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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there my hubby and I are thinking of moving to France, we are looking to move to a place that is just outside a village. French speech is very very limited to those old school lessons so can anyone tell me what it is like to live in France compared to living in UK.
 

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Living in France can vary quite a bit from region to region. Living just outside a village doesn't really tell us much. North, south, near a big city (which one?) or not?

Why are you looking to move? That has a big influence on what it's like living here. If you're looking to work, the lack of French language skills will be a real drag on your ability to settle in and to integrate. If you're in an area with lots of other anglophone expats, it can go a bit easier, but the French do tend to resent "Brits" who "refuse" to learn the language (by which they mean trying to make themselves understood in English in the local shops, etc.).

Your precise location will also determine what resources are available for you to improve your French skills. There are some non-profit associations around that offer low-cost French classes to foreigners, and these are well work checking into.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unsure which area yet, just started looking into it. Bascially moving from the Uk to try and establish a better way of life (Living in a 4 apartment semi detactched house just now and fancy somewhere with a bit of land). You have got to admit it the UK is getting worse. I agree with the French about the language, if you are moving to a country you should learn how to communicate easily with those around you. Started learning French again (still remember a bit from school days;o) ) will take a while but as long as I know the basics its a start.
 

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The big thing in the lifestyle question is how are you going to support yourself? If you've got qualifications, you more or less have to go where the jobs are. But even with a good command of the language, it can be real difficult to get hired as a foreigner.

Setting up a business of your own is a bit more complicated than in the UK. You really need to register the business up front. The new auto-entrepreneur statute is relatively simple, but the forms to be filled out are all in French, as is most information on the Internet about the statute and how it works.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I cant work, but my husband is a rmn staff nurse so he really needs to get cracking on learning his french is he wants to continue in this field.I really suppose work wise we will be in a posistion to see how things for a wee until we settled.

Never know maybe we will win the lotto and not need to work lol
 

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Good morning Pauline - I just joined this site a few weeks ago and have already come across a few people with the general idea of moving to France for a better life. There tend to be two types of replies - some say go for it, things will work out financially, you'll find some work, you'll make new friends, you'll never forgive yourself if you don't try.

Others - and I am one of them - say just make sure you have a plan B if your lack of language skills, financial resources and employability end up sending you home.

Will you miss your family and friends? Are you used to spending your nights in the local pub?

People in your situation can succeed, but there are stories of Brits here selling the furniture so that they can feed the kids.

If you are talking about winning the lottery then I assume you are not going to get a banker's bonus this year. I have to point out that life in France can be expensive even without a weak £.

You need to to investigate the possibilities for your husband working as a nurse - check out if his qualifications will be recognised here - if not, there will be problems.

No work means no health care after a period of grace according to your NH contributions - you need to phone Newcastle to see how many months they would pay your health care here - I was lucky, getting 18 months. You can get an estimate for private health insurance online - but I have been quoted around £4,000 for my wife and I. Fortunately we have a lot of work teaching English that my wife has registered as an Auto Entrpreneur as per Bev's post.

Assuming no work, how long could you support yourselves before your money ran out? Let's say something around €1500 per month minimum - rent, food, car expenses, electricity, gas, supplementary health insurance, internet etc etc.

Here's a little exercise for this Sunday morning - turn the tables round - imagine that you were reading on a different blog a post by a French couple wanting to move to Scotland - spoke little English, nursing qualifications possibly not recognised, not much chance of finding work especially in a recession, wanting to live in the middle of nowhere - what would you say to them?


Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would advise them to come onto forum like this and weigh up all the pros and cons then take time to decide. Life is too short at times, I cant work as have had a heart attack , we just feel like we want something new away from the usual UK (nothing there). Family wise both my husband and Is mother and father are dead, his only brother lives in Dublin (lot more expensive than here) I dont see my extended family as it is and I am sure my hubbys would come and visit if we decided to move.

