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6 Essential Tips for a Successful Expatriation

6 Essential Tips for a Successful Expatriation

Expatriation is a unique and enriching experience that can offer many opportunities, whether it is to discover new cultures, to develop professional or personal skills, or to live an exciting adventure. It can also be a challenge for those who embark on it. So it’s important to prepare before you go. Here are 6 tips you should know about preparing for expatriation.

Research your destination

Before you leave, it is best to research the culture, language and customs of France. Research on the internet, read books and talk to expats or locals to get a better understanding of life in the country you will be joining.

Learn the language

Learning French can be very beneficial in integrating and communicating with the locals. If you don’t speak the language, consider taking courses or participating in language exchanges before you leave. With English or the applications that are available, you will always be able to make yourself understood. Before you leave, consider installing Deepl (, Reverso or Google Translation. 

You can also join Facebook or Whatsapp groups such as Exchange Erasmus Students with over 6,600 members on Facebook.

Prepare your finances

Expatriation can be expensive. Before you leave, make sure you have enough money to cover the costs of daily life, accommodation, food, entertainment, transport and any unforeseen circumstances.

Sort out administrative issues

There is a lot of paperwork to deal with before you go abroad, such as visas, passports (see, insurance, telephone plans. Print out your family record book, your identity documents, your internship agreement or your school certificate. Have these documents translated into French and/or English. Take passport photos. Make sure that all your documents are in order and that you have enough time to prepare them. Also remember to cancel any subscriptions in your home country: gym, wifi box, magazines etc. 

Prepare your health procedures

Health is essential, and it is important to carry out a medical check-up before moving abroad. Make appointments with your GP and your usual specialists (dentist, ophthalmologist, orthodontist, etc.). Take a Covid test in advance. Remember to take your medication prescriptions with you and scan them as customs may ask for them at the airport. Renew your glasses, or bring a supply of contact lenses. Check that your vaccinations are up to date and plan ahead several months in advance so that you have time to get your booster shots.

Determine the details of your departure

Prepare for your departure by organising your accommodation. 

Gotoo will help you in your search and prepare your rental file using the form on the website ( You can ask us any questions you may have via the chat room available to you. Find out about the accommodation and the estimated budget via Gotoo France, Le Boncoin or Facebook groups (Gotoo Lille for example). Most landlords require a guarantor, find one on the Gotoo France website.

We will accompany you from the search for your home to the return of the keys. 

Finally, remember to book your transport in advance (see: Getting the cheapest possible plane ticket) to limit expenses and print out your tickets. 

In summary, expatriation can be an incredible experience, but it requires careful preparation. By researching your destination, learning the language, dealing with administrative issues and preparing yourself emotionally, you will be better equipped to face the challenges and enjoy your adventure abroad.

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