Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > France
Reload this Page >

Is it really a dream?

Is it really a dream?

Old Feb 27th 2007, 4:49 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
alexc1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Question Is it really a dream?

Hi, My Husband and I are considering making the move across to France. We have three young children 12,10 and 5. We are a Secondary English Teacher and Nursery Nurse and have lots of experience between us. We have all the same feelings about the UK as most people who think of moving abroad, high housing costs, lifestyle, space for children. We both love Fance, but dont speak anything more than basic French.

The only thing stopping us is having the 'nerve' to go for it, I would love to hear from people/ Families that have actually done it and made it work, is it really the dream you thought it would be? A better lifestyle, plenty of space, cheaper housing,?? Also how your children coped with the Language/move.................

Any advice/stories very welcome
Thank you

Ali
alexc1 is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2007, 3:44 pm
  #2  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Normandy, France
Posts: 4
NormandyPS is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Hi Ali,

Is it really a dream? UMMMM, well we moved out here 5 years ago now, Main reason for moving was to give our then 5 year old a better start in life. London has changed and not for the better.

If you have loads of money , no not have to work to support your family or are retired then I would say it should be the dream you have envisaged if you plan it properly.

If you are going to have to work to support yourselves you need to plan it properly.
1) Learn as much French as you can before you go, this goes for the children as well. For your youngest it won't matter as much as they will pick up the Language pretty quickly but for the older children, you will want to give them a bit of a headstart as it can be very daunting for them. The older you are, the harder it is.


For us our son was at 5 and we were lucky. He went straight into a local French village school. there were no other English children and within 6 months he had an excellent command of French.

2) Work, try and find a job before you leave the UK, unless you are Fluent, it is not easy. Infact even if you are Fluent that isn't always enough. There is quite a high rate of unemployement in France.

3) If you want to teach English, aim to get your tefl certificate before you come over.
You may find, one of you may have to commute to work, meaning you might have to stay away from each other for days at a time. I knwo many English people who have to do this as they cannot find work in the area they live.

There are many other things you will need to think about as well but that aside.

We are having a great time. And although we are not rolling in money, we get by and the quality of life we are providing our son with is worth the effort. He is very happy and that was our main aim.

We talk to our neighbours, I don't have to worry about kids with knives and guns or drugs. The way of life is much more family orientated.

The thing is, If you never take a chance, you will always be asking yourself what if ???

Just make sure you prepare well, plan thourougly and don't burn all you bridges until you are sure it is working.

I'm not sure if I have helped atall but I wish you - Good Luck

Serin
NormandyPS is offline  
Old Mar 4th 2007, 5:58 pm
  #3  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
alexc1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

To NormandyPS, Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, you have been a real help. My Husband is just applying for a job in South West France, sadly we dont have loads of money and would definately have to work! Thank you again
alexc1 is offline  
Old Mar 4th 2007, 10:07 pm
  #4  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Normandy, France
Posts: 4
NormandyPS is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Glad I could be of some help. Hope it goes well for you.

NormandyPS
NormandyPS is offline  
Old Mar 21st 2007, 1:27 pm
  #5  
Forum Regular
 
herbie's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Puy de Dome
Posts: 100
herbie is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Originally Posted by alexc1 View Post
Hi, My Husband and I are considering making the move across to France. We have three young children 12,10 and 5. We are a Secondary English Teacher and Nursery Nurse and have lots of experience between us. We have all the same feelings about the UK as most people who think of moving abroad, high housing costs, lifestyle, space for children. We both love Fance, but dont speak anything more than basic French.

The only thing stopping us is having the 'nerve' to go for it, I would love to hear from people/ Families that have actually done it and made it work, is it really the dream you thought it would be? A better lifestyle, plenty of space, cheaper housing,?? Also how your children coped with the Language/move.................

Any advice/stories very welcome
Thank you

Ali
I'm an artist in the Tarn region and came here with my 2 children. I wrote an article for a website which talks about my time here for the last 5 years. I think it would be interesting for you to look at the site anyway and although I didn't have a great time here, I still wouldn't change coming here for the world. The link is as follows: www.frenchentree.com/tarn-aveyron/

My name is Cathy Savels and you should find the article on the home page.

