Life of expat in France

Published: Monday, 30 September 2019 Print
Paris street cafe.

Life in France overview

There are many reasons why France is appealing country for foreigners and expats. As a tourist, France is a unique location to travel to: Paris, Eiffel tower, bakeries that are found at every corner as well as wine.

France is a very attractive to immigrants as in 2008 it was reported that there were more than 11 million foreign born immigrants and their relatives in the countries territory. Currently France is one of the least religious populations in the world, which in some ways may be easier to expats coming to country’s territory. As in other countries religious traditions and practices are very highly implemented in daily lives of residents.

 

Lifestyle

French lifestyle is praised by many as Parisians are considered chic, sophisticated, not work-oriented but rather enjoying simple things in life type people. French is famous for some specific details like delicious wine, bakeries and berets.

Foreigners have manners that some French people might not understand, like skipping the formal introductions, not eating at work tables, having small talk. This usually makes French lifestyle and mannerism very distinct from other countries as it is clear from the first interactions that somebody is not born and raised in France.

French people tend to be quite closed off when it comes to meeting people than for example in America. The mannerism of being safe and closed off with new people makes it seem like French are rude but it is just that they are more put together and not so emotionally explicit as other culture.

 

Cuisine and holidays

French holidays are as regular Christian holidays in most of the world’s countries. French celebrate Christmas and Easter as well as some non-Christian holidays like Labor Day on May 1st and Bastille Day that marks time when French Revolution started.

During cuisine enjoyment in France there are some etiquette norms that have to be taken into account, like being very discreet and quiet in restaurants. Another not very known fact is that arriving on time is a bit rude as the hosts are gathering the tables and silver wear to greet guests and it is typical that exact time is not always the factual time of arrival.

French cheese and fruits.

There are a lot of different dishes that are considered traditional cuisine of France. For example, Foie Gras that is a fattened geese and oysters have both originated from French people. Other dishes include cassoulet and raclette.

French cuisine became popular in 20th century and later begins to spread in Europe and all over the world. Restaurants and cuisine culture in France is very highly valued as it is part of French traditions and culture.

Wine is another huge part of French culture and holidays as the country with best wineries and wine manufacturers, France is the known to be best of the best when it comes to wine.

 

Culture and traditions

As for French culture and traditions there is stereotypical Parisian culture that foreigners usually see, that is fashion, wine and delicacies but outside the capital France has a more toned down traditional and cultural lifestyle.

French people are really big patriots of their country and overall equality. French talk casually about politics and have intelligent conversations as talking about the life in France is regular topic in household meal times and gatherings.

Culturally French take clothing seriously and it shows because the people living in France have more made-to-order and quality clothing than rest of the developed countries.

 

Work environment

Work opportunities are wide in France as unemployed rate in year 2018 was 9 percent that is lower than in Spain and Italy. This means that the overall work environment has a healthy competition.

For people who have applied and gotten a job in France from their origin country as expat the next step is dealing with immigration authorities and applying for visa.

Appearance in business environment is highly evaluated and looked at therefore a responsibility to always dress business casual is crucial. There has to be understanding that business casual in France is still mush more sophisticated look than business casual in America or other countries.

 

Housing market

There are some good places for living in France that is not Paris. Paris has one of the most expensive housing markets in Europe as the romantic city is in high demand by tourists around the world.

Old street of Paris.

Other cities in France that have relatively cheaper housing options are Lyon, Marseille, Antibes and Bordeaux. These cities have the right amount of charm as Paris, but offer cheaper options for living.

Real estate market in France has been rising up since 2017. Real estate enthusiasts have to take in account that city that recently has been growing in numbers per square meter is Bordeaux.

A pile of passports with visa stamps.

Businessman standing in the airport, waiting for hif flight.

Backpacker looking at a sunrise from the mountain.

Sunny beach on a tropical island.