A Christmas Story

I am typing this on 2nd January 2021, and there is good news and bad news. Let’s leave it to the media to discuss the bad news. Among the good news here in France is that we are no longer compelled, every time we leave the house, to carry an Attestation de Déplacement Dérogatoire signed … Read more

December In The Morvan

Type CHRISTMAS into your search box and you will see that what we call Christmas today is essentially a pagan midwinter festival, which was adopted by the early Christians to coincide with the (supposed) birth of Jesus. In December, Jews celebrate Hanukkah, their eight-day festival of lights. Digression That calls to mind a limerick. “A … Read more

November In The Morvan

I am typing this on October 30th 2020. I have just looked up my earlier November effusions. Those were the days! At 8 pm last night, President Macron announced the reimposition of lockdown – le confinement. So, once again, we must all carry an Attestation de Déplacement Dérogatoire every time we leave the house. We … Read more

Heritage Days

We always look forward to the Journées du Patrimoine – European Heritage Days – during the third weekend in September. You can visit the European Heritage Days website here. European Heritage Days enable us to visit public and private buildings, including some which are rarely open to the public. For many years, friends, family and … Read more

September In The Morvan

Another free library The free library in Corbigny, which I featured in my August effusion, prompted John’s brother, David, to send this picture of the one in his village in the West Country. He wrote: “I am sure that you remember the Great British red telephone box. Due to the rise of the mobile phone, … Read more

How To Open A Bank Account In France

In terms of banking, there are a few options open to expats living in France. Some choose to maintain an existing account in their home country, which can be useful for things like paying recurring bills back home. Others choose to open an international account with their existing bank, which may eliminate or reduce penalties … Read more

How To Learn The Language In France

If you are intending to move to France to live and work, and are not currently a French speaker, how easy will you find it to communicate in the country? How widespread is the use of English throughout France? Which languages will you need in the workplace? We will answer some of your questions below.The … Read more

How To Rent Or Buy Property In France

If you are looking to move to France, then you will need to consider your options in terms of accommodation. This article will take you through the renting process, as well as the buying process, from start to finish. Renting property There are three main options for those wanting to rent property in France. 1. … Read more

Nikki McArthur, Toulouse

Who are you? My name is Nikki McArthur, I moved to France from the UK back in 2004 with my husband and three children.We now have five children (the two youngest were born in France). I’m a freelance proofreader / document formatter and run several other businesses with my husband and eldest son. Where, when … Read more

How To Apply For A Visa In France

Long-term residence in France is tied up with your type of visa; see ‘Residency’ below. Rules for work permits vary depending on your country of origin; see ‘Work Permits’ below. Citizens of a country in the European Union or the European Economic Area can enter and remain in France as a tourist for any length … Read more

Catherine, Annecy

Hi there, Catherine here. My husband and I moved to the French Alps (Annecy) from Australia in 2009 with our then 6, 9 and 12-year-old children.It was certainly not a spur of the moment move – that doesn’t happen when you are 15000 km distant – and it was probably a somewhat tentacular original discussion … Read more

Catherine Grindrod-Dean, Cote d’Azur

I first moved abroad in 2015 in order to complete my first season working in France. I worked on a French campsite for a company called Canvas holidays. I was a little worried that, at 34, I would be a lot older than the other staff, but I went ahead with the season as I’d … Read more

How To Keep Your Health Insurance Costs Low In France

France’s social healthcare system, l’assurance maladie, is fairly comprehensive and covers almost everyone. However, expats may still decide to take out private health insurance in France for a number of reasons. Registering with the French health insurance system requires a three-month wait after arriving in the country, followed by up to another three months of … Read more

How To Register With The French Health Service

France offers healthcare for everyone living in the country, whether you are an expat on a short-term assignment or a life-long citizen. However, in order to reap the benefits of the health system, you will need to register first. L’assurance maladie is the term for the main French healthcare system, and it covers almost all … Read more

Katie Gardner, Lauzun

Who are you? Katie Gardner. Where, when and why did you move abroad? To Lauzun, Lot et Garonne, 2008 to get married. What challenges did you face during the move? Getting all the necessary paperwork together.And going from managing a staff of 300 across 11 sites in Scotland to a staff of 1 (my husband) … Read more

How To Rent Out Your Home In France

Are you thinking about letting out your property in France? Before throwing open the doors of your dream property, here is a handy checklist to assist you as you stumble through the quagmire of rules and regulations set out by the French government.If you haven’t already bought your ideal property, the best areas to check … Read more

Katrin Lindenbauer, Bordeaux

Who are you? I am Katrin Lindenbauer, originally from Austria and happy to gain experience abroad for more than two years. Where, when and why did you move abroad? When I was younger, I could not imagine myself living anywhere else than in Austria. I had a lack of self-confidence and considered myself as an … Read more

How Might The Changes In French Driving Laws Affect You?

