I've lived in....
Norway. Insane alcoholics reserved but after a few drinks......they really don't like anyone non scandinavian apart from the english, they don't get on well with the Lapps.....
Italy. Just one big happy family. Capiche ?
Now living in France, for the last 7 years, I get on ok because my wife is french and we have a shop so are seen to contributing to the town economy etc but when we lived in Normandy I was spat on at work and called a 'white arab'. Depends where you are in France,the north hates the english.
It may seem the some of the above observations include alcohol but tbh the best way to get on in a culture is to go out drinking with it.
It also seems that english men are adored throughout europe, all you have to do is act like a gentleman and open doors, pull out chairs etc and you're in.
This isn't sexist, I don't know what it's like to be an englishwoman abroad.
Can relate pretty well to most of this.....
I too lived in Normandy for a year but had plenty of "encounters" before meeting my Ex on a Mission/Wonder Stuff tour of Europe. When I arrived in Denmark, I met my ex within 15 minutes of getting off the train... and my wife before the ex had even moved out... I was, however a lot better looking then than I am now.
In terms of adapting....
Moving from Barnsley to Surrey where I did my degree was an eye-opener. But integration as a student isn't really on the agenda. The locals know you are probably just passing through.
Also lived in Manchester for a couple of years and fitted in well there.
Cherbourg wasn't very welcoming - and neither was Paris.
Copenhagen is OK if you already have a network but fitting in took years. Plenty of my ex-pat friends are finding it a lot harder than I did.
And the middle of nowhere in Central Funen where I now have my own business also took a while - but once I opened the shop and people found out who I was, I now know pretty much the entire town.
Completed: 94 Stumpjumper w. M733; ; 92 Dave Yates 731 ; 97 Parkpre Pro-Elite ; Pace RC200 F6 ; Pace RC300; 82 Gios Super Record ; 97-8 De Rosa Giro D´Italia; ; Banani SPX Track bike ; 89 Alan/Mavic Cross Bike ; 05 Focus Cross Team ; 90 Look MI-80 all-Mavic ; 12 Focus Izalco Team/custom build ; 11 Focus Thunder Custom build
Projects : , Brouwer all-Mavic
Stripped : Pace RC303
Gone : GT Karakoram
Stayed in the family: Kuota Kharma, 04 Stumpjumper FSR
Ceased to be : Dynatech MT3, killed by corroded seatstays.