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Expat Guide to Living in France

Whether you're already living in France or preparing to move to France, our Expat Guide to Living in France offers articles and reports submitted by expats about expat life in France. For answers to specific questions, visit our France Forum to talk with expats in France.

4 Reasons Expats Buy Property in Provence

Thinking of moving to or buying a second home in Provence? David King from Winkworth International shares 4 reasons why Provence is a great place for expats to buy property.

Moving to France: 8 Things to Know Before You Move to France

Expats all over the world dream of someday making France their next destination. As with other countries, there is a lot of planning involved, and a lot of decisions to be made. Find important advice about finding a place to live, expat banking services in France and much more.

Leaving the US? The 17 Best Places to Live Overseas

We try not to get political, but we can help you find a great place to live overseas if the U.S. election results have you thinking about moving overseas. Here's a list of 17 of the best places to live overseas based upon expats' advice and recommendations.

5 Healthcare & Health Insurance Tips for Expats in France

Expats in France share tips about applying for the Carte Vitale, obtaining private health insurance in France, having a baby in France and more.

Culture Shock in Epinal, France

An expat in Epinal, France gets candid about the culture shock she experience when moving to France. She advises newcomers to get out and meet people. She started an English-speaking group in her small town and met lots of locals that way.

Culture Shock in Signes, France

An expat in Signes, France describes the problems involved with settling into family life in another country. It's a great reminder that expat life can be complicated, and it's difficult in places where we wouldn't expect.

Living in Epinal, France

An expat shares what it's like to live in the small town of Epinal, France.

Living in Lyon, France

A Polish expat in Lyon, France talks about expat life in this beautiful, historic city. She appreciates how locals love their city, their food -- and truly enjoy life. She also appreciates how family oriented it is in Lyon!

Retirement in Aude and Herault Departments, France

A couple from the UK who retired in France enjoy the cultural activities of nearby Carcassonne and Narbonne, being close to the coast and the beautiful vineyards that surround them. They confess to be having a tougher learning French than if they were younger, but know they will persevere.

More Culture Shock Reports for France

Culture shock is part of the settling in process. Knowing the different phases of culture shock and how other expats in France handle it can be very comforting. Below are some of the responses from expats in France:
Submit a Culture Shock Report

More Moving to France Reports

What should you take with you when you move to France? What should you leave behind? What type of housing and neighborhoods are typical for expats in France? Below are some of the responses from expats in France:
Submit a Moving Overseas Report

Reviews of Schools in France

Reviews and school profiles from expat parents and even a few school administrators in France. Great place to find insight into school facilities, teachers and curriculum. Below are some of the reviews from expats in France:
Submit an International School Review

Dream vs. Reality of Living in France Reports

Most expats have have "dreams" (and fears) about the expatriate experience before they moved to France. If you are already living in France, share how those "dreams" have been fulfilled, and how they have not. Below are some of the reports from expats in France:
Submit a Dream vs. Reality Report

Retiring in France Reports

Retiring abroad can be a great option for retirees seeking their dream lifestyle at an affordable price. Help other retirees, who are thinking about retiring in France, by filling out our Overseas Retirement report. Below are some of the reports from expats in France:
Submit a Retire Abroad Report

Having a Baby in France Reports

How did expats choose their doctors, midwives, hospitals? What is childbirth like in France? Below are some of the reports from expats in France:
Submit a Having a Baby Abroad Report

Working in France Reports

What's it like to find a job in France? How difficult was it to obtain a work permit? What types are jobs are typical for expats in France? Below are some of the reports from expats in France:
Submit a Working Abroad Report
Additional Articles
Fed Up with Trump vs Clinton? 10 Best Countries to Live Overseas If You're Thinking About Leaving the United States

If you're so fed up with the US presidential election that you're actually thinking about moving to another country, we have compiled a list of 10 countries to consider. For each country, we cover why expats like living there and touch on topics like taxes, lifestyle, government, healthcare and more.

7 Reasons Alsace is Such a Special Part of France

Expats in Alsace, France enjoy a unique French experience. Given the varied cultural influences and unique setting, it's a must see even if you are only traveling around the country.

5 Tips For Living in Nice, France

Expats in Nice live in a part of country that attracts a lot of tourists. If you can manage the crowds and find some way to enjoy all of the culture Nice has to offer, it might be the perfect place for you.

