Are you planning on moving from the Netherlands to France? Read some tips that will help you with the purchase of a house and registration with local authorities; as, of course, a major challenge of settling in France involves an understanding of the French bureaucracy!
Tip #1: Move money quickly and easily
If you need to transfer currencies to your new homeland, look for a cost efficient service. As you may know, using your everyday banks to exchange foreign currency can be quite expensive, therefore it’s worth looking at some of the dedicated services out there.
TransferWise is one of these options. Favored by many expats across the globe this UK-based company is developing an excellent reputation for providing fast and effective service. Competitive exchange rates and low fees make this a winner in our book. Kristopher of TransferGuides has reviewed TransferWise in this detailed post; it’s definitely worth checking out.
Tip #2: Patience is a virtue
So, you’ve arrived in France and would prefer the same all-inclusive registration service that you find at home. Well, you can. Done quickly and easily, many French authorities can help you with any needs that you may have, however, you might need some patience as it can take some time.
Find out in advance about opening times, and try where possible to register in advance for an appointment. Try not to be late and schedule a plenty of time ahead for travelling to the location. You might like to bring something to read too! Unfortunately, you won’t always see results on the same day, as the processing of some applications may take several weeks.
Tip #3: Take the authorities seriously
As in the Netherlands, you should expect French officials to take their employment and service tasks very seriously. Start by turning off your cell phone. Please be kind and courteous to your the office staff, let the officials talk, and listen to their instructions carefully. If you don’t understand their language, politely say so and ask them to rephrase.
Tip #4: Have all the necessary documents
When completing applications or applying for various accounts you are often asked to bring certain documents and papers. Depending on the answers you need, it would be wise to carry your European identity card, passport, as well as passport photos.
Additionally, a certificate from your landlord, confirmation of your employment, a job description, proof of medical insurance, and recent bank statement will help you on your way. Before visiting the respective government offices, make sure that you have the right documents to save yourself from disappointment.
Tip #5: Hold on when the going gets tough
We often hear about people arriving in France having a tough time settling in. Getting used to a new culture and different way of life isn’t always the easiest. You’ll need to take your time while you’re adjusting to your new surroundings and community.
It can sometimes feel like a bureaucratic jungle, but trust me, it gets easier once you’re established. The have many people that have “made it” ahead of you, so have faith that it can be done. With a little patience, you will get there.
Tip #6: Learn the language, embrace the culture
The French people, you will notice, are often friendly and sympathetic. You will be more welcomed if you make the effort to speak French and become more involved in the culture.
Seek out any existing contacts you may have in your new city. Meet Francophones as well as expats, make new acquaintances and reconnect with old friends. To feel faster at home in France, learn about the language, immerse yourself in the culture.
Tip #7: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Many things are different in each country. You will notice that in France, a lot of things are different to your village of origin in the Netherlands. Some differences are good, some bad, and some just unusual.
Your neighbors are perhaps accustomed to certain rest periods where they do not expect you to drill holes into the wall. Maybe you need to make alternate arrangements with other tenants for collecting garbage cans on the street, or perhaps sweeping the street or shoveling snow, in winter.
For any questions, it’s good if you have French friends and acquaintances that you can ask for help. Do be sure to ask nicely, and I’m sure most people will be happy to assist you. Many prefer to be asked for help, because they do not like to intrude. But most can well imagine that one can not know everything and know in a new country, and certainly not if you still can learn a new language.
Tip #8: Expect to buy household items
Most apartments in France are as rented without a kitchen. any French people build their own kitchen, and some take great care in doing so. French apartments almost never have fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms, so you’ll need to buy wardrobes as well.
What about sharing a washer and dryer? Where can you buy the best fresh vegetables? Where to buy monthly tickets for public transport? How do I find a new apartment? Getting a phone line? How expensive is about the electricity bill in a representative apartment in the same house?