In this series, we are interviewing members of our club, so that you can get to know each other a bit better. Today we talk with Céline Prodhomme about her life and work in the region.
What brought you to the French Riviera? How long have you been here?
I come from Normandy, and I was 8 when I first discovered the south of France.
Totally fell in love with this region. While I was walking on the Promenade des Anglais with my parents, I told them that one day I would come and live here. In 2004 I realised that dream!
First, I lived in a house in Coursegoules for 17 years and in 2021, I decided to move to Antibes where I feel really happy.
Could you tell us about your professional career? What do or did you do for work?
I have been working for IBM for 25 years (9 in Paris and 16 in La Gaude/Nice) as a Project Manager.
In parallel, as of 2016, I was giving French lessons for free to my colleagues living in Poland, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, etc…
Always really enjoyed teaching my language and my culture. I noticed that I had more added value in teaching French than being a Project Manager.
Thanks to the French courses, my colleagues managed to get better jobs within IBM.
They were happy, so I was happy and proud of my job. Moreover, exchanging with them was really enriching for me too.
In 2019, I decided to quit IBM to start a new career. I studied for one year with the Alliance Française and since, I have created my own business.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I’m now running my own business as a French teacher for foreigners.
Since I was little, I always knew that I would work with people from other countries.
Meeting people from other cultures and speaking a different language has always been important to me and that is why I love my job today. I get to meet so many people.
Teaching a language is not only about vocabulary and grammar. But also exchanging on many subjects: make sure the students get to know the habits and customs of the country they want to visit or live in, learn useful expressions, etc…
What would be your best advice to others thinking about living or working on the French Riviera?
Learning French!! 🙂
I know that many people who speak English think it is not useful to speak French on the French Riviera because many people speak English here. But believe me, learning French is a must!
People who decide to live in France without speaking French can face social problems:
– they will stay within the confines of their own community and will never truly get good relationships with the locals who don’t speak English.
– Apart from that, the inability to speak the local language may negatively affect their everyday activities. For example, some people may find it difficult to go grocery shopping at the local market or access local transportation.
– Moreover, at their workplaces, they may have to face a lot of problems. Certainly, it is important for an individual to be able to communicate effectively within an organisation.
If they struggle with the common language, they may be unable to freely express their ideas, which will hinder their ability to progress in the organisation despite their talents.
Fun facts about Céline Prodhomme!
Since when do you live on the French Riviera?
Where are you originally from?
Normandy, Northwest of France
What is your favourite wine?
I never drink alcohol
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
OMG! What a difficult question!! It is impossible to choose. I love walking so I really enjoy walking by the sea, especially Cap d’Antibes or St Jean Cap Ferrat. Going to the Nice ‘castle’ is also something I enjoy to benefit from the amazing view on the Baie des Anges. And Èze village, the view from the botanical garden on the sea is stunning.
What French word, expression or sentence do you find very difficult to pronounce?
Being French, I have no difficulty in pronouncing French words 🙂 but I confirm that it is difficult to pronounce as the spelling and the pronunciation are totally different.
Why did I call my site ‘C’est parti mon kiki?’ What does it mean? It is an expression I love to use when I’m ready to start something, it means ‘Let’s Go!’
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