Paris, France Report of what it's like to live there - 08/10/22
Personal Experiences from Paris, France
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
Vienna, Bangkok, Addis Ababa
2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?
US, many direct flights
3. What years did you live here?
4. How long have you lived here?
5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Essentials are easily available and similarly priced. Specific ingredients, brands or snacks might not be available, but there are always substitutes.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
Customer service for postal services is a problem.
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Housekeepers are often paid around 15€ per hour.
3. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
Yes, yes, yes
4. What English-language religious services are available locally?
Several American or English-language churches
5. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
At least basic French will make your stay much more enjoyable. You can get by without French, as many tourists do, but you will be more limited.
6. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Yes. Many metros have flights of stairs. Sidewalks are often not ADA compliant.
1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
Use a local provider, but be aware that some expats have trouble cancelling their cell phone plans when they depart.
Health & Safety:
1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Petty theft, pickpocketing, smashing of car windows, late night muggings, cell phone theft
2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Medical care is good quality from a technical point of view. Attitude of medical providers is often sub-standard and condescending. It can be difficult to have questions answered about your condition and your treatment. Doctors may treat you dismissively.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Enormous expat community. Morale generally good, but can be difficult for those who expect living in Paris to get like vacationing in Paris.
2. Is it easy to make friends with locals here? Are there any prejudices or any ethnic groups who might feel uncomfortable here?
There is a surprising amount of racism. The existence and tolerance of casual racism, racial jokes, etc… is shocking.