We dont go to pubs, we prefer sitting in or going out a run to relax. 3 dogs keep us busy ;o)
 

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Last year we did bump into a couple of Scots at Toulouse airport - an es-colleague of my wife - they had just moved to a village in deepest SW France - no language skills but were overwhelmed by help from local French people - so integration is possible and of course a decent bottle of malt or 3 works wonders. But like many British people here they are retired and their savings + pension is sufficient.

There are quite a lot of expats looking for housekeepers - or maybe you could work for an expat run B&B - some internet research elsewhere will help find some work.

Good luck if you decide on the move - we are very happy here - left Scotland because we love France, and we were fed up with the weather and the way that youth drunkeness is promoted and glorified. I know that Scotland is starting to take action - but no doubt it will take a long time to make town centres more pleasant places at night.

Just had a little look at weather website - 15 years ago today it was 18.5C here - and we had a total of 3" of snow. But sometimes the word Mallaig comes to mind.

Best wishes

Ian
 

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Hi there my hubby and I are thinking of moving to France, we are looking to move to a place that is just outside a village. French speech is very very limited to those old school lessons so can anyone tell me what it is like to live in France compared to living in UK.
Hi we have been here a couple of years and have brought a house etc. H works at a local french company and although we have very basic french we get by it is surprising really. We are keen to keep learning and have french tapes and try and mix with the locals. I think it is too easy not to learn as most french people speak some English. We have some ignorant english neighbours who have been here 10 years and think it is the funniest thing ever they can barely speak a word of french. If you want to learn you will and in the mean time you will get by with no problem.
 

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If you are looking for a rental property in the first instance I have a 2 bed 2 bath beautifully renovated house in the limousin region that will available to let from mar/april. It's in a freiendly hamlet in the limousin region with welcoming neighbours who have wonderful with our very poor french. email me on [email protected] if you want more info and photo's.

Could be a great place to try out your new life.

jackie
 

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I only joined this forum today too. My wife (French) & I moved down to the SW on retirement 2 yrs ago and yes, country properties are cheaper and you can find some bargains but as always there's a reason..
We once visited some friends who'd rented a gite in Limousin. I was out in the garden while our friends & my wife were indoors preparing the meal. It was so quiet I could hear my heartbeat. No exaggeration. And I've lived in the north of Scotland too! If I show her a beautiful country property down a lane somewhere, my ever-practical wife always says "yes, but where do you buy your baguette..?" It can get v lonely out in the sticks, especially if your language skills are basic. For a number of reasons we decided to live in town.
Best of luck with whatever you choose to do..
 

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Hi,
I wanted to follow up on a couple of things--
where might I register as an "auto entrepeneur" and what exactly does that job entail?
Also, it was mentioned that there are many expats looking for housekeepers in France. How might I find out about that?
I am trying to find a way to earn some money whilst still getting time with my younger daughter and take some French classes so I need something fairly flexible.
Thanks!
~Beth
 

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Hi,
I wanted to follow up on a couple of things--
where might I register as an "auto entrepeneur" and what exactly does that job entail?
Also, it was mentioned that there are many expats looking for housekeepers in France. How might I find out about that?
I am trying to find a way to earn some money whilst still getting time with my younger daughter and take some French classes so I need something fairly flexible.
Thanks!
~Beth
In some areas you can register online as an auto-entrepreneur. Check your departemental Chambre de Commerce website - or google "auto-entrepreneur" and the name of your departement.

It's not a job per se. It's a way to go into business for yourself and pay your cotisations and taxes based on a fixed percentage of your gross revenue (i.e. whatever you take in as revenue) rather than having to keep books and net off your expenses against your revenues. Depending on the kind of business you're in, you are limited to a certain ceiling on your revenues (i.e. sales vs. service business), and you don't have to mess with VAT until your business surpasses the VAT threshold.

OTOH, if you make some sales, but your expenses exceed your revenue, you still have to pay your cotisations and taxes.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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thank u 4 ur very honest and realistic advice on living in france,we have been looking to move 2 france,but the great amount of problems of tryn 2 make a living bothers us,it seems that even if u were word perfect and intergrated u`ve no chance of a job so what do 4 money?
 

