Angers, France Report of what it's like to live there

Personal Experiences from Angers, France

Angers, France 09/08/10

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. Also lived in Warsaw and Shanghai.

View All Answers


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?

Boston. About 12 hours. Two-and-three-quarters hour TGV to Charles de Gaulle airport, then 7 hour direct flight to Boston.

View All Answers


3. How long have you lived here?

March 2009 - August 2010.

View All Answers


4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Corporate.

View All Answers


Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

We lived in apartment in old building in town center. Also many small homes in the suburbs. There is not a huge home rental market.

View All Answers


2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Easily available.

View All Answers


3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

View All Answers


4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Yes. Restaurants often open at 7:30 or 8pm.

View All Answers


5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

None.

View All Answers


Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

French postal service.

View All Answers


2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Expensive but available.

View All Answers


3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes.

View All Answers


4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

We opened a French bank account and used that card. ATMs are easily accessible.

View All Answers


5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I believe once a month at one of the Protestant churches (Baptist?).

View All Answers


6. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?

TV - several channels available. IHT available at some tabacs.

View All Answers


7. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Need some to get around. Very little English spoken.

View All Answers


8. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Many. Its a very old city and many buildings are not built for physical disabilities

View All Answers


Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes.

View All Answers


2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any automobile is fine. Smaller cars are better in small streets.

View All Answers


Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. Reasonable.

View All Answers


2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Many options.

View All Answers


Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No. But need microchip and blood test to confirm they don't have rabies 2-3 months before travel.

View All Answers


2. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?

Yes. Our cat actually fell from 3rd story and had multiple fractures in his leg. He had expensive, but excellent, care to repair his leg.

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Definitely for English teachers.

View All Answers


2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Dressier than USA but more fashionable / less conservative.

View All Answers


Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

None.

View All Answers


2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Great medical care.

View All Answers


3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Excellent.

View All Answers


4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Very mild. In summer, only occasionally too hot. It seldom snows in the winter.

View All Answers


Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

None.

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

View All Answers


3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

View All Answers


4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes - most run on an September to June schedule.

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Extremely small.

View All Answers


2. Morale among expats:

High.

View All Answers


3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Great restaurants, some theater.

View All Answers


4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes, for anyone who can speak French and can integrate. Otherwise, very limited socially.

View All Answers


5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

View All Answers


6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not a major issue. Some prejudice exists

View All Answers


7. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Trips to Normandy, La Rochelle, Brittany. Visiting our goat cheese vendor's farm to see the baby goats. Accrobranche - ziplines & rope course in the trees.

View All Answers


8. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

Lots of great parks - St. Nicolas is a favorite. Many castles - Angers, Breze, Brissac. Anjou Adventure Parc - accrobranche

View All Answers


9. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

View All Answers


10. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Great food - fruit & vegetables, wine. Many cultural/historical sites nearby. Mild weather year-round.

View All Answers


11. Can you save money?

Probably not.

View All Answers


Words of Wisdom:

1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

View All Answers


2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

View All Answers


3. But don't forget your:

View All Answers


4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

View All Answers


5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

View All Answers


6. Do you have any other comments?

Great English language library in town (www.ellia.org).

View All Answers


Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)

Read More