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What is Sophia like?

Posted by GemG - Created: 16 years ago
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9 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 9)

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Posted by richardr-181963 - 16 years ago

Working on Sophia and having lived in both Nice and Valbonne (And Antibes for a short stretch) I'd add the following:-

- Transport from Nice is good with the Sophia Express bus - get a monthly pass and it's reasonable, you can while away the journey reading or something. You can't escape the fact though that the traffic is bad in the summer particularly on the return to Nice. It means you'll have to live near the bus route (Gare routiere then down the prom, or perhaps from Nice nord but this is served less frequently than the main route) but at least you're living in Nice then

- Having got fed up with the travelling (time) and having a family I'd rather be with than being on the bus, and having a son going to school (CIV) on Sophia and so also having to do the travelling, we're now at Valbonne. Bus travel isn't much better (as the bus tends to wander a bit and be less reliable) but with a car it's loads easier. I'd still rather be in Nice though!

- Antibes may be a resonable compromise though but it's still going to take a time to get back there in the evening in summer.

- It all still beats the commutes I was having to do in uk

Just my own thoughts/findings...



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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago

Socialise in Sophia .....  if you'd been here you would know the answer to that one!  There is practically nowhere to socialise in Sophia!  It is totally different to the usual scene where you can pop out after work to a bar for a drink round the corner.  There are a couple of bars and cafes, and a tapas bar,  but basically Sophia dies at about 6 pm.  There are 3 or 4 hotels which have bars but they are not particularly inviting - sort of lobby bars with about as much atmopshere as a bus station and they are really only used by the hotel residents.  So your socialising would be done closer to home.

If you've previously had a bank account and a Telkom account in France you should not be required to pay another deposit.  The point is that you are 'known' and apparently not a credit risk.   

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Posted by GemG - 16 years ago

I thought that would be the case about Sophia and Valbonne, I got the impression they were probably the same.

It is because of all the deposits etc that I know I can't afford a car for a while.  I hope my savings should stretch but not much further than that.  Unfortunately my credit rating in France has gone rapidly downhill as I am now overdrawn due to bank charges.  I only left the account open because France Telecom owe me shed loads of money - STILL!  I left in 2002!

Do people tend to socialise in Sophia before going home or when they get back?  If they go out when they get home that wouldn't be too bad because hopefully I shouldn't need too much public transport outside office hours then.  You say about using a car in the evenings - do people tend to travel quite a way then or just stay in town?  In Mtp none of us had cars and we all lived near town so it wasn't an issue.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago


A couple of answers :

Public transport isn't 'bad'.  It is just a bit limited in scope and flexibility, especially outside office hours.  Such as it is,  is clean, safe, and not too expensive.  If you are going to live in Antibes or Nice you are possibly better off without a car, except for going out at night and weekends, but that depends on the geography of your social circle!  Commute from Nice-Sophia would be about 45minutes, Antibes about half that.

Valbonne and Sophia have the same postcode so jobs you've seen with a Valbonne address could be in Sophia.  Valbonne village has little job-wise other than shops and domestic work.  The commerce is mostly in the Sophia park.

Don't forget that to rent a flat you will normally need three months' rent to start with (two months' 'deposit' plus one as a 'fee' to the agency).  Also you may have to pay deposits for utilities if you don't have a credit record in France.  Don't under estimate this.

Petty crime is increasing and is worse in the summer, directed against tourists, and particularly in Vallauris and Antibes.  I also heard today that a friend of mine was hijacked in his car near Nice - some violence was used but he was not hurt and when he reported it to the police they said he was the fourth that day.  It is still not 'dangerous' here by global standards but you do need to be very vigilant.

If you need more info, post here or email me




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Posted by GemG - 16 years ago

Mike, you are right, I am 23.  I don't know yet how long I am intending to spend in France, I just want to 'see how it goes'.  I am looking to move properly though, rather than just a summer job. 

I've lived in the South of France before so I know about the poor service and driving etc!  I just got used to it in the end.  Petty crime didn't seem to be a huge problem there that I noticed but they have the highest rape rate outside Paris.

I did wonder about commuting.  I should have enough savings to cover the deposits etc on accommodation but I can't stretch to a car for a good while.  Is the public transport that bad in that area?  How long would I be looking at for the commute?

Is Valbonne basically the same?  I've seen a few jobs there too.

Thanks all.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago

In another recent posting here someone listed several websites regarding Sophia Antipolis,  which you would probably find quite helpful.  I haven't been able to find it but with a bit of perseverance you'll probably get to it. If I find it later I'll post it here (as it's already on the site I assume that there is no breach of copyright - admin?)

You could start here:

http://www.sophia-antipolis.net/  or  http://www.sophia-antipolis.org/

Sophia is not a bad place to work, I work for one of the largest companies there.  Certainly beats going to work like a rat down a sewer in a city.  Fresh air and blue skies are a bonus, as is parking and a relatively crime free environment.  And Socialism makes working in France pretty easy once you've beaten down the walls of bureaucracy.

As someone said, you won't want to live in Sophia, although there are a couple of grim little 'villages',  and although there is public transport between Sophia and Nice, Antibes etc,  you'll need a car if you want to have any sort of social life after work hours. 

There are lots of negatives about this part of France,  abysmal service levels, dangerous driving,  poor transport infrastructure,  high cost of living and general greed, petty crime (mainly kids on scooters) but you either get used to most of this, or find ways of dealing with it. Or you push off eventually .......

Reading your posting it looks as if you are young.  Most of our 'stagiares' come here, enjoy the lifestyle for a couple of years, and then move home or elsewhere having enjoyed their stay.

Good luck, or 'bonne chance' as the natives say!

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Posted by GemG - 16 years ago

Thank you so much for your advice. I am looking for an assistant type role really, either marketing assistant or 'assistant de direction'. I graduated this year and am keen to return to France as soon as possible, having spent a year in Montpellier whilst at uni. I have a fair bit of admin and marketing experience and did a stage with Dell for 8 months so hopefully that will make a difference.Do you have any suggestions of where I should be looking? Are there any agencies there that specialise in bilingual work? Otherwise, do you know where I could find a list of companies that I could look at for speculative applications?Thanks again

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Posted by Dukeboy - 16 years ago

GemG, I have also been working in Sophia for about 4 years, and I reckon it's great. Sure it can be a bit dead compared to working in a city, but then again you can get out and breath a bit of fresh air, go for a bit of a trot, mountain bike, play petanque, whatever you want basically!However, as Emilie mentioned, there are probably better places to base yourself and then put up with the daily commute. I guess that can be a bit of a hassle depending on how far away you are, and your access to transport, but then again I still reckon I prefer this type of commuting compared to the cities!In anycase let us know if you need more info!Cheers,Earl

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Posted by emily77 - 16 years ago


Sophia is indeed a good area if you are looking for a job, there are many companies (I have been working in Sophia for about 4 years) which kind of job are you looking for?

However I would not advise you to live there as there is not much happening , it is a place where people work but do not live.

if you are looking for a social life, you would rather stay in Antibes or Nice.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you need more info.