For Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, it was always a matter of just clicking her heels together three times and repeating to herself: “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.” These days, it’s just as simple.

Skype, the internet, satellite television and other newer technologies mean it’s now possible to live your life in a virtual version of your homeland – no matter where you are.

Take Françoise Letellier, a former French honorary consul in Cork, for example. After 43 years in Ireland, she still watches the French news every day, speaks more French than English, and reads French newspapers whenever she can.

“When I first came in 1969, you could get a French newspaper once a week, and that was that,” says Letellier. “Now I have 21 French television channels; I can watch the coverage of the forthcoming presidential elections just as if I were in France.”