For France, 2019 so far has been nothing but turbulent. Following President Macron’s announcement of plans to increase the costs of petrol and diesel at the end of last year, mass protests ensued that snowballed into violent riots. Of course, the Yellow Vest protests were not solely based on the fuel hikes, but also the … Read more

France Implements Euthanasia Law: Will Other EU Countries Follow Suit?

The topic of euthanasia is one that has long divided opinions. However, due to current happenings in France, the conversation surrounding the right to die debate has been reignited.This has come about due to the high-profile case of Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old former nurse who was hospitalised in 2008 after suffering severe brain damage from … Read more

Richard Haylock, Dordogne

Who are you? My name’s Richard Haylock, and my wife’s Alison.Where, when and why did you move abroad? We moved to the Dordogne in November 2014 after retiring and wishing to open a B+B in a warmer country than Scotland. What challenges did you face during the move? Moving three dogs, two people, two vehicles, … Read more

How To Find An Apartment In Cannes

The French port of Cannes is a legendarily lovely place to live, with its silver screen associations and glamorous image. For many people, it’s the first place that comes to mind when they think of the South of France: yachts, beaches, sophisticated dining and shopping as well as the classic Mediterranean climate. It’s a place … Read more

Bruce Smith, Clerac

Who are you? Bruce Smith, a fashion portrait and fine art photographer, author of photography books and tutor of photography.Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Clerac near Bordeaux in March 2015 to help a friend restore a Napoleonic chateau. What challenges did you face during the move? At first I … Read more

How Will The New Carte De Sejour Rules Affect You?

As Brexit continues to loom, it is strongly suggested that UK passport holders living in France apply for a carte de séjour (French residency permit). This is not a current legal requirement, but if this is done before Brexit, it will give you the right to remain in France. This is a good time to … Read more

Laura, Haute Vienne

Who are you? My name is Laura, I’m a 34-year-old blogger and psychotherapist living in France since the end of 2018. I work here in France as a micro-entrepreneur offering online counselling to English speakers all over the world. I also run the blog frugalfrance.com and the associated Instagram account @frugalfrance where I focus on … Read more

How Might The Changes To France’s Taxation System Affect You?

A new year brings new changes to the French Tax system. They are not as dramatic as they have been in some previous years, but there are still some significant changes.The biggest ones are the introduction of a PAYE system for income tax, and a reduction to social charges on investment income for many retired … Read more

How Might The Changes To France’s Pension Reforms Affect You?

The French government is in the process of a total pension revamp. Currently, there are two main compulsory pension plans: ARRCO and AGIRC. AGIRC applies primarily to white-collar employees, while ARRCO applies mostly to blue-collar staff. These French pension plans are funded by employer and employee social security contributions. Pension benefits for public sector workers … Read more

How To Insure Your Pet In France

As expats, we know that each move to a new country means mountains of research and paperwork. You’ll have to open new bank accounts, fill in forms, and take out new insurance policies. If you’re shopping for insurance abroad, you need to have an idea of which providers to get quotes from, as well as … Read more

What Documentation Will You Need To Stay In France Following Brexit?

Brexit: it’s been the topic on everyone’s minds ever since Article 50 was triggered by Theresa May on March 29th, 2017. As the UK’s date to leave the European Union (EU) draws closer, speculation over what will happen with regards to trade, healthcare and visa agreements rages on.While nothing has yet been confirmed, countries are … Read more

An Expat Guide to Car Insurance In France

Moving abroad can be confusing at the best of times. There’s so much to learn with regards to properties, locations and culture – and that’s before you add in the paperwork!However, when it comes to getting your documentation in place, insurance is one of those elements you need before something happens to save yourself from … Read more

Taxe Foncière And Taxe d’Habitation: What Expats Need To Know

We know that one of the pitfalls of expat life can be wrapping your head around the taxes and paperwork of your new home country. Let’s face it, taxes can be complicated enough even if you’ve lived in the same country for your whole life! So getting used to a whole new system that works … Read more

UK Expat Buying Property In France? Here’s What You Need To Know

Despite uncertainties over Brexit, buying property in France remains a popular choice for British expats, whether as a permanent residence, an investment property, or a holiday home. In some regions, property is substantially cheaper than in the UK and British people are still welcome; for instance, the Occitanie area is home to a high proportion … Read more

Ten Signs You’ve Been Living In Paris For Too Long

Few cities have the romantic allure of the City of Lights. The French capital has made names, broken hearts and inspired geniuses. Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and George Orwell all found their artistic feet in Paris, the city they adopted as home.Perhaps this is why more than 20 percent of the city’s population were born … Read more

