After finishing uni I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. For a few months I was doing the odd job here and there but what I wanted was a new experience. I ended up doing a CELTA course in London for a month and from then on it was adventure after adventure. I lived in Italy for a little while and then managed to get a job on the French island Ilse De Oleron for the summer. When summer ended I wasn’t ready to leave the French culture and croissants so decided to move to Paris, I went straight from the island to the city and got myself set up with a job and flat.
After this it was about learning the language and culture, which Im still trying now!
When you picture Paris you would probably envisage the romantic capital of the world, it isn’t like that, but it is close! As with any city, Paris has pretty much got most things covered. Depending on what type of person you are and what you like, the different areas in Paris provide them. If you enjoy live music, flea markets and a good night life then North Paris is the place to be, but if you prefer a quieter time where it is easier to walk around the streets and soak up the history behind Paris then South Paris is probably more suited.
Highlights and Thoughts
When you live / move here it is easy to be swept up into the chic Paris lifestyle and see the city through rose-tinted glasses, I know Paris and I had our honeymoon period for at least a year, but as you become more accustomed to the croissants and the brie the day to day way of life start to creep in. The real Paris is slightly different to the Paris you may see in the movies, for example if you want to live in the centre for a reasonable price you should expect a kitchen around the size of a cupboard. Or if you need to get somewhere fast you have to take the slow metro, but at the same time whilst on the journey you could be serenaded by a reality TV star or have some poetry read to you by an author. At the end of the day it is still hard to complain, in comparison to a lot of cities Paris is positively relaxed!
Being English with a European passport meant a pretty smooth passage into Paris; I didn’t have to worry about visas or anything to be able to work. Over the first few months I applied for my social security number and card vital, (which is done with your passport, birth certificate and proof of address) I am still waiting for it now, but French paperwork systems have been known to be slow!
As I lived in London the easiest way for me to travel was with the Eurostar out of Kings Cross to Gare du Nord, it can be quite expensive but if you look out for sales or book in advance you can save a lot of money. Flying out of England can be just as easy too, depending on where you live and sometimes may be cheaper or if you have the time and the patience megabus.com is the way to go, I sometimes take this when it is close to payday and it usually costs around 5-10 pounds, (it is an 11 hour journey.)
When I first moved here I was lucky enough to be able to spend two weeks with a friend whilst I searched for a flat. Finding a flat in Paris is difficult, especially if you are foreign. Landlords look for tenants who seem the most reliable, as French law makes it very difficult to evict people when they don’t pay rent, having said that I got my first flat on account that I had a ‘trusting face’, so you can get lucky.
My jobs are a little bit of a mixed bag, I am primarily an English and Drama teacher for children, where I teach in 4 different schools around Paris and my other job is writing English activities for a website. Having all of these jobs can be quite a juggling act! Fine for what I needed.