Moving to France

France is a country that provides expats with a life of experience and culture. Situated within Western Europe, France’s living standards are high and its education system has been ranked as one of the best in the world. One of the top six world economies, France provides excellent work opportunities for expats looking to forge a career there.

France is a popular destination for British expats, whether moving there permanently or as a place to have a second home. For those who are just looking to live in the country for a few months out of the year, the rural French countryside is highly recommended and popular amongst retired expats. In fact, over 15% of the total population currently living in France is aged over 65, showing just how popular it is for retired expats.

When living in France there are a number of things you must do in order to secure healthcare. In France, healthcare is provided on a social security based system “Sécurité Sociale” and can only be obtained once you have registered for a social security card. To receive your card “Carte Vitale” you must first register with your local CPAM “Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie”. On top of this it is advisable to seek health insurance to top up your healthcare cover, this is provided by a number of companies with varying levels of cover and prices all across the country.

Many expats moving abroad have already secured employment before they move but if you plan on finding employment whilst you are there then speaking the native language will vastly improve your chances of finding employment and successfully networking. France also has a number of agencies dedicated to job seeking such as ANPE – the French national agency for employment and APEC, the French national agency for employment of professionals and executives.

The culture in France is somewhat different to the UK and may take some time to adjust to so when relocating it is a good idea to research different areas in France to find the place where you will feel more at home. Paris, the capital city of France is one of the most glamorous destinations in the world, filled with historical and cultural icons that many tourists flock to see. For expats moving to live in Paris, they will find themselves living in a cosmopolitan city with a mix of cultures, languages and traditions.

A second option for expats is to move the quieter villages of rural France. Full of picturesque locations and sought-after peace and quiet, rural France offers a very different way of life than larger cities such as Paris and Lyon. The local population of rural France are often more set in traditional ways and expats will need to adjust to this if they are to make the most of their relocation experience.

Property in rural France is easy to find and purchase, with impressive chateau’s featuring stable blocks, swimming pools and over ten bedrooms often costing around £500,000, or smaller houses starting at around £90,000. However, there is a price to be paid when relocating to rural France as it mostly consists of France’s poorest locations. Due to this fact, many expats who move to rural France are already retired or simply looking for a second home there, as employment opportunities are not as widely available as they are in the major cities.

The logistics of moving to France should be as simple and as pain free as possible, engaging an experienced overseas moving firm (like us!) will save you both time and money. For more information, simply get in touch. E: T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.

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