Moving to France from the US is a dream for many American expats. These two nations have cultural ties that go back centuries. After all, the US’s most iconic statue – The Statue of Liberty – was a gift from the people of France almost 100 years ago. This all begs the question, why do so many Americans choose to move to France of all places? The answer is simple. France offers a standard of living that is better than many other countries and there are also great job opportunities for young and old. France is also on the very doorstep of the EU with many different countries just a few hours’ drive away.

If you are ready to make the journey across the Atlantic Ocean to France, here are a few things you need to know before you go.

The French Immigration System

France, like most countries within the EU, allows visitors entry into the country and you can stay for 90 days without needing a visa. However, if you are planning on living there longer as well as working there, you will need to obtain the correct visa for your particular situation. Whether you are seeking a working visa or one for students, you should check with the French Consulate closest to you for up-to-date information.

Once you set yourself up in France, you may decide to stay longer than you originally planned. In this case, you will need to look into applying for temporary or permanent residency.

Securing Accommodation

If you’re not sure where to live once you get to France, you may choose to find something short-term first. Short-term accommodations do cost a little more than long-term ones, but they have the advantage of not locking you into lengthy leases. This is especially important if you haven’t already found a job as you may prefer to live and work in the same suburb or arrondissement. Some of the platforms for finding accommodation in France offer both long- and short-term rentals so you will have no problems finding a temporary one before you are ready to move into a more permanent one once you are fully settled into your new life.

Learning The Language

While most people in larger cities in France speak English quite well, learning French will only add to the joy you will feel living in this great country. Consider enrolling in French language classes before your move but if you can’t find the right one for your needs, there are plenty of online options and Smartphone apps you can use to get you started. Once you make the move, learning the language becomes more of a necessity and necessity is often the best teacher.

Setting Up Your New Life

Think of all the services you have there in the US. You need a social security number; you need to be registered for taxation purposes and you need a bank account. You also need things like a phone account, internet connection, utilities and other necessities. You’ll also need these in France. You may not need them as soon as you get off the plane, but you will need them once you settle in.

While you’re at it, don’t neglect some form of health care or health insurance. While France does have a wonderful healthcare system, it can be costly for foreigners. Before you leave the US, make sure you at least take out a travel insurance policy to see you through the first few months. You can always look into ordinary health insurance later or you may have this offered to you by your employer once you start working in France.

Consider The Cost Of Living

Accommodation, utilities, groceries and other daily essentials tend to cost more in France and other EU countries than they do in the US. Look into what you can expect to pay monthly for all of your essentials in the city you choose to relocate to. Once you have that figure, add a few extra hundred Euros, just in case, and make sure you have at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses before you make the move. This will ensure you can afford to live without pressure or stress for a few months until you become fully immersed in your new life in France.

Moving abroad is often a stressful endeavor but it can also be a rewarding one. With the right planning, you can turn this into a wonderful adventure and truly expand your horizons.