Top 10 Parks in Lyon France

Expats in Lyon, France have a large number of parks to explore and enjoy. Aga Marchewka provides a concise list of the top 10 parks in Lyon and all that they have to offer.

How to Explore France on a Budget

Expats in France love to explore all of the wonderful destinations throughout the country, but it's expensive. Lyon-based blogger Aga Marchewka offers some great tips on how to soften the blow as you enjoy the sites and sounds of France!

8 Free Things to Do in Lyon, France

Aga Marchewka offers great advice on delving into the French culture in Lyon, France. Find out what you can do in the third biggest city in France... for free!

5 Amazing Places to Ski in France

Skiing in the French Alps is breathtaking not only for the beautiful and varied terrain, but also the incredibly affordable cost when compared to ski resorts in the United States. Ski passes are available that grant access to multiple resorts that don't require any transportation from one to the next other than the two boards on your feet. Of course, if you want to splurge and spend more, luxury options abound!

10 Best Places in the World to Get in the Christmas Spirit

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Here are 10 of the best places in the world to get in the Christmas spirit.

Thanksgiving in Paris

If you're living in Paris and in search of a place to dine on Thanksgiving, we have several suggestions. If you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner, find out where you can order a turkey.

5 Affordable Places to Retire in France

The word affordable and France don't normally end up in the same sentence, but it's all relative and more affordable villages and cities do exist! They are often some of the most charming places to retire in France. Here are 5 affordable places to retire in France plus advice on how to find others.

Paris Expat: 5 Tips for Moving to Paris

Moving to Paris? Josie Sampson offers tips for finding a job in Paris, obtaining a visa, searching for an apartment in Paris and more.

Expat France: An Interview with Terrance Gelenter

An expat interview with "Paris Through Expatriate Eyes" founder Terrance Gelenter

7 Tips For Working In Paris

Our working in Paris guide offers information and tips for expats and others who want to work in Paris.

5 Great Places to Retire in Western Europe

We asked expats about great places to retire in Western Europe. While many Western European countries have prohibitively high living costs, there are a few areas that fit the retirement bill. These are some of the recommendations!

10 Tips for Living in France

Expats offer tips on health insurance, renting in Paris, culture shock, meeting people and more.

Moving to France: Buying Property in France

Did you know you typically need a blood test to get a mortgage in France? Did you know that Land for Sale with a "permission to build" is ideal?

Moving to Paris: Renting in Paris

If you're moving to Paris and planning to rent, Aurelia d'Andrea offers advice about renting in Paris.

Moving to Paris: Paris Fact-Finding Trip

If you're relocating to Paris and have a chance to take a pre-move fact-finding trip, author Aurelia d'Andrea provides a day-by-day itinerary that takes you to the most popular expat neighborhoods (arrondissement).

World's Top Retirement Havens 1 Through 9

Where are the best places to retire overseas? Which retirement haven is right for you? France? Ecuador? Panama? Nicaragua? Thailand? Kathleen Peddicord shares the pros and cons of the world's top 9 retirement havens.

France Pension: French State Pensions – What's all the fuss about?

The riots over increasing the retirement age from 60 to 62 continue. Financial Consultant, Steven Grover, explains what's behind the riots and the impact this change would have.

Employment Contracts in France

Provides an overview of the three basic types of employment contracts in France.

Work Permit France

Describes the types of work permits that France offers to expat employees in France.

France Visa - Carte de Séjour

Once you arrive in France, you must apply for a visa, called a Carte de Séjour, at a local Préfecture of Police. This article describes what you need to do before you go and once you arrive in France.

Taxes in France

Tax information for Americans in France. Overview of the foreign earned income exclusion and housing expense exclusion.

Health Insurance in France

Do you need private health insurance in France? Will you be covered by the national health care system? This article covers the basics.

Cost of Living in France

The cost of living in France varies based upon where you are living. This article provides an overview of cost of living in Paris.

Finding the Right International School in France

Choosing an international school in France can be a difficult decision. This article provides an overview of some popular international schools in Paris and other areas of France.

School Report: International School of Paris

One parent shares their family's experiences at the International School of Paris.

Currency Exchange: Buying a Property in France

Buying a property in France. Bill Williams and his wife used a commission free foreign exchange and it helped them save money.

Now is the Time to Invest in Paris Real Estate

Your U.S. dollars have more buying power in euro-land right now than they've had in two years. And the market in Paris, for both sales and rentals, is soft, down, and falling.

