Moving to France
Moving to France is an exciting prospect for many and a dream come true for others. The influx of foreigners is naturally associated with the rise in the French population, which is now approximately 65,821,885, most of whom live in metropolitan France and the rest in overseas departments and territories. Consult with moving companies to discuss your options and get free quotes with ExpatFinder.
Start the day with a bite of croissant or a baguette fresh from the oven and a good sip of freshly European brewed coffee, ah… joie de vivre, and there’s only one place that defines the carefree life - France.
Bask in France's rich culture, historic architecture and its easygoing lifestyle, an ideal place for retirement. Your passport to survival in France is the ability to speak the language. Being able to communicate with the locals, even with a few French phrases like ‘bonjour' or asking for directions comes in handy.
The French appreciate this gesture, contrary to what others say. Just try to put some effort in enunciating the words. Learn the language, especially if you plan to stay long-term or your place is located out of town. Furthermore, French is used as an international language of diplomacy and commerce and remains one of the six official languages at the United Nations, so signing up for a language course is worth your while.
Paris, The City of Lights, is the most popular city in the world, and with a population of almost 10 million, it is undoubtedly the center of activity in France. Other key locations include: Marseilles, the largest port city on the French Mediterranean; Toulouse, the European aerospace centre; Le Havre, the largest export city; Bordeaux, the world's wine capital; Lyon, the paradise of culinary enthusiasts and the French capital of gastronomy.
France, surrounded by Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, is called L'Hexagone by its people because of its roughly six-sided shape. France makes a good base camp for travel to other great European cities, but, of course, stands on its own as a magnificent destination.
Travelling around neighboring countries is just one of the perks of living and working in France. To make this even easier, the French Franc was replaced by the euro in 2002 and is used by 15 member states of the European Union and six other non-EU members. This means you avoid foreign currency rates and exchange centers that charge commission.
A checking account is indispensable if you stay long term in France. Rentals, Internet subscription, and utilities require a checking account or a debit account so providers and landlords can be paid through auto-debiting from your account.
To open a bank account, you need your passport, Carte de Sejour and a bill statement that includes your full name and residential address. Though you may still open a bank account in France in the absence of a residence visa, you will not be eligible for an overdraft facility or a debit card. Exceptions are made at a bank's discretion so take documentation such as stock broker reports, tax returns, your homeland bank certification - in short any papers that can be used as proof of financial security.
Some parts of France may be cheaper, but if you live in the rural areas, chances are you will balance out any savings by spending more on transportation or gas, which tend to be more expensive outside the cities.
Education is free and begins at the age of two but is only mandatory from the age of six until 16. The public education system is highly centralized, and Private education is primarily Roman Catholic.
Bringing your pet with you to France is relatively simple, so long as your pet is over three months old or travels with its mother and has been properly vaccinated, you will be allowed to bring him in with the correct documentation. In France, every animal must be identifiable using a microchip or tattoo.
When relocating, travel light, but bringing your software is advisable as it can be expensive in France and the help feature is in French! It is also advisable to bring your keyboard as the French don't use the QWERTY version.
The rule of thumb when in France do as the French do: Embrace ‘la langue française', the French language, it's the most romantic language to speak. Enjoy joie de vivre, every day!
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