Working As A Micro-Entrepreneur In France: What You Need To Know

So you’ve moved – or are moving to – France and plan to work for yourself. Registering under the micro-entrepreneur (formerly known as ‘auto-entrepreneur’) banner is the easiest way to kick off your small business activities. This means that tax and accounting rules are simplified, and you can do all of your reporting online, without … Read more

How To Find The Right Expat Mortgage For You In France

Some of us might be lucky enough to embark on a new life in France with the financial means to buy a dream property outright. But for many, establishing a home in ‘the Hexagone’ requires a helping hand from the bank.So where do you start when it comes to looking at your borrowing options in … Read more

Everything You Need To Know About The Carte Vitale

The Carte Vitale is the national French health insurance card. Expats who qualify to register with the service benefit from having around 60 to 70 percent of their medical costs, including appointments, scans and prescriptions, covered by the state.Here’s everything you need to know about this very useful – although sometimes elusive – green and … Read more

A Vegetarian Guide To Paris

Paris has changed. The city looks much the same as it has for the past 100 years, but the French capital is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance when it comes to the humble vegetable. What once was a destination recognised for being one of the most difficult places in the world to be vegetarian or … Read more

The Unwritten Rules Of Living In Paris

Ah Paris, the city of sophistication. The everlasting location of romance, elegance and good taste. The muse of great artists and writers, the resting place of musicians and philosophers. The city of lights might have a bright reputation, but the drab reality of daily life can come as a disappointment to new arrivals. Finding out … Read more

Yvette Van Loon, Paris

Who are you? I am Dutch and living in Paris; love playing golf and I am a member of one of the oldest golf clubs in France situated at the coast of Normandy.I work for an originally Dutch company which has a presence in France. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved … Read more

How To Pass The French Nationality Test

Are you an expat looking to gain French nationality? Do you have questions about what the process entails? Or do you need clarification on whether you are eligible to apply? Perhaps you’ve already started the process, but need some tips on how to best prepare yourself for the nationality test.We’ve compiled this helpful guide to … Read more

Renovating Rural Property In France – 10 Tips For First-Time Buyers

When it comes to living in France, many people plan to move to expat hotspots such as the beautiful cities of Paris, Lyon or Nice. Others dream of escaping the bustling city life for a relaxed lifestyle in the French countryside, often with visions of a charming old stone house in one of the country’s … Read more

Challenges Expats Face In France And How To Address Them

There are probably very few people who have taken the leap to move to a new country that could tell you it was all smooth sailing from start to finish. No matter how well prepared you are, you are bound to face a few challenges or obstacles at some point during your life as an … Read more

Yvonne Shao, Paris

Who are you? Hello! My name is Yvonne Shao, and I am an American piano teacher-turned-writer. A couple of years ago we decided to travel around the world and then move to Paris. Where, when and why did you move abroad? Because my husband can work remotely, we had thought of moving internationally for a … Read more

An Expat Guide To Allocations Familiales In France

Being a legal resident of France gives you access to a wide variety of benefits, including a number of childcare facilities. As an expat family, you can make use of several family entitlements by applying for child allowance, family income support, single parent allowance or housing allowance. In certain cases (mainly family allowance), you may … Read more

The Top Ten French Cities For Buying Property

France is known for many things. Its cuisine is renowned the world over, and some of the most sophisticated vintage wines can be found in France. The country has been an important center of art and is the abode of many famous artists. It is a tourist hotspot and is one of the most visited … Read more

Yvonne Northrop, Brittany

Who are you? My name is Yvonne Northrop, I am married to my American husband Jim. We have lived in many different parts of the world during our long marriage. Our young married life was spent in the USA, where at the time, life was full of adventure and times were much easier than today.We … Read more

Eva, Nancy

Who are you? Hi! My name is Eva, I’m 24 years old and I come from Germany. Where, when and why did you move abroad? The first time I moved abroad was in August 2014. I came to Paris to spend an Erasmus semester at Université Paris Dauphine.This experience has changed my life I would … Read more

An Expat Guide To The French Education System

Similar to the French health system, education here is very reputable. If you and your family are thinking of moving to France decisions will need to be made regarding the education of your child, and this guide will give you an insight into the options available.It is estimated that a child will be able to … Read more

Top Tips For Expats Moving To France

As with all overseas assignments, research before moving to France is key and a short trip to learn more about a potential destination will be well advised. In addition, it is also good advice that anybody thinking of moving to France on a long-term basis should make some effort to learn the language; French is … Read more

