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Answers, Part III

I always receive a lot of questions about moving to Paris, and this time was no different. So this part of my answers are all about moving to Paris. How, when and why? You’ll find out now. For even more info see the category “Moving to Paris“.


What brought you to Paris?
I always knew that I wanted to see more of the world than just Stockholm. At first I had my mind set on Italy but after yet another weekend trip to Paris in 2011 I decided that Paris was the place for me. I moved because I wanted a change in my life, I wanted a challenge and I wanted to experience and see something completely new. I moved to Paris in February of 2012 during four months (yes, that’s how the name came to be) to study French. After my four months were up and I went back to Stockholm, I couldn’t get Paris out of my head and decided to move back in January 2013.

I want to move to Paris… How should I go about it?
This is one of the most common questions I get asked and it’s such a hard one. Since I have absolutely no idea about each person’s living situation etc. etc. it’s really hard to give advice. But generally here’s what I would say:

1) Visit the place you’re thinking about moving to if you haven’t already. I’ve heard about soo many people dreaming about moving to Paris and when they finally arrive here they don’t like it at all. So I would say that a visit is a very good idea before you pack up your bags and leave. I think so many people have unrealistic expectations of Paris and have built up the city in their head to a point where the only possible outcome is disappointment. It’s not all roses and macarons over here just so you know!

2) Make a plan. You can get help from the category “Moving to Paris” here on the blog where I’ve written down almost everything I know about moving to this city. Make a budget, look up different costs, look up options for obtaining a visa (if you need one), look for job opportunities or schools, look into the apartment situation and do your research.

3) If you, after these steps, still think moving to Paris is possible for you and it feels like something you want, I say go for it!

How do I find an apartment in Paris?
You can find an apartment in a few different ways here in Paris. You can either go through an agency (where you can rent an apartment from 1 week to 1 year), look on your own or look with a real estate agent. I always recommend seeing the apartment in person before you sign any papers but if that’s not possible one option is to rent something for a shorter amount of time so that you can look yourself when your on location, or you can go through a legit agency (although you can never be 100% sure unless you see it with your own eyes).

You’ll find different agencies that deal with apartment rentals in Paris by doing a simple Google search. I think it’s hard to recommend a specific one since it comes down to the apartment you pick yourself. You can read more about finding an apartment in Paris in this post.

How do you meet new people in Paris?
You can meet people in a bunch of different ways in Paris! Perhaps the easiest way is through your work or school but if that’s not an option for you perhaps these suggestions will help: Co-Lunching, different conversation exchange sites, social medias (a blog is a great idea),, a cooking class (art, photography or any kind of class actually), Voulez Vous Dîner and social gatherings like a book signing, opening of a new store or restaurant for example — the possibilities are endless! You just have to make an effort and not be too shy.

Is it difficult finding a job in Paris?
This is such an impossible question to answer since it totally depends on what kind of job you’re looking for, your qualifications and what kind of field you’re interested in. It also depends on your contacts, your level of French etc. etc. Without knowing French and without any leeds for a job I think it can be very though to find a job in Paris and I even think it can be super hard to find a job with good French. Perhaps I’m not the best person to ask since I currently work for myself, but I’ve had friends who’ve lived in the city for up to 1 year without any job opportunities… But nothing is impossible, right?

Wasn’t it nerve-wracking to pick up everything and move? How did you summon the courage?
It was absolutely super duper nerve-wracking to pick up everything and just leave. I, a person who loves to plan and have everything figured out, was panicked by the thought of not knowing how things were going to turn out. I struggled with this during months before my move(s). What finally pushed me over the edge and what made me go for it was mainly two things that I realised: 1) I wasn’t completely happy or satisfied with my life back home and my longing for something else was too strong to just ignore and 2) “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” my mom asked me. “That I don’t like it” was always my answer to this. “Well, then come back home then” she said. It’s really not more complicated than that. If you don’t like it, if you realise that this wasn’t the thing for you, well then go back home then, but at least you’ve tried!

