A French Exchange: As told by Samantha
Samantha is the first SurfStitch staff member to take part in the exchange program that we have established between our global offices. After being away from her Gold Coast home in Hossegor, France for several months, we asked Sam a few questions about her experience!
Hows your French coming along?
Not as good as it should be ha, my desk is covered in yellow sticky notes of words people have taught me. I’ve been remembering phrases but probably should get my butt to French lessons.
How was driving on the other side of the road?
Think it’s safe to say I’m known not to be the most sensible driver on the Gold Coast roads, so I guess after hitting a few curbs the same judgment applied to me in France. The second weekend we drove up to the snow, I was nominated to drive, and only made it 500m before I got evicted to the back seat ha, and I thought I was going alright…
How many croissants have you eaten since you got to France?
I’ve most likely eaten about 10, probably should call it a day now…ha
If you had to pack again for your exchange but were only allowed to bring 3 things, what would they be?
If we are talking about the same month I left in, then… UGG BOOTS are a must; I’ve got the most use out of those. Tigerlily bikni’s (as EU don’t sell Tigerlily..can you believe ha) and of course a SurfStitch Palm Beach Collection coconut & lime candle.. to remind me of home.
What do you miss most about SurfStitch Australia?
A good laugh with the team back at home, not meaning to sound as though the French don’t make me laugh of course…ha
How is working in SurfStitch Europe different to AU?
In Europe you’re working with all different cultures, so you have to be understanding and appreciative of that. You also have to be mindful of the multi lingual sites and allow time for translation.
What is your favourite memory so far from your experience in France?
Snow weekends. I Think there was a month where we went every weekend, was pretty amazing when the blue skies were out, had some shocking days too with it snowing really hard, but still all smiles.
Teach us some rude words in French!
“Putain” (aah shit, or aah f***) gets thrown around office here and there so I’ve noticed…
If you had to sell the exchange program to other staff, what would you say about it?
One of the greatest experiences I’ have been thankful to have. I found it interesting understanding all the different cultures and dealings, so it has been really good to compare and work with the upcoming Europe business, altering procedures and also implementing procedures from back home. Wouldn’t say it’s been an easy three months coming from the established AU company, having to change my outlook, but It’s been really interesting. I’ve learnt a lot so far and I only hope I’ve given something back in exchange. The Frenchies have a lot to offer and after all it isn’t too bad escaping to places in Europe on the weekends… Bring on summer!