An Expat Guide To The Regions Of France

Thinking of moving to France? You’ll join the many expats that have settled there. Whether it’s the scenic coast line, gorgeous countryside, the lifestyle or the delicious French cuisine that has prompted you take the plunge, you’ll be glad you’ve made that brave decision to make your dreams become reality. Below is a simple guide … Read more

The Ultimate To-Do List For Expats In The South Of France

The South of France is the home of some of the most scenic places in the world. Besides the popular cities such as Cannes and Nice, there are also other lesser known, but equally picturesque areas in the region. The best time to visit the South of France is during the summer or between May … Read more

A Gluten-Free Guide To Paris

Paris is synonymous with croissants, croques monsieur, palmiers and pains au chocolat. This isn’t such good news for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. However, upon doing a little bit of research, it is possible to find a number of gluten-free treats in this beautiful city. In fact, apart from the baguette that accompanies … Read more

The Expat Tenant’s Guide To Renting Property In France

It is possible to enlist a real estate expert to help in finding a home that will meet requirements; this is particularly useful for expat families looking for a property in big cities, for example. The property professional in France will have in-depth knowledge of the rental market and understand the renting process so the … Read more

A Brief Guide To Expat Pension Plans In France

French pension rules are complex and have been changed in recent years – and more changes are planned. Typically, a French pension is available to those expats who have lived and worked in the country for a number of years and meet a set of conditions. The French social security system, or sécurité sociale, is … Read more

A Expat Guide To Tax In France

This guide contains information on the following taxes: • Income Tax – Currently no PAYE system (due to be introduced in 2018)• Social security contributions (which will be automatically deducted by employer from your wage)• Inheritance tax• Tax on Goods and Services (VAT)• Capital gains taxAs a French resident you will have to pay tax … Read more

A Simple Guide To The French Healthcare System

Overview The French health system is rated one of the best in Europe. The state controls health expenditures funded by statutory health contributions. Statutory health insurance (SHI) is mainly financed by employer and employee taxes, but also taxes from tobacco and alcohol, health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Public health care is available to … Read more

Review: Uncorked

When I first offered to review Uncorked, I did so because I thought it was a book about wine. The author replied that this wasn’t the case, and that he didn’t want me to get my hopes up and end up reading something I didn’t enjoy. I thought I’d give it a go anyway, because … Read more

France – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at France and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.Learn French TogetherFacebook PageA Facebook page that … Read more

France’s Healthcare System Just Got Even Better For Expats

A popular expat magnet, France has an excellent and robust healthcare system, with its wide network of public as well as private facilities and staff. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this country’s universal healthcare is among the best across Europe, as well as worldwide. This is only expected, since the government spends a … Read more

How to Survive France As A Vegan

France: land of croissants, cheese and coq au vin… But can you find beef-less bourguignon or vegan bouillabaisse in France these days? France hardly has a reputation as being a vegan-friendly country. After all, this is the country whose government forces schools to include meat and fish in canteen meals most of the time, effectively … Read more

The Expat Focus Guide To Healthcare In France

No one wants to be poorly and have to visit a doctor or hospital but expats living and working in France at least have access some of the best healthcare in the world. That’s the verdict from the World Health Organisation, which puts the French healthcare offering at first place. However, one reason why the … Read more

Beyond The Burkini Ban: Muslimah Fashion And French Law

Paris is often referred to as the Fashion Capital of the World. This is one of the reasons why people from all around the world dream of living in France. Moreover, the French are known to be extremely open-minded when it comes to dress codes, especially the women. This is evident in the fact that … Read more

Ten Historic Villages You Must Visit While Living In France

France is a beloved nation for many different reasons. French cuisine is popular the world over. From delectable sauces to scrumptious pastries, the country serves up some of the best fare, in homes and in its many restaurants and cafés. Art is cherished in France, and one of the most popular art movements in the … Read more

Moving To Paris? Here’s How To Dress For Work And Leisure

Many countries claim to be the fashion capital of the world. London boasts its Cool Britannia look, Milan is devoted to trend setting high fashion, and New York turns city streets into catwalks of effortless style. But there is another city to consider; one that is synonymous with chic, classy fashions and a refined, stylish … Read more

Are You Ready For Life In Rural France?

Romantic wannabe expats who have read A Year in Provence or watched Chocolat one too many times may be swept away with the daydream notion of moving to rural France. The French countryside is a gorgeous place to be; from the hedgerows of the Normandy farmland to the rugged Alsace and the gently rolling hills … Read more

France – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at France and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.Renovation of a Derelict House in Brittany Francehttps://jennyandjohninbrittany.blogspot.co.uk/ The dream of every … Read more

An Expat Guide To The Arrondissements Of Paris

In every major city in the world it’s possible to find at least one confused-looking visitor, staring with furrowed brow into a crumpled map. It’s not always easy to find your way around a strange town, especially if all the landmarks are spread out all over it. Paris on the other hand has an elegant … Read more

Interview With Rosemary Border Rabson

Rosemary, tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be an expat. Everyone calls me Rosy. I am Rosemary Margaret and narrowly escaped being christened Margaret Rose after the Little Princess. I am 72 and have been married to John Rabson for 43 years. I have worked as an Open Competition civil … Read more

Ten French Foods You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

French cuisine has a reputation across the world for being influential on modern Western cuisine, for being some sort of pinnacle of food as art, and sometimes for being plain weird. Even among people who don’t know or care too much about food, the mention of French cuisine will evoke certain ideas and dishes. Whether … Read more

20 Surprising Facts About France

For centuries, France has been a leading political power and a global centre of culture that has made major contributions to the fields of science, philosophy and the arts. Even today, it remains one of the most powerful countries in the world, with a major influence on global affairs, arts, and culture. Because of its … Read more

Living French: One Girl’s Struggle

First, let me paint you a picture… of a very capable, very confident young english woman living in France, who has conquered parking in very tiny spaces, mastered most of the accepted french hand gestures, perfected her ‘moelleux chocolat’, and has an A-Level in french don’t you know! So finding the pneumologist’s office in a … Read more

5 Things No One Tells You About Living In Paris

Living in Paris is like a dream come true for many expats. Every year, thousands of foreigners from Europe and America move to the “city of love” to live out their fantasy. The weather, scenic beauty and rich culture are some of the main factors that attract people to this place. However, Paris isn’t just … Read more

Five Things To Avoid Doing When You Move To France

In spite of its reputation as a place where people can be cold and unwelcoming, France is actually a wonderful place to live. The food, the wine, and the French countryside are all fantastic, and the French people are great if you get to know them and show a little patience and initiative yourself. They’re … Read more

Fed Up Of Life In France As An Expat? Try These Suggestions!

Expats sometimes experience a feeling of being fed up with the expat life, and many may yearn to return home. Although not all expats go through this, it can crop up suddenly, especially among those who have been living abroad for some time. If you’re living in France and getting that feeling of expat fatigue, … Read more

Aga, Lyon

Who are you? My Name is Aga and I am a Pole. I think my passion for travelling but mostly for discovering new cultures and exploring different lifestyles started at the university. I have been actively spending any free time in the international environment and enjoyed it a lot. I worked part time abroad, I … Read more

5 Experiences You Must Try As An Expat In Paris

Paris is one of the most elegant and sophisticated cities in the world. The River Seine, which flows through the heart of the city, and the thirty-two bridges across it; the architecturally brilliant city squares; and the many grand monuments are all testament to a rich cultural heritage. But apart from the aesthetic appeal, Paris … Read more

Etiquette Faux Pas In France: How Not To Act

France is a land of great cultural diversity. The heart of the country, the city of Paris, is a perfect reflection of this with its mix of people and ideas. But like every other country in the world, there are some inherent cultural customs that are practised by the locals. These social practices date back … Read more

Shopping For The First Time In France? Here’s What You Need To Know

France is among the top shopping destinations in the world. There are shops and stores to suit every shopper’s needs, and you can find everything here, from wines and cheese to high-end fashion. France also has its own traditional handicrafts, which are still produced in many villages. Products like handmade pottery and glass make great … Read more

Expat Family Friendly Things To Do In Paris

We all know of Paris as the city of love and romance, and many of us are also well aware of its more raunchy side, with cabaret shows, an erotic museum, and a sex supermarket! But there’s a lot more to Paris than that. Paris truly is a city with something for everyone, and whether … Read more

Useful Job Hunting Tips For Expats Moving To France

A large number of foreigners move to France for work. Some may relocate on a job transfer, while others may relocate after securing employment. There are also those who hope to find a suitable job once they arrive in the country. If you’re among the latter, here are some job-hunting tips that may come in … Read more

10 Websites Expats Need To Visit Before Moving To Paris

France is popular with expats due to its favorable climate, rich food and culture and relaxed lifestyle. The capital city of Paris is an exciting blend of all these things and more. It is home to people of different nationalities, making it a truly international city. There’s a lot to do in Paris, from visiting … Read more

Cost Of Living Facts For Expats Moving To France

France is one of the most popular expat and tourist destinations in the world because of its rich culture, high standard of living, modern infrastructure and unique cuisine. However, compared to many other countries in Europe, the cost of living in France is considerably higher. One exception is the UK, which is more expensive than … Read more

