Living in Paris

The everyday activities you used to accomplish with ease in your home country can suddenly seem overwhelming when you have to tackle them in a new country and a different language.

We'll try to help you find all the resources you need to enjoy living in Paris and hopefully learning French.

Bloom where you're planted

The women of the American Church in Paris publish an essential guide for English speakers on living in France called "Bloom where you're planted". This book really should be the first thing you buy when you get here or even before you arrive.

The Bloom book covers everything from the cultural adjustment to the practical information you're going to need about medical, transportation, childcare, food and cooking, laundry and household care and much more.

Bloom also organizes several orientation programs throughout the year. You'll find more information on these programs and their book on the Bloom where you're planted website

Useful resources and websites is a wonderful resource if you are looking for an English speaking plumber, painter, contractor or just about any other English service provider in Paris. Expect to pay a little more for English speaking services but then again unless you can explain your problem in French you might not have a choice!

American Library in Paris - Books, DVDs but also a great number of childrens and adult books groups, workshops and lots of other fun and worthwhile activities.

English Book Stores in Paris - There are several English book stores in Paris, click here to see a list of our favorites.

WICE - WICE is a non-profit association providing cultural and educational programs in English for the international community in Paris. Classes include; art history, wine classes, guided visits and walks, painting, french lessons and more.

FUSAC - free English magazine entirely composed of want ads and display ads for housing, jobs, language schools, child care and more. You can pick up a copy at book stores, bars or cafes where English is spoken.

After school activities for children

After school activities can be a great way to help children settle into their new environment and make new friends.

Check with your local Mairie (town hall) as they organize a large number of classes in sports, art, languages, music, dance, drama and more. Prices for these activities are very reasonable and classes are available for adults and children of all ages. It's usually necessary to sign up for a whole year (September - June), and instruction is in French although some teachers may speak a little English.

Click here to find the website for your local Mairie or if you speak french call

Each Mairie has an "open house" event on one of the first weekends in September. Find out when this is for your arrondissement and make sure to participate. All the local clubs including sports clubs, soccer teams, singing, art, drama and just about every activity available in your arrondissement will be there with information about their activities, the times, dates and prices.

Click here for a list of activities recommended by other parents living in Paris. Some of these activities will be through the mairie and some are through private clubs or institutions. Contact information is listed for every activity.

Watching American & British TV shows in France

It would be better for my French if I just watched French TV while living in Paris but sometimes it's just so nice to catch up on a little TV from home.

I find the easiest way to watch the most current shows is to watch on the internet. Click here for more information on where and how to watch American or British TV over the internet.

You can watch certain shows and movies on French TV networks in their original language. If you notice V.O. (version originale) next to the program or movie title then you should be be able to select the original language and decide if you would like French sub-titles.

You can also subscribe to cable or satellite TV that includes BBC Prime, CNN, MTV, EuroSport and certain kids channels.

The subscription "Serie Club" also offers many American TV series, usually in the original English as well as dubbed into French. The only problem with these shows is that they are usually a season or two behind.

It's also possible to subscribe to satellite TV from England but you will need a satellite receiver and it's dish. Check the internet or the free magazine FUSAC for a list of current UK satellite vendors.

Dogs in Paris

We brought our 4 year old dog with us when we moved to Paris and I have to say that other than the strange rules with not allowing dogs on the grass it has been a fairly easy transition and not many shots required.

Check our tips for dogs in paris for a list of dog friendly parks, public transport options and other useful local information to help you and your dog transition to Paris.

If you're in Paris in January you may want to check out the famous Paris international dog show where you can watch over 300 different breeds as they compete in various categories.

Eiffel Tower photo by Simon Howden
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