Expats love France for its quality of life

Published:  22 Sep at 6 PM
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Tagged: Moving, France, USA, UK, England
A respected online survey taking in the world’s major expat destinations has praised France for its quality of life.

Although France in general received brickbats as well as praise, its quality of life for expats was rated a deserved fourth out of the 45 countries surveyed. The result was far in advance of the USA at 26th and the UK took a disappointing 30th place. Over two-thirds of expats living permanently in France said their quality of life had improved considerably since moving.

One observation made by a good number of respondents was that their stress levels had reduced dramatically, putting this down to the French habit of working to live rather than the British obsession of living to work. Commuting time reductions were another reason, and the 35-hour working week and five-week annual break were also much appreciated.

French food, of course, was a major reason for improvements in the quality of expat life, with the amazing selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables in thre street markets winning praise for their pesticide-free cultivation. Meat without hormones was another joy of French life for many respondents, as were French bread, the entire contents of local boulangeries and the selection and more-than-reasonable price of French wines.

The majority of those surveyed were surprised at the friendliness of the locals in their selected areas, saying their quality of life had been enhanced by the welcomes received from complete strangers as well as neighbours. However, expats living in Paris and other large French cities said they’d had problems with meeting their neighbours and striking up new friendships.

One important reason for the average expat’s quality of life improvement was the cheap price of houses almost anywhere except for Paris and the major cities. Affordable French healthcare was much appreciated, especially for those originating in the USA, and the more laid-back life on offer made getting and staying healthy much easier for expats than in their home countries.

Interestingly, many expatriates mentioned they found France less commercial and materialistic than their countries of birth. Warmer weather, the country’s fascinating history and the beauty and variety of the French countryside were also given as reasons for a fuller, much healthier and more enjoyable quality of life.
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