Cost of Living Facts For Expats Moving To Paris

France has emerged as the number one destination for tourists as well as expats from around the world. Individuals of all ages & nationalities are relocating to this country because of its rich heritage, beauty, culture, living standards, education, nightlife, entertainment and cuisine. While the retired expats are more likely to settle down in rural … Read more

Why Moving To France Will (Probably) Make You Healthier

The French paradox, formulated by French epidemiologists, is the observation that despite the high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, the French population still displays a low incidence of coronary heart disease. This could mean either of two things; one, that the link between saturated fats to coronary heart disease is not entirely valid, … Read more

Moving To Paris? Read Our Expat Guide To Travelling On Public Transport

Paris is known to have one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world. However public transport services in Paris can become overcrowded since they are so popular with the people. The city also draws a steady throng of tourists, leading to further overcrowding in trains and buses. The good news is that … Read more

Christopher GJ Cooley, Bordeaux

Who are you? My name is Christopher GJ Cooley, I come from the South-West of England. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I have lived abroad before but on this occasion I moved to Bordeaux at the end of summer in 2013. The main reason was to learn a second language. What challenges … Read more

Starting A Small Business In France – 5 Things You Should Know

The French government has made considerable efforts to promote a better entrepreneurial environment in the country, and this has comes as a huge respite to expats, who, in the past, tended to get bogged down by restrictive legislation and tedious processes. Here are 5 things you should know when starting a business in France. Creating … Read more

Driving In Paris – A Few Survival Tips For Expats

Driving in Paris can be a nerve-wracking experience for many. The Étoile, for example, is the intersection of twelve major Parisian roads, and maneuvering a vehicle through this junction alone has given many foreigners the jitters. Most holiday-goers are advised to avoid driving in Paris at all costs because of the numerous hassles one is … Read more

Kim, Near Chateaubriant (Loire Atlantique)

Who are you? Hello! I’m Kim, an American from Massachusetts currently living and working in France with my boyfriend and our smiley dog Jojo. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to France one year ago to be with my boyfriend after several years of long distance. We both work for a … Read more

Richard Nahem, Paris

Who are you? Richard Nahem, born and raised in New York City. I was a chef and caterer in New York for 21 years before I moved to Paris. I now have a successful private tour business www.eyepreferparistours.com where I show clients the insiders Paris they never usually see on their own and I also … Read more

5 Good Reasons You Should Move To France (And 1 Reason You Shouldn’t!)

France, with its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, fine wine and scrumptious cuisine, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. It probably doesn’t take much to make you want to pack your bags and head to the picturesque French countryside for a weeklong holiday. But moving to a foreign country is something … Read more

Diane Wargnier, Loire Valley

Who are you? My name is Diane and I’m an American originally from New Jersey now living in France’s Loire Valley with my husband, Tom, and Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Dagny. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I live not far from Angers, France, and moved here about two years ago. What challenges … Read more

France – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to take a look around the internet and see who’s sharing interesting ideas and useful tips for expatriate life all around the world. In our travels, we come across lots of blogs we’d like to recommend, and we’ll be featuring some of them over the coming months. Today we’re focusing … Read more

Rosalyn Chapman, Brittany

I’m Rosalyn Chapman. I moved to France in 2005. I had always wanted to move to France, I wanted to move home anyway, that’s how the dream became reality. We put our house in the UK on the market and after selling we came on an extended holiday to Brittany, the plan was to look … Read more

An English Christmas – French Style

I must have blinked, just as I thought Autumn had arrived it was suddenly winter. Its now time to start planning my Christmas, well planning started in March when our turkeys arrived becoming the most pampered live stock here at Half Acre, with a diet of bread, corn and fresh veg. Now they’re ready to … Read more

Chrissie, Nice

Who are you? Hi, I’m Chrissie, an Australian living and working in Nice, France. Like many of my compatriots, I headed off to discover the world upon completion of my university degree and ended up here in the sunny South of France. That was back in 2007. When I first arrived I was offered an … Read more

Freddy Rueda, Real Estate Languedoc

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company Freddy Rueda’s estate agency ‘Real Estate Languedoc’ has been helping clients find their dream property in the Languedoc region in the south of France since 1995. Specialising in the Hérault and Aude departments of this beautiful wine-producing region, our agency’s goal is to help our … Read more

Simon Kerridge, Languedoc Property Finders

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company I have been in residential estate agency for over 20 years. I began in London in 1989 and moved to Pezenas in 2001. Languedoc Property Finders specialise in helping British buyers and sellers buy and sell property in the Languedoc region of France. We currently … Read more

Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire: Travel Focus on the French Riviera

Expat Focus talks to Kim Defforge about her latest book, "Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire: Travel Focus on the French Riviera", a practical concise travel guide without the usual touristy fluff. Kim, please tell us a little bit about yourself I lived several years in the city of Nice on the French Riviera, before moving to … Read more

Bored of Life in France? Visit a Vineyard!

