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Expats moving to Paris will find that from its grand boulevards to its cobbled stone streets, the city is certainly exceptional, but it's nevertheless hard to hold a candle to the many romanticised ideals created about the iconic capital.
One point that expats can count on is the city’s thriving, robust economy. As home to a number of Fortune 500 companies as well as global humanitarian and financial organisations, Paris is one of continental Europe’s largest economies and produces over a quarter of France's total GDP.
Well-qualified French-speaking expats will find plenty of job options available and can take advantage of the famous 35-hour workweek and large allotment of holiday time. Non-EU nationals will usually need to organise a work permit prior to arrival through an employer sponsor. However, if expats don't speak French, have a fair amount of experience or hold impressive degrees, finding a job may be difficult.
Alternatively, those with the intentions of learning the local language, aggregating career skills or furthering their education can reap the benefits of the city’s impressive infrastructural assets and socialised services.
Expats moving to Paris will find it one of the easiest cities in the world to navigate. Orientation is simplified by the 20 numbered arrondissements, and an extensive system of buses and trains provide accessible and affordable public transport. A private car is a luxury that only businesspeople and status-seekers confess to needing. The city also has a large-scale bicycle-sharing system in place called Velib.
The French healthcare system is among the best in the world. Those who contribute to social security or who have reached retirement age in their home country can often benefit from the fantastic public health insurance system, which is funded by tax deductions and can cover up to 70 percent of healthcare costs.
One drawback to living in Paris, however, is the high cost of living. Accommodation is particularly expensive. Expats on a budget should be prepared to downsize and live outside of the city centre. Apartment-hunting can also be very challenging. Expats should expect to compete with large numbers of people for a living space that they may not be particularly passionate about.
With so many fantastic activities to enjoy, restaurants to sample, museums to meander and parks to explore there's very little reason to spend too much time at home. The climate in Paris is pleasant, rarely peaking above 25°C (77°F) in summer or dropping below freezing in winter. On the whole, expats will certainly find some part of the city that more than satisfies their tastes.
Are you an expat living in Paris?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Paris. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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