Here you’ll find: Answers Part I and Answers Part II.

  • Grace Beekman

    Thanks so much for answering all these questions! Such a great note about unrealistic expectations. A place may be fun to travel to but may not make a great “home.” Glad you and Paris work out wonderfully together! ;)

    • Paris in Four Months

      My pleasure :) Yes, exactly. I feel bad for so many people who get disappointed once they arrive.

  • Emily K.g

    Such a great post! I’ve always considered moving to somewhere overseas, and It’s nice to have a personal view on it.

    • Paris in Four Months

      Thank you!

  • Vicki Archer

    Great suggestions and helpful advice Carin… xv

    • Paris in Four Months

      Thank you Vicki :) xx

  • chocolatecookiesandcandies

    Your mom is wise! When we decided to pack up and move to the other side of the world, some of my friends thought I was nuts. The other half cheered us on. My parents were so upset. We came without a job and seriously, NO friends where we lived. 5 years on, there have been plenty of ups and downs but I’ve met some truly special people, did things that I would never have done in NZ and experienced the joys of living in one of England’s most beautiful towns. However, like you’ve said, there’s also a downside to moving overseas so I guess if one’s expectations are realistic, then it’s always worth the risk.

    • Paris in Four Months

      Haha yes she is ;) Thank you so much for sharing a little part of your story! I didn’t know that’s what you did. That’s absolutely amazing! And I absolutely agree, there’s so many ups and downs along the way but it’s been worth every single second of it to me so far.

  • Andreia

    your mom is a very wise and sensitive lady :) That’s exactly what we have to ask ourselves every time we are scared to make a decision or a move , what’s the worst that can happen? can we live with that, can we live with the doubt of not going… It’s complicated but i guess, most times, worth it!

    • Paris in Four Months

      Yes she is :) You’re so right Andreia!

  • Bella

    Your mom sounds lovely :) . I love your blog, I enjoy seeing things through your eyes and I really admire your photography. Did you have contacts in the magazine world before you moved to Paris?
    I myself moved to the Netherlands from South Africa 10 years ago. It started as a little adventure, I stayed a bit longer and met my husband, so these things happen ;) . My situation was a bit easier because I do a job that was very much in demand back then so I had work, an apartment and a car lined up before I came. I admire anyone who does it by the seat of their pants.

    • Paris in Four Months

      Haha thank you :) That’s amazing! I actually worked at a magazine before moving to Paris.

  • Gill Jennifer

    Good for your mom!!!!! I’m seriously thinking of moving to Paris after I retire (yes, have been there already). Out on the outskirts is more my style- where I can get in via the Metro to see concerts, etc.

    • Paris in Four Months

      Thank you :) That sounds like an excellent idea!

  • Pingback: Answers, Part V | Paris in Four Months

  • clair86

    Recently I was REALLY low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills!! I’m so glad, I did this.. With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – q5dW

  • Emelie Blad

    Det här kan ha varit det mest givande inlägg jag läst i mitt liv. Har läst alla i denna kategori, och jag är helt hooked. Jag ska själv till Paris som au pair i ett år, men sedan kollar jag på mina möjligheter att hitta en egen lägenhet och stanna där. Det vore fantastiskt. Och så är dessa svar – tack för att du delar med dig!
    Ps. Jobbar du med något nu där nere? Och annars, har du tips på site:r eller dylikt med jobbannonser? Tidningar? :)

    • Paris in Four Months

      Hej Emilie :) Vad roligt att du fått lite hjälp av mina tips. Det är alltid roligt att kunna dela med sig av det jag lärt mig här nere so far. Det låter ju som en toppenplan! Just nu jobbar jag som fotograf och frilansskribent från Paris. Tyvärr så har jag aldrig sökt ett “traditionellt jobb” här nere och har därför inte bäst koll på jobbannonser osv. Men kanske att “Leva i Paris” vet mer om sånt? Lycka till :) Kram, Carin

  • Elisa

    Great post. I am considering moving to Paris and so many of the things you have listed here ring true for me. Thanks!