I want to teach English/find work in a bar or something in France. Which cities should I consider moving to? I'm currently in Paris, but I'm seriously thinking about moving elsewhere for a variety of reasons. One of which is that there's already too much English being spoken here. Things that are important to me: literature, cinema, walking/hiking, good food, mountainous/hilly geography, maybe close to the sea? Someplace cheaper would be better too. I'm an educated white EU citizen, in case that matters.
Yeah, I'm going to pass on Marseille, thanks. Really didn't care for it when I was visiting. Probably one of the few cities in Europe where I generally felt unsafe walking around at night. Didn't really seem like there was much to do there either, even though it's the second largest city in the country.
And Lyon, I've been there it's an interesting cities with many things to see, medieval streets and cathedrals to the ultra modern weird constructions of the Confluence. It's also gastronomy capital of France.
Otherwise good climate, the city isn't on flat terrain so you can get a beautifuk views from a lot of places and it's pretty close to the Alps and ski stations. I've oven heard that Lyon is all Paris has to offer without the bad sides
I live in Paris and I teach in an international school. It's not bad at all. The only problem is that I really struggle to connect with people in this city which has never happened in the other cities I have lived and worked in.
The exception being my gf but she's from the south.
>The exception being my gf but she's from the south.
Well there are thousands of people from the south and other parts of France, in Paris. Maybe you could get along better with them
I would recommend you to move to Lyon too.
I lived there for 3 years, and I had a blast.
It's not as expensive as Paris, and yet there is a lot of stuff to do. I went there primarily for the "alternative" music scene, and I was not disappointed. But Lyon is also known for its food (bouchons lyonnais), and I'm sure you could stuff that you will satisfy you in the literature and cinema departments.
I wouldn't recommend Grenoble unless you are really into mountain hiking/skiing (but then, it's just 1 hour away from Lyon by car), or wanna get a job in the computer engineering field.
I moved there in September, I have trouble making friends and I miss Lyon, its non-normie students/population and nightlife.
It's not a bad mid-sized city by any means, but I must admit I'm feel a bit lonely and bored there, and I plan to move out of here as soon as I'm done with my studies.
Thanks a lot for all of the advice so far, everyone.
Does anyone have any experience/things to say about Strasbourg, Toulouse or Montpellier? I've been reading some good things about these places, but if I could get some more information I'd be thankful. Also, am I being too quick to dismiss Marseille? I really don't remember being too impressed with it when I passed through four years ago, but if someone actually had positive things to say I'd potentially reconsider.
Would you be willing to give me some more information? I haven't really looked into Nantes too much, to be honest. Do you live there? Anything you could tell me would be appreciated. And what do you mean by relief?
I've lived in Montpellier one year (and used to go very often since I'm from the region) and I am currently living in Toulouse
I'm feeling a bit like Toulouse is very much like Montpellier but bigger. Both have a good climate, lot of students and student life, events (concerts, festivals etc), an historical center...
But Toulouse really feels like a "true city" it's much bigger and more populated, although still very enjoyable. Montpellier is a great city but with less places to go than Toulouse, however from there you can go to the sea very easily. Toulouse will take more time to discover properly
pic related taken in Toulouse
I find the streets of the historical center to be very good, and the sides of the Garonne too. Also based basilica
Well it's not my favorite city speaking of architecture but it does the job. And Albi is near, now that's a great looking place
No it's rather flat. If you like hilly cities Lyon is for you. The city itself is like that and mountains aren't far. Grenoble is even better pic related for the nature, but it's a mid-size city.
Back to Toulouse, the areas in the immediate proximity of the cities are mostly fields and villages and rather flat, so if you plan on just taking a bus to the edge of the city and walk into the forest it won't happen
However with a car you are very quickly to interesting/pretty places like the Corbières which are pretty good to hike into. Toulouse is like 1h30 drive from a proper ski station and very close to the Massif Central
I lived in Lille for two years and Caen for 1. Caen is kind of small and boring. Lille and the north gets a lot of shit but its nice. I only bring it up because its not been mentioned. It's quite big, seemed to have a lot of art and music, and the location is great being so close to brussels, amsterdam, london, and paris. The geography is flat but out in the country there are the giant spoil tips you can hike up. The people seemed pretty shit at english.
As an American though I just can't really see why an englishman would be interested in living in France because they seem so similar other than some obvious cultural differences.
>As an American though I just can't really see why an englishman would be interested in living in France because they seem so similar other than some obvious cultural differences.
Well OP mentionned he likes mountainous terrain and probably nature in general
So here I'm not saying the UK lacks those, far from it, but France is more diverse in that way
Thanks for the extra info, man. I should clarify, however, that I'm Canadian (but also a Portuguese citizen), not English, so France's geography is still quite different for me. I did look into Lille, but I think the climate would probably get to me after a while. That's one of the problems I'm having here in Paris at the moment. It rains almost every day, and compared to Southern Ontario (where I'm from) it's incredibly humid at this time of year, which I'm really not used to. I actually prefer the dry cold winters of Canada right now.
I'm there from 2 years. It's a nice city with a good nightlife. People are friendly and the ocean isn't far. But you mentioned in your post you wanted mountains. There are not any near Nante.
I'm from near Tours, which is also a great city, in the Loire valley, close to all the castles and all (Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau, Amboise...).
The city is not as big as Bordeaux, Lyon or Lille, but I guess it has a more countryside feel to it.
Nightlife is also nice, it's a young city with a lot of students.
Not close to the sea or any mountain though, and the climate can be quite rainy some time.
Have to thank you OP and others for making me consider the option of teaching English in France. I'd thought about teaching English abroad elsewhere but a place like Vietnam or Japan would really only hold the prospect of pretty asian girls and that's a threadbare reason to go and teach english. With France I'm already familiar with the fundamentals of the language, enjoy more mundane french cuisine, have a voracious interest in the history across the board, ect.
I'm 27, graduated a year and a half prior with a Bachelor's in International Affairs (and my lack of international experience would get a sorely needed boost in future job-apps with this), english is my primary language and I'd consider myself fluent. All I can say right now is I do not want to be anywhere near one of the major cities like Paris or Marseilles. I went to Paris for 2 weeks back in 2012 and I am not made for European megacities - I find our puny US cities like DC or Philly or Phoenix to be big enough! So anything from Toulouse or smaller with an eye to outdoorsy stuff and a lot to do would be ideal for me.
I'll do my homework and look around so I'm not just asking for spoonfeeding, but welcome any of ya'lls expertise. Foremost I'd be curious if there are any programs/organizations for teaching English in France that you guys can recommend or warn against, what the average pay and living conditions might be (I'm low maintenance except for preferring AC, but I am not sure how French culture is towards AC - if it's common or uncommon or what).
Could you explain to me why Nantes is the best city in France? What's it like to live there? I'm genuinely interested.
I was in Marseille in early March, 2011. I didn't have a horrible time there or anything, I just remember thinking it was one of the strangest cities I had ever been to. There weren't many people on the streets during the day except young Arab kids in the city centre loitering around and elderly people closer to the harbour. Didn't really seem like there was much going on, to be honest, economically. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. That's just the memory I have. What's it like now?
Nantes does seem nice. I don't mind if there's no mountains nearby, honestly. Living by the ocean would be pretty cool too. I guess I just want to have the option of nature nearby. I grew up in a city in Canada that has awesome nature and hiking paths all around, so that's something I'm missing living in Paris right now. Sure, there's le bois de boulogne et de vincenne, and also la foret de fontainebleau fairly nearby, but it's a pain getting anywhere outside of Paris because of the sprawl of the banlieues, I find.