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Should you live in or travel to France?

By Jean
Reading Time: 4 minutes
travelling to France

France is a perennial favourite among travellers, consistently ranking as the most visited country in the world. With millions of tourists flocking to its cities, countryside, and coastlines every year, it’s clear that France’s allure is universal.

However, there’s a significant difference between experiencing France as a tourist and living there long-term. This article will help you navigate these differences and determine if you’re suited for life in France.

Travelling to France

Coming to France as a tourist is guaranteed to leave you in awe! Each visit, whether it’s your first or your tenth, brings a sense of enchantment. France’s rich cultural heritage offers an array of iconic landmarks that are nothing short of breathtaking. The Eiffel Tower stands as a timeless symbol of French elegance, while the Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa and countless other masterpieces, invites you to explore the depths of art and history. Beyond the capital, you can discover the historic castles of the Loire Valley, the vineyards of Bordeaux, and the stunning beaches of the French Riviera. The picturesque villages of Provence, the rugged coastline of Brittany, and the majestic Alps each add to the country’s diverse allure.

Staying in France for several months is an excellent way to get an idea of what daily life in France is like.

travelling to France

Living in France

Once settled in France, it’s time to get serious! Living and travelling in France are two very different experiences, and your perception of the country and its people will evolve. Living in France for the long term will lead you to discover new aspects of the country. You’ll integrate into the social life, work, and more. It is also often after a few months that you become aware of the true cost of living there.

The experience of picking up your visa at the immigration office, for example, can be stressful, but it is an incredible relief once you have your visa in hand! If you wish to settle in France for the long term, we’ve put together a 5-year plan for you, check it out:

Speaking French will obviously help you integrate more easily and make your daily life much smoother. We can help you settle in France. Our support includes everything from selecting your language school to finding the best accommodation and more services to ensure a smooth transition into your new life in France. Contact us for more info.

travelling to France

Building Connections

Living in France provides you with more opportunities to speak French regularly. As you become more proficient, locals will respond to you in French rather than assuming you speak English. This immersion helps improve your language skills significantly. Additionally, you will have the chance to make French friends and integrate into the community, experiencing the culture from an insider’s perspective. Over time, you will feel more like a local, building meaningful connections and understanding the nuances of daily life in France.

travelling to France

Expectations vs. Reality

Settling in France can bring several culture shocks and challenges that differ from the idyllic image many have. While France is often depicted as a land of romance, fine wine, and gourmet food, the reality includes adjusting to a slower pace of life, especially in rural areas where shops close for extended lunch breaks and on Sundays. Navigating French bureaucracy, such as securing a visa or setting up a bank account, can be time-consuming and complex, requiring patience and perseverance. Additionally, while many believe they can get by with basic French or just English, living in France necessitates a good grasp of the language for everyday tasks and building relationships. Locals appreciate the effort to speak French, which is crucial for social integration.

Socially, forming meaningful relationships with locals can take time as the French can be reserved initially. Participating in local events and community activities helps in making friends and integrating into the community. Contrary to the expectation of an idyllic paradise, everyday life in France involves the usual challenges of modern living, and the cost of living, particularly in cities like Paris, can be high. However, despite these challenges, immersing yourself in French culture, mastering the language, and experiencing the country’s diverse allure makes the effort worthwhile. Understanding these realities can help you navigate the transition more smoothly and enjoy a balanced view of life in France.

travelling to France

Living in or Travelling to France?

What we can take away from all this is that France requires a certain mindset and good preparation for those who want to spend part of their life there. Some people will prefer to enjoy the wonders of France on a trip, while others will never want to leave once they arrive!

Whether it is for a short or long-term project, we are here to help! At Go! Go! France, we’re dedicated to making your dream of studying in France a reality. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, or to begin your application!

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