Moving to Paris

Imm planning on moving to Paris in the March of 2014. Ive never been to france and do not speak the language. I was wonderimg if anyone ha ever been to paris that could answer a few questions like what's a safe neighborhood that's not too expensive. What is the best way to travel in paris? What documentation will I need for long term stay? Also if anyone knows someone there that's between 24-30 I could really use a friend there as well. Thanks for answering my questions!

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10381 posts

"What documentation will I need for long term stay?" Umm... the biggest question is, do you have a job lined up, and therefore, an employer to submit the necessary paperwork to the French government to legitimize your stay? Or if you do not plan to work, can you prove that you have the means to independently and indefinitely support yourself, including health insurance? If the answer to both these questions is no, then expect your "move" to be a very temporary situation before the French government deports you back to the US.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21005 posts

Sorle, Moving to France is not impossible, as others have done that. However, as Tom mentioned your financial and employment situation will be the first hurdle to overcome. It will likely be VERY difficult for you to obtain employment there, especially as you don't speak the language. In addition, employers will be more likely to hire those from France and the E.U. before they'll be able to hire "outsiders". Be sure to look closely at the cost of health care. France has the No. 1 health care system in the world, and it tends to be a bit on the expensive side. Have you got any French history in your past (ie: Mother or Father born there)? Your plan is not impossible, but I'd suggest you contact the nearest French Consulate for more specific information. Good luck!

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11415 posts

Sorie, Have you considered taking a 2 week trip to Paris in the next few months to see the lay of the land, get your feet on the ground, and plan where you might live. A trip might not have to cost too much if you have contacts there, or if not, consider couchsurfing or hostels. I'd strongly suggest a full time French language course, preferably immersion. While most people in the tourist busines can speak some English most regular French people will not be so fluent. If you have some decent French your move and relocation will be so very much easier. Bon Chance...

Posted by Frank II
4587 posts

I would like to make one correction to Ken's post. While France does have one of the best health care systems in the world, it is not very expensive. I have looked into spending part of my retirement in France. Health Insurance that covers everything with no deductible would only cost me about $100/month. That includes medical and pharmacy. To me, that is really cheap. On the other hand, Paris is not a cheap city to live in. Rents are high.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8667 posts

Frank, 100 dollars per month per person may seem expensive to someone from British Columbia( as Ken and I are) ,, lol , a family of three or more pays 133 dollars per month, and an individual pays about 60 bucks, and thats only if you earn over 30,000 .. There are no higher rates.
If you earn less you can pay as little as zero,, or up to 50 bucks a month if near 30,000. But, for being covered in a foriegn country where you haven't paid into the taxes for your lifetime, then I would agree 100 bucks a month IS a good deal.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2644 posts

I too would suggest you make a trip anywhere you have interest in living. Paris is a neat city, however living anywhere on the continent is just not as easy as living in the U.S. Last time we were in Paris visiting a co-worker (from Chicago), he was having trouble getting documented. The French version of a "green card" is required before an apartment could be rented. And it didn't help that his wife was from Argentina. They ate out often, spending 50 Euros at just about ever meal. My friend lived in the center city, but he worked in the suburbs on the edge of Paris. My friend used to complain about a general lack of work coming from his Parisian co-workers only working 32 hours max. per week. Apartments in Paris are deadly expensive, and real estate in most European cities is priced out of sight by any standards. For what you could rent a closet in Paris, you could own a 5,000 square foot in the southeast U.S. And like you were told, you should begin French classes as soon as possible. I just hope you have a good education and job skills that are needed over there.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21005 posts

@Frank II, Part of my reply was based on conversations I've had with a number of ex-pats from the U.K. that are now living in France. They've told me that health care is somewhat expensive there, as some procedures are on a co-pay basis - health insurance covers part and the patient has to pay the balance. Without exception, they didn't mind paying the medical charges or the other taxes in France. If you can get full medical (including extra payments) and pharmacy for $100 a month, I agree that's quite reasonable. To add to Pat's comments, the basic BC Medical monthly premiums are often paid by employers, and some also provide extended health coverage as well (ie: Pharmacy, Dental Plan, paramedical such as Massage or Physio, etc.). I'm not sure how that's handled by the self-employed? Cheers!

Posted by Kathy
Germany, Germany
813 posts

You can find information about various parts of France from people who speak English and actually live there on these websites: Obviously, you need to concern yourself with the immigration policies for the country of which you are a resident and France. Many companies and schools provide assistance with immigration for their employees/students.

Posted by Susan
Marin County/San Francisco
3661 posts

Sorie, you may want to check out Lots of helpful info.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

Check if Moon Guide has an edition on living abroad in France...that will answer all of your questions. How is it that you decided you're going to move to a place you've never been? Job? University? Retired with money to support yourself? Independently wealthy? And not speaking French will be a problem for sure...not so much for tourists like most of us here but certainly an issue for those living there full time, trying to conduct business, etc. Is your plan to move there a real plan or more like a dream? I can't imagine moving someplace I've never been before. I've lived in Iowa half of my life, and I know the state quite well. I've never been to Le Mars, Iowa. I know they have great Blue Bunny ice cream there, but I honestly could never say I'm going to move there when I've never even visited, ever. It might suck, or it could be great.