Furthermore, you'll also find an article by a friend of mine, Trevor Morris, who is a builder expat. He writes articles for the Dorset Echo and has a site which talks about his time here. He takes more the angle of working here. You'll find an article on the frenchentree site but he also has his own site, www.vivelarenovation.com, where you'll find all of them.

Happy reading and I hope it helps you to get a better picture. Please bear in mind though, these are just our opinions, everyone has different experiences.
herbie is offline  
Old Mar 22nd 2007, 8:12 am
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
bramblebush's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: UK-France-UK-France
Posts: 242
bramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Hi,

You have been given some good advice from the others, I can't really say anymore than they have already said, however I can give you an idea of how it has worked out for us.

We came to France in Aug 2005 our children were then 13, 9, 8, they couldn't speak any French at all, they went straight into the local school and although they found it hard at first they were soon speaking very good french.

We put our eldest into a private school because we felt in view of her age she didn't have time on her hands, we wanted to give her the best chance possible in the time she had left in education.
Private schooling is very cheap here, we pay 800 euros a year and that includes a 3 course meal each day.
She is now planning a career in dentistry and has the next 5 years of study mapped out.

All 3 of the children are happy here, we live in a very rural area and they have the freedom of fishing and swimming in the river, making dens in the woods etc.

As for my husband and I, we have a lot more time together, our house is double the size of the one in England and we don't have a mortgage, our outgoings are low but so is our income.
My husband hasn't got the security of a job that he had in England. We worry about the future and how we will cope financially.

Yes it is a dream for us, I am glad we did it, I was always worried about waking up one day and finding that it was too late and wishing we had done it when we had the chance.

Having said all of that, after being here for 18 months and firmly saying that we would never go back, I now find myself saying never say never.
We have had a spell of homesickness.
We miss the familiar things that are not foreign, things that we took for granted.

We haven't managed to get to the bottom of how we feel yet, maybe we just miss modern life, it is very rural here and quite behind the times.

My advice would be, plan carefully, have enough money to live on for at least a year, we had enough for 4 tight years and didn't end up needing it.
Learn the language if you can before you go, however we didn't.

Make sure that you see enough of France to know exactly where you want to be.
I have heard other English say that they wish they had seen more of france before settling.

Good luck, it is a dream that can be lived so many are doing it and if you don't try then you will never know.

Racheal xx

Last edited by jdr; Mar 22nd 2007 at 5:29 pm. Reason: removed promotional url, put it in your signature.
bramblebush is offline  
Old Mar 22nd 2007, 8:19 am
  #7  
Forum Regular
 
herbie's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Puy de Dome
Posts: 100
herbie is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Originally Posted by bramblebush View Post
Hi,

You have been given some good advice from the others, I can't really say anymore than they have already said, however I can give you an idea of how it has worked out for us.

We came to France in Aug 2005 our children were then 13, 9, 8, they couldn't speak any French at all, they went straight into the local school and although they found it hard at first they were soon speaking very good french.

We put our eldest into a private school because we felt in view of her age she didn't have time on her hands, we wanted to give her the best chance possible in the time she had left in education.
Private schooling is very cheap here, we pay 800 euros a year and that includes a 3 course meal each day.
She is now planning a career in dentistry and has the next 5 years of study mapped out.

All 3 of the children are happy here, we live in a very rural area and they have the freedom of fishing and swimming in the river, making dens in the woods etc.

As for my husband and I, we have a lot more time together, our house is double the size of the one in England and we don't have a mortgage, our outgoings are low but so is our income.
My husband hasn't got the security of a job that he had in England. We worry about the future and how we will cope financially.

Yes it is a dream for us, I am glad we did it, I was always worried about waking up one day and finding that it was too late and wishing we had done it when we had the chance.

Having said all of that, after being here for 18 months and firmly saying that we would never go back, I now find myself saying never say never.
We have had a spell of homesickness.
We miss the familiar things that are not foreign, things that we took for granted.

We haven't managed to get to the bottom of how we feel yet, maybe we just miss modern life, it is very rural here and quite behind the times.

My advice would be, plan carefully, have enough money to live on for at least a year, we had enough for 4 tight years and didn't end up needing it.
Learn the language if you can before you go, however we didn't.

