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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello forum members,

Our family is moving to Provence, because my husband is going to work in Cadarache for two years. Me and our two children (3 and 1) are tagging along, of course! (If you've experienced a Swedish winter, you'll understand why...) We move some time in January 2014.

I'd like some input as to where we should live; Aix is bigger and more international (right?) but we are also looking at Manosque as a possible place. Or perhaps some small village in the area...?

Since I speak very little French, my only hope of socializing (well, almost) lies in finding English speaking friends, where would be a good place for that?

We will be renting a house, our budget is around 1100 Euros per month, charges compris. Is it possible to rent a housr around Aix for that price? I have seen houses in Manosque that are within the budget.

Grateful for any help!
 

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Welcome to the forum. We are a diverse lot with varying views and experience. Please don't expect us to agree.


I've not visited either of your target areas, so I will not comment directly. I suggest that you come over for several weeks and see for yourself. One man's meat is another's poison etc.

I think most people here will agree that French language skills must be the priority....don't delay, start reading fr news on the internet today.

We will try to answer other questions as best we can.


DejW
 

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Like Dej, I have no knowledge of the area you'll be moving to - but for help in getting settled, learning French and finding English speakers in either Aix or Manosque, you should check into the local AVF. (There is one in each of those two towns, by the way.)

AVF stands for Acceuil des Villes Françaises and it's an association for newcomers to an area, both French and foreigner. Normally would have given you a website link, but they seem to be completely re-doing their central website at the moment. Nevermind, the local mairies (town halls) will have information on the AVF.

Some AVF's run French conversation groups for newcomers to help them practice their French. And many AVF's have activities in English for newly arrived anglophones. (And if they don't you can always start one within the AVF - it's amazing how many folks in France are looking for ways to practice their English.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hello forum members,

Our family is moving to Provence, because my husband is going to work in Cadarache for two years. Me and our two children (3 and 1) are tagging along, of course! (If you've experienced a Swedish winter, you'll understand why...) We move some time in January 2014.

I'd like some input as to where we should live; Aix is bigger and more international (right?) but we are also looking at Manosque as a possible place. Or perhaps some small village in the area...?

Since I speak very little French, my only hope of socializing (well, almost) lies in finding English speaking friends, where would be a good place for that?

We will be renting a house, our budget is around 1100 Euros per month, charges compris. Is it possible to rent a housr around Aix for that price? I have seen houses in Manosque that are within the budget.

Grateful for any help!
Christine Hi,

Yes you're right, Aix is much bigger than Manosque and more international as well. Regarding your budget, I think it will be pretty hard (but not impossible) to find a house within your budget in Aix where property prices are high.

But have you noticed how far is Manosque from Cadarache ? It will make a long trip 2 times a day to go working there ?

Orange, Avignon are nice cities much more closer imho.

Regarding the "English speaking side" of your post, we the French cannot compete with the Swedes when it comes to English speaking skills :mad: (you are better than the Brit themself :D)
But in Cadarache there is a special kind of persons called "researchers" or "nuclear engineers" and they are, most of time, used to speak English at work so you'll get a chance. There are also a bunch of English speaking foreigners. But if Manosque was a choosen to minimize the intersection between personal and professional you'll need to explore other possibilities.

Bonne chance à vous 4 et bienvenue en France ;)
 

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Being in Aix, I agree that it would be difficult to find a house in or around Aix for that price. Manosque is much closer to Cadarache than Aix (or Avignon and Orange), and I believe, a large number of families of people working at Cadarache live there. So, I think giving Manosque a try makes alot of sense. You should be able to get some help or info on the surrounding area from the folks at Cadarache or Projeçt ITER, as well.
 

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There is nothing wrong with Manosque, so dont be afraid to give it a shot it is small but cheaper than Aix, at least rental side of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks!

Thank you so much for your replies! We will spend a week in the Aix/Manosque area in late October, to look at houses. I do believe Manosque will be our final choice.
 

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I'm from Avignon (which has always had a friendly competition with Aix). If you like cultural events, going out etc then Aix would be better IMO than Manosque. Although it may be nothing in comparison to a Swedish winter, Manosque will be colder than Aix as it is higher up.
I haven't been to Manosque for many years but I'm sure it must have 'gentrified' itself with influx from Parisiens and foreigners.
Enjoy your trip in October, it is a fantastic opportunity your family has been given and wherever you decide to be it is a wonderful area. My work sent me to Brussels...and I'm really chuffed to be on the continent!
 

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Hello. I currently live in Manosque, but unfortunately have only been here for a week. I haven't been to Aix yet so I can't make a direct comparison.

Manosque is a lot smaller than what I am use to, but it has everything you need. Has bunch of shops, super markets, and even a McDonalds. I haven't had to venture outside of the city for anything. Only bad thing is places close really early on Saturdays and closed all day on Sunday, which I am not use to. There is an international school here in Manosque and I heard that some of the mothers drop off their kids at the school and have coffee with the other parents. So finding someone to socialize with in English shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Shops being closed on Sundays is not specific to Manosque but France and other countries in general. It has some positives though,i have been in Belgium for a year and I've saved thousands €
 
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