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Reasons to Move to France with the Kids
Moving to France with children can be a rewarding and enriching experience for the whole family. Although there will most certainly be challenges along the way, living in France will give your children the chance to experiencing a different culture, giving them a great foundation for their future, and helping them develop into well-rounded, adaptable and enlightened individuals.
When My-French-House.com founder Patrick Joseph moved from the UK to France with his family at the age of seven, he didn’t speak many words of French. But, as children do, he soon absorbed the language and began to delight in the wealth of new experiences open to him. He went on to develop a lifelong passion for the French culture, lifestyle, music and property and, more than 40 years later, has spent decades living and working in the country.
If you’re feeling drawn across The Channel in search of a different life but are not sure how it will impact on your children, read on to find out why moving to France with the kids could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
New and exciting experience
Although moving to a different country can be nerve-wracking for a child, it can also be fun, exciting and wondrous. There are new places to explore, new people to meet, new things to experience. Even routine and usually boring things like shopping, eating and going to school become an adventure in a different country.
Moving and living abroad gives children the skills to adapt to changing situations in later life. It teaches them at an early age how to integrate into a new society and culture. They learn ways to communicate with different people and, as a result, they’ll be more confident, knowledgeable and adaptable in new and unfamiliar situations later in life.
Moving to France gives your children the gift of bilingualism. It’s surprising how quickly they’ll pick up the new language, especially when they’re not only using it at school but also with their friends, or while listening to music or watching TV. Being bilingual not only broadens their general outlook on the world, but it facilitates the learning of other languages too. And it will improve their future work prospects, as bilingual individuals are always in demand.
Culture and diversity
Children who live abroad develop a greater sense of the diversity in the world. They are more accepting, understanding and open-minded of other cultures and views. They are also more likely to be exposed to cross-cultural experiences as they meet children from other ex-pat families.
There are a great many places to choose from in France that will give children an insight into culture, history and diversity. Two of the best cities for families are Toulouse for its diverse mix of cultures and nationalities alongside amazing architecture and historical sites, and Limoges with its focus on arts, culture and history.
Most children in France start their full-time education at the age of three. Although this sounds young to English parents, it can actually be beneficial. The emphasis for French children in education between the ages of three and six years is on socialisation and preparing them for school. Out of school activities are usually fairly cheap, too, because they’re often subsidised by the state.
Studies have also shown that children who have experienced moving to a different country and learning a new language are also more likely to go on to further education.
France has a wealth of good schools, with some of the best in Midi Pyrénées (Toulouse), Gironde in Aquitaine (near Angouleme and Bordeaux) and in the Languedoc (Montpellier) without mentioning the Ile de France and Paris areas.
Acceptance of change
Moving to France with children helps them learn to deal adapt to and accept change. They will develop a positive approach to unpredictable situations and challenges, learning how to overcome obstacles and solve problems, rather than avoiding or worrying about them.
Strong family bond
The shared experience of moving to France gives your family a unique and strong bond. You will have been extremely reliant on each other in the early stages of the move, supporting each other through the ups and downs of relocating and settling in to life in a new country.
France is also a great place to spend time together as a family. Culturally, family time is highly valued, with working parents making a strong distinction between their job and their weekends or holidays.
French society values moderate spending, and people rarely talk about money, it's almost a tabou! There is an emphasis on looking after possessions and mending them, rather than on a throw-away culture.
France is a brilliant place for those looking for an active, outdoor lifestyle for their children. The Rhone-Alpes region , for example, offers a wealth of sporting possibilities from skiing to mountain climbing.