Thousands of Brits consider moving to France every year, and that is not surprising considering the beauty, tranquility, food, wine and climate of this country. Being British it is only natural to want to look for communities in France where you can share time with your fellows, so here is a guide to help you find the best places to stay in the country and to get more information concerning British communities in France.
However, the French are rightly proud of their country and culture. They feel slighted by the fact that so many Brits make no attempt to learn the language or integrate into French society. If you can put up with their Gallic humour, try out your French and you will probably find that they are friendly and do make allowances – and your stay will be much the richer for your efforts. Going “native” can be quite amusing, and with their rich heritage you will find plenty to admire.
Paris probably has the largest number of expats, and here the locals may be more forgiving of the English language. Many French people do speak good English – but when in France– do as the French do!
For the longest time the most popular destination for the Brits has been the southwest region of France, and that still remains true to this day. However, there are also extensive British communities along the Languedoc Roussillon, Provence and further south of the country. In addition to these places, expats are also settling in Brittany and Normandy as they are very accessible. While there are certain concerns like language and the cost of housing, interest in living in the country is stronger than ever, and as any removal company in the UK can tell you, many of their clients are interested in settling in France.
Communities can also be found in other places such as the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, as it allows you to savour French living without spending too much money, while others prefer to stay in Sangatte, a village not far off Calais, and you can also find expats living in Preures close to Boulogne where it is easy to travel.
As mentioned previously, keep in mind there is the language barrier, and for some that is the biggest hurdle to finding a home in France. However, you can get around it as there are British real estate agents in the country, and there are a growing number of people in the country who can speak English.
Things to Consider
Learning to speak French is really important, if you are to benefit from the many delights of France. I personally found the magazine “bien -dire” with the accompanying cassettes most useful, and they have pages are full of information about France.
After you relocate in France, you will surely discover many questions, and the expat web sites and communities will be a great source of information. There are expat communities in most of the larger cities, who will welcome you. Their web sites can be a great source of information. You will find where to buy British food like HP sauce and sausages, get advice as to which dentist to use and also give you as opportunity to meet fellow Brits. There is information about schools as well as work, and you can post your own questions for specific problems. They often invite you to participate in various activities, and also have a wealth of information which will help you to integrate into French life after you have moved to France.
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