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Oz to France with Kids where to live


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We are thinking of moving from Oz to France for 6-12 months. We are only just starting the research process and we probably won't do it for another 18-24 months. We have three young kids. I have a UK passport but hubby and kids don't. So we were thinking that hubby would apply for a long stay visa as he has long service leave and some savings and we don't want to work.

We would like to stay somewhere warm (or at least not cold) and close to the train line so we can do some travel in Europe while there. We would also like to live somewhere with good services and schools. Does anyone have any suggestions on cities to start researching that would be good for us?

Also does anyone know much about schools over there. Our kids go to a bilingual school here doing the Australian and French curriculum and we would like to send them to school while we are there to improve their French language skills. Hopefully our school will be able to give us advice but would love to hear from anyone who has done something similar.

We are also not sure whether to rent our place out here or doing a house swap. We could get good rent for our place but putting everything in storage sounds like a big pain but a house swap might get complicated useless we can find something through a contact.

Any advice would be great.
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As a British passport holder you can visit France for as long as you want, but your children and husband having Oz passports are limited to 90 days. So unless you can get British passports for your children and husband, I believe they will need to apply for a French long stay visa, which prohibits employment and is more complicated to obtain than it used to be, especially if you are not a well off retiree.

Not sure about schooling, but you need to remember the economy in Europe is in a big mess currently, compared to the near boom economic situation you have in Australia, so not sure how accomodating French schools would be with current budgetary pressures to accept Australian children who are on an extended holiday, or indeed whether your children as non EU nationals would be entitled to education in France on a temporary stay basis. Therefore, maybe prudent to budget for private schools and you will also need to budget for private health insurance cover.

As for weather, well anywhere in France is very cold in winter compared to Australia, and with short daylight hours I would certainly prefer to be in your area of the world for the winter months!

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  • 2 months later...
[quote user="kidtravellers"]

We are also not sure whether to rent our place out here or doing a house swap. We could get good rent for our place but putting everything in storage sounds like a big pain but a house swap might get complicated useless we can find something through a contact.

Any advice would be great.[/quote]

Are you aware that you will normally have to sign a lease as tenants for three years minimum?

It is sometimes possible to opt out of the contract, but you should give at least three months notice.

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Re the private school thing - just to add that they are very cheap here and are mostly Catholic.  It's not much more than the normal cost of school lunches in our area.  Having said that though, when we enrolled our kids we asked if we needed to provide anything to the school to prove entitlement or anything and were told that all children who are living in France can go to school, no matter their parents' status.

If you have that long to prepare, is it worth getting your children a British passport?  

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