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flag France France: Living

In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion

 

Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The population of expatriates in France represents 6.5 million people. (National Institute of Demographic Studies).
Hotel reservation websites
France Diplomatie
Expatica France
The Local France
Expat.com
Angloinfo France
Immigration Authority
Immigration, asylum, reception and support for foreigners in France (Ministry of the Interior)
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
List of international movers
 
 

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
According to the latest available edition of the Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Paris is ranked 35th out of 227 cities worldwide in terms of cost of living.
Quality of Life
According to the latest available edition of the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Paris is ranked 39th out of 231 cities worldwide in terms of quality of living.
Hotel reservation websites
Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)
Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)

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Renting an Apartment

Average Lease Term
In France, the average lease term for renting an apartment is typically 3 years (36 months) for unfurnished apartments and 1 year (12 months) for furnished apartments. These are the standard lease durations as per the French law, but there can be variations depending on individual circumstances and agreements between landlords and tenants. Shorter lease terms are also possible, especially for furnished apartments or in specific situations where temporary or short-term accommodation is required. In such cases, lease durations can range from a few months to a year. It's common for leases in France to include a "tacit renewal" clause, which means that if neither the landlord nor the tenant gives notice to terminate the lease at least 3 months before its expiration, the lease automatically renews for the same duration.
Average Rental Costs

The average rental costs for apartments in France can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the location (city, suburban area, rural), apartment size, amenities, condition, and local market conditions. Rental prices are typically higher in major cities compared to smaller towns or rural areas. It's important to note that the following figures are approximate and can fluctuate over time:

  • Paris: In Paris, rental prices tend to be higher compared to other cities in France. As of 2021, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Paris ranges from around €1,200 to €2,500. Larger apartments with two or three bedrooms can range from approximately €2,000 to €4,500 or more per month.
  • Other Major Cities: Rental costs in other major cities such as Lyon, Marseille, and Bordeaux are relatively lower compared to Paris. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in these cities can range from approximately €700 to €1,500 per month, while larger apartments with two or three bedrooms can range from €1,200 to €2,500 or more per month.
  • Suburban Areas and Smaller Towns: Rental prices in suburban areas and smaller towns in France are generally more affordable compared to major cities. Prices can vary significantly depending on the specific location, but as a rough estimate, a one-bedroom apartment in these areas can range from €500 to €1,200 per month, and larger apartments with two or three bedrooms can range from €800 to €1,800 or more per month.
Rental Agency Websites
Seloger
Pap.fr
Century 21
Orpi
Guy Hoquet
Logic-Immo
Fnaim
ParuVendu

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School System

The Education System

The school system in France breaks down into 5 levels of education:

  • Early Childhood Education (École Maternelle): Children aged 3 to 6 attend école maternelle, which is not compulsory but widely attended. It focuses on early learning, socialization, and development.
  • Primary Education (École Primaire): Compulsory education begins at the age of 6. Primary education, known as école primaire, lasts for five years (CP, CE1, CE2, CM1, CM2) and covers fundamental subjects such as French, mathematics, science, history, geography, arts, and physical education.
  • Lower Secondary Education (Collège): After completing primary education, students move on to collège, which covers grades 6 to 9 (6ème, 5ème, 4ème, 3ème). Collège offers a broader curriculum, including additional subjects like foreign languages, technology, and more specialized topics.
  • Upper Secondary Education (Lycée): Following collège, students enter lycée, which consists of three years (Seconde, Première, Terminale) and leads to the French Baccalauréat (commonly known as the Bac). Lycée provides various specialized tracks, including general, technological, and vocational streams.
  • Higher Education: After obtaining the French Baccalauréat or an equivalent diploma, students can pursue higher education at universities, grandes écoles, or specialized institutions. Higher education offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.
International Schools
International School Search
The Good Schools Guide International
International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools
Council of International Schools (CIS)
Expatica (International schools in France)
Hotel reservation websites
The Ministry of Education website
Studyabroad.com France

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Health System

The Healthcare System

Overview the healthcare system in France:

  • Universal Coverage: France has a system of universal healthcare coverage, which means that all legal residents in France are entitled to healthcare services, regardless of their employment status or income level.
  • Social Security: The French healthcare system is primarily funded through social security contributions. The majority of the population is covered by the national health insurance program called "Sécurité Sociale," which provides reimbursement for medical expenses.
  • Public and Private Healthcare Providers: The French healthcare system consists of both public and private healthcare providers. Public hospitals and clinics are operated by the state, while private practitioners and facilities are also widely available.
  • Reimbursement System: In France, patients typically pay for healthcare services upfront and are later reimbursed by the national health insurance system. The reimbursement rates vary depending on the type of service and the patient's coverage.
  • Carte Vitale: Each insured individual receives a "Carte Vitale," a smart card that contains their healthcare information. It allows for the electronic processing of reimbursement claims and facilitates access to healthcare services.
  • Supplementary Health Insurance: While the basic coverage provided by the national health insurance system is extensive, many people in France also opt for supplementary health insurance (mutuelle) to cover additional expenses and services not fully reimbursed by the state system.
  • Choice of Healthcare Providers: Patients in France have the freedom to choose their healthcare providers, including doctors, hospitals, and specialists. This allows individuals to have a certain level of control and flexibility in their healthcare decisions.
  • High Quality of Care: France is known for its high-quality healthcare system, with a strong emphasis on medical research, advanced technology, and well-trained healthcare professionals. The country has a robust network of healthcare facilities and specialists.
  • Preventive Care and Public Health Initiatives: The French healthcare system places a significant emphasis on preventive care and public health initiatives, promoting regular screenings, vaccinations, and health education programs to improve population health.
International Hospitals
The American hospital of Paris
The British hospital in Levallois Perret
Institut Curie
Hôpital Foch
Gustave Roussy
Health System Insurance Body
Social Security
Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health

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Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
40,000 monuments to visit among which 10,000 châteaux, abbeys and manor houses, the landing beaches, etc.
Cultural
6,000 museums, 1,000 festivals.
Sculptures, paintings, theatre, concerts, cinema, literature, etc.
Nature
Many protected natural parks. See also the French UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Religious
Lourdes, Chartres, Lisieux, Mont Saint-Michel
Thermal
Consult the balneology in France website
Beach
The Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel. 5,500 km of coastline in all.
Winter Sports
The Alps have some of the most pleasant (and most expensive) ski resorts in Europe, such as Chamonix. The Pyrenees or the Massif Central offer less expensive alternatives.
Outdoor Activities
Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, rafting
Shopping
France is well-known for being the greatest destination in the world for shopping, especially for fashion (website of the French Federation of Haute Couture), culinary specialties or wine (guide to French wines), in small specialised boutiques or in the large department stores (Galeries Lafayette,Printemps), etc.
 
 
Tourism Organisations
Explore France
Cultural Organizations
Ministry of Culture
Hotel reservation websites
Lonely Planet France
Rough Guides France
TripAdvisor France

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Civil Liberty
2/7
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2021 report : 34/180

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Religion

Beliefs
Catholics 62%, Protestants 1%, Jews 1%, Muslims 6%, without a religion 26%.

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Latest update: February 2024

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