Find the answers to many of your expat questions here

View Latest Posts

You're missing out...

As a member you can enjoy exclusive info and offers.



Posted by Glamdame - Created: 5 years ago
0 0
Sorry no image available

9 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 9)

Sorry no image available
Posted by Glamdame - 5 years ago

Thank you to all the people who took the time to reply to my request for advice on moving to France with my 10 year old daughter.

It's always very useful and encouraging to receive different opinions.

Much appreciated and i will let you know hoa we get on!



Sorry no image available
Posted by trae1107 - 5 years ago

Interested to hear about the horrendous stories you have heard about the International schools! I have 3 children, the two eldest now in their 8th year in an international school and the youngest (9 yrs) in her second to last year at the local (French) Primary school. Not even going to hesitate - the minute she finishes primary, she will follow her elder siblings - who are receiving a very good education, are happy and confident individuals who I fully expect to succeed in their IB. The fact that in the High School their class sizes range from 9 to 15 kids, as opposed to an average of 30 in the public school system may have a lot to do with it. Also, the fact that, as one of them said to me the other day in response to a new child who had just arrived having had a bad time in the French system "there can't be any outsiders at our school, Mum, we're all different nationalities and we all get on..."

Perhaps you should go take a look before you write them off completely!

Sorry no image available
Posted by mrobinson2002-498852 - 5 years ago

ps.   live in Juan Les Pins, not rousillon as listed!!! think when I originally signed on I must have been on that region and I can't for the life of me find how to alter it to the cote d'azur!!!!


Sorry no image available
Posted by mrobinson2002-498852 - 5 years ago

I'm sure she'll be fine!  you of course cannot help but worry and to be frank it is hard at first.  you worry constantly that you are putting your children through unnecessary difficulties and the french system takes some getting used to for sure.

my boys are 5 and 3 and very energetic and boisterous; this is a big problem in the french system as they like the children to sit and be quiet. my eldest boy's first school was fab and the teachers were very kind and caring.  we moved to another school due to moving address and both my boys started the local maternelle.  neither have settled well in this school, with the teachers constantly complaining about them and that they are trop excite!!!  As an English teacher myself I understand how difficult it is when you have students who won't sit and listen but there seems to be no concept of the fact that at aged 3 he is still adjusting to being away from his mum and as he doesnt speak french, when his teacher reads a lovely story -yes his does get bored and won't sit cos he doesnt understand what she's saying!!! 

 My 5 year old has picked up french very fast and speaks it exclusively at school having not done any french prior to coming here. although he does not yet reach the benchmarks for age in language, he does successfully do all his school work totally in french and gets good marks. there is no regard though for their speaking french as a second language, they either meet the standard for their age group or not!!I

We intend to live here hopefully for the rest of our lives therefore I felt it really important we integrate with our local community and avoid becoming part of an  'English' enclave.  Sending our children to the local french school was part of that strategy.  equally my kids meeting local french kids they'll be playing with in our local park was important too.  We also thought that our french would come on better and in truth it has, really well infact!  My 5 yr old already is correcting my french pronounciation.

schooling is without doubt I think the most stressful part of moving out here because we are vulnerable where our children are concerned, but we also need to prepare them for life here in France.

wishing you every luck and a wonderful move

it really is a great life here and well worth the effort to assimilate. 


word of advise: scan all your documents into your computer; your passport photo pages, birth certificates, vaccinations, marriage certificate, quittance de loyer (receipt for your deposit for your home), etc etc as you will need these time and time again as every year you have to re-submit all of these and each department within the education department want them all again- they don't do sharing.  so for example the cantine (school dinners) want all the documents again.


don't get frustrated witht the system here, its the same for everyone, we dont get treated any differently than they treat the french people!!!... that and some good old fashioned English manners!!!


good luck and best regards




Sorry no image available
Posted by hermosabeach - 5 years ago


If you goal is for your daughter to "settle more easily", I would highly suggest investigating your schooling choices further.  This is especially important since she has been in a private school in the UK.  There are choices in between international schools (taught in English) and a traditional French public school.  It seems like you are looking into private French schools.  You could also look into bilingual private schools or Haut Sartoux (a bilingual French public school where you only pay for the English teachers).  If you are interested in Haut Sartoux, you need to look into the application process now.  Places are very limited and demand is high.  EBICA is a bilingual private school in Sophia Antipolis.  There are also bilingual (or French only) Montessori schools.  The French school system is not at all nurturing and it is going to get worse over the next year (or two) depending on which town you will be living in.  Just to give you an idea, the government has said that primary school is too draining for children (4 days a week from 8:30 to 4:30pm).  So, to "fix" that problem, they have decided children should go to school 4 1/2 days per week...in most towns, from 8:30 to 4:30pm 4 days a week PLUS three hours on Wednesday or Saturday.  Yes, they are adding an extra 1/2 day in the hopes that will help children be less fatigued.  Hmmm...The crisis in the schools will be getting worse before it gets better...

Sorry no image available
Posted by TeachEnglish-312892 - 5 years ago

Hi there,

I'm now 20 but moved to France at 10 (the same as your child). 

My parents put me in a French school. It was extremely hard but after 1 year I spoke reasonably fluent French (there is alway more to learn, even after 10 years). 

After the this they put me in an international school. This was better as the lessons that were in English allowed me to relax. 

The French school in Le Rouret is meant to be good plus there is a bus service to and from Grasse. 

However I went to the CIV which has both the International OPTION (meaning most lessons in French with a couple in English) and a normal French section. Although a tough course this school is very renown throughout the world and is a gateway to universities shuh as Cambridge, Yale well the best of the best. Plus the bus service again. 

For any info please feel free to contact someone who has first hand experience as a child growing up in aforeign country. 


Sorry no image available
Posted by Squeaky-882728 - 5 years ago

Don't worry Glamdame - she'll be fine. She's (just about) the right age to be able to cope in a French state school, especially as she'll be starting in primaire.  Expect a lot of tears in the beginning but she'll get through it and be bilingual before you know it!

Good luck to all of you :)

Sorry no image available
Posted by Scott Walker-316529 - 5 years ago


My daughter attends EBICA in Sophia Antipolis and she is extremely happy there. Its a small, well run school that offers 50% of their classes in French and 50% in English (for all learners). The French section offers the French national curriculum and the English section offers a combination of English and American curricula.

Hope this helps and good luck !!



Sorry no image available
Posted by Marie-Catherine - 5 years ago


My name is Katie. I'm French. Yes, Fénelon is a good school, but you have Stanislas in Cannes which is better, I think. But maybe you'll be living in Grasse, then Fénelon is nearer. There is too an international school, Mougins school which is very good, but really expensive.

I'm a mother of three chidren, now on their own. If you were needing some French lessons for your daughter, I will be happy to help. I'm living in Mougins, which isn't far away.

Best regards

Katie supermcb@hotmail.fr