Three big mistakes people make when they move to France
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TorFX, 2019’s International Currency Provider of the Year, explores three big mistakes people make when they move to France, and how to avoid them.
International Currency Provider of 2019, TorFX, gives us the lowdown on how to avoid common pitfalls of starting a new life in France. Upending your entire life to move to another country is always going to have its ups and downs. However, avoiding these three mistakes expats frequently make when relocating to France can make the whole experience much smoother.
1. Ç’est qu say en Anglais?
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of expats who move to France without even a basic knowledge of the French language. The language is an important part of the country’s cultural heritage and is fiercely protected by citizens.
While English is widely spoken in metropolitan areas, particularly in Paris, in rural areas you might find English speakers few and far between.
Etiquette dictates that you at least attempt to converse in French first. While most locals will be happy to switch to English if they see you struggling, attempting to start a conversation in English could see you given the cold shoulder!
There are loads of great apps that can help you get to grips with the basics. Start learning before your move and take advantage of any opportunities to learn – during long journeys on public transport, while out for walks etc.
Once you’re actually living in France your linguistic skills will develop far more rapidly, as nothing helps as much as immersing yourself in the local community.
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Which brings us to our next point…
2. Failing to put yourself out there
Moving to another country where you only have a tentative grasp of the language can be daunting. However, failing to connect with locals can leave you feeling isolated and exacerbate your homesickness.
The only way to prevent this is to throw yourself into the local community and attempt to find a new social circle. Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to meet people, with a quick online search likely to pull up plenty of opportunities to attend local events, clubs and social gatherings.
3. Not thinking about your currency transfers
An often costly mistake which many expats fall foul of is not exploring their currency transfer options ahead of a move.
A little bit of research would show that using a reputable currency provider can help you avoid the transfer fees and uncompetitive exchange rates offered by most banks. Specialist currency providers are also able to offer a far greater level of support and expert insight. They’ll talk through your options and help you pick the best transfer service for your requirements.
Forward contracts, for example, allow you to fix a favourable exchange rate for up for two years before making a transfer, ideal if you’re planning to purchase a French property and fear an unfavourable shift in the currency market could put your dream home just outside your budget.
If you want your new life in France to get off to the best possible start, putting in the hours ahead of your move is key. Take the time to pick up some language basics and explore your currency transfer options. Similarly, once you’re there really commit to living in France. Put yourself out there, meet new people and push yourself – you won’t regret it. Bon chance!