Byline: By Sarah Ivison Evening Gazette Evening Gazette is the name of several local newspapers:
Leanne Desbonnet first went to France during her degree.
The 28-year-old was studying a French and German degree at Hull University and went to France for her year abroad, also spending some time in Dusseldorf.
The former pupil of Pentland Primary School, Billingham, and Teesside High School Eaglescliffe, taught English in a sixth form.
"I really enjoyed the experience," says Leanne, whose mum Sheila Potter, who still lives in Billingham, often visits the family in France. "I loved the French way of life and teaching.
"After completing my degree I returned and I now live in Chantilly, just north of France."
Leanne met her French husband Marc-Antoine in 1997 and married in 2001 and the couple have two children Louis, four, and Alice, two.
She taught English for a few years and now co-ordinates the English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. department of a training centre.
"I've been part-time since Alice was born," says Leanne. "It is part of a 'parental leave' incentive which is very popular in France."
Leanne says the area where they live in France is "much more beautiful".
"Chantilly is a small town surrounded sur·round
tr.v. sur·round·ed, sur·round·ing, sur·rounds
1. To extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle.
2. To enclose or confine on all sides so as to bar escape or outside communication.
n. by forest with a beautiful chateau and race course," says Leanne.
"Life in France is easier in many ways - longer holidays, shorter working hours, great childcare facilities.
"Life is also much less commercial though that is changing.
"But what I miss about Teesside are the people. Everyone is so much friendlier and down to earth in Teesside. Also, drivers are so much less aggressive than in France!
"I also miss 'real' English tea, Cheddar cheese, much nicer than Camembert, and custard."
Leanne visits Teesside at least twice a year to see her family and friends.
"We always come over to England at Christmas and in Easter or summertime," she says. "My mum comes over all the time to see us.
"I like Christmas better in England, it's more commercialised in England but I really like that, I really like all the hype hype 1 Slang
1. Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion: the hype surrounding the murder trial.
2. of Christmas.
"The big difference between Christmas in England and in France is that the main day is December 24 in France and the children open their presents at midnight on Christmas Eve.
"On the whole I think it's quite hard to pick differences between the two countries because they are similar in a lot of ways.
"I think people's attitudes are different. I find English people Noun 1. English people - the people of England
nation, country, land - the people who live in a nation or country; "a statement that sums up the nation's mood"; "the news was announced to the nation"; "the whole country worshipped him" a lot friendlier but that may just be a Teesside thing!
"It's more relaxed in France and people work a 35-hour week and have long holidays.
"As for the future, I would like to return to the UK one day, and if I did it would have to be the North-east," adds Leanne.