Make sure that you see enough of France to know exactly where you want to be.
I have heard other English say that they wish they had seen more of france before settling.

Good luck, it is a dream that can be lived so many are doing it and if you don't try then you will never know.

Racheal xx
Incidentally, I have 2 children. They were aged 12 and 14 when they came to France. It didn't work out for my daughter and she went back to the UK after 7 months. She just couldn't get along with the other children as they seemed so much less mature than her. There is a definite cultural difference between French and UK kids and is something to bear in mind with older children. My son on the other hand, the 14 year old, did not speak any French, he never redoubled and is now at University in Albi reading psychology and French literature. He also got his Bac with a mention.
herbie is offline  
Old Mar 22nd 2007, 10:56 am
  #8  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: France
Posts: 63
RubyRoo is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Hi Rachael,
Love your blog!!!
RubyRoo is offline  
Old Mar 22nd 2007, 12:36 pm
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
bramblebush's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: UK-France-UK-France
Posts: 242
bramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to beholdbramblebush is a splendid one to behold
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Hi Rubyroo

Thank you!

Racheal x
bramblebush is offline  
Old Jul 14th 2007, 8:26 pm
  #10  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 21
thisisitimhere is an unknown quantity at this point
Smile Re: Is it really a dream?

Hi All

Well we have been in France for 15 months now, my daughter is 4 and now speaks fluent french, my husband and i do not, i have been learning the french language now for one year, and still find it very hard, the people here are lovely, but it truly is hard, there are no jobs, and depending were in france you go, it is rather like stepping back in time by 20 years, life is very slow, and although when you arrive here it seems great it changes, the old saying the grass is never greener, does indeed apply to france, were ever you decide to go please take my advise and rent for the first year, i am in the charente region, and the winter needs to be seen to be believed as does the life here, france is wonderful for a holiday, but to live here, well lets just say it takes a very special person, although i wont go back to england, i am now looking at other options. PLEASE BEWARE, I THINK YOU FIND IT HARD TO FIND ENGLISH WHO HAVE BEEN SUCESSFUL HERE.
good luck
thisisitimhere is offline  
Old Jul 15th 2007, 8:35 am
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
herbie's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Puy de Dome
Posts: 100
herbie is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Originally Posted by thisisitimhere View Post
Hi All

france is wonderful for a holiday, but to live here, well lets just say it takes a very special person, although i wont go back to england, i am now looking at other options. PLEASE BEWARE, I THINK YOU FIND IT HARD TO FIND ENGLISH WHO HAVE BEEN SUCESSFUL HERE.
good luck

I couldn't agree more. Working here is a total nightmare and not just for the expats. The French find it hard! Enterprise is not encouraged at all and unless you fit into a 'box', forget it! I've been here 6 years, I speak French and being here has been extremely tough. Ultimately it also cost me my marriage. I would never go back to the UK but I'm also looking for alternatives. I have bought a house here again and will renovate (again) but after this, I really may leave unless things change drastically, which I doubt.

Before I'm shot down in flames, I have to add that I'm not anti-French, I have many French friends but living here is hard for everyone.
herbie is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2007, 11:24 am
  #12  
Banned
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: montreuil
Posts: 67
cheekyfarkinmonkey is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Originally Posted by herbie View Post
I couldn't agree more. Working here is a total nightmare and not just for the expats. The French find it hard! Enterprise is not encouraged at all and unless you fit into a 'box', forget it! I've been here 6 years, I speak French and being here has been extremely tough. Ultimately it also cost me my marriage. I would never go back to the UK but I'm also looking for alternatives. I have bought a house here again and will renovate (again) but after this, I really may leave unless things change drastically, which I doubt.

