Moving to Paris from India for a Full-time Job

Hello everyone. Hope you’re doing well and surviving Covid and France at the same time. This is Jain. I had the opportunity to study in Paris for one year (2021) as a Masters in Management student. Absolutely loved it, even after all the language and cultural barriers.

Now, I have been offered a CDI in France. The job is based in Brieres which is approximately 1 hour away from Paris by RER C. I’ll be moving to Paris or nearby suburbs in April from India. I have a few questions and would really appreciate if you could help me out with that.

  1. As a student in 2021, I lived in 6 different Airbnbs all across Paris (Pantin, 2nd, 19th, Saint-Ouen etc.) but now I’ll surely be looking for a sort of permanent apartment. Could you suggest some good locations and websites where I can look for an apartment (Studio or Colocation)? As my job is based in Brieres, I have still not decided whether I want to live in Paris (5th, 6th, 13th, 14th, basically near RER C which runs from Notre Dame to Etampes) or in the southern suburbs . Surely I wouldn’t want to be too far away from Paris. Being a young graduate, I’d like to experience Parisian life. But at the same time I am not ready to live in a 12m2 studio.

  2. Do you think it makes sense to purchase a used car and commute from Paris to Brieres. I talked to some of the people working there and almost everyone of them uses a car to commute instead of RER and bus. If yes, what’s the best place to look for a used car?

  3. I speak basic French (hardly A1) for now but surely I will be learning and aiming to achieve B1/2 level by the end of this year. Are you aware, as full time employees, do we get any French classes from the government or if you could suggest any French classes?

  4. Finally, just some dos and don’ts based on your experience of living in France or moving from anywhere across the world to France.

Thank you so much. Looking forward to a healthy discussion.

First off I really can’t understand why people would commute by car! Ok the RER can look rather scruffy, but driving in and out of Paris every day would be an expensive nightmare! Traffic is horrendous and parking difficult. Many Parisians are wedded to their cars, even if it takes twice as long, and to me that is stupid! Some employers subsidise public transport costs too.

So if you live in Paris, don’t get a car. If you live out of Paris then more realistic.

It also depends on your salary and what you are prepared to pay for accommodation. Cheaper outside Paris obviously…

Have you thought about living in Etampes? I don’t know it, so don’t know whether it does have things like a night life? But to minimise daily commuting time and give you more time for fun and exploration that would be logical. And probably half the price of Paris for something more spacious. Otherwise I would not go to the close in areas of the banlieue as some are rather grim, but maybe start looking from St Genevieve.

Lots of websites to help you find a shared flat….

Amd standard places for rental like Seloger


Hello @Jain

Perhaps it would be a good idea to rent somewhere near to where you will be working, in the first instance.

Once you are settled into your new job, you can think more about whether or not a car is really an essential (or feasible), as well as checking out other places/areas where you might prefer to live for the longterm.
Also, discussing these matters with your fellow-workers, you might well learn some useful tips/hints/information.

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Hey, thanks a lot for reply. Appreciate it :slight_smile:

I am not in favor of a car as well at first, for sure. Will evaluate my options post reaching there.

As far as Etampes is concerned, I have been there once. Looked like a proper suburb with no night life as such. I am ready to move a bit outside Paris (like 30 mins max by public transportation, but not more than that in the beginning).

That’s an interesting way of putting it.

Hahaha my bad, that was a typo obviously !! :sweat_smile:

Traveling by train in a city can be a hairy experience. :wink:


Unless you are Brazilian :wink:


One needs to maintain a carefully tidy approach to these things, and not beat about the bush. :slight_smile:

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Sounds like some google research is called for……

Search for suitable rentals/flats share round each station for your budget If look promising use street view to work out whether area looks interesting…….

Depends what you want, as the urban experience means small and expensive! Once you get to places like Villeneuve le roi it becomes more spacious, and more suburban.

@Ancient_Mariner @vero :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Personally, unless absolutely indispensable, I wouldn’t buy a car if you are living in Paris intramuros (within the périphérique extérieur), that will only add to the stress and cost of finding a place to live that has parking.

If you are going to live between Paris and where you work, then a car would probably be a handy option, if only to be able to get out and about outside of the RER line.

Given where you’ll be working, you might try looking at Brétigny or Epinay-sur-Orge, or maybe even somewhere near Orly-Sud ?

How do you plan to get from Etampes RER station to your workplace in Brières - presumably there’s a suitable bus line ?

Had you been near a RER B station, I would have suggested Massy or Palaiseau, I had friends who lived in Palaiseau, and found it to be not too bad as Parisian outer suburbian towns go :wink:

I’m not a “Parisian”, but I did spend some time a long while ago living in the north-western suburbs and working in the 15e, but I hated the whole “métro-boulot-dodo” thing, or alternatively commuting to Paris from Clermont-Ferrand (totally not recommended) and working in the 6e (transiting via Orly or Bercy depending on mode of transport).

I don’t have any experience of life in India by which to compare life in France, so do’s and don’ts are a bit hard to list and pretty basic. The usual general warnings : to the extent possible, stay away from dark alleys, underpasses, and “terrains vagues”, keep your personal belongings (wallet, papers, etc) close, and preferably hidden ; same with your mobile phone ; try to avoid withdrawing money from cash machines at night or in poorly lit areas ; watch out for pickpockets, even children pickpockets on the metro or RER - Paris isn’t the worst place in the world for street crime, but it can be pretty crap and tends to target the unwary or people who look like tourists.

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