What you need to know before deciding to live and work in France.
France is one of the countries with a nice climate and relaxed lifestyle. This is why so many people want to relocate there. However, before packing your bags and zooming off to France, it is advisable to take plenty of time to research and plan so that you will be prepared for what awaits you there. One thing to bear in mind is that the experience you had while on holiday in France is completely different from what you will have when you move there to live and work. Most people expect that real-life day to day will be the same as the carefree holidays they remember.
It is advisable to have a good working knowledge of the French language. It is important for your day to day interaction with the French people. French people will seamlessly switch to English when you speak to them in French and they will spot your English accent straight away! Try to keep speaking in French, even if they reply to you in English. We are all learning plus as they say, “we are in France, we speak french”. 🙂
Le Repertoire de Gaspard hosts free French lessons for employees every week with Amelie – why not take advantage of them!
Health Care Insurance
France has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Your healthcare costs are partly covered by a social security system called L‘Assurance Maladie and partly by private medical insurance you have to take out (don’t worry, Le Repertoire de Gaspard offers once that is affordable). The system provides high-quality subsidized health care for all, but foreigners must remain in France for three months to qualify for national health insurance. Private or international health insurance can be used to cover this residency gap plus any expenses that cannot be covered by public funds, such as alternative or complementary medicine.
Something is certain that life in France involves a lot of paperwork. From applying for your Carte Vitale and paying taxes to exchanging your driver’s license and buying property, everyone who lives here expects a lot of bureaucracy. In France, when applying for anything, paperwork is of utmost importance. You need to be prepared to bring lots and lots of documents – both originals and photocopies, to support any claims you are making. Luckily the agency is always here to help with these administrative processes!
The French people never joke with their bank holidays and summer holidays. They will never trade that for all the money in the world. In fact, Paris is literally empty in August. This is when the majority of Parisians take their holidays. During this time it is advisable to find an alternative to EVERYTHING… EVEN A DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT! On the other hand, visiting the tourist sites can be quite nice since there is not a lot of people. Forget about the long lines outside The Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. Another amazing fact about Paris is that public transportation reaches all five zones of Ile de France making it easy to take the RER or the Trasilien to the Château de Versailles or Château de Chantilly just to name a couple. Now you know there are many positives to the summer holidays!
Good food and wine
France is known to have a variety of food and wine. In fact some of the BEST foods and wines. However, it is important to know that restaurants and most cafes are closed between 3 pm and 7 pm (or at least not serving food). So better get your stomach filled before then. This one is funny because it’s true, you can go around the block for an entire hour looking for a snack or food in general but you will probably starve first than finding a restaurant open. This is actually a good side of the French because people have strict eating schedules which can be good for digestion, allowing us to indulge at Goûter time in a coffee shop or boulangerie!
These are some of the things you need to know before you decide to pack your bag to relocate to France, it might be difficult at the beginning but worth every struggle. France is a beautiful country with so much to offer that those gloomy days will just add beautiful memories to your French adventure.
I hope when you move to France, you have a splendid stay!
Linda (CAP Petite Enfance Diploma, 2019-2020)