Before I'm shot down in flames, I have to add that I'm not anti-French, I have many French friends but living here is hard for everyone.
farkin right on mate!!
i've spent 20 years here- i can tell you a thing about it too....
no master degree?? no phd??? you might as well forget it!! "pisser dans une violine"
here is a test...
phd/ masters degree y/N
a big stack of cash in the bank??? y/n
can afford never to do a days work again?? Y/N

if you answered no to any of the above questions you are up s**t creek

dont think anyone you can rock up here and get work- THERE IS NT ANY!!!

good luck, but dont sell you uk home , and live of the cash as you are in for a shocker mates!!
cheekyfarkinmonkey is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2007, 12:03 pm
  #13  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Bel de la bourre is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Just one thing I'd add that reflects some of the comments above, before people up sticks for France I think it makes sense to ask what it is they really love about the country and how deep-seated that love is. Also, if you're moving to the countryside (which in some parts of France can be really isolated/ing during the Autumn/winter months), what is it that attracts you to being there...outdoor sports/walking/nature/art..is it something that you really 'have' to do. I wouldn't put anyone off, but I've seen a great deal of Brits rock up in France just because it's.... cheap, good plonk, seemed like something we had to do... bit fed up of the UK. Reasons....I think I've heard them all as I was busy translating documents, voice messages, making intros to neighbours, smoothing over misunderstandings, for other people who had moved over here, etc...only to see them head home a few years, and a lot of DIY, later. It's a big decision, and France is a very different country, even for fluent French speakers. The job situation is well worth checking 'properly' out before you go, as are things like builders/friends/contacts. Try out a winter where you want to live, and see if you still fancy it...things like that.
I've lived on and off in France since I came here as a male Au Pair when I was 17 (now 33) and I work in Saint Denis, just outside Paris as a journalist, with a small cottage in the Livradois Forez, so I've seen both te big city and the country in action. I love living here, but it's another country, not a bucolic paradise, so make sure your eyes are open!
Bon courage,
Hugh
Bel de la bourre is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2007, 12:14 pm
  #14  
Banned
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: montreuil
Posts: 67
cheekyfarkinmonkey is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Is it really a dream?

Originally Posted by herbie View Post
I couldn't agree more. Working here is a total nightmare and not just for the expats. The French find it hard! Enterprise is not encouraged at all and unless you fit into a 'box', forget it! I've been here 6 years, I speak French and being here has been extremely tough. Ultimately it also cost me my marriage. I would never go back to the UK but I'm also looking for alternatives. I have bought a house here again and will renovate (again) but after this, I really may leave unless things change drastically, which I doubt.

Before I'm shot down in flames, I have to add that I'm not anti-French, I have many French friends but living here is hard for everyone.
you dont have to be anti french to state the reality- dont feel guilty, you are not on your own..
i'm moving back to the uk, to work- many people here thing ist just the same as the uk- totally different!!
if you wanna work in the uk, you just go to the jobcenter and get one-- here its not the same!!
i remember going to bhv ( a debenhams like store) in paris 14 yeras ago to just be a sales dude in the shop--i put my candidature on the pile with the other 250...THis is what its like here- and , if you are really peeved off with england, why not try australia?? nice weather, loadsa jobs, dont have to stuggle with the lingo/natives!!
i said i would never return to the uk, but after struggling here (for nowt) its a country that you can work in.. even if you dont speak the lingo!! cant do it here:: it all seems rosy here- until your cash gets used, and the bills coming in... i dreamt of the south of france with my lady- no jobs there mate!! unless you fancy fruit picking all the time, or being a workhand ON A farm...
cheekyfarkinmonkey is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2007, 7:50 pm
  #15  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 16
yorkssteve is an unknown quantity at this point
Thumbs up Re: Is it really a dream?

hi all,
we are buying a farmhouse in the puy de dome,we intend to renovate over a period of 5-6 yrs.the area is very scenic and there is plenty to do,hunting,fishing,skiing in winter.we do not speak fluent french but in trying with the local farmer and his wife we found they can speak very basic english so we managed to cope between us all.when i told the farmer i was a carpenter his face was a picture,although not overly looking for work if we move permanent it may be worth thinking about a bit of beer money,we met a couple of brits at easter on the med who live in the dome(not far away from us)and he has turned his hand to minor repairs and makes a good living although i believe he does cash in hand(what changes anywhere).they say you are welcomed in the area as long as you try to integrate-which is the idea anyway-we know from them and previous exp that the weather can be very cold but you cant beat a good log fire and if provisions are good you can survive comfortably.also you can buy a good property still relatively cheap and with a little expenditure have a bargain.these will go up in value as access to the area is improved .compare to buying a caravan on a site and paying ground rent over 10 years-(caravan devalued-never owning the land)i know what i prefer!be brave come and join us
yorkssteve is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.