Tips For Moving to France
Having lived in Paris for a couple of years as an expat, it was with a great deal of delight that we bought a small apartment in the south of France (so far south in fact that another 10 minutes driving would see us in Spain!). We were confident that we had enough language and cultural skills to make the move as smooth as it could possibly be but how wrong we were!
Having lived in Paris for a couple of years as an expat, it was with a great deal of delight that we bought a small apartment in the south of France (so far south in fact that another 10 minutes driving would see us in Spain!).
We were confident that we had enough language and cultural skills to make the move as smooth as it could possibly be but how wrong we were! We made the mistake of assuming that a UK removal company would be easier to deal with than a French one when it came to getting furniture from my husband's UK office. A word of warning: if you don't want rudeness, a late arrival and a refusal to help load, then don't book The French Van Man!
However, if you do want brilliant service and fantastic furniture which will be delivered and installed on time and with a smile, then Furniture for France is a great site to visit. Brian and his team are extremely professional and really go the extra mile to make sure that everything is perfect.
I'd also recommend having a tab running at the local bar to enable drinks to be bought for those willing souls who lend a hand – or simply air their opinion….
Get the Marie involved as early as possible so that you can get parking for your van sorted: particularly if like us your property is next to a busy market place.
If your language skills are not as fluent as you'd like them to be, then make sure you brush up on the crucial vocabulary you're likely to need. We put labels in English and French on our boxes to make sure that they were put into the right room rather than stacked in the middle of the living room floor.
Set up a French bank account – we used Credit Agricole Britline – as soon as you can so that you can get EDF to set up your electricity account and France Telecom to do the same for your telephone/internet connections.
If you are moving into an apartment, I'd suggest that meeting the neighbours is a priority as early as possible in the process to introduce yourself and to let them know when you'll be moving in. It'll make sorting out the communal charges easier and you will probably make friends along the way too.
Last but not least, smile and remember that life is good in France once you've moved in!
Bonne courage.Philippa Taylor