Moving to Paris as an American. As told by Emily in Paris

Anna Allgaier

*Bonjour, je m'appelle Anna (shoutout to my GCSE French teacher) thanks for clicking on one of my articles. While you’re having a peruse of my Parisian piece, please bear in mind that this article was written by me and not Wise. Now that’s covered, happy reading. *

The home of a yummy language and even yummier pastries, France is quite the appealing move. And while it's always been on our radars, a certain Miss Emily Cooper made us 1) shamefully binge watch Netflix and 2) pushed us to fill out our français fantasy.

A lot of people love the show and a lot of people say they hate it but watched it in secret (looking at you Dad).

So in honour of the show, I’ve put together a trusty guide on moving to Paris as an American. I can guarantee that this will help you get to Paris, but I cannot guarantee that Lucas Bravo (aka the most gorgeous Frenchman in the series) will be there to greet you 🥲💔

Say Oui to affordable transfers🇫🇷

Moving to Paris as an American

Apply for a French visa and work permit

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals don’t need a visa to set up camp in France, but if you’re moving to Paris as an American, you do. Sorry. We don’t see Emily go through the bureaucratic process, so that’s lie number two the show’s thrown our way. Not bitter.

Anyway, you’re going to need to apply for a long-term visa or if you’re feeling fancy you can call it a visa de long séjour. How do the French manage to make even a visa sound chic? Magic. To acquire this spicy sounding ticket to happiness, all you have to do is meet some minimal requirements, send in some documents and let the government know why you intend to move to France.

Bear in mind you will need to apply for a work permit before getting your hands on a visa. Here’s the linkypoo for that. If you’re already employed and just moving abroad, it’s your lucky day because your company will have to get that permit for you. HA.

P.s it’s illegal to move to France on a short-term Schengen visa and then apply for the visa de long séjour once you get there. So don’t break the law.

Learning the language

If you think French isn’t one of the most attractive languages in the world, then you’re lying or in denial. End of.

French is considered a relatively easy language to learn. So you’ll be sounding suave in no time. Ooh la la.

Learn about French culture

Now it’s time to learn about French culture. Obviously I’m not French and am, therefore, not an authority on their culture at all. So, with some Googling I’ve put together a quickfire round of information, the rest, you’ll have to learn as you go.

  1. It’s two kisses on each cheek when you say hello or goodbye to people. Not one, not three, not a creepy prolonged smooch. Just two quick classy little bissous. You should know what that word means now that you’ve become a linguistic genius.
  2. Lucky for you, there’s more of a work/life balance in France. So prepare to enjoy yourself over a coffee at a cafe or a glass of wine at a Bistro. The people watching is also glorious.
  3. People turn down the volume in France. I’m not saying all Americans are loud, this applies to everyone. But I happen to fall into the loud category so, here we are.
  4. A lot of places shut on a Sunday as it’s reserved for family time. Cute.
  5. There’s a lot of bread. It’s great. And Parisians really value high quality food, but not in large quantities.
  6. When it comes to fashion a lot of people take on the “less is more” mentality. A few minimalist, high quality staples . Emily would likely disagree.
  7. Don’t be totally on time. Be mysterious, be cool, be late. .

Finding a place to live and work

Emily in Paris’s apartment location

If you really want to go hard here, and follow in Emily’s footsteps verbatim, then you’re going to have to find an apartment on rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques. But since the odds may be the tiniest bit stacked against you with that one, one of my fellow Wiser’s has put together some tips on how to get a place of your own. Merci beaucoup.

Jobs in Paris, France

Firstly, what job does Emily in Paris have? Well, she’s a Marketing Executive. Finally an attainable goal you can take from the show. Yay.

Here are some things to consider when relocating.

Some background on the job market

At the moment, jobs in Paris are a little bit harder to come by as an expat thanks to the visa situation.

The unemployment rate is going down and stands at 7.4%. This is in part due to Covid, and the fact that companies now have to pay higher taxes. Which isn’t all bad news because it means the government supplies better support and stability to its citizens. I’m talking pensions and benefits galore. Magnifique.

Something to consider: France tends to have more flexible contracts on offer than permanent contracts. And, the minimum wage is currently €9.67 an hour.

Jobs for English speakers in Paris, France

Once again the Wise gang have risen to the occasion, so here are a few helpful guides on finding a job in Paris.

  1. Nailing the French job interview
  2. More on salaries and the minimum wage
  3. A general guide on the move and jobsites
  4. Bonus for people who are looking to move to retire

Finally, soak it all up

All the logistics are mega boring, so after you’ve put in the grind, it’s time to enjoy everything the romantic city has on offer.

Emily in Paris locations

There are heaps of Emily in Paris locations to visit, these include the Place de l'Estrapade. jardin du Palais Royal, Café de l'Homme., and Hôtel d'Evreux to name a few. Find out more on the locations you can visit here.

Other Paris pass-times

I won’t be able to do the city justice in a couple of sentences. But the city has some of the most amazing shops in the world, so hit up Avenue des Champs-Élysées., Rue Saint-Honoré or Le Bon Marché if you want everything in one place.

The city is known for its fantastic eateries scattered all over the place, and you’ll get to dabble in the delights of patisseries, cheese and more.

If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, Paris has a lot of free Museums. Including the Petit Palais, Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris and Musée Bourdelle. And, finally, venture outside of the city for a dose of the countryside.

Et voilà, I hope something helpful came out of this article for you, and if you want to show up the Parisian fashionistas, give your wallet the ultimate accessory…a Wise card, of course.

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