Moving to Paris, France?
I'm an American, born and bread in the south (Alabama to be exact). I'm 39 and married with 2 kids. My husband got a great job offer over in France. I have never been outside the U.S let alone to France. We move to Paris in 4 months time. We still have yet to find an apartment and all that! But we are working on getting our house ready for sale. (+ yes, this is most likely a perminant move).
Guess I want to know ..
1. Essential things I should know .. I am starting to study French now, but as I said I'm 39 with two young children (ages 12, and 9) .. Don't think I'll be that good. My children have some audio sets they listen to now in French, but they don't seem interested : /
2. How are Americans treated in Paris in general?
3. Where should we be looking at living? Whats the general cost? We'll be making about 80,000$ a year on average.
4. French food == How to get used to it? How to get the kids to eat it?
As far as the kids schooling goes, the first year anyways we're homeschooling. So how do we get them to make some friends in France?
- TinLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
1. Don't worry for your French speaking level. I had a neighbour who spent 5 years working in Paris and never learnt the language. There's a huge community of English mother Tongue in Paris. Study French and do your best but don't worry about. Once in Paris, you can take lessons at the city hall of your area, it's inexpensive or take lessons at the Alliance Francaise, good but expensive.
2. Americans are welcomed in Paris.
3. A place to live .... It depends on many facts. Try to be not too far from work and to have a school for your children nearby. Are they going to study at a bilingual school or the international one? It' s a priority to find a place for them at school.
I think 80000 dollars = 55000 euros, it's enough but not a lot for a family of 4. In Paris we usually live in little flats, one room per person plus living room. Flats prices are high, then you'll have to pay taxes (one of the taxes is for residence in Paris and it's quite expensive, like one month rental). Water is also quite expensive, try to take showers instead of bath.
If you live in central Paris, you won't need a car, we usually take the tube or bus as traffic jams are huge (there's a special line for buses on the streets). You'll nead an yearly Navigo pass x the public transport.
To go on holidays, we take the train, it's fast (TGV) and safe, if you buy tickets long in advance it' s much cheaper.
4. French food is good, you'll get used to it, otherwise, you'll find American food at La Grande Epicerie de Paris (24 rue de Sevres, 75007)
Kids will make friends at school and at the park. It may be hard for them at the beginning not to see their American friends though they'll keep in touch trough internet.
In France, when you take Internet, you automatically have a telephone with free calls inside France and to many countries like the USA. It cost about 30 euros per month, Free is a good Internet company, also Orange.
To meet people, you can go to the American Cathedral or to the American Church in Paris, you'll find lots of English speaking people, ads and free press like Fusac magazine.
Paris is a lovely place to live in.
It's not easy to find flats in Paris. I have seen one flat, 2 bedrooms in The 17th district (a Nice one) = 1500 euros + 200 euros charges.
Can your kids share a bedroom? Otherwise, I think you'll have to look for flats in the outskirts of Paris because you won't find 3 bedroom flats under 2000 euros per month in Paris.
Nice districts to live in : 75007; 75006; 75008; 75015; 75016; 75017; 75005 and 75014 (not as nice as the others)
Cities in the outskirts .... There are quite a lot and it all depends where your job is. Just to mention a few : Meudon, Suresnes, Asnieres, boulogne Billancourt, La Celle St Cloud, Versailles, Sceaux.Source(s): I was born and live in Paris
- John LLv 78 years ago
Wow, moving to Paris, what an adventure!
My first advice would be NOT to home school your kids. French schools tend to be pretty good, and school is where they will learn the language and make friends. I know someone who spent a year in Paris with her family when she was 12, and she still speaks like a Parisian although her vocabulary is pretty rusty several decades later.
Americans are treated perfectly well so long as you are reasonably polite. Make an effort to use your bad French, don't shout, greet people with Bonjour and Au revoir, which gives them a chance to say "oh, that's OK, I speak some English." It also helps not to wear a grubby tee-shirt, shorts, and sneakers like US tourists all seem to do.
As far as where you live, $80K is not a lot of money in Paris. Your husband's employer should have relo people who can tell you what's affordable, reasonably nice, and walkable to schools and stores. Cars are expensive, buses and the Metro are plentiful, so don't buy a car. You can always rent one for vacation trips.
You'll find that some things are just different. If you're used to driving to the supermarket and loading up with a week's worth of food, that doesn't work -- it won't fit in your French fridge, and stuff will spoil since they don't preserve it like we do. But if you can walk to the store, a daily trip is no problem.
For the food, you just eat it. It's not all frogs legs and truffles (although they're not bad.) The standard meal in a bistro is steak with fries, and mousse (fluffy chocolate pudding) for dessert. This is another place where school will help, since your kids will eat the same amazingly good school lunches as the rest of the kids, who consider shredded celery root a normal vegetable, although not as good as the way Mom makes it.
Finally, there is a fairly large American expat community in Paris, and you should be able to find people who have been through all this will be happy to help you get oriented.Source(s): visited often, know people who've lived there
- Anonymous8 years ago
French food is excellent. Children should eat what they are given!!