3 Tips to Know Before You Move to France
Moving to an unfamiliar new country can be a bit like going on a blind date with someone you intend to have a serious, long-term relationship with: a little scary. Sure you’ll have second hand accounts of what your future might hold, but you won’t know what’s really in store for you until you take the plunge. Not to worry, whether you intend to work in France for a short duration, or you plan on living and working there “until death do you part”, I have a few tips that might make the transition a bit easier.
Check out for social media profiles. There is an internet presence for just about everyone and everything these days. You wouldn’t jump into a relationship without googling the other party first would you? If not maybe you’re just less nosy than I am, because I do this for practically every person I meet. If you really want to know what it’s going to be like living in your soon-to-be home, get in touch with a few of France’s exes. Expatriates, that is. Before you move, look online for expat groups based near your new home. Get in touch with any relevant groups for information, advice, or just to make a few friends before you arrive.
Be flexible. If there is one necessary characteristic that perfectly fits both moving to a new country and this relationship metaphor I’m using to make the topic seem more approachable, it’s flexibility. Just like newly-weds need to accommodate the quirks of their partner, so do those who travels for business. It might be troublesome or downright annoying at times, but in order for your new arrangement to work you’re just going to have to learn to let the small things slide. I’ve read accounts of expats clinging to the memory of their native country saying things like “it took so long to get the internet set up, it’s done so much quicker in X”. It’s easy to find faults if you’re constantly comparing your new country to your old one. Start your love affair with France the right way and approach everything with a clean slate. When you stop trying to do everything your way, you might find you like the way things are done in France better. Then again, you might not; the important thing is to make an effort.
Speak the same Language. This is by far the most obvious tip, but it’s also the most important. It can be easy to fall into the habit of only socializing with other expats or English speakers, but to get the most out of your time living in France it’s imperative you start speaking the language as early and as often as possible. Communicating won’t be easy at first—great book idea: men are from Mars and foreign countries are from Venus—but the important thing is to keep trying. Trust me.
Want to get a head start on language lessons for your upcoming move, but you aren’t sure you need classes? Take our equivalent of a compatibility quiz. Our Language Level Test is used to assess your current understanding of the French language. Or, you can just cut out the middle man and Contact us for information on French classes in your area; just think of it as couples counseling for you and your new home.