The advice that seasoned expats often give to newcomers is that if you really want to settle in France you need to make friends with the locals - that doesn't mean other expats living locally but French people - real Gallic French people.
But is it really as important as they say? Surely there's no harm in passing away the days, weeks and months among fellow Anglo boozers in an "Irish" pub. And aren't the French too reserved and uninterested in making new friends with us foreigners?
The Local France has put together a team of wise experts who have shed some light on the conundrum and we have also come up with a list of TOP TIPS for how to make friends with the French.
Janine di Giovanni- Paris-based journalist, war correspondent
"Making friends in France is like making friends everywhere... you have to find people you have common ground with, and that you click with. On the other hand, I have some wonderful French friends who are very classical and I am anything but they are loyal and warm and great mates.
So I think it's all about where you are in your life, your interests, and how open you are to people and new places. My ex-husband is French, but he was not a very social guy, so he didn't introduce me to many of my friends. My closest French mates are friends from my son's school - he is at a French school."
Colin Randall, former France correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, now freelance, editor of France Salut: