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Hi

My wife and i are new to this site and want to say hello. We are hopeing to move to france in a couple of years (one if my wife gets here way, lol) but are overwhelmed by the amount of information that is available. We would like to live somewere that life will be a little bit slower and a good place to bring up our daughter (jessica) who is now 1. My main concern is being able to support my family in france altough we have enough saving to last a couple of years i would like to work( im am a plasterer, level 2 plumber and part p qualified electrician) and integrate into the community. I would think that the best bet would be to live somewere that has an expat presence as our french isnt great although we are all learning at the moment (my daughter to, muzzy is a great thing). we would like to live in the south of france for the weather, if anyone can give me some personal experiences i would appreciate it and if anyone would like to keep in touch thats in france as i think knowing someone who is there and is doing it i think that would be a great advantage for my family.

Regards
William
 

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About the same

We're planning on moving to the south of France - Biarritz - in a couple of years. We're in Austria at the moment (all British though) and want our two to have a secular education, which is not somethng that you can get in Austria!

Although I have rather grand ideas of living in Biarritz itself, overlooking the ocean and rugged coastline, I rather suspect it's not going to be possible as it's a very expensive area. Instead we'll be looking a bit further south (only a few miles) where is it a bit cheaper and less populated.

Certainly taking Frencgh lessons and learning France will be your best resource for integrating, and with you daughter in school there she'll have no problem becoming fluent in no time. They start school at 6 in France, but I would suggest getting there so she has a year in nursery/kindergarten (maternelle) to settle intothe language, culture and a group of people she knows before she has to start formal education.

It's worth visiting on holiday and have a good drivearound and find a place you have a good feel about and visit their Mairie (town hall) where you'll finda lot of info. Most town halls are the centre of life in France and have info on everything you need to know -evenoffering 'courses' or groups that welcome newcomers to the area.


Hope I haven't blatheredon about stuff you already know!

Lucy



Hi

My wife and i are new to this site and want to say hello. We are hopeing to move to france in a couple of years (one if my wife gets here way, lol) but are overwhelmed by the amount of information that is available. We would like to live somewere that life will be a little bit slower and a good place to bring up our daughter (jessica) who is now 1. My main concern is being able to support my family in france altough we have enough saving to last a couple of years i would like to work( im am a plasterer, level 2 plumber and part p qualified electrician) and integrate into the community. I would think that the best bet would be to live somewere that has an expat presence as our french isnt great although we are all learning at the moment (my daughter to, muzzy is a great thing). we would like to live in the south of france for the weather, if anyone can give me some personal experiences i would appreciate it and if anyone would like to keep in touch thats in france as i think knowing someone who is there and is doing it i think that would be a great advantage for my family.

Regards
William
 

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Hi,

I can strongly recommend the Charente Maritime area. We have had property in France for 20 years, and purchased another 2 years ago between Royan and Bordeaux on the Gironde estuary. It is a beautiful region, close to beaches and having excellent weather. There is a very strong English contingent throughout the region, and work is abundant. To work as an electrician you will need to be registered to French requirements, but having just paid nearly 4000 euros for new (and easy) wiring to a tiny (58sq.m.) apartment, it's cleary very lucrative! Plastering and general building work is very easy to find, and the cheapest labour we could get was around 20 euros an hour. Again, pretty lucrative! You need to make contacts
 

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Sounds like a great place. We've been thinking about Biarritz area but don't think we can realistically meet the housing prices down there.

How far are you from the surf where you are? Also what are the schools like? We'll be starting our little ones from 6 (maybe younger if we can get moving soon enough 0 they're 1 and 3 at the moment).

If there is a big English contigent how do the French deal with the English - do they like them or would they rather new people didn't come? I find with the place my parents live in, we're accepted as we've been there for nigh on 20 years, but there is less love felt for other UK invaders!!
 

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Sounds like a great place. We've been thinking about Biarritz area but don't think we can realistically meet the housing prices down there.

How far are you from the surf where you are? Also what are the schools like? We'll be starting our little ones from 6 (maybe younger if we can get moving soon enough 0 they're 1 and 3 at the moment).

If there is a big English contigent how do the French deal with the English - do they like them or would they rather new people didn't come? I find with the place my parents live in, we're accepted as we've been there for nigh on 20 years, but there is less love felt for other UK invaders!!
Well, we love it. Our other property is in the Loire, and to be truthful it's snowed under with English, and we plan on selling at some point in the future. We are still learning about our new region, making friends etc, but we absolutely love it. !0 minutes from the beaches, and the REAL surf is within the hour, but you do get some at Royan and just north; and lots of big towns (for shoes and things.....)within 30 minutes or so. Although there are plenty of English in the region, it's not really snowed under, and providing you make every effort to join in, the French will accept you OK. We are making some good contacts, whom I hope will become friends in time. Don't be in a hurry to make "friends"- it always ends in disaster!
 

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Ohhh, definitely not into rushing friendships. I had someone try that with me when we moved to Austria - not a good move!

I'll definitely have a look into 'your area'! Sounds interesting. Maybe a bit further south so it's not a full hour to the surf...Hmm.
Well, it's an hour to the BEST surf - out on the Atlantic west of Bordeaux at Lacanau. I believe they hold the championships there. However, we are about half an hour south of Royan, and you get surf on the beaches from there North. Really, anywhere around Bordeaux or a bit further north towards Royan should give you what you want
 

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You have given me great food for thought. Thanks

Do you know anything about schooling there?
yeah.......I'm sure they've got some..........!

Seriously, not really. What I can tell you from experience is that French schools are generally better than UK, with a higher standard of education. We know several english people who have schooled children in France, with great success
 

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That's what I'm hearing. We're in Austria at the moment and I have no desire to have them educated here... Roman Catholicism is all pervasive and it really doesn't sit well with me.

Secular French system here we come. The downside I hear about Fr education is it doesn't really inspire creativity or imagination, but there surely has to be a point that parents should take control of some part of education...Culture and whatnot.
 
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