Speeches by Harriet and/or Philippe Rochefort on the all-important topic of Franco-American Cultural Differences

Harriet Welty Rochefort and Philippe Rochefort are experienced and sought-after speakers on Franco-American cultural differences.

Separately or as a team, they regularly give talks in English to groups such as:

  • Students in France on a high school or university Study Abroad Program (Oxbridge, Duke, Northwestern...)
  • Newcomers to Paris (Lycée International, CECI...)
  • Paris community outreach programs (American Library in Paris, American Women's Group etc.)

"How do they eat all that food and not get fat"?" is only one of the innumerable questions foreigners ask about the French. How do French women learn to tie their scarves just so? Why do they look fashionable even in jeans and tennis shoes? Why do French business people spend so much time in meetings and reach no conclusions? Why is the customer NOT King? Why are they always on strike? And why do the French want to legislate on the veil and the burqa ?

Both bilingual, Harriet and Philippe have answers by the bundles to all these, and many other questions. As a Frenchman with a background in international banking and a retiree who earned a PhD in history at the Sorbonne in 2013, Philippe is uniquely qualified to explain the workings of French institutions to baffled foreigners. As an American in France, Harriet has spent the years since her marriage to Philippe in an earnest quest to figure out the French, resulting in scores of articles and three popular books, "French Toast" (out in paperback in 2010, St. Martin's Press), "French Fried"(about food) and "Joie de Vivre" (Secrets of wining, dining and romancing like the French). Immersed in the culture, she's an insider. Yet she's kept her uniquely American perspective. This mixture allows her to share, always with humor and a true love for the French, her observations and analysis of the profound differences between the French and the Americans.

If your group needs a luncheon speaker to keep that crowd awake with an informed but humorous talk on the French, either Harriet or Philippe or both, will more than fill the bill. Harriet takes on the thorny topic of cultural differences (education, food, sex, love, marriage, politesse - all topics covered in "French Toast") and Philippe sheds informative light on French history, business, politics and the French psyche.

Philippe Rochefort also gives customized person-to-person training sessions for English-speaking top executives assigned to France (see testimonials).

All speeches are tailormade in consultation with the client's needs. Talks are in English, with a Powerpoint support. Click for testimonials and fees.

By Harriet Welty Rochefort Harriet and Philippe as a team have given talks on Franco-American cultural differences to many groups from US universities  By Philippe Rochefort
Examples : Recent examples : Examples :
  • Regular speaker at the CECEI International Media Seminar (American University of Paris since 2005)
  • Keynote speaker, "The French Are Different!" International Media Program, American University of Paris, March 2009
  • Guest speaker in a conversation with Pascal Baudry, Stanford Club of France/American Club of Paris Nov. 2008
  • "Franco-American intercultural differences" (ex Alliance Française, Omaha NE, Oct. 2008)
  • Guest speaker on "Celebrating Cultural Differences", Lycée International St.Germain en Laye, Check in to France Program, every year in September
  • Speaker on Franco-American cultural differences at the "France and U.S.A." seminar at the French Senate, June 2, 2007, televised on French public TV.
  • etc..
  • Northwestern University,
  • Duke University,
  • Missouri Southern State University
  • University of Nebraska
  • etc..

and :

  • "The American community of Paris in the 1900s" (France Ameriques, Feb.2017)
  • "AmCham : one century of men and women in Franco-American trade" (American Chamber of Commerce, May 2012)
  • "Corporate culture in US firms" and "Ajusting to French corporate culture" (for foreign students) (ex. Telecom ParisTech, since 2009)
  • "Working with the French" (ex HEC MBA International Program 2010)
  • "The history of American firms in France" (ex. American Chamber of Commerce, July 2009)
  • "Intercultural differences and French political life" for American business school students (ex. Nantes Business School, June 2007)
  • "Doing Business in France" (ex. Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO, October 2006)
  • etc...
Harriet Welty Rochefort is American.  A freelance writer and author of two informative and lighthearted books on the French ("French Toast" and "French Fried"), her third book about the French ("Joie de Vivre : Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing Like the French") was published in 2012. See her site.  Please contact us for information on fees and suggestions for a custom-made talk. Philippe Rochefort is French, a retired international banker (see resume) and a graduate of the elite "grandes écoles".  After retirement in 2005, he studied at the Sorbonne and obtaine a PhD. in history in 2013 with a dissertation on "The history of American firms in France since 1890". He is the webmaster of the website www.understandfrance.org (over 0.5 m single visitors/year)

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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

 Harriet and Philippe also organize Wine & Cheese Tastings : a wonderful highlight of your trip to Paris (Read more) and visits of the Pere Lachaise cemetery : an other worldly experience (Read more)

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