The first (baby) steps

Hello everyone,
I arrived in Marseille 6 months ago to live with my girlfriend (who is Marseillaise), and have been attending 12 hour per week language classes since then. I am living off savings from a spell of work in Australia, but another term of classes is just a bit too expensive, in my opinion. I know that I should have come in search of advice earlier, but i felt that it would all have been a bit futile considering my beginner level french I arrived with. At the moment I’m between a B1 and B2. Not great, but I get by.

I would just like to know which beauracratic adventure i should be embarking on first. Carte Vitale, bank account or registration with the Pôle Emploi? This may be a laughably vague request, but just like my French studying, it appears that the more i learn, the more i realise that I know nothing at all. Thanks in advance for any advice.


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Get a bank account first because everything else will expect you to have one. Health cover is vital so get that sorted quickly as well.


Bank account first, definitely! Then Carte Vitale because it takes FOREVER! Lots of paper and you WILL have to repeat it over and over!!! Also, don’t forget to enjoy the ride! Living the french dream can be difficult at times but, my advice, take time to smell the flowers! It makes things a lot easier!!! Good luck! xxx

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