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thank u 4 ur very honest and realistic advice on living in france,we have been looking to move 2 france,but the great amount of problems of tryn 2 make a living bothers us,it seems that even if u were word perfect and intergrated u`ve no chance of a job so what do 4 money?
Right now, finding a job anywhere is tough. People underestimated this recession, and IMHO, we're just getting ready for the second dip - which should be a doozie!

How would you make your living if you didn't leave the UK for France? The French are very into qualifications, so what you're qualified to do is definitely your best line of effort when coming to France.

It's only natural for the locals to prefer hiring people who speak the local language, so you do your best when you're talking to someone about a job. It's certainly better if you have something "unusual" to offer as a foreigner - for example, in the accounting area, they are often looking for someone with "anglo-saxon accounting" experience. I'm sure there are these sorts of extras in most lines of work.

But the first step to moving abroad anywhere really is finding a job, or making sure you have a reliable source of income.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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well we dont have a trade as such my husbands profession was working in an exclusive cycling shop which entailed building up/repairing all types of cycles especially retro, hes cycled all thru spain, portugal,uk .I work in a large chain supermarket im the main earner i only work 16hz a week we have a tiny mortgage of less than 30K, we enjoy hunting, fishing growing veg any breeding chicken,ducks and quail we dont do eating out, or pubs as we keep ourselfs to ourselfs dont have a lot of friends as such as we all go out as a family my kids have never played out in the street as its not safe they are 15and 10,we dont have any 1 dropping in either to have a nose at what u`ve got ie latest massive flat screen tv which we dont have as we arnt the jones`s so i guess im tryn to say we are not the average loud embarrising english,with the opinion of every 1 can speak english so why should we bother learning french?.we are tryn hopefully to provide a better life for us and the boys by moving abroad the youngsters these days the out look is not good its all drugs,knifing and shootings its a very dim prospect we dont have this image of arriving in france living like royalty in a big house more like comming over in our motor home after selling the house hopefully find some were we like buying a do upper and hope to have some income comming in at some time as the money wont last for ever and continuing our life as we are here self sufficent for want of a better word and be able to be understood with our very poor french although we are all trying to speak to each other in french to see how we are all learning.
 

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Just reading through this thread I haven't noticed any attention being given to your 15 and 10-year old boys and how they're likely to integrate socially and education-wise in France. They're at quite an advanced age and might find it very difficult making the transition. Don't have children so I'm just guessing. And I dont want to pop your bubble either - am a complete romantic at heart and firmly in the "go on give it a go" camp. But I also recognise that I've made terrible mistakes recently by not being realistic.
 

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Just reading through this thread I haven't noticed any attention being given to your 15 and 10-year old boys and how they're likely to integrate socially and education-wise in France. They're at quite an advanced age and might find it very difficult making the transition. Don't have children so I'm just guessing. And I dont want to pop your bubble either - am a complete romantic at heart and firmly in the "go on give it a go" camp. But I also recognise that I've made terrible mistakes recently by not being realistic.
thanks for ur reply to my concerns of making the move i may not have included my kids imput to my ramblings but i thought that id get accross is that its for their future we are moving out of this country to give them a better future its us that will struggle the hardest as kids usually pick up the language easier and make friends ,the law in this country has very recently changed and for the 10 year old he has to stay in school until he is 18, the 15yr old will be sitting exams this year and would be leaving high school next year any way but if he wanted to could stay on till hes 18 so both still have quite a while to compleat their education so dont really want to stay here for another 8 yrs.my biggest worry is the employment side of things ie how do you make a living as the cash we would have wouldnt last for ever
 

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Hi. Again, I have no experience in this matter but I recall reading a lot of posts on various France forums dealing with the difficulties associated with uprooting teenagers and their consequent education difficulties in France. I fully respect and understand your desire to give them a better life, however, you might want to research this aspect on this forum and others...if only to give you peace of mind. Personally, I hope you go for it. But as I've already said, that's the romantic in me.
 
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