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7 Things You Should Know Before Moving To France, According To Tiktok

Moving To France

If you are thinking about moving to France, TikTok research commissioned by AXA – Global Healthcare has revealed 7 top things to know before moving to France.

Dining and greeting

Many expats on TikTok highlight the importance of presenting yourself properly, for example greeting someone properly with a handshake or “la bise” and wearing non-athletic clothes outside of the gym. Greet others loudly and clearly, and make sure to say goodbye to everyone individually when leaving an occasion. Don’t overdo it though – it’s also important to respect personal space, not to hug people when you first meet them, and not to force small talk.


TikTok creators also stressed that you should leave the last bit of food at shared meals.

Learning French

TikTok creators living in France highlight how difficult it is to learn and master French. Natives speak quickly, and the confluent words make it difficult to pick up. Difficulty understanding pronunciation is a common issue, with expats worried about lost consonants and the embarrassment when mispronouncing words. Misunderstanding and misreading similar-sounding words, like the classic mix-up of un and une and the homophone l’avocat- meaning both lawyer and an avocado, caused a problem for expats too.

Speaking some basic French is more important than in some other European countries, as it can be hard to talk to locals in English. So, make sure to spend some time learning the basics before you make the move.



Finding new friends seems to be pretty easy for expats in France, as it’s a popular country for exchange programmes and fellow au pairs often come together to socialise – make sure you check out the opportunities in your area by scouring social media groups.

Stories about dating were told in a positive light, as people living in France are usually open to dating people from all over the world. Couples where each partner is from a different culture have lots of things to learn from each other, experiencing each other’s customs and traditions, which makes the dating scene exciting and diverse.  


Finding a new home

Expats went into details of Paris’ compact flats and furniture, with beautiful views from the window a real highlight of living in the country’s capital. They also talked about how difficult it can be to find a home in France as an expat, as landlords are more hands-on with property management. So, make sure you have temporary accommodation secured or have plenty of time to house hunt before making the move abroad.



Administration and bureaucracy are described as slow and cumbersome, with expats finding it difficult to get a residency permit. They also noted that the French are very fond of paperwork – la paperasse. Although some services are moving online, traditional bureaucratic processes usually require non-digital paperwork, which can sometimes cause headaches.



France isn’t known to be a cheap country to visit or live in, with expats regularly creating content about the expensive rent in particular. Don’t be alarmed though, expats also often talk about how expensive it can be to eat and go out, but costs can be cut by cooking your own meals and choosing inexpensive activities to get to know your new friends.


Work, tax, benefits

Expats on TikTok expressed their confusion about double taxation in France, but the country was praised for decent workplace benefits. They also fought the exaggerated stereotype of French natives having an incredibly long lunch break, as their lunchtime is around an hour, similar to many businesses in the UK.


For more information on moving to France download our free Guide To Living In France: