La Rochelle, Poitiers, Nantes or Angoulême? Which is the best city to live in?

A French friend of mine who teaches French in the South of France is thinking of moving to Poitou Charentes but is unsure which city to choose. She is a single woman, which will influence her choice somewhat. All advice and information would be greatly appreciated; I’ll translate and pass it on. Many thanks in advance.

  1. Which is the nicest place to live: La Rochelle, Nantes, Poitiers, Angoulême or Limoges?
  2. Which of the above has most need of teachers of French as a foreign language?
  3. Where amongst these four cities are the most non French speakers i.e. potential students, to be found?
  4. Which has the most to offer from a cultural point of view?
  5. Have you had trouble finding a French teacher where you live?

Thanks Anne, I'll pass the info on. I think she's visited all three cities and I think she may now be looking elsewhere!!

Hello, I live in Tours but work in a Business with a second campus in Poitiers and travel there at least once a week. The Poitiers campus in an Anglophone campus and therefore we receive over a hundred students each semester who do not speak French. We also have many non-French business faculty members and many native foreign language teachers.

Poitiers is a smallish city but has quite a lot going for it. Big student population and a very active city council, very willing to keep Poitiers on the higher education map.

Living in Poitiers may be reasonably expensive but living in the city would mean that the social life would be very different from living outside. I know several single women there, including some non-French and they seem happy enough. Would very much depend on your friend's outlook on life. She ought to spend some time in each city and see how she enjoys them.

Wish her all the best,

Thank-you so much Jo, I’ll pass that on.

I live 25k from Poitiers and would love to move near to Nantes. My reasoning is that Poitiers is a little too provincial in size for a large enough ex-pat population to be useful. Plus the language courses are expensive and limited to the city. We can’t afford to live in the city so have to depend on what we can find locally. which so far amounted to very little. There are pockets of interesting activities around, but again it entirely depends on how much money you have re access to them all. Nantes has a very green reputation (rather like Bristol or Brighton in the UK so that appeals to me very much. A french friend of mine was horrified when i said I was looking at moving to Angouleme.he said there’s nothing going on there much, unless you’re obsessed with comics.I di actually like comics and I love the museum) As for la Rochelle.Simply beautiful, I love it.But I Know nothing about the place as far as french courses go.I agree about Limoges being a rural city surrounded by far flung villages. Only move there if you dont mind driving everywhere.

Thanks Julia, I’ll pass that on.