For those who want to move to France, today we will see what are the pros and cons of living in France. De Gaulle is reported to have said: “How can you govern a country that has more than 360 types of cheese? In other words, France is not only a large country, but also a very diverse one, with large cities, well-known tourist centers, and large rural areas, so the characteristics of each area are also different.
Although France is not Germany, it still offers good employment opportunities. Suffice it to say that youth unemployment in France is much lower than in Italy and Spain.
It is quite easy for college graduates to get a permanent contract and a good salary in France. College graduates are immediately hired as senior managers, with a good salary differential compared to non-graduates. Then, of course, it depends on the field. But if you have a good degree, you will certainly have good chances.
France is a meritocracy country and if you are a good worker, you can make a fast career regardless of your educational background. Workers are very well protected by labor guarantees. France has minimum wages that cannot be undercut and are based on the worker’s qualifications and experience. The working week is usually 35 hours, with 5 weeks of vacation per year.
Welfare is one of the pillars of French society. The French themselves define France as ‘un pays assisté’. The state provides a whole range of aid for families with children, subsidies for the unemployed, assistance for the elderly, help for the sick, etc.
So much so that some people prefer not to work to get help and stay at home. For families with children, France is a paradise: They enjoy significant tax breaks, subsidies for large families, almost free childcare, discounts on public transport for families, etc.
They also have the right to access public housing. The RSA ensures to 2.5 million of people a minimum income, whether they are able to work or not, but obliges them to look for a job or pursue a professional project.
There is also the APL, (housing allowance), a social benefit designed to enable low-income families to pay rent or buy a flat. Transportation costs to the workplace are also partially reimbursed.
French cities are generally rich in cultural offerings and offer an interesting social life, and one can go out in the evening to enjoy oneself. In the small town, however, social life ends at 7 p.m. and they are ideal for people seeking tranquilly. The French are generally reserved and mind their own business and are very respectful of the privacy of others.
The French are generally colder and more reserved than Latinos. They do not have the ability to befriend others. Do not expect the immediacy and spontaneity in relationships with others that you can find in Italyor Spain. Socila inclusion is difficult, but that does not matter if you compare it, for example, with Germany.. The south of France is much more like Italy or Spain, while the north of France has a more peasant mentality, with a much more restricted social life. But people in the north are much more sincere, hospitable and willing to help selflessly than in other parts of France.
The bureaucracy is slow and makes dialogue with institutions difficult, but it works quite well and is extremely precise, and you do not run the risk of getting lost in queues and offices. Taxes are high in France, especially for single people but in return, the state offers an extremely rich and functioning social system.
The services work well. Public transportation is efficient, schools function well, and kindergartens have opening hours until 6:00 p.m. at ridiculously low prices.
Except for the southern coastal region, the weather is gray most of the year, with many rainy days.
Social security entitles one to public health care (paid for through payroll deductions) and guarantees partial reimbursement for medical expenses and medications. Many also purchase private insurance to be fully reimbursed. If you are an employee, the company you work for must cover 50% of the cost of private insurance.
In France, the school offers real services. Sports (skiing, sailing, climbing, skating) are offered completely free of charge. Theater performances, concerts and exhibitions are offered, always free of charge. Many universities are of excellent quality and tuition fees are very low.
Living and working in France pros and cons
Living in France, pros
- Good employment opportunities and union protection
- Well-developed social system
- Good quality education
- Efficient services
- Respect for people’s privacy
Living in France, cons
- Difficulties in social inclusion
- High cost of living
- High bureaucracy