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Just wondering if anyone here lives or has lived around Besançon.

I currently live in a lovely village in Alsace close to the Swiss border with my husband and 2 children but really want to move. My husband works in Basel, so we will need to be within easy reach by car of the TGV. (He will come home at weekends). We have been to the area a few times and like it but would like to know if it's worth moving there.

We like the quiet life so do not want to live in the city itself but there are so many lovely looking villages around it’s hard to choose. My children are 9 & 10 years old so we will need to be within easy reach of a middle school, or at least near where a school bus can pick them up.

How are the local’s? Would it be easy to make friends. French and English? Here, we have found the locals to be very unfriendly and unwelcoming especially since we spoke no french when we arrived and even now ( i feel due the unfriendliness) my French is still very basic, even though we have lived here for 11 years and our children were born here!

Are there many English speakers living there?
 

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Just wondering if anyone here lives or has lived around Besançon.

I currently live in a lovely village in Alsace close to the Swiss border with my husband and 2 children but really want to move. My husband works in Basel, so we will need to be within easy reach by car of the TGV. (He will come home at weekends). We have been to the area a few times and like it but would like to know if it's worth moving there.

We like the quiet life so do not want to live in the city itself but there are so many lovely looking villages around it’s hard to choose. My children are 9 & 10 years old so we will need to be within easy reach of a middle school, or at least near where a school bus can pick them up.

How are the local’s? Would it be easy to make friends. French and English? Here, we have found the locals to be very unfriendly and unwelcoming especially since we spoke no french when we arrived and even now ( i feel due the unfriendliness) my French is still very basic, even though we have lived here for 11 years and our children were born here!

Are there many English speakers living there?
My French aunts (in law) live in Besançon. I have been going there regularly for nearly 20 years. I love the city. I would live there tomorrow.

It is a very student city which keeps it alive. it very historic yet modern at the same time. The food is wonderful. English speakers ???? Don't know. I guess many do. My French is rubbish but I have never found people living there unwelcoming.

Places to live just on the fringes of the city....that is a difficult one. I will have to think about it. Personally I would head into the city but there are places to keep away from.
 

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I worked there for a summer, then returned as a student to the university. I have been back briefly on several occasions as I like the place and the scenery.

The people were friendly, but I already spoke pretty fluently before I arrived. My afternoons at work were much brightened by the appearance of apparent leftovers (or rather saved for me) from lunch that several of my co-workers had enjoyed at their homes. I suspect they had organised a rota as I only got one tasting a day.

If I were looking for somewhere to immerse myself totally in French, in France again, then I would head there in the first instance. I could not recall a number of English words when I returned to the UK as I had used French exclusively for months at a time. I cannot even recall anybody wanting to practise their English on me as I could pass for French from another region then. I have hardly heard an English voice or seen a British registered vehicle whilst there. Of course it may have changed in the last 10 years or so but I doubt it.

What won't have changed is the weather and its tendency to summer storms. The day could be baking hot but come 10 or 20 past 6 the heavens open, more often than not. Packing a raincoat everyday is not my idea of a nice summer. I didn't have to stay over the winter and you are obviously more accustomed to the Alsacien climate, so that may not concern you too much.

Having checked out SNCF today I wonder whether you would be better off heading to Haute Savoie. It will be a little longer, and more expensive on the train for your husband but parts of it are popular with other English speakers, and you can have a vast choice of activities so you might be happier there with the children. The weather also seems to be more settled, at least in summer.
 

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What won't have changed is the weather and its tendency to summer storms. The day could be baking hot but come 10 or 20 past 6 the heavens open, more often than not. Packing a raincoat everyday is not my idea of a nice summer. I didn't have to stay over the winter and you are obviously more accustomed to the Alsacien climate, so that may not concern you too much.
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Besançon has the best weather and seasons in France. That is why (among other things) it is one of the best cities in France.

People often come onto the forum as say they want to move to Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier etc. What is wrong with Besançon ? People are missing a trick. Besançon is probably one of the best kept secrets in France.
 
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