Moving to a new country is not just a decision people make overnight. Starting a new life abroad requires deep thought and careful consideration of all aspects of the human experience.
If you are interested in the prospect of living in France, then it is best you at least have an idea of what to expect while living in the country.
It was reported that over 16 million Nigerians are living abroad. Well, for this article we would be discussing moving to France and how it can be beneficial to you. The estimated population of Nigerians living in France is over 30,000 people.
Relocating to the country of France may be the opportunity of a lifetime and it's safe to know that the land of Cheese, croissants and fine wine comes with a lot of other benefits.
You will have to ask yourself some questions before making the big move like:
- Where in France would I want to live?
- What type of house would I want to rent or buy?
- Do I have school-aged children?
- What would I do to earn a living
- What is their health care system like?
- Is the country safe to live in?
- Would I have access to Nigerian or African food and cuisine?
- Do I have elderly family members going with me and how does the system favour the aged?
- What is their transportation system like?
There are so many questions that would run through your mind!
Not the least of which is how to deal with being an expatriate in a country where the currency is different and mass media does not broadcast in the language you grew up speaking.
It is so much easier just travelling as a tourist for a short stay, but adopting their way of life? This is so much harder because it is a long term stay. Hence, a lot of preparations and research have to be done before you take that leap of faith.
I would just tell you my dear Nigerian that you should relax, it is not such a big deal once you have things in place.
After reading these benefits of living in France, you may find that relocating is doable after all!
The Nigerian Diaspora
The Federal government of Nigeria has declared that no fewer than 17 million Nigerians are currently living in various countries of the world. Hundreds and hundreds of Nigerians move overseas every year.
Yes, the Nigerian diaspora is a very real phenomenon. The Nigerian diaspora is one of the largest numbers of African immigrants in the world today.
Nigeria is even working on finalizing its National Diaspora policy (NDP), which will constitute the first comprehensive national plan to foster and facilitate diaspora engagement.
The question is: why is everyone leaving?
If you polled the Nigerian citizens living in different countries, you would find a variety of reasons:
- Education: a lot of Nigerians are travelling to further their education, especially the university, master's and PhD degrees.
- Work: more lucrative offers abroad, for anyone willing to relocate. Whether recruited by a foreign company or on assignment with a company in Nigeria
- Starting a new business – some countries offer advantages and incentives for ex-pats to set up shop within their borders. France is a good example of a country that makes start-ups not so difficult as compared to other G20 countries
- Healthcare: to receive proper treatments, especially for people with some sort of complicated health issues
- Migration policy: some countries are offering Nigerians the opportunity to relocate if they meet some requirements, for example, Canada
- Cost of living: Some people believe the cost of living is far cheaper in some other countries and decide to relocate because of this. The cost of living in France is very affordable.
- Insecurity: people leave due to the level of insecurity in their respective states.
- Greener pastures: ex-pats who believe life would be better in another country
That last may well prove true for those who relocate to France!
France: What It Has to Offer?
Setting Up Where You Will Live
The first concern for any foreigner who wants to relocate to France would be finding a place to live.
The question would be if you will be renting or buying a property right away?
Of course, the answer to this is dependent on your pocket and where you choose to start your new life. All you have to do, once you've found your dream home, is follow the guidelines for renting or buying it!
Working in France
The attractive feature of working in France is its 35 hour work week and plenty of leisure time. Unlike Nigeria as specified under the National Minimum Wage Act, Normal full time working hours are forty hours per week.
Of course, the allegedly shorter workweek is not necessarily so; plenty of ex-pats in France report that their schedule is much more demanding!
France as reported by Ernst and Young is still one of the cheaper, less complicated countries to start a new enterprise in as compared to many others.
You would still have to meet all of the criteria and documentation – valid residency and work permits, appropriate certifications for that business and proper education credentials. To encourage startups, French banks are required by their government to offer financial assistance to any new business.
Education In France
France has plenty of top-rated universities, where you can study just about any course you desire. They also have plenty of schools for fashion and arts if you decide you want to for example learn photography, fashion designing, makeup and the like.
Thinking about your young ones and their education?
You may consider enrolling your school-aged children in an international school. France has no fewer than 105 such facilities, scattered throughout the country. You may just want to investigate such institutions.
According to an article written in the Wall Street Journal, France is most open to innovation. Many international organizations choose to establish their businesses in France because of its strategic position in Europe and its membership which offers the advantages of a single currency in 13 different countries.
France's modern infrastructure includes Europe’s largest high-speed rail network, ocean port facilities and a superb motorway system. Their latest technologies and networks allow businesses to ensure prompt and efficient delivery to their consumers.
If you are not in any business that ships anything, you might be interested to know that all of France's telephone lines are already capable of broadband Internet access. If working abroad depends on instant communication, you would be well-served with France's advanced systems.
The biggest international airport in France is Charles de Gaulle and it offers its services around the globe. You can conveniently travel from France to other parts of the world.
If you have any concerns about transportation and telecommunication, be rest assured it is top-notch and you can cross off these in your checklist should France become your new country!
The Healthcare System In France
The healthcare system in France is largely financed by the government's national health insurance. It is also generally recognised to be one of the best in the world.
Compared to some other European countries, they have more doctors, nurses and hospital beds. All legal residents who meet residency requirements including ex-pats can benefit from the healthcare system and health insurance scheme in France.
Of course, their working healthcare system will come at a little cost. Your wages will see a deduction for health care tax. If you are self-employed, you may be required to pay slightly higher social charges to offset any healthcare costs you and your family may incur.
Regardless, you must invest in ex-pat health insurance to enjoy medical benefits in France.
French Immersion Into Their Language And Culture
Living in France will allow you to immerse properly into their language and culture. The more you live there, the more accustomed you will be to their culture.
What about language?
It has been discussed previously in one of the other articles on how moving to France will help you speak the language better. The more you live there and interact, the better your French will sound.
As exciting as it can be to start life in other countries, there is still the element of integration. The best way to transition is to find people especially other Nigerians living over there to advise you on settling in the country. You can find such people by searching and joining forums.
On some forums and sites like InterNations, you can find other Nigerians in your area who know about everything from public transport to transferring citizenship, if that is your goal.
Once you move, if you can arrange to meet up with other English or Nigerian people where you live and form friendships, the sense of connection will help you to start your new life in the country.
International relocation might just be the life you desire. If so, remember you can get the best and most affordable French tutors on Superrpof Nigeria to help you brush up on your French language skills.
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