Written by Christopher Nye,
15th February 2018

Your new home is your pride and joy and you probably want to spend as much time in it as possible. If you truly want to settle in, however, make the effort to head out into your local community and embrace the French lifestyle.  

Becoming integrated into your new community in France is a vital part of making your new home into a happy one, be it a permanent or a second residence. We have many British friends who have seamlessly integrated into French life, and no it doesn’t have to mean speaking the language like a native; it’s more a question of attitude. Being in France means accepting the French way of life, their culture and habits. Here are some great tips  to help you achieve happiness in France.

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The local market is a great place to meet people (Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com)

Firstly, save that glass of wine on the veranda for later. Get out and about. Meeting people in cafes, restaurants, shops, at fetes, concerts and at the local market is a great way to develop a network of friends and acquaintances. Many of whom will have been here longer than you and will be more than willing to share their experiences.

Becoming integrated into your new community in France is a vital part of making your new home into a happy one.

Try to employ the services of local workers if you need anything doing to your new property. Not only will this stand you in good stead in your community, you can offset any bills you have from works done against Capital Gains Tax if you decide to sell in the future and the property is your second home.

If you have children, you are already off to a head start. Children adapt far quicker than adults and if they are attending school, you have a great opportunity to meet other parents. You’ll find that everyone loves to give advice. Family is very important in France and the generations mix well.

If you are ready to buy a home in France, Property Guides will be at Your Overseas Home. It’s a new style of property show, where those serious about buying can get answers to detailed questions and introductions to trusted lawyers, agents and currency providers. Click here to apply for FREE tickets to shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow this spring. 

Make sure you make it to the local market at least once a week. Shopping in markets is something which is second nature to most French people. It is a social time with people meeting up, buying their wares and maybe stopping for a coffee afterwards.

Speaking French, however bad you think yours is, is a must! Don’t worry about not getting everything right, simply making the effort will bring its just rewards. Remember that the French love to hear their language spoken with an English accent, much as we love to hear our language spoken with a French twang.

Invite your neighbours over for early evening “aperos”. They will appreciate the gesture and this is another way to broaden your network of French friends.

Invite your neighbours over for early evening aperos.

Lunchtime is still sacred in France, particularly in rural areas. Instead of becoming frustrated that small shops close between 12 and 2pm, go with the flow and take some time out with a nice snack of fresh crusty French bread and some delicious cheese. It’s all about getting into the French way.

Expat organisations like amateur dramatics, walking groups, art classes and sports teams run by Briton for Britons are another great way of meeting like minded people.

Happily integrating into the French way of life simply requires a little bit of effort. The very fact you are here shows how much you love the country, so get out there and immerse yourself in the French way of life.

If you are ready to buy in France within the next few months, call our friendly France Resource Team on 020 7898 0549 or email [email protected].

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