Where do I start? Help

I am 41 single lady with a cat, wanting to move to France. I will need work working with animals or cleaning. I can also work as a cook within a team. I am saving hard at the moment to get my dream off the ground as I don’t have a property to sell so it will just be my savings. Where would the best place be to live and work as I don’t drive, but can ride a moped. Any help you can give me would be fantastic. Many thanks

I agree with you doreen, and I can speak from experience... I found it extremely difficult to find employment here (I live in the country) and I speak fairly good french. I was a trained accountant in england but found it hard to get work in the same area........ I ended up going to college here and getting qualified to be a cook! I did wonder though, (just a thought) in my department we have ADMR and ADSMN which are basically carers in the community, and due to the large influx of elderly english people here, they might like to take someone on who can speak fluent English! Also, perhaps estate agents in English populated areas might be worth taking a look at. I don't know if anyone else agrees with me but perhaps getting a french CV and lettre of motivation prepared might be beneficial too.... if you're studying french in england perhaps your teacher would be kind enough to help you.... good luck :-)


Where is the photo from


I am looking at moving somewhere like Saint malo, Brittany. I feel this to be the safest option, as it is a big tourist area. I can't thank you all enough for your advice and please keep it coming. I shall continue to save as much as possible and look for work :) How much does the health care costs a month please and is it a monthly payment plan etc? I am still teaching myself French Steve, SLOWLY! But I shall have enough to get me through by the time I get there.

cant drive then forget it

mopeds on wet icy roads laden with your shopping is a recipe for disaster and as france is roughly 3 times the size of the uk then that means you have to travel 3 x as far to do things like work or to shoips etc.

That said there are always people advertising for a cleaner / gite changeovers etc and animal / house sitting (check out angloinfo in your preffered region)

so you could get on the Autoentrepeneur regime and with regular income / work you will get by and as oth ers are likely to confirm - once you are here and get to know people then opportunities arise .

You didnt mention your language skills ???????? this will be the most important thing of all especially in the first few years .


Hi Doreen,

I did point out at the beginning of the posts that it would be a good idea to go to an area where seasonal work was available as anglophones are always needed. Plus moving around for the different seasons is a good way of finding out if you like an area or not... :)

I just had a thought about your cat Lynette. Like you, I didn't drive when I came over so I chose to use Petair UK to get Diddy over safely. They have several different packages that you can choose depending on how much help you require.

Given that the slightest error in your paperwork can have your animal refused entry or put into quarantine, I chose their gold apckage which basically meant that they advised me every step of the way on when to get which shots done, what the vet should be putting on the passport etc. They also picked my cat up before her flight, (from my sister's), took her to the airport, checked her over and constructed a special crate for her. They then advised my via text message at every stage so that I knew when she was through customs, loaded and had taken off.

Once she arrived in Toulouse I had to go and release her from customs which cost an extra 100€ (in cash...no comment), and then I could bring her home. The whole thing including shots, the passport etc cost around 1500€ BUT I paid for the higher end service to ensre that I didn't have any problems. If I had done it all myself then it probably would have cost me about 500€ less.

Obviously you can pay a lot less by bringing your cat with you on the train. I chose to fly her out because I came over at the beginning of January and it was very cold and Diddy, at the time, was 11 years old and is quite small and skinny so I didn't want to stress her with a journey in excess of 12 hours.

check out what you need to do re bringing your cat over - talk with your vet and check out a vet website here if you can.

if you rent or buy, try and get something with a bit of land to grow your own vegies - it's a bit of work but will save you money if you don't have to buy it each week at the market or shops.

ask the people in this forum lots of questions if you get stuck as so many people have 'been there and done that' and its usually great advice.

Bon Courage!

I didn't drive, evne though I passed my test years ago, when I came to France in 2010. This was okayish whilst I lived in a big town but it did limit me workwise as many employers prefer to employ people who have a car so that they can be more certain of you getting to work on time.

I moved to a more rural area temporarily and it was there that I realised that I needed to drive...I got back behind the wheel of a car just over a year ago and I can honestly say that it has completely changed my life. Quite apart from the fact that socially I am a lot more available and therefore have a much better quality of life, I can apply for better jobs further away from where I live as I know I can get there. It is a definte plus and something that you should consider as in winter you will be very isolated. I have been there and it isn't good....

