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Hi all, my family and I moved to France in July 2013 for my husband's work. He is based in Antony and we currently live in Bievres. We have four children (oldest is 7, youngest is 2) and now have another (bit of a surprise) on the way. We like Bievres itself, it is a really pleasant village but we have found ourselves very isolated. My oldest son is struggling in the local school and although it is early days, I am worried about the effect his schooling experience is having on his self-esteem. He is the only non-French speaker in his class/year and there are virtually no other English speakers in the village. Although in principle this is fine, with our French being limited and me having 4 (soon to be 5) children, life is incredibly hard. Anyway, I was hoping that one solution would be to move to an area with a greater number of expats. We are also considering the Montessori in Versailles, although we are happy to stay in the French system if it were a school with more experience of teaching non-Francophone children.
Any advice on areas, schools, good maternity hospitals would be very gratefully appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

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If you aren't a member of Message yet, you might find lots of helpful information there on all three of your needs (areas, schools, and maternities). I would highly recommend it to you. How To Join
 

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Depends a bit on your budget, but you could consider moving to an area like Orsay (around the plateau de Saclay). There are quite a few research institutes plus the university here in the area, and they get a larger number of expats (though often for short stays of a year or two).

Orsay and the surrounding area tend to be kind of expensive - and these days there is no guarantee that you'll find other anglophone expats in the schools. The AVF in the area (AVF is a newcomers' group and the local group serves Bures-Gif-Orsay, though it draws its members from a much wider area) used to have quite a few native English speakers, but not so much anymore. Still, the schools have a good reputation and handle foreigners of many different nationalities. The hospital at Orsay has plenty of experience with foreign new mums.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi!
Congratulations!
We just moved to Versailles with our 14-months old baby boy, and are planning for another one this year as well. Versailles has more families with 4+ children that the rest of France, so you might find yourself more comfortable/supported here. There are also some English speaking schools, and the public French schools are very good.
Cheers,
Mathilde
 
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