6 essential articles on life in France: From how to save money to French acronyms

From the RIC to the SMIC, French acronyms can be confusing.
From the RIC to the SMIC, French acronyms can be confusing. Photo: MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP
From saving money on everyday items to rules on remote working for foreigners and deciphering the alphabet soup of official French, here are six essential articles for living in France.

From food and fuel to DIY items and new cars, France is not being spared global price rises on many everyday items and, as a result, many people will see their monthly living expenses rise sharply.

What France does have, however, is a lot of grants and government financial aid available, although finding out what you are entitled to and applying for it is not always easy for foreigners.

So in recent weeks we’ve put together articles on how to save money by getting bargains and explaining the government help that is available.

You can find the full selection of guides in our Money section HERE.

From new laws to changes in health restrictions, public holidays and festivals to price changes it can be hard to keep up with everything that is happening in France.

That’s why we publish our monthly What Changes guides, looking ahead to what’s new in the month ahead.

Here is the November edition which includes two public holidays, a festival of herrings, new driving laws, changes to travel restrictions and the full opening of the winter flu vaccination programme, to name but a few.

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See also on The Local:

What changes in France in November 2021?

France, like many countries, is increasingly addicted to acronyms and initials and while some of these remain confined to government paperwork, others have entered everyday language.

The different word order that is generally used in French mean that acronyms can be hard for foreigners to puzzle out, even if the meaning becomes obvious once you see the full phrase.

From IRM to RIB to SMIC: Everyday French initials and acronyms you need to know

If you follow French politics you will probably have already seen dozens of opinion polls on the likely result of next year’s presidential election, and doubtless there will be hundreds more to follow.

But from voting intentions to whether they intend to get vaccinated, what the French tell pollsters is not always the same as what they do.

We’ve asked the experts to asses how reliable French opinion polls are, and how much heed to should pay them when the election is still six months away.

ANALYSIS: How reliable are French opinion polls?

And if you’ve seen a poll that’s particularly shocking, you might find our language guide of phrases to express surprise or shock will come in handy.

11 ways to express shock or surprise in French

Modern technology means that an increasing number of jobs can be done from anywhere with only a laptop and a decent wifi connection, and during the pandemic many discovered the joys of home-working.

However, if you live in France and working remotely for companies back in the UK, USA or other, this raises questions about both residency rights and taxes.

Since most countries’ immigration and tax laws were written before remote working became a widespread phenomenon, the answers to these questions are not always clear. So we spoke to specialist immigration lawyer Fiona Mougenot about what people working remotely need to be aware of.

Working remotely from France: What foreigners need to be aware of


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