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Aussie moving to France


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Hi everyone,

I'm an Aussie mum making the move to France before the end of the year with family.  I have lived in Aus since I was a young child and have never been to France - however, ALWAYS wanted to go.  Im so very excited about it, yet daunted at the same time.  I've learnt a tini tiny bit of french....the very very basics.  But im told that alot of people actually speak english over there????  The challenge will be understanding their english with a french accent LOL

Im wondering if anyone else is making the move or anyone from Australia aswell?  Any tips on what I can expect? How different it is to Australia?  Really, any information will be useful and very much appreciated.

I also Sew..........so if there are any fellow sewers out there, id love to chat:)

Anything.................

thanks in advance,

http://akraftycatch.blogspot.com

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Gidday

I'm originally English, but lived in Oz from 98 and became an Aussie citizen too.

Moved over with my Aussie wife (soon to be ex wife) in 2005.

I guess you have a European passport. This will make getting in very easy :) Just turn up, walk in, buy a house and you're set (or buy one over the net like we did).

Great experience at first, although I missed (and still do) the Australian way of life.

The weather will hit you the most. I was from Qld, so beautiful one day, perfect the next. Doesn't apply in France, but the change in seasons at least means every day is different.

From a lifestyle point of view, if you have money, it's reasonably similar but of course there is far more to do and see in France compared to Australia.

From memory (unless Australia has gone up in price), France is far more expensive than Australia, and you can't get vegemite here either!

In terms of English spoken, from my experience, in rural areas, they don't even know what English is (some don't even know what French is, their dialects are so strong), but in towns and stuff, you'd get far more English speakers.

I'm single now, and find it very hard being on my own in France and am looking to move out in due course.

My wife loved it here, preferred it to Australia, but I guess you always do prefer the new to the old. I personally prefer Australia, but coming from Europe, it's probably understandable.

Health care would be very expensive in comparison to Australia. If I remember correctly, they will look at your Aussie tax returns and demand 8% of your tax for that year. Also, their tax year makes sense (running a calendar year as opposed July to June in Australia, and this makes translating tax years over awkward).

Keep researching, keep learning French and remember there will be cons to living here, just as there are many pros. If you want it hard enough, you will get here.
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Hi there,

Thankyou for your reply, I found it very helpful.

Hmm the Qld weather - I grew up in the Whitsundays but have spent the past 6 years in Sydney......I wonder if it will help me acclimatise LOL.  I can feel your pain moving directly from QLD to France...brrrr.

No vegemite in France........thats a crime!!!.....Looks like I will be taking a very large jar with me LOL.

I have done some reasearch and discovered the the roads are quite expensive with all the tolls in France, but these days they are practically tolling all the motorways in Sydney aswell, which cost a fortune.

Where abouts in France did you settle?  I will be living with family in a chateau, so I dont have to worry about buying or any of that jazz - until I decided I want to ofcourse.  Aus has become quite expensive. Groceries, petrol, real estate.........the land of the 'great ripoff'.  Im looking forward to something fresh.

Thanks again for your reply.

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I was just down the road on the Sunshine Coast at Noosa.

Yeah the road tolls are very expensive in France, but you don't have to use them. But on the other hand, there's no rego to pay over here. But you do have to have a roadworthy every other year (called a Controle Technique).

Yep, petrol is very expensive here too, about €1.33 at present.

You will be able to apply your car insurance no claims from Australia to French insurance too, which is good. I'm hoping to move to the US at the end of the year, and American insurance doesn't recognise any other county's, so I'll be starting from scratch again :(

You can't get vegemite, but you can get the English equivalent, marmite from some supermarkets here.

Sounds like Australia has gotten more expensive then, but at least you never went into recession. You will get fresh here, but after a while that freshness will wear off and you're back to similar mentality as back in Oz.

I'm in dept 36, about 2 and a bit hours south of Paris in the Loire.
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To be honest FrenchInterest, I think you are a bit bonkers! As you are moving from one of the few countries to escape recession, to a country or language you don't know, which has very serious economic problems, social unrest, high unemployment and surprisingly long dark and cold winters!

Australia, I would have thought holds a much brighter future for your children than France, where unemployment for those under 25 averages 25%.

As I am sure you are aware, there are quite a lot of French moving to Australia, so maybe you should speak to one first.

If you are moving to France on a European passport you need to know there is one potential major problem and that is rule changes introduced in 2007 prevent those moving to France who are 'inactif', from joining the French health system. Instead you are required to take out private health insurance, which is very expensive and difficult to obtain if you have any form of ongoing medical condition.

