Moving to a new country in search of work and better opportunities? Relocating can be both exciting and scary, but being prepared for what to expect is a good way to get yourself grounded somewhere new. Rewire’s relocation guides are meant to help you with the essential information you’ll need to get started in a new country.
France: Quick Facts for Migrants from India
- Population: 67 million
- Capital: Paris
- Main language: French
- Emergency phone numbers: 112
- Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz
- Currency: Euro
- Euro to Indian Rupee: 1 Euro = ~85 INR
- Embassy: 13-15 Rue Alfred Dehodencq, 75116, Paris; https://www.eoiparis.gov.in/
Looking for Housing in France
Generally, it’s difficult to look for an apartment in advance in France, as most landlords want to meet you first. Many landlords will also require you to have a bank account established in France in order to apply for a lease, making it a little bit more of a challenge for migrants, but still not impossible. You can network with other Indians and migrants in the French community to learn how they’ve managed to find housing and for other helpful tips on managing life in France.
When you’re ready to start looking for an apartment, there are some websites that people in France often use to kick off their search:
Keep in mind that a few other things you should be prepared with when apartment hunting is all the necessary paperwork, like an official ID or passport, your visa, bank statements, and proof of employment or income. You should also make sure to have your budget set in advance so that you’re not looking for places that are above your means. Our budgeting for migrants series can teach you what goes into a budget so that you can create one on your own and figure out how much to set aside each month for rent. It’s also important to get insights into how to manage your money in France either through research or with the help of other migrants so you know how to divide your income.
Finding Work in France
It can be difficult for migrants to overcome language barriers in a new country at first, but once you’ve picked up the basics of a new language, you’ll find a lot of doors opening up to you. This is especially true in France, where depending on your field, speaking French might be a requirement for the job. It would also be a good idea here to ask the migrant community in France how they went about looking for work and where they’ve found jobs in the past. When you’re ready to start looking, there are a few websites you can turn to to find job postings. These websites specifically have mainly English job postings, but be advised that, in general, jobs are usually posted in French:
Getting Around France
As a modern European country, there are plenty of public transit options that make it simple to move around the country. When you arrive in your chosen city in France, it’s worth taking a few hours to get comfortable with the public transit system so that you’re not lost when it comes time to go to a job interview or apartment viewing. In general, many cities have a bus, metro, and tram system to make it quick to get around. You’ll also find high-speed trains and coach buses that go between French cities. In France, it’s important to remember that you need to validate your ticket when travelling on public transit so that you avoid fines.
Send Money to India From France
Unlike many other expats, one of the first things migrants want to know is how to send money home. Luckily, we’ve moved past the days where you need to wait in line at banks or transfer bureaus and you can find online banking services for migrants that allow you to manage your money abroad. Rewire is a digital money management service that helps you with a number of tasks. You can use it to transfer money to India, get a free prepaid debit card to use for daily purchases, and even open a Euro payment account (IBAN), which might help you apply for an apartment if you can’t open a local French bank account. If you have friends or family in other European countries, you can even use Rewire to send money within Europe for free in order to help them out.
It may seem difficult initially to learn a new language, find work and housing, and integrate into a new community, but with some advance planning, you’ll know what to expect when you arrive, making the transition just that much easier. Also, by connecting with other migrants in France, you’ll have a built-in support system of people who have already gone through the same relocation and can offer help and advice when it comes to moving to France.