Many people choose to move to France from other parts of the world, either to retire or to work. Expats from the UK, America, Australia and New Zealand number in their hundreds of thousands and there is a great community in many major regions across the country.
But what is it about France, that expats love so much?
There’s Plenty of VarietyFrance is a multicultural, open society and it’s pretty big. All that means you can discover brave new worlds and generally find something and somewhere your world view is served. If you like the open fields of a wine producing country, then areas like Bordeaux are perfect. If you’re interest is the vibrant life of a cosmopolitan city, then Paris is sublime. If you want to be close to winter sports, you can set up home right next to the Alps. There’s literally something for everyone.
Cultural Depth When you move to France it can be something of a culture shock but you’ll get used to it pretty quickly. The central motto of liberté, égalité, fraternité is perhaps all you need to know about a country that has social justice at its heart. Yes, the French love a strike but they also believe in freedom.
Great Food and Wine Of course, apart from the reputation for romance, art and literature, the other major influence of French culture is food and wine. Regions such as Provence and Aquitaine are major wine producing areas but the multicultural aspect of the country also means that you not only have everything from the small, local boulengerie and épicerie and typical French market places but also many cuisines including Chinese, Indian and Greek food.
Architecture and Site Seeing In every department of France there are architectural wonders to discover and explore. From the old city of St Emillion to the Eiffel Tower, the opulent Palace of Versailles and fashionable Cote D’Azur to the impressive island of Mont Saint-Michel and the chateaus of the Loire Valley, if you can’t find something to pique your interest then there is really no hope for you. The French also love their outdoor pursuits and with plenty of countryside to choose from you can find all you need in one place to satisfy your own sense of adventure.
Joie de vivre
While it might be a bit of a cliché, the inherent joie de vivre or joy of life is what attracts many expats to France. There is a different view of the world when you step over the channel that involves enjoying some of the finer things in life. Meals are social occasions that can last for hours and politics and art are discussed as a matter of course by people from all social classes. There is a common perception that the French are often less accommodating to outsiders, particularly the English, but nothing could be further from the truth. Learn some of the language and you’ll find a warm welcome from most sections of society.
The expat community in France also have their own networks so you won’t have to go far to find someone from your own country or from places like America and Australia. It’s a great place to move to and if you go with an open mind there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy your time in a country that has so much to offer for young and old alike.