We are moving to France Jan. 09! Questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-21-2008, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello Mamas,

My husband just received a job offer from an International Government Project in France, specifically in Cadarache (about 30 minutes from Aix-en-Provence). We would need to live in or close to Manosque, France since this is where the school for my son would be.

I have many questions and need some answers this week since he needs to accept or decline in 8 days. Any resources you can point me to would be helpful!

We are having difficulty figuring out if the salary offer is functional for us to live there, with him being a only provider. There is no way that my work could apply since I was a birth/postpartum Doula and I do not speak/write/read French at this point. Plus I have a 19 month old daughter to care for and a four year old son that would only be in school for short durations during the week days.

There are many factors to work through and our car is one of them, since we figured that it would take $160 dollars to fill our tank for our Toyota mini van. We will need an automobile since it will be rather isolated and public transit will not be prevalent like in Paris or Marseille.

Questions:
Average monthly cost for renting a house in the Aix-en-Provence area?
What are average leases for cars like in France?
Cost of living in general for that area?
What would a family of four (maybe five in one or two years) need to make so we are not living from pay check to pay check?

I'm sure I will have more questions, but for now my mind is blown to bits from this news!

Thanks for any help.
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#2 of 6 Old 10-21-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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Wow congratulations! If your husband does take the job, does he want to give my husband a job too?
Keep in mind that there isn't a freeway from Manosque to Aix in Provence, and it can take about an hour or more to drive that distance because of the windy mountanous roads.
Aix in Provence is one of the most expensive place to buy/rent most times during the year because of its apeal (it is a fabulous city). Average monthly cost of renting in Aix would probably be something like $2000 EUR.
There would be other places to live, and I'm sure you could find a nice place to rent around Manosque. Is there something special about the school for your son in Manosque?
I personally find the Southern French very warm and welcoming - if you make the attempt to speak their language, no problem. Even if you absolutely must speak English, if you are polite about it (asking Parlez-vous anglais? before starting) then there's not a big problem.
It is a very beautiful area, therefore very touristy. You'd need to be making at least 65.000 EUR a year to have a comfortable family house, car. If you are planning to put your child in the French public schools, be warned that they will expect him to be there every day (no school on Wednesdays) and until school finishes at 16.15. They are not usually flexible about this. Children are also required to be vaccinated before going to school. Homeschooling is allowed, though controlled.
If you want specific information about where to look for houses, you are welcome to PM me. One of my close friends is from this area, and I know it pretty well.

Single mama to a 5yo and 8yo

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#3 of 6 Old 10-29-2008, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well DH took the job offer in the south of France! We will be moving early January 2009. I'm in shock and have lots to do...

Off I go to prepare a move to another country in less than three months
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#4 of 6 Old 03-24-2009, 08:10 AM
 
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So you are there now? How's it going?!
We lived in the south of France for over 8 years, first in central Marseille then in a coastal town nearby (we were around 20 mins from Aix).
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#5 of 6 Old 04-05-2009, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
So you are there now? How's it going?!
We lived in the south of France for over 8 years, first in central Marseille then in a coastal town nearby (we were around 20 mins from Aix).
Yes, we are in small village close to Manosque. It is still difficult, as my French is maybe 10 words at most. Not able to start classes until September and still looking for childcare for my 2 year old for the classes. I'm way too dependant on my husband for basically everything, and this is new for our relationship. It makes it hard on both of us.

We have also been sick over and over again. It seems that our bodies are adjusting to all the new bugs that France has to offer. I am looking foward to summer and warmer weather to allow us to be well for a few months before school starts up for my almost five year old in September.

We were in Aix on Saturday and had a great time. There is an English book store, we found bages at a bagel shop and also a great maxican taco place. Just walking the city streets of Aix is amazing with all the fountains going.

So the adjustment continues... and I'm sure in a year or two it will feel like home, I will have basic French to get around and make more friends.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-08-2009, 08:25 AM
 
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Sounds like quite an adjustment! Have you looked into any expat groups in the area? It might help (and this is from someone who didn't seek out those resources at the time, but looking back I think it would have been helpful to me) maybe you'll even meet a nice mom who would be interested in earning a few euros keeping an eye on your 2 yr old while you learn French. Another idea could be a local mom who wants to improve her English while helping you with your French. I made a good friend in Marseille that started with a classified ad seeking people to meet with for French/English conversation.

Are you super dependent on your DH because you can't get anywhere? When I lived down there it was essential to me to be within walking distance of a train station as well as some stores, bakeries, playground, etc. I know you just got there but I wouldn't rule out the idea of, at some point, moving somewhere that's more convenient for you. Maybe where you are is just fine but I remember some of those little villages being pretty little, with maybe a bus passing through a few times a day but not really convenient transportation.
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