Moving to France as an expatriate – What you should know
Are you thinking of moving to France?
At S.L.Immersion we explain everything you need to know!
Maybe you have decided to move to France to find a better position or job, maybe you want a fresh start with your family or you just want to explore the endless possibilities of the relaxed lifestyle of this Mediterranean country. Whatever the reason, moving to another country is surely something to do with careful thought and consideration.
France is home to approximately 4.3 foreign residents who live either permanently or have a second home in France. The figures speak for themselves. France’s approach to work is one of the reasons many decide to make France as their new home every year. With the change in labor laws, the standard working hours in France is 35 hours a week. Anything surpassing 35 hours a week is considered overtime and therefore must be paid. There are 13 bank holidays and 5 weeks of paid leave a year, which leaves workers plenty of free time to spend with their families and loved ones.
Many decide to start a new life in France because it is a safe country. The fact that France has a prestigious network of private and public health services providing universal care to its citizens is, without a doubt, one of France’s greatest appeals. The French education system is regarded as one widely competitive and efficient when it comes to providing students with an excellent learning experience. Some French universities, such as the Sorbonne University, are rated as some of the world’s top universities. As if that were not enough, French praised-all-over cuisine and French breathtaking landscapes are true jewels to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
What to bear in mind
Whether you are traveling solo or moving to France with your family, there are some things you will need to take into account. The first thing you need to do is to check the formal legalities required to work. The legalities required will depend in most cases on the country you are coming from (if you are an EU citizen or not), the length of your stay and the type of activity you are planning to do in France (if you are coming as a student, to find a job, etc). We advise you to check the official government pages on the current status for the different visas.
When it comes to finding a job, do not settle for the first offer you encounter. Make sure the salary will cover up the cost of living, and if you are moving with your family, check that the company provides help to families such as help with moving, the visa costs and arrangements. Also, keep in mind that most jobs will require at least an intermediate (B2) French level. Therefore, we strongly advise you to sharpen your French level skills before moving to France. A quality online French course would help you achieve that goal.
Though French command may be mandatory to find a job, mastering the official language with confidence will help you in every possible area you can think of. Whether you have just moved or you are a long-term resident, you are probably trying your best to integrate as fast as possible in a new and different culture. Knowing French will be your best ally in that. With insufficient French knowledge, not only finding a job will be much harder, but the paperwork can truly become a nightmare.
Communication also plays a key role in public settings (as in healthcare facilities) so it’s obvious that though people will try their best to understand you, not knowing French can become a handicap when trying to start a new life in France.
For professionals, French will not only help you communicate with your coworkers, but it will help you meet the expectations of new clients, a true asset for companies. That is why having an immersion homestay at the teacher’s home in France, is very helpful to boost your French fast and get more confidence in speaking with locals.
Last but not least, knowing the beautiful French language will give you a very different insight into French lifestyle and traditions, allowing you to truly unveil the secrets of one of the culturally and historically richest countries in Europe and the entire world.