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I'm thinking of moving to France when

Old Sep 16th, 1999, 07:28 AM
  #1  
Becky
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I'm thinking of moving to France when

Hi! It's me again! I have been seriously been thinking of moving to France when I get older. I really loved it there and had the time of my life. When I got home, I felt....
I felt myself yearing for France again. In many,many, ways, I feel that I am more French than American, though I was born in America. Is it possible for one to feel that way? Does anyone else? Anyway, I'm thinking of moving to France sometime in my life. Any ideas or suggesstions to help me accomplish this? I know it's a few years away, but it's never to late to start thinking about it.

-Becky
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 09:20 AM
  #2  
Walter
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I don't wish to rain on your parade because I admire your enthusiasm. But France -- like a lot of places -- is one place to those who are tourists and another to those who must make a living and exist there. France today suffers from high unemployment, a stagnant economy, and a lack of opportunity for those who are not French citizens. Getting a work permit will prove to be the hassle of your lifetime unless you bring with you special skills that are in high demand. Yes, France can be delightful, but it is much more delightful when you have a pocketful of dollars and do not have to worry about their high housing costs, their enormously overpriced food costs, and their taxation. But...bon chance, mon ami.
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 09:34 AM
  #3  
s.fowler
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Walter gave you good advice there.
I would only add that you study the language until you are fluent. Otherwise it you would, I'm sure, feel isolated..
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 09:35 AM
  #4  
elvira
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I know of five ways to live in France:
1) Independently wealthy. You must prove to the government you are self-sustaining.
2) Self-employed such as a writer or a computer consultant, whereby your earnings come from the US (in other words, you're not taking the job from a
French person)
3) The job you perform is so unique that only you could provide it; you usually have to have a French corporation sponsor you - it's a catch-22; you have to have a job to get a work permit, but you have to have a work permit to get the job - and provide documentation you're the only one who can do it (you're an auto mechanic that fixes old Bugattis)
4) Work for a US company that has a division in France, and get transferred.
5) Marry a French citizen.

If anybody knows of another legal way, please post ASAP. I'll be elbowing Becky out of the way on the jetway...
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 11:40 AM
  #5  
Doug
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I want to move to every place I take a vacation. Things always seem much better when you're on holiday away from work. Staying in hotels, eating out every meal and shopping with abandon may occur during your vacation, but few of us could do it all the time. I bet if you spent a couple days in Moscow away from work, you'd consider moving there.
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 11:54 AM
  #6  
Mia
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Becky,
All of the above are realistic replies, but I'm like you...I felt more at home in Europe. Don't know if I'll ever get to live there, but I'm always searching for possibilities.
There is a thread in this forum that deals with jobs overseas; I can't remember exactly how I found it (maybe type in "jobs"). One of the suggestions was teaching at one of the military bases in Europe; I have a friend who is actually persuing this. Let us know how you do! And don't get discouraged!
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 03:42 PM
  #7  
Vanessa
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Well, I don't have a solution for living in France permanently, but I do have one for living there for an extended stay. I remember on another post you said you were 17 or 18, I think the best way for you is to study in France through a college study abroad program. My friend just did a one quarter (3 month) study abroad stay in Paris through DePaul University this past Spring. She is a French major and speaks French almost fluently. She studied French since high school, and she got to go in her junior year of college. Her French professor also told her that if she was interested, there was a program where she could have stayed for a year and they would have gotten her a job teaching English, but she didn't want to stay a year or longer. The business majors at our school also have to fulfill an International Perspective requirement. They can fill this by either studying a language for a year, taking a group of classes approved by their counselor where they study the politics and culture of a nation, or by going on a study abroad trip (there are varying language requirements for different countries).
Also, don't think it's impossible because of the money. My friend saved up until her junior year, and got some help through the financial aid office. You'll find that most universities have some kind of study abroad program for students, so take advantage of it.
 
Old Sep 16th, 1999, 03:59 PM
  #8  
Kittie
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Becky,

I will second all the previous posts.
I, like Doug, want to move to many places that I visit. I was an exchange student in Mexico City and found that a place I thought was cool had it's own problems very similar to the US.

I think that being a college exchange student is a great idea. It allows you to see the 'real life' of the people of the country that you stay in.

Kittie
 
Old Sep 17th, 1999, 12:03 AM
  #9  
Vincent
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Of course, it's difficult to emigrate in France, as it is in the States. But Americans have a big asset : their language. Actually, if you know the right channels, it's relatively easy to come and live in Europe to teach English. Not in public schools of course, but in Paris there are zillions of private English teaching institutes, usually geared to executives, that mainly employ native speakers. Another field in which Americans have got an edge on the French : the Internet. The people that are developping our site are 80 % Americans, and their command of French is only average. Don't ask me how they got there, but they did, so there must be a way !