As the largest wine producer in the world, France manufactures up to eight millilon bottles per year. The rules surrounding winemaking are strict, with many falling under a protected destination of origin – they can only be produced in the specific area in which they originated. The most well-known of these is probably champagne, which … Read more

Brittany: A Short History for Expats

Brittany is quickly becoming one of the most popular areas for expats. Close to the coast and not too far from the English Channel, it’s a convenient residence for UK expatriates in particular, who may want to hop across the Celtic Sea from time to time to visit friends and family. A thriving expat population … Read more

Relocation Help – Schooling Options On The French Riviera

by Mellissa Wheeler on behalf of La Costa Properties Monaco Finding the perfect apartment in Monaco or on the French Riviera could be a dream come true but moving abroad means careful planning and there’s a lot to organise. Relocating to a foreign country can have its challenges but what if there are children to … Read more

Cora, Cambrai (Northern France)

Who are you? Hi everyone! I’m Cora! I’m from Melbourne, Australia and currently live in Cambrai, France; a small city an hour outside of Lille in Northern France. I keep up a blog called “The adventures of an Australian girl in France” where I talk about my travels, daily life in France and give advice … Read more

Dealing with the French Health Insurance System as an Expat

Overall life expectancy at birth in France is 81.7 years and health is of an exceptionally high standard. In many ways, it excels and overtakes healthcare in countries such as the UK, with better access to new drugs, less hospital infections and pioneering research. However, that said, there is a lot to be said for … Read more

The Most Idyllic Places to Relocate in France

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, France is home to some of the most luxurious property on earth, a fact that would still hold true even if the commercial center of Paris were excluded from the picture (some might say especially if Paris were excluded from the picture.) Destinations like the Côte d’Azur – more … Read more

Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Expat Professionals

Though most readers will know that world-class prestige does not come cheap, it is still worth mentioning the fact that residency in Paris can be at the pinnacle of the world ‘cost of living’ index. France, as a whole, remains the country with the world’s most expensive residential property (La Leopolda Villa on the French … Read more

Jenny and John Lovett, Huelgoat (Brittany)

Who are you? Let me introduce ourselves, I’m Jenny, I’m 42 and in my previous life I worked in Adult social care and supported housing. I left work full time approximately two years ago to work as a part time freelance Quality Management Consultant (great title, I know and roughly translated it meant that I … Read more

The British Who Move To France

The huge surge of British families pulling up roots and moving lock stock and barrel to France, has largely petered out. During the 1980s thousands of families re-located to France, mostly because property was so cheap – sometimes incredibly cheap – and the bargains seemed too good to miss. By the 1990s numbers started to … Read more

Carrieanne Le Bras, Banon (Provence)

A whirlwind of emotions flowed through me the moment I saw the positive sign on my pregnancy test. An American living in France with my French husband, I should have been mentally prepared for this moment. Excitement quickly washed away when it occurred to me that I knew nothing about giving birth and raising a … Read more

Catherine Broughton, Bourges and Charente-Maritime

We faced inordinate difficulties when we moved to France, the worst being the bureaucracy. I set up my own little estate agency because my teaching qualifications just seemed to confuse the local Headmaster and he wasn’t interested. It was too far to drive anywhere else, I had three small children, my husband spoke no French … Read more

Are Leaseback Schemes in France Too Good to be True?

by Deborah Kent For UK buyers considering entering the French market, there is one purchase option that stands out in terms of investment potential and the ability to get on the property ladder despite the lack of an initial deposit. If this sounds too good to be true – read on! In actual fact, while … Read more

What You Need to Know Before Moving to Paris

by Kathryn Valdal Fourie Shortly after moving to Paris, the fascination with the city of lights and the capital of romance can easily wear off. Your twinkling image of Paris can easily become the city of smoke filled bars, bad customer service and pavements covered with doggie doo. But if you move to Paris equipped … Read more

Finding your dream home in France – Part 1

Buying a home in France can be a complex process. From finding your dream home to relocating to France there are many hurdles to overcome before you can relax and enjoy the lifestyle and beautiful environment that France is renowned for. In Part 1 of this series, Oliver Phillips of PFS France (http://www.propertyforsalefrance.co.uk/) walks you … Read more

Employing tradespeople (artisans) legally in France

by Ben Hermer, Artisan Anglais So many British citizens are now moving to France or buying a holiday home here that the demand is steadily growing for tradespeople, or artisans as they are known in France, to work on their houses, carry out groundwork or do any other job that may be needed. We Brits … Read more

