As many of you know, Kevin and I moved to Nice in the summer of 2018. It was a big step that took us over 500 km from our comfort zone. We discovered a new reality and we faced a lot of bureaucracy.
Between difficulties and small achievements we can now claim to be settled in and to be able to lend a hand to those who, like us, decide to take this big step. So we want to give you some tips to make sure that your transfer has no problems and it would be a happy memory to sculpt in your minds.
Finding a job
First of all do not think that the knowledge of French is optional.
I do not want to be brutal, I only say this for your own good (I sound like my mother), however you will hardly find work without knowing a word of French. In Monaco, perhaps you will have some options but, in general, buy a course and study.
After a few months you will see the first results and even if you hesitate and make mistakes the important thing is that you can communicate and then you can throw yourself into the beautiful world of job hunting.
A seasonal job is not difficult to find given the number of tourists (between other Italians arriving in the beautiful French Riviera). Obviously the best way is CV and motivational letter in hand and present without fear, otherwise you will find in Indeed some small offers.
If instead your goal is a long-term job (CDI in French is the permanent contract, much more common that in Italy where it now seems an unattainable dream), you should register at Pôle Emploi.
Pôle Emploi will help you in building your CV and your career perhaps by offering you some supplementary course. Once registered you can access their platform and check and apply for numerous offers that are published every day. I have to admit that the registration will make you loose some time but it’s worth it, I promise you!
This was my job search here, but if, like Kevin, you are a physiotherapist, don’t hesitate to write us to find out how to deal with all the bureaucracy that awaits you. It will be challenging but with good advices and a little patience you will see then that you will be really satisfied and rewarded.
finding an apartment
So take a deep breath. You will have to be patient but you will find an option.
First of all, know that if you do not have a French guarantor the agencies will not even want to talk to you. But do not fear an alternative are the banks, which will be able to act as guarantor, or you will have to prove that you have a salary greater than three times the rent.
We have in fact opted for the search for private rentals (French particuliers). Most of the announcements are published on ‘Le bon coin’, a site similar to ‘Subito’ where you can find numerous apartments. Ah remember that here the notice to leave the apartment is only one month so at the time of your search you will find apartments available immediately or within a month at most.
But let’s talk about areas. Then for sure the cheapest if you want to stay in the city is the Riquier area. Well connected to the center by trams and buses and with a train station that is really ideal for moving along the Côte d’Azur. Be aware that parking is one of the biggest problems in Nice so a garage or parking space of your own is worth considering if you use the car.
Another fairly central area but on the heights and moderate prices is Cimiez. Everything will then depend on where you work: if you have to go back and forth for Sophia Antipolis it will be much more convenient to stay in the west zone: Magnan, Corniche Fleurie if not Antibes. I tell you this from experience: the traffic between Nice and Cannes is intense both in the morning and in the evening because most of the workers do this and it happens very often that they find themselves in queues on the highway.
The central neighborhood instead is Carré d’Or and as you can imagine there the prices increase and you can find a small studio for as much as € 800 per month. The university areas, instead, are Saint Jean d’Angely and Valrose where prices are more reasonable (always by Nice standards) and you will also find numerous student residences.
Almost I forgot, first of all you will have to open a French account. Both for work and for the apartment it is essential so it will really be one of the first things to do when moving here.
We advise you to immediately start filling out and submitting the Carte vitale application form, whatever your status is.
It will take you a few months to get it, we warn you. Once obtained, however, it will be really useful for avoiding the payment of many visits and some medicines.
Health care in France works in a very different way than in Italy and you will see that there are many positive aspects. You can then make a mutuelle (an additional insurance) to have full or almost full coverage of visits and purchase of glasses or contact lenses.
Finally, we wish you all the best and I recommend you do not hesitate to contact us with any questions but above all we are curious to get to know you, let us know if you come to Nice.