect the way we have to deal with the difficulties of successive lockdowns and how we can avoid getting bogged down by the hurdles that the pandemic has thrown at us.
While listening, listen out for these words:
to heal yourself / to cure yourself = to get better after an illness
your mindset = the way you think about problems and difficulties
“good and bad are two sides of the same coin”
“We create our own happiness” / “What makes you happy”. Notice that “happiness” is the noun and that “happy” is the adjective.
The tough aspects of lockdown= the difficult aspects of lockdown
To be grateful = to appreciate the good things that we have
If you would like to know more about Said and his wellness journey click on this link to go to his YouTube channel Wanderer Footsteps.
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