About life in France
Living in France
One of the most powerful economies worldwide, France does not just stand out as a top tourism destination but also as one of the preferred countries for expatriates. France is hugely appealing for internationals, with its rich historical heritage, exquisite culinary culture, a beautiful and widely spoken language and plenty of job opportunities for expat professionals. France has a long tradition in the business world as a plethora of multinational companies known worldwide were originally founded there and consequently have subsidiaries not just abroad but all over the country. Additionally, countless international organisations are based in France. In fact, not only does the European Union have some headquarters there, but also UNESCO, the International Organisation for Migration and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, among many others. All this translates to a wide range of tempting job offers for internationals. However, speaking French remains a must for anyone attempting to work in France. As usual, mastering the local language is key to successfully settling into a new country.
How to speak French
French is not just one of the main languages of the European Union, but one of the most widely spoken languages around the globe. French is often referred to as the language of love, maybe due to its very well-known romantic expressions. Leaving clichés aside, the truth is that French has a very rich vocabulary and a beautiful sonority. Learning French is certainly enjoyable. However, as in all Romance languages, French grammar is full of tenses and the pronunciation is probably the trickiest aspect to deal with when studying this language. Furthermore, knowing just a couple of French words is not enough in order to work in France, not by a long shot - it is also important to be aware of the highly demanding conditions of the French job market in the first place. Besides, the French educational system is known for its quality of teaching. Throughout the country, you can find multiple language schools. However, there exist plenty of online tools you can turn to if you don't have time to attend an onsite course: bab.la offers a comprehensive French dictionary combined with four languages and many other learning tools such as games, quizzes and French grammar, to keep your skills up to date. Additionally, you can check our set of articles to find out alternatives to speed up your French learning. Meet the locals and befriend them!
Jobs in France: the ultimate guide
France is the second-largest economy and the third-largest country in Europe. Furthermore, French corporations rank among the biggest worldwide. Among the leading industries in the French market are telecommunications, automotive, chemicals, textiles, transportation, food and tourism. The latter represents, in fact, a great proportion of France's GDP. No wonder it is considered the most popular tourist destination in the world, year after year. The largest French cities are, Paris and its metropolitan area, followed by Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and Nice. The demand for labour is, of course, much higher in Paris and its neighbouring regions. In order to work in France, the first basic requirement is to have good communication skills in French, as stated above. Other features that characterise the French job market are high and strong competition: this is why it is highly important to make yourself stand out among the crowd for French employers. As with any other labour market, applying for a job position by submitting your CV together with a cover letter is the first thing you should do. However, in some sectors employers prefer to receive hand-written cover letters in their applications. This is a small but relevant detail worth keeping in mind when searching for job opportunities. Networking is another important aspect to think about, so make sure to make the most of any connections you have in the country. Additionally, the French labour market demands highly qualified and specialised professionals, therefore, you are advised to apply to those positions in your field of expertise as career change is not a very common thing in France. For more insights into the French job market, read on here!
Study in France
The legal procedures you must go through before moving to France will strongly depend on your country of origin. For European Union citizens, the process has become more and more uncomplicated over the years, although there are still some nuances that must be taken care of. Let’s take study exchange as an example. We are all familiar with the European Higher Education Area and the Bologna Process, both agreements means by which higher education qualifications throughout the European territory were standardised. Thanks to these conventions celebrated during the last couple of decades, student mobility, the subsequent recognition of studies and the quality of higher education have been ensured all over the continent. This is easier said than done, however, as time has proven none of the said agreements have fulfilled their purposes completely. Studying throughout Europe is indeed easier than ever for European nationals but in practice, the transfer of credits remains an issue once the students are back in their home universities. Anticipate and avoid potential struggles by informing yourself about how the educational system works in each country on bab.la.