As for the nightmarish vision of a sluggish, overexpensive economy, I think Walter gets his news from an old Time Magazine issue in 1997 ! FYI, 80 % of the jobs created in the European Union in 1998 were in France, the French economy has been growing between 2.5 and 3 % a year for the last three years (I know, it's not the American figures, but we are in Europe). "High housing costs" ? For $900 I get a nice roomy apartment in Paris : it would be a rathole in London, and in New York... "Enormously overpriced food" ? Take a $ 30 meal (tips and tax included) in Paris and in San Francisco (I mean a real meal in a real restaurant), and you'll see which one is overpriced... As for the taxation, is the price to pay to get free healthcare and free education...
 
Old Sep 17th, 1999, 03:45 AM
  #10  
Valerie
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Becky,
I know exactly how you feel! But the above posters a very accurate about the difficulties to obtain that dream. I might suggest instead moving to a different part the USA where there are a lot of french influences. For instance, I love Paris and I love New York City. For brunch I will go to Balthazar and feel just like I am in a Paris cafe. Down the street is an international magazine and newspaper store where I will go buy a couple of french magazines, I take french lessons from a woman from France here and there is a French institute here which shows french video's has lectures, has parties to speak with french people, etc. When I really need a fix, I will buy a cheap airline ticket for a long weekend to Paris in the middle of winter or early spring. And I subscribe to Journal Francais which gives me all the news each month. Also here in the New York area we get a half hour news TV show from France in french with subtitles. I understand that San Francisco has a french population too. Maybe it would be easier to relocate somewhere in the States than in France.
 
Old Sep 17th, 1999, 05:42 AM
  #11  
Walter
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Vincent, you are a true Frenchman! Selective statistics can be made to prove almost anything. So I won't play that game. I simply know that the percentage of take-home pay used to pay for food is twice for the average French wage-earner than it is for the average American wage-earner. French housing is atrocious -- just compare the number of new housing units in France with most other nations within the EC -- even Britain's housing record (which is dismal) is better than France's. In France, most urban families must rent their dwellings because there has been so little new housing constructed in the past 100 years. Only Germany's rental percentage is higher. More new jobs have been created in America in the past 10 years than all of Europe (with about the same population) in the past century. These, sir, are facts -- facts which poor Becky will have to live with. I suggest that, if she is a Francophile, that she spend time in Quebec, my home city, and see how a non-French-speaking person is treated. Mon Dieu!
 
Old Sep 17th, 1999, 10:19 AM
  #12  
specs
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I vote for the foreign exchange student approach. My husband spent 3 months in Bourg with a French family through Dartmouth College. A friend's daughter just left for a year of study in Bordeaux with University of California, Davis.
 
Old Sep 18th, 1999, 07:58 AM
  #13  
conor
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Walter, From where did you get those facts relating to the French and European economies? They are completely unrealistic. The standard of living is so much higher in Europe when compared to the US/Canada.so many jobs have been created in North America because of the all important European Investment. One in twelwve industrial workers in the US is employed by a European company. Maybe you should educate yourself more on economic issues before coming out with total fiction. You are a typical example of the uneducated North American way of thinking. Maybe you should read a Newspaper (and I dont mean a tabloid).this could help you give a more educated point of view when makin replies. CIAO!!
 
Old Sep 18th, 1999, 02:01 PM
  #14  
Walter
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I read and enjoy "The Economist" of London, and have done so for years. I recommend it to you, sir, for your edification -- if not for your manners.
 
Old Sep 19th, 1999, 08:31 AM
  #15  
Vincent
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Walter, I'm sorry, your main source of information is not Time Magazine but rather an issue of Life back in the 50s featuring Marylin Monroe and an article of how backwards European housing was. For instance, you would have known that it's been 7 years since there's no "EC", but an "EU". As of your point of view on housing... Obviously, if a building is more than 10 years old, it's got to be "atrocious" (and, by the way, French people don't wear berets don't eat snails at every meal, and the waiter is not called "Garçon"). My building dates back to 1913, and my standards of comfort are quite up to an American home, thanks. And I wish I could afford to live in one of those "atrocious" XVIIIth Century buildings surrounding place des Vosges or in a "dismal" Vicorian house in Kensington. You also would have to explain why an owned home is more comfortable than a rented one... And it's funny, because we don't seem to read the same issues of The Economist : as post-Thatcherite as this weekly can be, it gives complete and honest coverage of European economies. If I remember well, their survey on France published last June didn't really give the image of a Dickensian country...
As far as Québec is concerned, I'm sorry, but French is the only official language there. Still, I'd rather be a non-French speaker in Québec than a non-English speaker in the States... But anyway, I don't see the point in fueling a controversy with someone who seems to be the only provincial, misinformed and prejudiced American on this forum.
 
