Expats in France – Report from Internations



Expats in France are offered a consistently high quality of life, according to the Internations Expat Insider Survey, although it can also be harder to get by if you don’t speak French.

Here are some of the top findings:

  • France makes the top ten for health and well-being (out of 68 countries surveyed)
  • Childcare and education are affordable
  • 81% of those surveyed are happy with the quality of the environment
  • Only 19% find it easy to live there without speaking French
  • It’s a popular destination for retirees

France’s healthcare system impresses in 2018, which does make it attractive for retirees. Over half of expats regard medical care quality as very good and almost 80% are satisfied with how affordable it is.

Although the French language is not considered difficult to learn by expats, it appears that learning it is a necessity if expats want a successful social life. Over half of the expats who rate their happiness negatively say that one of the main reasons for their unhappiness is the lack of socializing opportunities. One Romanian expat in Strasbourg said that you are expected to speak perfect French and that the French ‘speak too fast even if they know you are a foreigner’. France was voted the third worst country to live in if you don’t make the effort to speak the local language.

Happiness at work seems positive with 61% of expats in France stating they’re satisfied with their job. The work-life balance has improved since the last survey, with the ranking for France jumping 14 places from 35th to 21st. One expat who comes from Ireland said how ‘the French understand the value of leisure time’. This could maybe be explained by the comparatively lower working hours in France compared to the other countries in the survey. However, financial satisfaction ranked low, with France coming in at 41st out of 68 in the Cost of Living index.

France ranks as a family-friendly destination with 84% of parents satisfied with their family life in general, and the childcare and education costs are certainly an advantage to living there.

With more than 3.5 million members in 420 cities around the world, InterNations (http://www.internations.org) is the largest global network and information site for people who live and work abroad. InterNations offers global and local networking both online and face-to-face at more than 6,000 monthly events and activities.  Source: Expat Insider Survey 2018

Forth Capital specialises in retirement planning, expat pensions and investments – to speak to one of our advisers click here or call +41 22 311 1441

Trudi Hayes

The Author

Trudi Hayes

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