Counselling in France

by Anne Poulton A relatively new website for ex-patriates called “Counselling in France” can be accessed at www.counsellinginfrance.com. The site aims to put English speakers living in France in touch with English speaking counsellors and is the only service of its kind in France. The French authorities do not recognise the word ‘counsellor’ unless it’s … Read more

Janine, Pas-de-Calais

I’m an ex Londoner and I bought an old farmhouse that needed a lot of work about ten years ago. I moved here full time a couple of years ago when I decided to take a sabbatical from my job as a freelance project manager for financial corporations. Within months I took in a stray … Read more

Claire Connor, Paris

My name is Claire and I’m originally from Nottingham, England. As part of my university studies, I spent one year living in Paris from 2008-2009, fell in love with the place and decided to come back for more in May 2011. I blog about my Paris experience on misscon.blog.com. I love the experience of living … Read more

Laura, Lille

My name is Laura and I am an American girl currently living in Lille, France. Find out more about my life in France on my blog: The Everyday Life of a Young American Girl in France, and keep up with me day to day on Twitter @LauraLaLilloise. I spend a lot of my time being … Read more

Vicki Riley, Nice

My name is Vicki Riley, I was born in England, grew up in Shakespeare’s county of Warwickshire and moved to Nice in 1999 for 6 months. 12 years later, I’m still here and I write a blog about my everyday life in the Cote d’Azur over at www.nicerinnice.blogspot.com I moved to Nice in 1999 as … Read more

Claire, the Camargue

I am an English mademoiselle who moved to the South of France with her petit copain start a new enhanced way of life. I love latin dancing, bloggin, reading, spending time with friends and family, learning French, experiencing new experiences everyday, living close to the beach. My boyfriend and I met in England in 2008, … Read more

Richard Nahem, Paris

My name is Richard Nahem, and I am a private tour guide in Paris and write a popular Paris blog www.eyepreferparis.com. I lived in New York City all my life till I moved here 6 years ago in 2005. I had always dreamed about living in Paris since I first visited in the late 1970s. … Read more

Stephanie Dagg, Creuse

We are the Anglo-Irish Dagg family consisting of myself Stephanie and husband Chris, children Benjamin (now 19), Caitlin (now 17) and Ruadhri (9), and an ever growing menagerie of animals including alpacas, cats, dog, goats, guinea pigs, hens, llamas, rabbits and turkeys. In August 2006 we left Co. Cork, Ireland, our home for the previous … Read more

Harry, The Charente

Many many years ago, way back in the 60s, I was stranded in France. The aircraft I was flying in developed engine trouble and we were forced to land and await parts from the U.K. before we could continue on our journey. The wait and subsequent repair to the aircraft lasted about a week, so … Read more

Erica and Eric, La Cote St Andre

My name is Erica; I am an American citizen living in France. I am married to a French citizen. His name is Eric, and he lived in the US for over 20 years. I am an original cowgirl and poet from Cody, Wyoming and he is an outstanding jazz guitarist and guitar instructor educated in … Read more

Delorys Welch-Tyson, Côte D’Azur

My name is Delorys Welch-Tyson. I was born and raised in New York City. I am an author and painter living in the South of France. We moved here to the South of France in February of 1999. My husband was able to retire, so we figured we’d opt for a more stress-free existence, by … Read more

April Hollands, St Jean de Sixt

I’m April Hollands, originally from Melbourne, Australia before spending a few years in London, then flitting between the French Alps as a ski bum in winters and working two jobs in Cambridge to pay for the luxury, then finally moving to the French Alps permanently and finding work. I moved to London back in 2000, … Read more

Sion Dayson, Paris

Sion Dayson, an American in Paris. I’m a writer originally from New York and North Carolina. Unlike a lot of expats here, I had never dreamed of living in Paris. I spoke Spanish, longed for warm weather, and didn’t display any Francophile tendencies. So wouldn’t you know it? I fell in love with the City … Read more

Cynthia Caughey, Chambery (French Alps)

I’m a 51-year old American expat living in Chambery in the French Alps. I moved here in 2008 to marry my fiancé, now husband, who is a French citizen. We met when I was vacationing in Provence on a train to Avignon. After a 2.5 year long distance relationship between Chambery and Los Angeles, I … Read more

Alan Simonds, Basse Normandy

My name is Alan Simonds. Born in England in 1945 I lived in Balham with my parents and my brother until I was five. The family moved to New Zealand in 1950, but for various reasons my father decided to move us back to England in 1956. We then lived in Surrey where I went … Read more