Thing is I don't want to drive a car. The only transport I will use is a bicycle :)

I was thinking around £1000 a month, which is about what I pay in the UK but £1500 is a lot better for sure. :)

I agree Rosie...1000€ minimum per month especially if you are running a car but 1500€ is far better in case of emergencies. I live alone and I need 850€ a month to cover my costs which does include a car loan (240€ a month) but not any rent!!! When I was paying rent I was coming out at 1250€ per month without the costs of running a car...

And yes definitely get your test done in the UK - it will be far easier and far less hassle plus I suspect cheaper as I believe, you have to have a minimum number of hours of lessons before you can take your test.

Thanks for that, I will be saving until next december to come anywhere near to that :(

Best be looking harder for work lol. I think though unless I am in the country, its going to be harder to find work. Will be waiting to see what others think too. Just let me know if you need a cleaner, I am happy to take min wage too :)

Cheers Rosie

Difficult to say!

But don't learn to drive here - get your driving test passed in England...all sorts of reasons why.

I guess a small furnished place in a small town should cost a basic €350 a month, plus bills. Check to make sure it's fully furnished, though! (some just give you a bed, sink, chair and microwave).

Then add insurance costs, electricity,water, gas, phone/internet and local taxes - say another 150-200 a month on top. Then add food - roughly what you pay in England but allow a 20% uplift as many things are pricier here.

Plus your travel budget, entertaining and so on. Not less than €1000 a month minimum, I'd say - but would be interested to hear what other people think! And I'd be inclined to say €1500 to allow for the unexpected, and the occasional non-essential.

Await the storm of info...

What a great idea!

I think unless a job becomes available, I need to save as much as possible and just keeping learning as much French as I possible can. I don't know how much to save though? obviously the more the better but what is the minimum I should be aiming for? I don't know the price of things over there you see. I think I would need to budget for around 6 months in case I can't find work. So will need to rent a little room/flat, food, travel etc. What sort of budget would suffice this?



Hiya. I think you need a budget and an exit plan. You should consider sharing a flat to keep your costs low. In a town or city you will have resources to help you learn French free like libraries and other people.
In other words your first year should be building contacts and learning French and driving. After that you can strike out. Good luck.

Have you considered joining online communities like Woofing or Couchsurfing? Both are a good way to find somewhere to stay and also learn the language. Having a cat may be a small barrier, but worth a look.

I have a friend with a cat who is a member of couchsurfing. One of her neighbours has just moved house, he was looking for someone to move into it 2 months ago. Moret sur Loing, 75km out of Paris, 45 mins on train. Lovely medieval town.

So nice to offer help like this Rosie. I will try find work before I move or do a job for bed and food and look for something paid when I am there. I want to try and have a bit of money so i can pay rent for a month or two if the worst happens. I shall have a look at The Lady and some of these sites too, you never know my luck!

Now please carry on exercising that kind mind of yours lol !

Hi. I Googled

caretaker position france

and up came a load of options. Then there are the ones I would turn to like the angloinfo site, britishexpats.com, frenchentree and completefrance.

I also googled

french job offers

which came up with some useful possibilities.

Helpx people sometimes work extra hard in return for some payment as well as board and lodging. As Lynette says, it's a great site.

The Lady - once you get over the whole concept - has some good ads for overseas domestic and ski resort staff etc - plus if you buy a copy (take a plain brown envelope!) you will have lots of other agency addresses specialising in similar placements.

Hope all this helps - now I must get back to exercising my elegant mind.

Thank you so much

helpx is amazing!

Thanks again Rosie, your a star x

Guys, thanks so much

So much info here to sieve through! I will be learning french too!

I am aware of problems and if it turns out bad, I will just get up dust myself down and carry on. I would rather fail doing something than sat failing here in the UK doing nothing. Some people need their safety bubble, whereas I don't. I rent here in the UK so don't have a house to sell and worry about. Its just me and the cat. I shall find work hopefully with animals but if not I shall find that type of work in time. I just need a place to rent, go earn some cash and then explore France and its wonderful architecture and not forgetting the coffee! I shall hopefully find love or rather it find me, but it better buy a map as I am getting older lol. Lots of good people on here who would help me out by the looks of things, so I think this girl will be ok.