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Hi all,

My husband has applied for a job in Monaco so if he gets it we'll need to move from London to South of France, probably no further than Nice. The job would start within the next 3 months.

We are in our early 30's with an 18 month old and 2 month old and a small dog.

I'm am right behind my husband in terms of career progression and wanting 'a better quality of life' for us, but understandably I have my reservations. It would be a huge move. The main one being that he will be walking straight into a job and will therefore have instant contacts/friends and speak English in the office. I will be on my own at home with 2 small children. I have school girl French so would need to brush up ASAP. I've no idea where to look at apartments, ie town, village, coast, inland...

How easy is it to integrate into French society? I'm hoping although it will be tough with the little ones, I might be able to make friends through nursery?

Slightly terrified by the prospect of living in a foreign country but also excited. My dad was in the services so I lived abroad most of my childhood so I know our kids would love it. I guess I just wouldn't have my mum there to hold my hand!

Any advice most welcome :)
 

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If you look through some of the posts here on the forum, you'll see that I'm a big advocate of AVF, a "newcomers" association here in France. Our local AVF (in the Paris area, not down south) is said to have been started by some newly arrived French women who claimed that because they didn't have children, they didn't have the usual way of meeting others - i.e. hanging out with the other mothers when they gathered to pick the kids up from school.

So, you're actually a little bit ahead of game, since you DO have little ones and a very natural entrée into French society. In some areas, the mums of English speaking children are in great demand because they want their kids to play with little English speakers. (Though the English speaking kids tend to pick up French pretty quickly - the advantage is that they can then translate for you!)

OK, obviously, I'm being silly - but in the area around Nice there are plenty of other expats and there are associations like AVF or various sports, arts and theater groups, to help you get settled in.

You say the job will start within the next three months. OK, the summer is kind of dead in France - except for tourist stuff, which shouldn't require that your French be up to speed. Come September and the big Rentrée (back to school and work and all), you can hit the local Forums des associations, where all the clubs and associations display their wares and you can find something you enjoy and a way to meet people. Yeah, it's scary at first, but give it a year (things move slowly in France) and I bet you'll be having the time of your life.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Sounds like a peach of an opportunity to me - grab and enjoy with both hands - your kids can hang on to your skirt tails - they're of an age where they're unlikely to notice what country they're in, so it's YOUR chance to have some fun. You shouldn't have any problem making the most of it ;)

Hils
 
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