Moving to Bordeaux

Hello I'm Fiona and a qualified primary school teacher from Ireland. I am hopefully moving to Bordeaux in April and would love to get in contact with people living there already. I have a decent level of French and hope to find work in any field to tide me over for the summer and maybe to look for a job teaching english for the next academic year or even work in a creche. If anyone has any advice on moving to Bordeaux, looking for accommodation or a job I'd be very grateful. Or if there are any french or english speaking people living there who would like to make new friends, don't hesitate to contact me... Fiona

For starters perhaps trying hitting up this facebook page:!/group.php?gid=2675970800&ref=ts

Hey Fiona,
When I first came to France I worked for the Rectorat de Bordeaux.  These are the people you have to get in contact with if you want to teach.  My postion was Assistant Anglophone, and I taught "college" and "Lycée".  You need a degree to qualify, you also need the right to work in France.  If you have your papers in order it will make things easier.  I would say your chances are pretty good for the post since you are already a teacher.  When I did it, the job paid about 750 euros net/month, for a 12 hour week.  If your position is in elementary school, you will only need to speak a little french.  Here is a link, there are a few possibilities.
Good luck.
For accomodation, try posting an ad at DEFLE at the Université Michel de Montagne.  DEFLE is the foreign student department, and there will certainly be students coming in to study at that time, needing housing.
Just for your info, the teaching program for Assistants generally runs from October to May.  I did it three years, and it was always that way for me... but maybe things have changed.

Hi Fiona,

Just checking to see if you did move to Bordeaux and find a job...we are moving there this summer. 


Hi Anja

Yes I moved here in April and am loving it. Bordeaux is a lovely city. I'm teaching english at the moment parttime but have started looking recently for a more full time job.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you've any questions before moving here or once you're here.


Hi Fiona

Thanx God you are loving it.we are planning to move coming june but i have one daughter 16 cannot speak french and my 11 years old boy.can you please advice me on which school i should enroll them without considering British international coz its too way expensive.


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Hi Fiona. I moved to Bordeaux 3 weeks ago, I am from Sydney, Australia..  I would be happy to stay in touch.  Let me know when you arrive.  It's quite daunting coming to France alone but it quickly gets better.


Hi Dalia,

Just to point out that this is an old thread. Your chances of getting a reply are slim. We always recommend members to participate on more recent threads for better interaction.

All the best,

Hi Dalia, yes it's an old thread, but perhaps you'd like to start a new one. I know many English-speakers here in Bordeaux, especially interested in or working in  wine, which is what brought my wife and I here several years ago. It's a beautiful place to live, I hope you enjoy yourself. You're welcome to get in touch (however that works on this forum, I'm new) and maybe we can meet some day with others. You're likely much younger than some of us, but we're all young at heart. Some Brits, some Americans.


Hello Dalia
it was good to read your message.  We are in the planning stages of 12 months in France, from August 2017 and want to spend 3 months in / around Bordeaux, and would like to rent a small house, apartment.  How easy / difficult is it to find accommodation? 
After Bordeaux area, we intend to spend 4 mths in/around Lyon and then Montpellier.  We have visited all these beautiful cities, hence our desire to return and spend some decent time there.  Who knows, perhaps we'll stay......... 
I hope you are still enjoying yourself in Bordeaux.  I look forward to hearing back from you.
PS:  we're from Melbourne.  We have been visiting France on holidays every 2 yrs, for quite some time now.

Hi CB Bonjour,

Congratulations on choosing one of the greatest cities in the world to spend time in! Public transportation is a joy here and the weather, other than in August, is mostly excellent, several degrees warmer than Paris in winter; Right now, it's mild, last week saw a few spring-like days.

A new service you might be interested in is a short-term auto rental called Citiz. You rent by the half hour, or the day. The unique part is that insurance, fuel and a parking place are included. That would be handy for trips to the surrounding area. For longer trips, you'll probably want to take the train. You also may have heard that the high speed train to Paris will take just over 2 hours starting in July, rather than the current 3h15. I'm looking forward to that.

Two thing you may already know, but just in case:
1. It's extremely HOT in Bordeaux in August and AC is rare in homes and apartments
2. France is transformed in August as many are on vacation. On the good side, Bordeaux, and even Paris are fairly peaceful, with a tourist population being a big part of life.