Old Sep 20th, 1999, 04:13 AM
  #16  
Valerie
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I agree that there are many places to go in the USA that you can't speak anything other than english but here in the New York City area there are pockets of foreign communities. I have worked with people that don't speak any english and have been here in the USA for 20 or more years! At the public schools here, you have your choice of going to class that speaks only spanish or english (possibly other languages) I know there are also big Italian and Chinese communities as well as the Spanish where people live many years without speaking or knowing english. So could I possibly say to you people who are pontificating to Walter, that perhaps you are reading outdated material on the USA? I believe that if you all read Walter's post, it talks about the perspective of an American living and trying to work in France ( getting a job, etc)as compared to the USA. Is it not true that unemployment is worse than 4% in France? (state of NJ stats) I watch France 2 the nightly news from France and hear in French (and with subtitles) that unemployment and taxes are higher (as compared to a USA standard) I think we are trying to tell Becky that perhaps it might be harder for an outsider to penetrate the French workforce as a foreigner. I am I all wrong here? Because if so I would love to get a job in France myself!!!
 
Old Sep 20th, 1999, 04:53 AM
  #17  
Kimberley
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I generally beleive in speaking up only when I actually know what I'm talking about - thus, having never lived in France, I was going to keep out of this one. But, I have got to reply to Vincent, who clearly isn't that familiar with life in Quebec. I am an anglophone, born and raised in Quebec (Montreal) and left 6 years ago because I couldn't deal with the language issue - and I am BILINGUAL!! I now live in the US, and I can tell you that people of different nationalities at least have the right to find ethnic neighborhoods, if they wish, and patronize businesses and restaurants where they will be served in their own language (eg., San Fran. Chinatown, Miami,...). True, they cannot live their entire lives without English, but considering they are in a foreign country, immigrants to the USA have it pretty good. In Quebec, it is illegal to conduct a business in any language other than French. Shops and restaurants cannot be bilingual, they cannot have English signs, they cannot be Chinese, or Greek, or Spanish...they MUST be French. Furthermore, the issue runs deep with heated emotions and bigotry, so even if you understand French (as I do) it simply isn't pleasant to be non-Francophone in Quebec. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Montreal and miss it everyday (and I also love Paris) - but live there?...never again. Until you're actually walked the walk, you simply cannot talk the talk. The numbers can be twisted however you want to say whatever you want them to (actually, I'm a statistican, so I really know that!) but nothing can replace life experience. With that being said, however, I'm an advocate of living life to the fullest and I second the person who suggested that Becky try a semester abroad. That, at least, is a relatively short term situation which will not be quite as plagued by economic and political issues, and will give Becky a French experience she will never forget. KK
 
Old Sep 20th, 1999, 06:41 AM
  #18  
francesca
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Becky, I know how you feel. I loved France. I left France. I came back--for good!!! Yes, it took 20 years, but it doesn't have to take you that long. You are young, so you have many opportunities. Definitely go for the au pair possibility (maybe I could hire you in a few years!) and the junior year abroad. The Sorbonne has a good program; I did it. Once you are here, make as many French contacts as you can. That's the ticket to getting a job. Yes, it is hard, but you don't have to do something no French person can do. You only have to be excellent, persistent and a gift for making and using your contacts (nicely). I am proof that it works; I will apply for French citizenship this year after 6 very happy years here. My sister took another route: she came to visit me, and within 24 hours, met a guy and now they're married and have a baby. And she had no plans or desire to move to Paris at all. You never know. Write me direct if you want more info. Good luck and GO FOR IT!
 
Old Sep 20th, 1999, 10:16 PM
  #19  
Craig
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You don't have to work for a French or American company to work in France. Companies from all over the world have job opportunities for daring people like you, Becky.
First, figure out what you want to do -- computer science, teaching classical Greek Lit., contract law, personal investment management, baker, chef...whatever.
Next, hunt up companies that are looking for that "something" in France and pursue them.
Try it out. The least you'll get out of it is a great learning experience.
 
Old Sep 21st, 1999, 04:59 AM
  #20  
EMC
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Becky: I will guess the following about you. You are under 25, have no education beyond high school, did not earn the money it took you to spend your time concentrating on yourself in France, give little or nothing back to society, hang out with other giddy post-juvenies, haven't a clue of what to do with the rest of your life, are great at mooching off your "contacts," and are looking for some way to extend your idleness into your middle years. What a waste. Get a life. Enter the real world.
 

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