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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I joined this forum about 18 months ago as we were trialing just under a year in France for me to work in an English school,my husband would web design and our 3 young daughters would be put in at the deep end and go to the local French school all down near Lyon.
We are now back in the UK for a number of personal reasons but have taken somethings from our experience as we are looking to France again in 18months as we feel the lifestyle for us and our children is better there.
My husband who can not speak French found it hard to get work with websites as they don't seem to be as important in France as UK so we are looking at Fontainebleau so he could work in Paris, there is a great website that advertises english speaking jobs for there. My French was passable and I now know how to get Carte vital!!! Our youngest was 4 and was speaking french by the october so she could go back into the French system in CP at fontainebleau when she is 6 but our middle daughter is dyspraxic so did not cope in the French system communicating so we are really interested in the Fontainebleau Anglosection, they have to sit a test...has anyones child sat this?
I also notice an English group there which although we did try to immerse ourselves everyday for my husband he found it frustrating on his behalf and I'm sure the French did aswell.
So does anyone have experience of Fontainebleau? the school? commuting to Paris from there? and as a mountain biker my husband would be greatful to know of any expats doing that in the area in the national forest.
Thank you for any advice, it really helped us last time!
 

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Fontainebleau is a somewhat LONG commute into Paris, particularly if you're doing your commute at the standard rush hours. Still, there are plenty of folks out there doing it.

There are a number of English speaking expats in the area, thanks to the INSEAD business school located there, so finding groups and school facilities should be relatively easy. There are lots of hiking groups that use Fontainebleau as their base. Not sure if mountain bikes are allowed on the trails, but you can certainly ask.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fontainebleau is a somewhat LONG commute into Paris, particularly if you're doing your commute at the standard rush hours. Still, there are plenty of folks out there doing it.

There are a number of English speaking expats in the area, thanks to the INSEAD business school located there, so finding groups and school facilities should be relatively easy. There are lots of hiking groups that use Fontainebleau as their base. Not sure if mountain bikes are allowed on the trails, but you can certainly ask.
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks Bev, I always read your replies with interest...you certainly know your stuff!
Hopefully people living in the area will see my post.
Regards
 

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So does anyone have experience of Fontainebleau? the school? commuting to Paris from there? and as a mountain biker my husband would be greatful to know of any expats doing that in the area in the national forest.
Thank you for any advice, it really helped us last time!
I have experience with the Anglophone Section there. You need to remember that it is still a French public school and that if you've had problems with the French public school system, you're going to have problems there, too. I haven't posted on the "Regrets" post, but my regrets are all around schooling. As for the tests - if your children are up to grade level at the UK, then they should be able to pass the tests. We have found the English of the Anglophone Section to be below the equivalent grade levels in the US. (Our children fall farther behind their US peers each year, which is a problem as we look towards re-patriation - especially for our oldest.)

I don't know about expats mountain biking in the forest, but there are most certainly mountain bikers in the forest.

Good luck with everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have experience with the Anglophone Section there. You need to remember that it is still a French public school and that if you've had problems with the French public school system, you're going to have problems there, too. I haven't posted on the "Regrets" post, but my regrets are all around schooling. As for the tests - if your children are up to grade level at the UK, then they should be able to pass the tests. We have found the English of the Anglophone Section to be below the equivalent grade levels in the US. (Our children fall farther behind their US peers each year, which is a problem as we look towards re-patriation - especially for our oldest.)

I don't know about expats mountain biking in the forest, but there are most certainly mountain bikers in the forest.

Good luck with everything.
Thanks for your insight, when the girls were at the other French school we were prepared for how different they are to the schools back in the uK but for our daughter who is dyspraxic we felt she was becoming more and more frustrated with out being able to communicate as well in the playground or when she just wanted to be left alone. we were hoping that within an Anglo section this would not be a problem.
How have your childrens french come along as they are in the anglo section?

I will look closer into the Mountain biking for my husband online, thanks.

do you actually live in Fontainebleau, could you give me a feel for the town with regards to community, meet ups, the people etc?
This is all really appreciated thank you.
 

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I haven't done any mountain biking around Paris yet, but certainly when the subject comes up, people talk about the Forêt de Fontainebleau as one of the nearby destinations for it.

Whether it's "interesting" mountain biking is a separate question, and depends what your husband is used to. I like riding on singletrack trails, narrow trails like hiking trails, and with some technical challenges. My impression is that most of the mountain biking around is on forest roads... but like I said, I haven't gone exploring yet.

In the summer months, there are many organized rides ("randonées") put on by local clubs. You'll probably find a lot of those through the FFCT website. (=the national org for 'cyclotourisme', i.e. recreational cycling as opposed to racing, both on road and mtb.)

If you want to ask more questions you might contact a local mountain bike (VTT) group like the Derailleurs, which seems like a friendly group. This page has an Anglophone contact link:
English Version ! | Les Dérailleurs

There's definitely a lot of tech/web activity in Paris, even some events in English sometimes. (Some of them listed on meetup.com.) I'd look at bigger web dev shops where people can specialize between doing client contact vs. actual development.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't done any mountain biking around Paris yet, but certainly when the subject comes up, people talk about the Forêt de Fontainebleau as one of the nearby destinations for it.

Whether it's "interesting" mountain biking is a separate question, and depends what your husband is used to. I like riding on singletrack trails, narrow trails like hiking trails, and with some technical challenges. My impression is that most of the mountain biking around is on forest roads... but like I said, I haven't gone exploring yet.

In the summer months, there are many organized rides ("randonées") put on by local clubs. You'll probably find a lot of those through the FFCT website. (=the national org for 'cyclotourisme', i.e. recreational cycling as opposed to racing, both on road and mtb.)

If you want to ask more questions you might contact a local mountain bike (VTT) group like the Derailleurs, which seems like a friendly group. This page has an Anglophone contact link:
English Version ! | Les Dérailleurs

There's definitely a lot of tech/web activity in Paris, even some events in English sometimes. (Some of them listed on meetup.com.) I'd look at bigger web dev shops where people can specialize between doing client contact vs. actual development.
Thank you for that info, my husband likes single tracks with technical challenges so it would be really interesting if you had the chance to ride there to let us know! We will be coming out to look around to begin with like we did before we moved to lyon but this is good information to be getting on with.

We have had a look at meetups and are trying to find an anglophone group for web devs, but again I'm sure with research we will eventually come up with something.

Do you live in Fontainebleau and work in Paris? I know someone said it would be about 40mins on the train which is what Lyon was for us.
Cheers for your help.
 

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Do you live in Fontainebleau and work in Paris? I know someone said it would be about 40mins on the train which is what Lyon was for us.
Cheers for your help.
I live on the other side of Paris. I've been riding bikes on the road lately.

The ParisHackers (HackerNews) meetup generally runs meetings in English. Not sure off the top of my head if others do. Some things at LaCantine (lacantine.org) are in English.
 
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