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ForumRead Message

Subject: new member
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Name: Monica
Message: Hello to everyone! I spent a few weeks in Cap d' Ail this summer,just outside Monaco. A friend of mine moved from Scotland over there, it was amazing. She is now looking to buy something there & stay there, I have offered to help w/funding so I can visit whenever:)

My daughter is a junior in high school, taking her second year of french class, she spent an entire month there. Now she is interested in going to stay w/my friend for a little bit & go to school there. My friend is checking how we should go about enrolling her, any special rules because she is American, etc. If anyone has any info that may help I would appreciate it.

I have been receiving many of your messages & must say this is a very friendly, fun group. I especially love the ones on the food, that was the best part of the trip for me. I look forward to sending/receiving many more entertaining messages.


Replies Posted 7.

Name Lori
Message I should have also said that the Assurance Scolaire also covers your daughter if she gets hurt at school.

Anyway, if your friend is renting, she may be required to have rentor's insurance. If she is the Legal French Guardian of your child, she may be able to take out Assurance Scolaire. You would need to contact an Avocat or Notaire to draw up the legal documents here in France.

You should start by asking the all the necessary questions about the feasibility of doing this at your nearest French Consulate/Embassy. You may also wish, as an alternative, to consider a student exchange program. This would probably be much easier.

As for life here. It is very very different. It is easy to vacation some place and think you could live there. In all truth, there is no comparison. I'm sure you already know that, but it is so important to fully understand it. We vacationed here for 10 years. We first thought we would just buy a vacation home as we had spent so much money paying for vacations in holiday homes. Then, our daughter was born and my husband's work changed to never being in the States - always overseas. This changed our way of thinking. We have lived in so many different countries. Our daughter was born in Athens, Greece. Once our daughter was born, we couldn't just keep moving from one country to the other every time my husband's company transferred him.

So, we settled here. There is no work here and Americans, unless employed prior to arriving, arrive with a 5 year long term Visa. A stipulation is that you can support yourself - no job taking here. You will have to prove that self-sufficiency. EU citizens are a totally different bird. After being here 5 years, you have the option of applying for full residency status and therefore be able to work - if you can find any. All this data can be obtained by the French Consulate there. A lot of it is online too.

We ended up buying a large home so it will be our family home forever. Husband still works overseas and isn't here much.

If there is any further data I can help to provide, I would be happy to do so.


Name Monica Henkel
Message Lori, I'm so glad you responded to my post, I never would have known some of these things. My friend is renting a flat so we'll have to look into purchasing it ourselves.

How are you and your family enjoying it there? My friend loves Cap d' Ail but she had been living in Scotland for 10 years before she got there so she wasn't as Americanized as if she had just left the states. I loved it there also, and look forward to going back, but I was only there for a few weeks. Even in that short time I felt I really could live there, though I'm not ready to give up America permantely.

Again, thanks for all your help. Monica

Name Lori
Message There is a difference between regular health insurance and Assurance Scolaire. The school insurance covers accidents at school caused by your child - probably will never happen, but the schools here require it. It is normally a rider onto your home owners insurance. Resident students can purchase it if their parents don't own a home or don't have insurance.

Name Monica Henkel
Message She does have private health/dental insurance here in the states. I believe it is good overseas, but I probably should look into it.

Name Lori
Message Don't forget she will need health coverage in order to attend school. Due to the fact that she is not a French citizen, and her parents are not French homeowners, you will want to look into the requirements of coverage (private). Her legal guardien may be able to add her on to her own home ownership policy, if she owns a home. If not then that is obviously not an option.

Name Monica
Message Hi Lori,

Thanks for the info, you gave me some things to think about that I hadn't even considered, mainly the guardian aspect. My daughter is pretty good w/french but I'm not sure I would call her fluent.We had presumed she would go to public school but now we'll have to explore that a little more. Thanks again.


Name Lori
Message Hi Monica:

Do you intend for your daughter to attend a private or public school? This can make a very big difference in the requirements. If it is public school you are thinking of, she will need to be fluent (not conversational) to be successful at school. If she is conversational, she may find she will be held back a grade year. This can be quite difficult on a child. Having lived here for five years now (Provence) I have seen so many foreign students arrive here and end up extremely unhappy. That is not to say your daughter's experience would be this way. Just to be fully informed is your best bet. My daughter was 7 when we moved here. She had attended a French private school for two years in California before we came here. We knew we were coming. She spoke fluent French and was able to stay in her grade level. She is now in College (Jr. High).

It has worked very well for her, but can vary from student to student and school to school.

There is also the question of a student arriving in France without her parents. You will need to legally designate (in France) a guardian. It is a bit detailed and should not be overlooked.

Anyway, a bit long winded here. I'm sure your friend knows to visit her local Mairie's office to inquire of the necessary paperwork, etc. for such a move. She might also want to visit the local College in her district to get her own feel for how they look at this type of situation. Could make a big difference to you - good or bad.

Good luck, Lori

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