Expat Exchange recently conducted a survey to explore the "Best Places to Live Abroad in 2020." In addition to the information collected during this survey, we have also examined survey and expat report responses to assess the best places to live for expats.
When expats in France rated their "level of satisfaction with the expatriate experience," responses indicated that those who live in the European nation are by far more satisfied with their experience than those in other nations throughout the world.
A full 64% of expats in France reported that they were "extremely satisfied" as expats, while 21% stated that they were "very satisfied." Combined, those 85% who are either extremely or very satisfied rates 11% higher than the international average of 74%. An additional 14% reported that they were "moderately satisfied." No respondents reported that they were either "slightly satisfied" or "not at all satisfied" with their expat experiences in France.
More than 62% of expats in France reported a high degree of satisfaction with their social experiences there, and almost 80% reported they were at least "very satisfied" with the ease of making friends in France.
Expats gave high marks for health care in France, where nearly 80% of respondents reported that they were either extremely or very satisfied with the health care services in France. Public healthcare coverage, prescription drug availability and prescription drug costs received similarly high ratings.
Here are some thoughts from expats living in France who responded to the Expat Exchange survey:
An expat in Occitanie, France enthusiastically shared that they enjoy "Good weather, lots of beautiful countryside, clean air, little traffic, acces to good markets and wine."
Another expat in Saint-Cirq shared: "Our location is idyllic, peaceful, and inspiring. The healthcare is superb. The area offers a wealth of historic and prehistoric sites, outdoor activities, cultural offerings of every kind imaginable, museums, and festivals. Amazing food is available at every turn, and it's all fresh and affordable. Workmen and women are generally honest, hard-working, and reasonably priced. Train connections enable us to get quickly and affordably all over the country. Plane connections allow us to travel inexpensively all over the continent. People look out for one another. The only thing we sometimes dislike is the cold when we have a harsh winter. But it's manageable, and we can easily fly to warmer climates at minimal expense.""
One expat in Sete, France shared (2020 Best Places Survey):
"I absolutely love living in Sete. Its affordability allowed me to buy a lovely apartment less than 0.5 km from the Mediterranean and with sea views. Good bus routes, reasonable grocer varieties, two first-run cinemas, multiple concert and other music venues, festivals, fabulous beaches, and it's located less than a 20 minute drive or train ride from Montpellier. The people are friendly and welcoming. I'm just as delighted with my choice to move here as I was when I made the decision six years ago."
Another expat in St-Nicolas-du-Pelem, France reported (2020 Best Places Survey):
"I love where I live, I love France. The people are friendly and helpful. I am at home here. We live in a rural area, but in a village there is always something going on. We have various associations to join and a gym. We are on the edge of the village with plenty of trails to walk with our dog. We have a second home in Nice and have friends there, too. We feel comfortable in both places"
An Expat in France in May 2020 (COVID Survey):
"Peaceful. People have been respectful and followed the law and advice from the government. I felt totally safe and glad that I was in the countryside and followed the rules given."
An Expat in St-Cirq, France reported in October 2020 (COVID Report):
"Every couple of weeks we may go to a favorite caf? for a drink or a sandwich, but always outdoors and always with masks. The weather has been foreboding, so even that is a rare treat. Once every week or two weeks we also go to a farm cooperative to buy whatever food we don't grow. That's our major outing. Mostly we stay home and work around the house or in the gardens and cook. We're doing a lot of preserving of fruits and roasting of vegetables for what is likely to be a cold winter to come. And of course, we're building up our wood supply, because we heat our house with wood stoves. So far, we don't know a single person here who has been diagnosed with COVID, though of course we read reports that there have been cases."
Read our articles 10 Tips for Living in France, 8 Things to Know Before You Move to France, and Healthcare in France
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