If I can make just one suggestion and that is please visit France with your family before you commit, as the reality is France is very different, and the person who told you they speak English there was misinformed as generally they don't and more often than not even if they can they won't!

Also unless you have a job lined up, finding meaningful employment will be very difficult in the current ecnomic climate and dare I say next to impossible if you do not speak fluent French.
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[quote user="Sprogster"]To be honest FrenchInterest, I think you are a bit bonkers! As you are moving from one of the few countries to escape recession, to a country or language you don't know, which has very serious economic problems, social unrest, high unemployment and surprisingly long dark and cold winters!

Australia, I would have thought holds a much brighter future for your children than France, where unemployment for those under 25 averages 25%.

As I am sure you are aware, there are quite a lot of French moving to Australia, so maybe you should speak to one first.

If you are moving to France on a European passport you need to know there is one potential major problem and that is rule changes introduced in 2007 prevent those moving to France who are 'inactif', from joining the French health system. Instead you are required to take out private health insurance, which is very expensive and difficult to obtain if you have any form of ongoing medical condition.

If I can make just one suggestion and that is please visit France with your family before you commit, as the reality is France is very different, and the person who told you they speak English there was misinformed as generally they don't and more often than not even if they can they won't!

Also unless you have a job lined up, finding meaningful employment will be very difficult in the current ecnomic climate and dare I say next to impossible if you do not speak fluent French.[/quote]

But I think that will only apply if you come from another European country. When I moved over, I didn't have any of those E forms you guys seem to have, so the amount to pay on the health care is taken at 8% of the previous years tax as I came from a country outside the EU.

I moved out before that law change for EU citizens, but I used my Australian citizenship for this part of my process into the country as I had no E forms. Although I entered on a UK passport, they still couldn't class me as an EU citizen for this because I hadn't paid into any scheme in Europe for years.

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[quote user="Sprogster"]To be honest FrenchInterest, I think you are a bit bonkers! As you are moving from one of the few countries to escape recession, to a country or language you don't know, which has very serious economic problems, social unrest, high unemployment and surprisingly long dark and cold winters!

Australia, I would have thought holds a much brighter future for your children than France, where unemployment for those under 25 averages 25%.

As I am sure you are aware, there are quite a lot of French moving to Australia, so maybe you should speak to one first.

If you are moving to France on a European passport you need to know there is one potential major problem and that is rule changes introduced in 2007 prevent those moving to France who are 'inactif', from joining the French health system. Instead you are required to take out private health insurance, which is very expensive and difficult to obtain if you have any form of ongoing medical condition.

If I can make just one suggestion and that is please visit France with your family before you commit, as the reality is France is very different, and the person who told you they speak English there was misinformed as generally they don't and more often than not even if they can they won't!

Also unless you have a job lined up, finding meaningful employment will be very difficult in the current ecnomic climate and dare I say next to impossible if you do not speak fluent French.[/quote]

Wow.....now there's a negative approach for ya!!...I take what you say on board and thankyou for your response, however, I dont think I mentioned that I was POOR or would be looking to go to work for your average Jo!!!!  As for the health system....again......you assume im poor.

Question..........have you ever lived in Australia?  are you French?

I dont believe im bonkers at all........im quite excited about a new opportunity.....but thank you for your concern.

Thankyou again for you input, however, I was hoping for some positivity, that's not saying I don't adhere to reality, I just dont buy into negativity...............so if you have anything positive to ad by all means go ahead.

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[quote user="Sprogster"]To be honest FrenchInterest, I think you are a bit bonkers! As you are moving from one of the few countries to escape recession, to a country or language you don't know, which has very serious economic problems, social unrest, high unemployment and surprisingly long dark and cold winters!

Australia, I would have thought holds a much brighter future for your children than France, where unemployment for those under 25 averages 25%.

As I am sure you are aware, there are quite a lot of French moving to Australia, so maybe you should speak to one first.

If you are moving to France on a European passport you need to know there is one potential major problem and that is rule changes introduced in 2007 prevent those moving to France who are 'inactif', from joining the French health system. Instead you are required to take out private health insurance, which is very expensive and difficult to obtain if you have any form of ongoing medical condition.

If I can make just one suggestion and that is please visit France with your family before you commit, as the reality is France is very different, and the person who told you they speak English there was misinformed as generally they don't and more often than not even if they can they won't!

