QUOTE(Czerny @ Apr 11 2011, 07:27 PM)
I suppose I want to know whether it's possible, with decent qualifications and reasonable French - but neither French qualifications nor fluent French - to break in to life in France, without having pots of money, a French partner, or a partner who already has a job there. In other words, no real contacts, although I do know a couple of people who live in Paris; one French, one British.
Well, I did it (admittedly with lots of friendly help from Kerioboe and Rosfrog
). I had A-Level when I went and that really wasn't enough. The thing is though, I don't think you'd ever be able to train yourself up enough in this country to just fit right in when you got over there. At some point you've got to take the plunge, so A-Level is as good a point as any. I got by in the first few weeks through mumbling through banks, insurance companies and EDF, as well as being fortunate enough to be dealt with by some patient Parisians. Parisians get a bad rep but, really, they need more credit. It was very rare that I met a Parisian who couldn't communicate basically in English.
EDF, I believe, actually has a telephone line you can call to speak to an English speaker. So that's one less thing to worry about.
Accommodation isn't hard to find in Paris, but one that you would deem value for money probably is. If you don't mind paying a little more but want less hassle and don't want to deal with a landlord, then going through an agency (agence
) is the way to go. Your monthly rent will be more or less the same, but you'll pay some frais d'agence
at the beginning of the lease. If there's any vocabulary to learn beforehand, it'd definitely be renting and banking.
I don't think that you'd have any trouble meeting people in Paris. In my first few weeks I went along to a very friendly choir. (It was weird singing in French-Latin!) There is a thriving ex-pat community, too, so you could always get your fix of Britishness.
Before you go, I'd get your English qualifications professionally translated. They insist on un traducteur asserment?
- doing it yourself often won't work. Between you and me and the rest of the forum, I do it myself and then sign off another signature on the back or add a 'with compliments' slip. Once translated, they'll be recognised.
In Paris, you'd not have any problem getting a job. There are always posts for English teachers, trained or otherwise, and music teachers, especially those who teach in English, in the usual places.