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The best Anglo clubs for expats in France
English Mums is a Lyon-based group offering a variety of different activities for English-speaking families. Photo: www.english-mums.com

The best Anglo clubs for expats in France

The Local · 14 Nov 2014, 10:08

Published: 14 Nov 2014 10:08 GMT+01:00

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Have you just arrived in France and have no idea how to get through the stacks of that infamous French paperwork you have to fill out? Or are you already all settled in but want to meet more people or start a new hobby?

Whatever you're looking for, The Local has put together a list of clubs and support networks for Anglos where you’ll find it.

The American Club of Paris


This prestigious club hosts dinner parties in fancy venues, organises private cultural visits and invites prominent figures to speak at their events.

However, getting into The American Club of Paris isn’t all that simple. To be allowed to join, applicants must be sponsored by two current members. The club’s public events give prospective applicants a chance to meet existing members and single out potential sponsors.


British and Commonwealth Women’s Association

Based in Paris, the club was founded in 1962 and is open to women who are, or who are married to, British or Commonwealth nationals. Members meet up to discuss books, paint together or play board games.

Events are usually hosted in the club room but the group also organises outdoor activities like golfing or nature walks. The club is probably less suited to the younger generation, but there’s no specific reference to age requirements on the site.


American Church in Paris

Though it's not a club, the American Church of Paris was the first American church established outside of the US and serves as something of a community centre for US expats.

For Anglos wishing to get in touch with their spiritual side, the church holds two traditional services in the morning and a contemporary one every Sunday. Besides worship activities. there are several groups to join such as the Young Professionals, the Men’s Group and the church’s running team.

Once a week the church also holds an English/French conversation exchange, and there's an oft-recommended bulletin board for housing ads and even the odd job.


English Speaking Families Group Lyon


This Lyon-based group offers a variety of different activities for English-speaking families, ranging from playgroups for children to monthly events for parents. The group hosts a message board on their site through which members can contact each other and share tips and tricks about health, pregnancy and expat life in general.

Membership fees are €30 per year, and all applications are reviewed by the committee.


Centre Culturel Britannique – Lille

The Centre Culturel Britannique (CCB) is an independent voluntary organisation for all English-speaking people in the Lille area, including those wishing to read and practise their English and explore British culture.

While not entirely aimed at expats, people at the centre are happy to give advice on life in Lille and help them find local information. The CCB also offers various cultural activities for all ages.


Message Paris

The association has nearly 2,000 members and offers all sorts of services and activities to support parents and their children in and around Paris.

Their website holds useful information about parenting and all events are directed at the needs of families, such as breastfeeding support, picnics or playdates. Membership fees are between €40-€60 depending on when the application is submitted.


American Women’s Group of Paris


Although this offshoot of the pre-war American Women’s Club used to be reserved for Americans, nowadays women of all nationalities are welcome. Supporting organisations that help women and children in need has always been one of the core ideas of this organisation, so members are encouraged to take part in volunteer work.

Other events include cooking and photography classes, shopping trips, wine tastings and lunches. There are several paid membership options, ranging from one month to a full year. 


British Rugby Football Club of Paris


The British Rugby Football Club was founded in 1923 by English expats. Training and games take place once a week in Domont, north of Paris.

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The club is open to members of all nationalities and abilities, and regularly meets up in a pub or organises other social events.


Open House Grenoble

Founded in 1987 in Grenoble, the group’s aim is to support new residents of the French Alps region and help them connect with others. Members can join different interest groups, which organise all sorts of events, or even start their own group based on their own hobbies.

The group also allows up to a quarter of their members to have French nationality, so can be a good way to meet locals too. Membership costs €30.   


The Paris Anglophone Book Club

Members don't need a degree in French literature to join this Anglo book club – a genuine interest is enough. The club meets up once a month to talk about French classics, works nominated by members, or books that focus on France in general.

Members can decide whether they want to read the original or a translated version but discussions are always held in English.


Bordeaux Women’s Club

The Bordeaux Women's Club is a place to meet for international English-speaking women in the area to help them make the transition into French culture.

Club members have lunch together, go for walks, meet up for discussion groups or go to the opera.


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