Also unless you have a job lined up, finding meaningful employment will be very difficult in the current ecnomic climate and dare I say next to impossible if you do not speak fluent French.[/quote]

Wow.....now there's a negative approach for ya!!...I take what you say on board and thankyou for your response, however, I dont think I mentioned that I was POOR or would be looking to go to work for your average Jo!!!!  As for the health system....again......you assume im poor.

Question..........have you ever lived in Australia?  are you French?

I dont believe im bonkers at all........im quite excited about a new opportunity.....but thank you for your concern.

Thankyou again for you input, however, I was hoping for some positivity, that's not saying I don't adhere to reality, I just dont buy into negativity...............so if you have anything positive to ad by all means go ahead.

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FrenchInterest, that is something you will certainly experience in France compared to Australia. It is, from what I have experienced, a more negative country than Australia.

I think the weather has a big bearing on it, plus it is a socialist country, which imo tends to put down on people.

I've been here 5 years, and cannot wait to get out, but that's because of my circumstances.

If you have money, and live in a good area and have plenty to do, it's fantastic. Certainly worth the experience. And I understand exactly what you are talking about by taking the plunge and just doing instead of trying. It's the Aussie way. Life's too short sometimes :)

Hey, when you come over, do you want a little dog and do you want to buy a nice little two seater convertible? I have both available! :)
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[quote user="Sprogster"]To be honest FrenchInterest, I think you are a bit bonkers! As you are moving from one of the few countries to escape recession, to a country or language you don't know, which has very serious economic problems, social unrest, high unemployment and surprisingly long dark and cold winters!

Australia, I would have thought holds a much brighter future for your children than France, where unemployment for those under 25 averages 25%.

As I am sure you are aware, there are quite a lot of French moving to Australia, so maybe you should speak to one first.

If you are moving to France on a European passport you need to know there is one potential major problem and that is rule changes introduced in 2007 prevent those moving to France who are 'inactif', from joining the French health system. Instead you are required to take out private health insurance, which is very expensive and difficult to obtain if you have any form of ongoing medical condition.

If I can make just one suggestion and that is please visit France with your family before you commit, as the reality is France is very different, and the person who told you they speak English there was misinformed as generally they don't and more often than not even if they can they won't!

Also unless you have a job lined up, finding meaningful employment will be very difficult in the current ecnomic climate and dare I say next to impossible if you do not speak fluent French.[/quote]

Wholeheartedly concur: OP rose-tinted spectacles or what?

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Every country has pros and cons though.

I personally don't think the op would be taking that much of a risk. She won't be buying property, she'll be staying with family and she has money.

Sometimes in life, you just have to go with the flow and do something, something adventurous. If she was looking at just moving to the middle east or Outer Mongolia, sure, check it out first. But France is a big western country, it has problems - so does Australia. So does the UK. So does America.

Being someone who has done what she is looking at doing, it is very exciting and a lot of fun to do. You could argue it hasn't worked out for me, but until my marriage went tits up (which it would have had we stayed in Australia anyway), life was good here.

From an Aussie point of view, 10 pros to living in France compared to Australia...

1. France has an abundance of history and culture. Australia does not.

2. France has seasons, each day is different.

3. France produces the best bread in the world!

4. It's cheaper to run a car in France, especially diesel.

5. Property taxes are much lower (although she won't have a property).

6. Exchange rate is superb for an Aussie at present, best I've ever seen it.

7. Adventure of exploring a new culture and language.

8. France is very central making visits to other countries a piece of cake. Very cheap too in comparison to visiting other countries from Australia.

9. The ability to expand the mind, experiencing new things and people.

10. Fantastic for the children they will learn a new language and also be in the better education system.

11. Better health system.

10 cons to living in France:

1. Cyclists, caravaners & tractors hog the road in summer.

2. Restaurants aren't as good as in Australia.

3. Food is more expensive.

4. Shops are closed more than open (it seems that way anyway).

5. Language barrier can be a pain at times.

6. Sometimes life is just too slow.

7. It's a socialist country.

8. Inefficient. Getting things done generally seems to take a lot longer. eg bureaucracy, tradesmen etc.

9. There can be a general "greyness" about, which I never felt in Australia. People generally don't seem to be as positive.

10. Cyclists, caravaners & tractors hog the road in summer.

Of course, these are my own opinions, and the cons are in addition to others that have already been mentioned. No doubt I've missed out heaps, and no doubt, things that bug me won't bug you as much and vice versa.

