Fresh start in France

Hi everyone,

I've been looking into making a fresh start in France and would appreciate any information and advice that anyone would be willing to share.

I have visited a friend in Grenoble a couple of times and feel that I am being drawn to that area. I know a little basic French, but am learning to at least hold a conversation comfortably.
Employment options; I currently work for B&Q who is owned by Kingfisher who also Ian Castorama. With that in kind an idea was to pursue a transfer once my language skills had improved. Also, I currently work as a painter/ decorator and do property maintenance.
If anyone can point out any pros and cons to my initial ideas, I would appreciate it.
Many thanks, Addy

Hi Addy,

With regards to working as a painter & decorator, this is considered an artisanal activity, registered with the Chambre de Métiers, and not only would they expect you to attend a 1 week course, in French, on starting your company (which is not difficult and there is no exam, it would just be a waste of a week for you, and costs around 280€) but they would also expect you to provide some related education certificate such as City & Guilds.

Without something like that it may be fairly tricky to register as an independent artisan yourself. There are ways around this, so if that is your only option do get in touch and I can explain to you your options.


(PS JohnnyGurkha ? My Pa did almost his whole army career within the Gurkha regiments, and continues to support since his retirement, including a recent 100km walk across the south Downs in the Pukka Burhos team - might you know him??

Hi Jo-Ann

Thank you for getting back to me with the information. It has given me quite a bit of insight.
Digging out my old certificates might be tricky, but I'm willing to do what is necessary. You suggested that there are ways if working around things. I would be very interested in any information that you can give me that could help.
Thanks again for your help. It is greatly appreciated

PS- I was briefly attached to the Gurkhas when I was in the army over twenty years ago, so I don't think I will know your father, but you never know. Give me his name and it might or might not ring a bell

Hi again Addy,
My father is Lt. Col. Chris Green (Retired) - formerly of GTR & QOGLR with all that went in between... He was editor of the Regimental Journal for 25 years too...


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Hi Addy - definitely pursue the transfer idea! This is one of the easiest ways to have all your paperwork taken care of. I'm not sure you would even have to wait for your language skills to improve; check into what your company requires, and go from there - just expect to spend a lot of time on French once you get here.

Hi Julie,
Thank you for that. I'm currently taking lessons in French now to get a head start.
Really appreciate the information

Thanks again

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