Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does AAWE have such an anachronistic name?
A. Our full name, Association of American Wives of Europeans, reflects our origins in 1961 (see Our Story), when a handful of isolated American women came together to find mutual interests and support. In particular, they wanted to protect their American citizenship rights at a time when accepting French nationality by marriage was considered a rejection of American nationality. Over the intervening 50 years, our membership and activities have become much more diverse.
Q. Do I have to be married to join AAWE?
A. No. Though AAWE was founded by a group of 'American Wives' our members today are single, divorced, widowed or married.
Q. Do I have to be American to join?
A. No. Non-US citizens may apply to AAWE, especially those interested in belonging to an association dedicated to Franco-American understanding and addressing the issues which arise in bicultural living.
Q. If my spouse/partner is not European, can I still join AAWE?
A. Yes. American women who live, or have the right to live, as permanent residents in France become regular members. Other women and men apply as associate members.
Q. Can men join AAWE?
A. Yes. AAWE has several members who are American husbands of European women.
Q. I don't live near Paris. What can AAWE offer me?
A. Non-resident members pay reduced dues but still receive the AAWE News, our weekly e-mail announcements, can participate in our members-only website and forums, and are, of course, welcome at any and all AAWE activities. They gain access to an instant support network of other American women who understand the joys and challenges of bicultural living. Many members who move away from the Paris area retain their memberships in AAWE just to stay in touch.
Q. Isn't AAWE just for "ladies who lunch"?
A. AAWE members come from all walks of life: artists, lawyers, teachers, stay-at-home moms, businesswomen... A large percentage of our members work outside the home. We strive to offer a range of activities to suit a wide variety of schedules and interests.
Q. What makes AAWE different from other groups?
A. AAWE members are by definition bicultural, whether they have lived in France for 5 months or 50 years. We are not isolated from French and European culture, yet we honor our American heritage — we make the best of both worlds!
Q. For what age group is AAWE?
A. All! Our members range in age from their early 20s to close to 100 years old. The interaction of several generations enriches us all.