As for the people, well, they are people. Some are pains in the neck, others are nice. Same as anywhere.
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Mr Coeur de Lion, you are right to a degree if you do not have children at a critical school age and you don't need to work, which I assume is the category you fit in.

If the other OP does fit within that criteria, things don't work out and she has to return to Australia, the disruption to her childrens schooling is a major risk factor to consider. Also if you had children, which country would you prefer to see them brought up in?

To the OP, the reason I said you are a bit bonkers, is that it is very unusual you are considering moving yourself and your family across the world to a country you have never even visited! After all a fact finding trip from Oz, would not be that expensive and you might find that you don't like it, saving a lot of expense and disruption.

The reference to the health care situation was irrelevant to your financial status, but merely pointing out a major hurdle to many people considering moving to France, who are not necessarily intending to work.

All said and done the biggest difficulty for non French speakers assimilating into France and finding work if one needs to, is the language barrier. As most adults realistically despite all efforts will never become as fluent as they wish.

I know Australia and France very well and whilst France is a great country to retire to, or visit,(the vast majority of this Forum's members fitting in this category),Australia wins hands down as a better country to find work and for your childrens future, IMHO.
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Fair points. I guess it also depends on how old the children are too.

Even if they came out for a year, it may well do them the world of good if they are not at the crucial exam age. Many Australians do not have much of a care of the outside world, so the experience could do them well. It will open their eyes up to the fact the world is not Australia!

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ya see......im an Aussie.....the question is not 'Am I ready for France?"..............the question is "Is France ready for me".........either way, I'm coming hehe

Tough blood we are and its the Aussie spirit to get your hands dirty........we like challenges LOL.

Thankyou for all your advice.  Rose colured glasses.....haha...i think not!  However, I can see how the average person would think that:)

Mr Coeur de Lion - I absolutely love your pro's and cons...you had me giggling haha classic (ps:  i agree with all your points, especially in relation to Australians experiencing 'the outside world')

Im very much looking forward to experiencing a different culture, history and language and I think it will benefit my daughter tremendously - she is 7 and will be attending private school.

I would take you up on the offer of the small dog and the car except I already have a little dog and will have a car when I get there (convertible does sound cool though lol).  Your not taking it back to Aus with you? (the dog that is).  I'm in the process of researching road rules, etc, very interesting.

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Suffice it to say that the style of driving can be somewhat bizarre!

Good luck with your venture - hey, if you never try things, you never get anywhere.  I think many forum members are over-cautious because some of our fellows have had bad experiences here and thus it seems only fair not to paint France as some sort of Shangi-La - it certainly is not for some; it's just a country like any other with probably 10 times the pros and cons Richard lists, and for some his cons will seeem like pros and vice-versa.  We had a rash of TV programmes in the UK in the 90s and early naughties, which implied that France was a paradise of cheap property and easy living which some people maybe took at face value and came over here ill-prepared.  That doesn't sound like you though and, let's face it, many forum members love it here and live here happily for years.  My BiL has been here nearly 20 years and other Brits I know live and work here with some frustrations, it's true, but they manage well enough and so do their kids (although the edcuation system is not what it's cracked up to be!).  Some go home, but I doubt any of them really regrets the experience entirely. 

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Actually driving over here is pretty erratic compared to Australia.

Roads over here are much narrower than in Australia and people have the habit of parking in the middle of the road (same in the UK), whereas in Australia, of course the roads are wide enough to handle off road parking most of the time.

My wife drove probably half a dozen times in 4 years of living here. For me, it wasn't a problem as the techniques and smallness are pretty similar to the UK. Australia is by far the easiest country to drive in, in my experience.

But once you're used to it and driving on the other side of the road, you'll be right. Probably take you a few days to get the hang of it, but don't stress and you'll be fine.
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As your daughter's just 7, then the risk of disrupting her education does not apply.

I am sure you will enjoy the adventure, but bet you will be back in Aussie within three to five years! Why? Well as an Aussie the French can't do culture will drive you nuts and the winters will take a lot of adjusting to. Not just the cold, but winter daylight hours are short.

Last but not least the French are generally less accepting of foreigners than you are used to in the melting pot Australia has become. As a result, a French person will usually get a job, before a competing foreigner, even if less qualified. If you move to Aussie you can become accepted as an Aussie like your new Prime Minister, but in France you will always be an etranger.
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