As for finding lodging, friends tell me that Tripadvisor's services for longer term rentals works well, one of those is VRBO.

I hope some of this is useful. You may want to start a new thread about your plans, by the way.

Hi willpick,
So nice to be able to have someone who at least can understand part of what I am experiencing. My husband and I are moving to Bordeaux permanently by December 31, 2017. We have a few loose ends to tie up, but then off we go.  I am here at the moment trying to do some scouting. I have met a few very helpful people and my desire to live here is overwhelming. I think housing is the big isssue for us. I retired in August '16 and my husband December'17.  We want to live in CentreVille. More than we expected to pay for rent in retirement but then I never thought I could fall in love with a place as much as this.  Any help you could provide on information regarding filling the residence requirement for the long term Visa would be great. So happy you're happy, and hope we will be too! Let's get in touch.

Hey KellyBrian,
Two things you need to bear in mind. These laws and conditions can change, and in today's world, it's not unlikely that a change could come in the next few years. The election could bring some serious problems if it goes a certain way. The second is that to my knowledge, long term residency visas are not easy to come by. Students can get them, or employment-related, yes, but retirees, I am not sure. Sometimes owning property helps, or starting a business.
If you're in Bordeaux now, my best suggestion is to connect with the American consul here (you are American, yes?) If they ever answer the phone you can set up an appointment, but you may have some luck getting to them via Facebook as well. Or just show up and see if they let you in :-)

I started a new post called Bordeaux 2017 by the way, where I lay out some of the interesting things here.

Thanks for the reply, I did in fact go to the consulate yesterday and was welcomed by a big fat GO AWAY , lol.  I was told to send an email which was responded to with a standard prewritten response which also said we can help you.  I know they can, but maybe they could answer the few questions I was interested in, but didn't want to.  So, I will go to the French Consulate in Miami and ask some questions, however my main concern, lodging and the address, seems to have been answered and confirmed by you and others, THANK YOU. I am just so ready to get things going.  So my plan is get a long term rental, use that address to get the bank account, take that to the French Consulate along with the other information required, and then once here I can use an Agent Immoblier if needed.  The health insurance is easy enough I think, I just want to make sure I don't pay too much or get more than I need.  Any recommendations for a health insurance company?
Thanks for your help

Not for health insurance, but for paperwork, EDF (the electric company) offers an online way to manage accounts. One of the features is that you can print a proof of address anytime. Otherwise, be sure to save utility bills because you'll almost alway need a paper to prove your address in any admin steps.

The consulate had a message on their phone saying they can notarize for US citizens. A friend of mine came up from a two hour train ride and went there to hear them say the don't do that anymore. I know that the previous consuls I met were nice people and may have been able to help, but have the impression that the current lot are not good at all.

Yes, the notice on the board at the office and the email which they sent me both emphatically declared they do not do any of those services anymore.  What do they do, lol?  Thanks for the tip on the electric bill.  I had read that before and did not file it in the part of my brain that remembers things, but I forgot where that part is.  I will make sure to get the electric bill copy, but if the electric is included in the rent, would it suffice to bring it with the landlord's name on it?

Probably need some kind of official paper. I'll ask my friends if they have utilities in their name.

I asked my friends and they clarified the situation: they do not have utility bills in their name, but I am certain the landlord or agent would have to give you a paper stating the address is a valid rental. The only thing is, if the rental is illegal, as say, some AirBnB are, they won't be hot to provide such a thing. I can't say for sure if a rental contract or lease can help.

How are you doing with your search?

Hi all, even though this thread is old, I'm glad I've found it!! I live part time in Bordeaux (due to my job situation), and would love to meet more English speakers. I speak French fluently but it's different to exchange with other foreigners and feel the international flair ;-)
Do you go to international groups/ clubs/ activities?
I had plans to start a sort of club on my own, but being away regularly doesn't help a lot.
Hanks for your advice !!

Look up Bordeaux-USA, they meet once a month I believe.

Also check out the Bordeaux Business Network.
They are a great group of people who have helped me and been such a nice group of mostly expats, all of whom speak English.  They meet once a month or so.  I feel like when we move permanently in January, that I already have made some friends.
Good Luck!

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