New France-UK Double Taxation Treaty Signed - Could it Affect You?

Under the new agreement for the first five years after becoming a resident of France your wealth tax liability will only be based on French assets, with all other assets outside France not being taken into account.

QROPS - Is it the answer for Brits moving to France and wanting to have a pension in Euros?

QDROPS scheme has been specifically designed to enable non-UK resident individuals who have accrued pension benefits in the UK, to transfer these out once they have left the UK.

Driving Through France - Stay Safe and Legal Driving In France

Driving in France can be a breeze - especially in rural areas. Jeff Seems offers a helpful rundown of legal requirements, safety concerns and other basic advice.

Ten Things to Know About Fractional Ownership BEFORE You Invest

What is fractional ownership and is it a good option for you if you're interested in Paris real estate?

Assurance Vie: An Expatriate's Guide

The French have evolved and streamlined a product that is capable of both protecting accumulated wealth and promoting its development for the future enjoyment of the investor's heirs.

France's Cycle Network - An Expat's Dream

UK cycle author Richard Peace explores the fast developing French cycle route network and recommends his favourite areas.

French Holiday Property - Choosing The Right French Property For Your Holiday

There are many things to take into consideration when buying a French holiday property -- from location, to rental income potential to upkeep.

The Fools Way To Go About Buying A House In France

Foolish mistakes to avoid when buying a house in France.

Buy a House in France - Are There Any Drawbacks at All?

Jeff Seems, author of The French Property Buyer's Guide, is an Englishman whose bought a house in France. Having stumbled over most of the hurdles himself, he shares insight into a few drawbacks to buying property in France and how to overcome them.

Affordable French Property - Can You Still Buy French Property On A Budget?

There ARE still a few places in France where you can find property bargains. Find out where.

Ten Top Tips for Purchasing a Paris Apartment

Finding the right Paris apartment requires some compromise, but it can be done. Paris real estate expert, Stephanie Freedman, offers some helpful advice.

French Tax Laws: French Inheritance/Gift Tax changes

In 2007, the French Inheritance and French Gift Tax Laws changed. Steve Grover discusses the changes and how they may impact you.

Life in France: Around and Around We Go

Suzanne Saxe-Roux shares how she learned to navigate French roundabouts and enjoy them as much as the French do.

Life Abroad: What Makes Being Abroad Worthwhile?

James Beckley shares how living abroad has impacted his life.

Camping Holidays in France

If you're thinking about going camping in France, here are a few things to know before you go.

Property France: A Great French Estate Agent

Buying property in France? David Seymour offers advice on how to choose a good French estate agent.

Renovating French Properties

While many have successfully renovated French properties, be sure to do your research and know what you're getting into before deciding to purchase a property that needs extensive updates. David Seymour gives some insight.

Transitioning in France: How to prepare for a Smooth Move to France

Helpful guide for those moving to France and relocating within France. Information about setting up and terminating rental contracts, water, taxes, Carte Gris, electricity and gas service, insurance, telephone service, postal service and more.

Bordeaux Wines: Verdict on the Grapevine

The market for Bordeaux's prestigious top end wines has never been in question and continues to thrive, yet Bordeaux, like many other prominent French wine regions, has been experiencing a steady decline in its low to medium priced bottles.

A Guide to French Banking: Answers to an Expatriate's Questions

When opening a bank account in France there are numerous variables to consider, and often the language barrier only serves to complicate matters.

French Customs: Minding Your French Manners

Advice about French customs and minding your manners in France.

Confessions of An Expatriate Abroad: Update from Paris

Transferring your life overseas is a grand adventure... and a logistical challenge. Kathleen Peddicord shares advice from one of her international moves.

Jobs France: Searching for a Job in France

Searching for jobs in France can be time consuming. And, as with so many things in France, there is a set bureaucratic procedure which you must follow.

Moving to France: Diary of a Life Change

What's it like to give up your job, rent out your home, move to France and start a new life? Louise Hurren kept a diary in 2002, the year she, her partner and their son changed their lives radically.

Living in Paris: Life on the Island

Life in Ile Saint-Louis, one of Paris' chicest and most expensive locations.

Learning French: A Humbled Expat

Learning French in the classroom versus speaking French on the streets of Paris can be a humbling experience. Kathleen Peddicord shares her story.

Living in France: The Tarts of Alsace

Spend a weekend exploring Alsace, France and try the region's onion tarts.

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