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Hi all, Myself and my family are looking to move to France,all we are looking for is a better lifestyle,I work offshore on the oilrigs so employment isnt really a problem,yes we will have to learn the language..lol(excellent advice on other posts for that).Ive found alot of posts for north or south France.We were looking to move more Mid France..lol...somewhere between bergerac ,lyon and bourges,that kind of area,more countryside/village than large town though.I see from other posts that there seems to be alot of help and support from the French.Does anyone know if this is the same in the quieter areas.i also have 3 young children (12,8,6)any ideas on how schooling would be for them?.Also (last question for now honest..lol) as i'd still be working under the u.k. how would the French authorities etc look at that.
sorry on large first post ..lol,but as you all know theres lots to consider before moving,and i'd just like to get it right so my family can enjoy their new life =)
 

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Here are a few thoughts :

I don't think the French authorities will have any problem about you working in the UK - but I think you need to talk to your UK tax office about where you pay your tax and social security. If it is in the UK then you need to investigate health cover - I suppose as long as you are paying NI in the UK then your family in France will be covered - but again, I suggest you check. In any case, your family will need top-up health cover - only roughly 70% of health care costs will be covered.

None of my business - but will your wife cope in a different country with 3 children and some language problems? Local Brits will help, as will local French, but attitude can be important - you are (uninvited) guests here. Liberal handing out of bottles of malt works wonders - and if you are in a small village then start with the maire. He might well know more about malts than you - so buy a good bottle.

Re schooling - your children might suffer at the local school in the short term but they should adapt and pick up the language quickly - I'm not suggesting they hand out bottles of malt.

My wife taught in Scotland and she certainly sees a difference in the French children she tutors - I'm not saying either system is better, just that in France it is different. There are different schools and different teachers of course - but here children seem to be pushed a lot - in fact we had two children at our house (11 and 9) for a first tutoring session - they just assumed they were going to be given tests to do.

Another 9 year-old that I tutor is studying English at a higher level than I ever did with French in Primary 5 - and I went to Hutchie in Glasgow.

An older child I was tutoring for his Bac was told by his teacher that he should be studying till 11.30 2 or 3 nights a week "to prepare for the regime at university" - didn't ring any bells with me.

But life in SW France is great - and a lot of people from the north of France move down here for a better climate.


Good luck
 

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As contentedscot mentioned, you do need to look into the tax/residence issue pretty carefully before you make the big move. If your family is living in France, chances are the French will consider you tax resident here - in large part because they tax based on the family unit - and you'll be expected to pay "cotisations" (social insurances) in France to cover yourself and your family no matter where you're actually working.

It's difficult to generalize on how you'll be accepted in small town France (and actually most of France is made up of small towns) out in the countryside. If there is a British or other anglophone expat presence in the area, the locals can go either way. In some areas, they're happy to have foreigners, especially if they're looking for tutors for their kids in English. In other rural areas, the locals despise the Brits for all the usual reasons: they run up property prices, they stick to themselves, they "refuse" to learn the language, etc. etc. OTOH, if you get chummy with a neighbor or two, they may consider you to be the exception to the rule.

By all accounts, your kids should do ok with the schools, and though it may be a bit rough at first, they'll be babbling away in French within a few months.

You might want to take a look around for some towns in the area you're considering that boast an AVF. AVF -- Accueil They have a service called "pre-accueil" where you can contact the individual groups to ask about the towns and about the local AVF group. AVF is a newcomers group in France, but some of the local associations have some pretty impressive resources for foreigners.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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