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Fitting into village life

How to settle seamlessly into the rural English village community, from the international family's viewpoint. Once a celebrated radio presenter in Shanghai, Maggie Zhang spoke to me about her experiences. She and her Scottish husband 1)______ a village near York in North Yorkshire shortly after their marriage. Five years later and still in the same village, she reflects on how she and her expanded family, they now have two children, find village life.


“Village life is wonderful for the kids,” says Maggie. “There is a great sense of 2) ____ here. Shanghai is all about money, money, money. Here it is more 3) ____ and you can't tell who has money and who hasn't.”

For Maggie, 4) ____ local people hasn’t been a problem. The post office has been the main place of contact and 5) ____ often greet her in the street. Through motherhood, attending post-natal classes and now as her children go to nursery she finds herself increasingly 6) _____ with the community, meeting new people and invited to children’s parties.

7) _____ of Maggie’s village are hardly multi-cultural, yet in her view seem easy going. Maggie hinted that even if local people are curious about her 8) _____, so far no one has said anything.

“English people don't ask direct questions, unlike Chinese, English people ‘go around the moon to meet the sun.’"

Children, however, are much more 9) _____ and like any mother her greatest worry is her children’s future and how they will 10) _____at school.

Five months ago, Claudia, a lawyer, and her British husband moved from Puerto Rico to a new housing 11) _____ within a village in Derbyshire to 12) ____ their daughter of two years.

13) _____ past experiences as an expatriate working in East Asia, the transition to England for Claudia has been made more difficult 14) ____ the isolation she feels through living in the country-side. “In a city it is easier to feel less like a 15) ____ than in rural areas.” she says, despite the 16) ____ of a rural village being “cheaper”.

For internationals 17) ____ city life, living in an English country village presents its own challenges. 18) ____, there aren’t so many facilities as in a city and transport links aren’t so well-developed. It can also be harder to find 19) ____ communities of internationals. For some expats it may be best to 20) ___ a village near a major city to experience the best of both worlds. Country Life counsels people to take the advice of estate 21) ____ on choosing the right place to live and identify the “five Ps: a pub, public transport, 22) ____ church, primary school and post office.”


  A visit B have been to C moved to
  A people B community C humour
  A boring B relaxed C funny
  A getting to know B to know C meet
  A neighbours B relations C managers
  A experienced B worried C involved
  A the authorities B the residents C the citizens
  A background B future C decision
  A shy B jealous C direct
  A get off B get along C get up
  A place B area C estate
  A bring up B bring along C bring about
  A despite B in spite C although
  A because B because of C that’s why
  A waiter B guest worker C foreigner
  A income B truth C advantage
  A used to B are used to C using
  A for instance B on the other hand C moreover
  A hostile B like-minded C remote
  A selective B selecting C select
  A agents B assistants C officials
  A parish B public C private

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