Driving in France: what you need to know

Driving in France: what you need to know This article covers driving in France: paperwork, insurance, and how to obtain it. Buying a car. In case of accident. Items you are required to have in the car. If you are British, you may want to follow this link for regulations coming into place now that Great Britain is not part of the EU. DRIVER'S LICENSE: Generally speaking (because there are of course exceptions, this IS France) if you are in France for over a year and your driver's license is not European, French law requires you to have valid French driving papers for driving in France. This one year period starts on the date of your first carte de séjour. Etudiant status is one of the exceptions; as a student you can drive with your foreign license for the duration of your studies. Some US states and other countries allow an exchange of licenses, other states and countries do not and you'll be required to pass the French exam to obtain the French license. Keep in mind …
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Having a baby in France

This is the third of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant and having a baby in France

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in France: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

Being a parent is not always easy and it can feel quite lonely if you don't have enough support. It can be even more difficult if you are an English speaker having a baby in France! The support group Message started in 1984 with a few young English-speaking mothers wanting to connect with others for support in raising their children while living away from local customs, traditions and family. In the past 35 years, it has grown into a vibrant and thriving community of parents who continue, year after year, to support one another, share openly, forge new friendships, and build bright futures for families in France. You…

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Break in?! Pickpocketed? Theft in Paris?! Bike stolen?!

Theft in Paris?! Break in?! Pickpocketed? Emergency?! Bike stolen?!

Were you the victim of Theft in Paris? Was your apartment or vehicle broken into? Your bag or car stolen? Your home tagged with grafitti? We certainly hope not, but sometimes it is necessary to make a police declaration for theft or damage. The good news is that you can do a pre-declaration online and avoid waiting at the commissariat. Not only will you save time by not having to personally go to the station and wait in line, you can also fill out the form calmly in your own home with a dctionary handy and without pressure to speak French. Once the pre-declaration is transmitted you will be contacted within 24 hours by a police agent who will process the complaint then ask you to stop by to sign (within a month) and finalize the complaint. www.pre-plainte-en-ligne.gouv.fr I can personally vouch for the efficacity of this system. I used it when my bike was stolen. It makes making a complaint quite si…

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Moving to Paris or France

Moving to Paris So you are moving to Paris, the city of light! Good news! However, Paris and the French organization in general can be painful for the unprepared. Several Japanese tourists moving to Paris have suffered the so-called “Paris syndrome” – a shock after discovering the difference between the dream city they imagined and the reality of Paris. For example unsafe streets (compared to Japan perhaps, but Paris is not unsafe compared to many other cities), a crowded metro and administrative hassle. The following guide lists some frequent questions newcomers ask when moving to Paris or France. How to find an apartment? First, choose the area! Paris is divided into arrondissements from 1st to 20th, often written in roman numerals: I, II, III, IV, V, VI are very central, with mostly old pre-Hausmann Parisian buildings. They are well suited for wealthy students or workers, but don’t even imagine parking a car. VII, VIII, XIV, XV, XVI and XVII are usually family are…
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Banking Glossary French-English terms

Banking Glossary French-English terms What is the origin of the word "bank"? It goes back to Italian. In Medieval Italy a moneylander set up a bench in the town square and sat down behind it to do business. The word for "bench" in Italian is banca. When the banker ran out of money he smashed his bench, it was then a broken bench or banca rotta. Doesn't that sound like bankrupt? (makes one think of "rupture", interestingly in French the word is banqueroute) Here is a set of the most commons terms used in banking/finance in France along with their English equivalents to form a banking glossary French English. Actions : Shares ADI (Assurance Décès Invalidité) : Death and invalidity insurance Agios : Interest paid on loan or overdraft Annuité : Annual payment Apport :  Down payment or deposit you bring for loan or mortgage Approvisionner : To credit funds to your account Argent liquide/espèces : Cash Avis d’opération : Transaction receipt Avis à Tiers Détenteur : Not…
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Pregnant in France

This is the first of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant in France and having a baby in Paris

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in Paris: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

If you've just found out your are pregnant in France or thinking about having a baby in the near future, we've compiled for you some practical info on the different steps to follow in France. It can be overwhelming at first so in order to have a peaceful pregnancy, it is best to take one step at a time! 

What should I do after my pregnancy test is positive?

First of all, congratulations! It is the beginning of a beautiful and intense journey! The first thing to do is to go and see a doctor in order to confirm the pregnancy with a blood test. My personal preference is an appointment wi…

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Moving in France?

This article is about moving WITHIN France, if you are moving TO France see our other article. www.fusac.fr/moving-to-paris/

If you're moving from Briaire to Le Falgoux or Limoges to Salers or some other place change within France a very practical website offered by the French Public Service allows you to officially update your address with public service and administrations when you're moving in France. In one fell swoop and a few clicks you can inform the EDF, vehicle registration, tax, social security, carte vitale, retirement, unemployment offices and other administrations of your new address.

Plus this form works not just for moving in France and your physical address but also for updating:

email address, landline phone number, mobile phone number

They call this service The Teleservice of Service Public.

You'll need certain ID numbers (client numbers, social security number, carte grise...) …

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Learn French! Speak Easy puzzle: Grin and bear it!

Speak Easy puzzle: Grin and bear it! Learn French! Enjoy this Speak Easy puzzle of expressions in English with the words BEAR in them. The word Bear refers not to just the animal, it is also a verb meaning to carry a weight (to bear, past tense bore). Then there is the homonym bare an adjective or verb for being naked. See if you can match the English expressions up with their French equivalent. It's a fun way to learn French and  some new idiomatic expressions to enrich your vocabulary. This Speak Easy puzzle comes from volume 1 of a series of three books of 48 puzzles available on : https://store.fusac.fr or at the FUSAC Book Room (a new place you just have to discover!) 42, rue du Chemin Vert, Boulogne, M° Porte de Saint Cloud Hear the story of how John and Lisa encountered a grizzly bear in Yellowstone Park. Bonus Vocabulary Grizzly is a large North American species of bear also known as a silvertip bear. French = Grizzli Grisly means disgusting and b…
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Understanding the Municipal Elections in France

First: what is a Municipality? In France a municipality is referred to as a « commune ». The French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin « communia », meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin « communis », things held in common. It consists of the municipal council and the executive which is the mayor and deputy mayor. The mayor, elected by the councillors, is solely responsible for the administration. But he can delegate some of his functions to one or more deputies. In Paris there is a council for the whole city and for each arrondissement. The term hôtel de ville designates the building which houses la mairie. The terme mairie designates the communal administration since the Révolution of 1789. In smaller towns mairie is used for both the building and the administration. Who is elected in the Municipal Elections in France? All French municipalities will elect their local councillors for 6 years all at the same time. …
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