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Moving to France ...

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Toronto, Canada
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6 posts
15 reviews
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Moving to France ...

I’m writing from Canada and looking for advice regarding a move to France that my wife and I are planning for June of 2007. We, with our two sons (7 and 5) have been discussing a temporary move to France for quite some time. We’re motivated in the main by the opportunity to expose our sons to another culture, and because the both of us are francophiles and it is a dream to live in France. All four of us are bilingual, and my wife and I are self-employed, so our main concerns are not about employment, but rather where it might be best for us to settle. We have Paris in mind, but we know how unrealistic that is. We’ve been talking about Montpellier and Marseilles as well, but neither of us have ever seen these places. Ideally, we’d like to be, if not in Paris, then a mid-sized city, somewhere safe, with good access to the rest of the country. We’re interested in hearing from people concerning underrated spots in France, places maybe a little less known, but fantastic. Also, advice on housing (we’re planning on swapping, if at all possible, and we’d like to be in France for two years), any issues you may be aware of in getting our sons into a school, and other possible snags it’d be good for us to foresee. Note that I am likely to have EEC before we go – does it help much? Many thanks for reading this far and lending us your expertise. Michael

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1,999 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Moving to France ...

Marseille is a port city and has all of the challenges that come along with that. It is in a magnificent location with stunning views of the Med. It can be rough at times and not the most clean city. I enjoy it but would find it challenging to live there.

Montpellier is a smaller city that has a focus on medicine and university. Lots of youth here and fairly dynamic. Nice, smallish historic center but alot of the action takes place elsewhere as well. For me Montpellier is a place where you would need a car to take full advantage of the city and its proximity to the beach.

Lyon is an interesting choice. It is the second largest metroplitain area in France. The city itself is very clean and I find it attractive. It is 2 hours from Paris via TGV and 1h15-1h30mins from Montpellier or Marseille via TGV. Its just a short drive to the Alps as well. I have only spent a limited amount of time there but found it clean and appealing. Excellent food. In fact I wouldnt mind living there myself.