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Tips for Getting your French Driver’s License

Tips for Getting your French Driver’s License

If you are planning to move to France or you have just arrived here, you may be wondering if you can legally drive in this country.  The answer depends on your situation, and on where your permit was issued. If you have a driver’s license from another European country, it is valid in France.  As a diplomat, you may be able to drive with your foreign license for duration of your mission in France.  If you are not in one of these cases, you can drive for one year with your valid foreign license and translation of this document, but no longer than the first anniversary date of your residence. If this applies to you, you will want to ensure you have obtained a French driver’s license before your first year of residence is up. Here are four tips for facilitating that process.

A Difficult Relocation Succeeds

A Difficult Relocation Succeeds

Eric Donovan and wife Thanita Mahakaraket faced a challenge when they decided to relocate from London to Paris. They managed to locate many nice properties to rent, but they either received no answer or negative responses from the agents they contacted.

The likely reason for the Donovans’ trouble was their unique situation. As an entrepreneur earning revenue outside of France, Eric’s financial situation was more complicated than most people relocating into the country. Additionally, strict real estate laws in France lean heavily toward protecting tenants, causing landlords to be extremely cautious about who they will allow to rent their properties.

Galettes des Rois Season

Galettes des Rois Season

It’s galette season in France! (Galettes des Rois, that is, or “King Cake.”)

We very much look forward to these delicious pastries and the fun tradition around eating them every year. Children (and sometimes even adults ) love to slide under the table to announce who gets which piece, each person hoping to get the slice with the small porcelain figurine (or “fève”) hidden inside and, of course, then receive the paper crown to be worn!

Two crowns are sometimes given so that the….

Determining School Grade Levels

Determining School Grade Levels

Arriving from abroad, do you know your child’s grade level equivalent in France?

When relocating, choosing the appropriate grade level for your child can be a daunting task. Some helpful tips, along with a chart below, will help you determine the right one.

It is important to remember that not only the birth date counts, but also the curriculum when making a grade level calculation. I suggest listening to the advice the school admissions will provide. Cut-off dates are often different from one country to the next and curriculum can vary greatly. In the UK, the cut-off date is….

Understanding Rental Payment Guarantees

Understanding Rental Payment Guarantees

If you are looking for an apartment or home in Paris, one of the first questions you might hear is, “What type of guarantee can you provide?”  Even though your revenue justifies the rent you are willing to pay, landlords often request a form of rental payment guarantee.

There are many types of rental payment guarantees available, and the type or work contract you have will determine which guarantee may work for you.

French Literary Awards

French Literary Awards

(This article serves as a continuation of our previous blog post on notable literary cafes in Paris.)

The concept of literary accolades in France dates back to the Renaissance period, when numerous poetry contests and improvised verbal jousts took place. These ancient activities gave tempo to the literary and artistic life of its time and eventually became predecessors to the contemporary literary awards we know today.

The evolution of these activities into awards occurred at the turning point of the XIXth and XXth centuries with the creation of “commemoration” awards, such as the prizes of the…

Renowned Parisian Literary Cafés

Renowned Parisian Literary Cafés

Well-named the “City of Light” or the “Capital of Art,” Paris is an animated, noisy and  uncompromising town. When we think about this tremendous city, several images come to mind: a romantic Paris, an artistic Paris, a literary Paris.

The best representations of a literary Paris are several famed cafés that have been frequented for decades by many celebrated writers and artists in order to gather, engage in discourse, share ideas and gain inspiration.

Discovering Paris: The History Behind Wallace Fountains

Discovering Paris: The History Behind Wallace Fountains

Wallace fountains (“Les Fontaines Wallace”) are drinking fountains made of green cast iron that one can find just about everywhere in Paris. The fountains not only allow everyone a drink of water when needed, but they lend unique and distinguished architectural detail to the landscape of Paris.

The history behind these fountains is actually quite similar to that of the Morris Columns. Between September of 1870 and January of 1871, Paris was besieged by Prussian troops and the city suffered from one of its most violent winters. Insurrection of the…