France is politically quiet, but still it is one of the most attractive places to live. Paris is the most visited city in the world. One point that expats can count on, is the city’s thriving, robust economy. As home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, and an intimidating number of global humanitarian and financial organisations, Paris is continental Europe’s largest economy and produces over a quarter of France‘s total GDP.
Working in France
Well-qualified French-speaking expats will find plenty of job options available and can take advantage of the infamous 35-hour work week and large allotment of holiday time. However, non-EU nationals will need to organise a work permit prior to arrival through an employer sponsor. Furthermore, it’s important to note that unemployment in Paris is the highest in years, so if expats do not speak French, have a fair amount of experience or hold impressive degrees, solidifying employment may be difficult.
The French healthcare system is amongst the best in the world, and those who contribute to social security or who have reached retirement age in their home country can qualify to benefit from the fantastic public health insurance system (funded by tax deductions and covering at least 70 percent of healthcare costs).
Paris is more than expensive, France has more to offer
One drawback to living in Paris, however, is the high cost of living. Accommodation isn’t cheap and expats on a budget should be prepared to downsize and live far from the city centre. Expats should expect to compete with large numbers of people for living space that they may not even be that passionate about.
The good news, however, is there are so many fantastic activities to partake in, restaurants to sample, museums to meander within and parks to explore that there is very little reason to spend excessive periods at home. The summer months in Paris are tourist season, when bustling masses of foreigners swarm the riverbanks and the cobbled side streets.
And if not Paris, France offers many opportunities, especially around Toulouse, where the spaceshuttle industry is situaded. But also Bordeaux, Dijon, Lyon and Marseille have a lot to offer.