The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 15

Discover the Drome, Nyons - the last Provencal frontier, Charente-Maritime, Burgundy, Paris gastronomy, Nice, secret Provence, recipes, a whole lot more. It's the next best thing to being in France...

Dreaming of moving to

Dreaming of moving to France? Top Tips to help you make the move... Have you been considering a move to France but don’t know where to start? We talk to the experts at Renestance who help English-speakers to settle in France about their key tips to help you make a smooth start... Dream vividly but not wildly What are you hoping to find? Blue skies, time to travel, better social life, lots of wine? Be specific about how you imagine your future life in France. Is part of you expecting life in France to be better in every way? Be careful of unrealistic expectations and issues that follow you wherever you go. What do the people you’re moving with dream of? Are your visions compatible? Measure twice, cut once Explore the areas that interest you – try to do some reconnaissance trips. Match your nesting place to your timeline. Do you plan to live there year-round indefinitely, do a two-year sabbatical, or just stay for summers? If you’re rebuilding your nest in France permanently, visit during low season and under the rain, if possible. Also consider renting before buying. Mind your money Find the best way to exchange currency and move money across borders. Expect hurdles setting up your French bank account (especially if American) – you’ll need a proof of address in France and a thick dossier of papers. Understand the tax implications of earning and investing money in France. Find out how your retirement savings will be impacted by your move. Get your affairs in order at home What will you do with your home? Do you need to plan for trips back to manage property? Do you have family or work-related issues at home that will require your presence? Go electronic Even if you keep an address back home, you’ll need to access all accounts, statements and records from France.Make sure you have internet connected in your new home ASAP. Choose a provider with free calls to mobiles and fixed lines back home. Skype and Facetime are great to see AND hear them, but it does require good bandwidth. Arm yourself for administrative battles Are you allowed to work or run a business in France? Do you already have a job here? If not, will you find a job you’re qualified for? Can you work remotely for a non-French company?

If moving with children, make sure you know grade level equivalencies, school start dates (not January as in AUS/NZ!), and entrance requirements. Obtain sufficient health coverage in France (visas for non-EU nationals require it) and bring your medical records and prescriptions if you have ongoing issues. Parlez français Yes, everyone’s innate language ability is different. Yes, you’ve heard about people living in France for 20 years and getting by with only English. But your experience will be more enriching the more comfortable you are with the language. And no, there is no easy app or trick to becoming fluent in French - it takes hundreds of hours of practice listening, speaking and reading - but one day you will succeed! Make friends with the natives…or not Meet and talk to as many people as possible, even if it’s hard for you. You never know what you might have in common with someone, or who will introduce you to your next best friend. Don’t expect the French to seek you out and include you in their social circles right away. They probably had friends before you arrived and tend to build friendships at a more cautious pace. Pursue your passions and interests. What better way to find like-minded people and become part of your community, all while doing what you love? Don’t exclude expats for fear of speaking too much English or not integrating with locals. Not only are expats a wealth of information when you’re settling in, but they are often your bridge to meeting French locals. Expect to panic Even if you’ve lived abroad before, are not crossing several time zones, nor making a radical change in your lifestyle (just married, retiring, starting a business…), the sheer volume of unknowns and differences will likely overwhelm you at some point. You will constantly confront cultural differences. Things take more time to get done. People are not as smiley/friendly and aren’t afraid to contradict you. If you’re coming from outside Europe, everything is smaller in France. Basically, it can seem like nothing is easy! You are no longer in a place where you master the environment. It can be quite humbling to be ‘the foreigner.’ Trust yourself If you’ve followed the tips above, you know this isn’t just a poorly-planned whim. Have faith in your vision and your preparation. Give it time. ‘There’s no place like home,’ and it’s natural to wonder when/if you’ll ever feel at home in France. One day you will, and you’ll know because you went home and found it doesn’t really feel like it anymore. Then you’ll look forward to going home to your nest in France. Renestance can assist you during each step of the way. Whether you're thinking about moving, in the planning phase, or have been in France for a while now and could use some help with administrative matters, visit for more information. Get a monthly recap by signing up for our free newsletter!

Copied successfully!