Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

10 Things to Know Before Moving to France
By:Tom Harel

As you prepare for your move to France, it will be helpful to know some simple and yet interesting facts about this European country. Every country has its own set of rules and ideas. And each country has characteristics that make it different from others. Here are some things you need to know about France.

1. Of course, the capital of France is Paris. Paris is also the largest city in France with over 2 million people. That figure rises to 12 million people when the population of the Paris suburbs is included. The Seine River runs through the oldest section of Paris and is divided into two sections, the Left Bank and the Right Bank.

2. There are amazing things to see in Paris. Built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the most famous attraction in Paris. The French government originally planned to tear down the Eiffel Tower, as it was only built for a fair, but due to its popularity, they changed their minds.

3. Since the end of the 17th century, France has continued to be one of the world's most powerful countries. With nearly 82 million foreigners visiting each year, it is the most common tourist spot in the world.

4. Moving to France should take some time and foresight. The best thing to do is to visit beforehand so you can explore the area, check into housing and transportation and get a general feeling of the culture of the area. You can't go wrong by visiting first because every country is unique and you want to know that you will be happy living there.

5. The French people love papers. So, when you make your move to France, you will need to show them many documents. Some of these will include: birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport, international or European driver's license, insurance documents, bank references, education records, payroll slips, and more! Quite simply, any document that proves anything about you will probably be helpful or necessary during your move, so set it aside. You will also have to apply for a visa if you are not a European citizen.

6. Start planning right away to have your possession shipped to France. It is best to choose a moving company that specializes in international moving, rather than one that usually does national moves. International moving companies are more up to date on laws, regulations and things you need to know before moving internationally. Many local companies will advertise for international shipping, but it's not their specialty and they will not have all of the information that you need in order to make have a successful overseas move.

7. Taking your pet to live with you in France should not be a problem. Unlike some other countries, France is quite compliant about allowing cats and dogs into their country. You will probably need vaccination certificates and records and a certificate of origin and health, proving that that your pet has lived in a country that is free of rabies for at least three years.

8. There are some crucial things to consider if you plan to move your car to France. First of all, be sure that the brand and model of your vehicle are sold overseas as well. Getting a foreign car approved for driving in France can be somewhat difficult. Secondly, leave the existing license plates on the car. This will make it much easier to get car insurance. Last, but not least, the location of your steering wheel can make a big difference. If the steering wheel is located on the right side, you may have problems with the many toll booths along the highways.

9. When moving into France, every item has to go through customs and be declared. Some documents you will need include: a letter from your employer in France or a certificate stamped by the French Consulate or Embassy of original country, an inventory list of all items in both French and your own language, a document verifying that all items are for your personal use and not for selling, and receipts for all expensive items such as jewelry, electronic equipment, etc. Keep a copy of all document for your own records also.

10. You will find that the climate of France varies depending on where you are locating. The weather in both the north and west are affected by the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, the winters are fairly cold and the weather is generally fair. You can expect hot, wet summers. Winters tend to be cooler and wet in the south, along with drier and hotter summers.

Those looking for an exciting vacation or new lifestyle continue to look to France as the place of choice. France draws people because of it's high quality of life available to everyone. The French enjoy fine food, a leisurely lifestyle and the finer things in life. France remains both modern and old-fashioned, making it appealing to newcomers. There is a French phrase that describes it best: joie de vivre (joy of living).






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