Living in Bordeaux

(33 Posts)
littlebear1978 Wed 08-May-19 18:06:38

Hi there, can anyone offer advice/experience in living in Bordeaux? My husband is moving for work so finding a job is not an issue. I'm just starting to look into long term rentals which will let us take our dog. Cannot find a good website or anything at the moment! School is a priority for a 14 yr old and an 8 yr old ( 8 yr old may need home schooling as asd).
Any advice or suggestions would be great! We also have to learn the language but are willing to go with it and totally have a change of life grin

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MariaNovella Wed 08-May-19 18:35:49

The centre of Bordeaux is beautiful! But you should avoid living outside the centre as the traffic is absolutely appalling. The countryside and beaches in the Médoc offer lots of opportunities for nice weekend breaks.

Sorry - that won’t help with schools! Have you looked into international sections/bilingual schools?

MariaNovella Wed 08-May-19 18:38:34

littlebear1978 Wed 08-May-19 18:42:43

That's really helpful thanks! smile I will keep on looking..

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MariaNovella Wed 08-May-19 18:44:28

You should definitely find a school before picking accommodation as living near school is a must in France - there is no culture of long commutes to school.

MariaNovella Wed 08-May-19 18:46:30

It’s such a lovely part of France - so close to Ile de Re, Cap Ferret and the Basque Country, with lots of lovely beaches and holiday destinations! You will forever be on weekend breaks!

littlebear1978 Wed 08-May-19 19:11:24

Thank you, I will see look at schools before property, thanks for the advice! I'm so excited.

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MariaNovella Wed 08-May-19 19:14:13

Yes, you can be excited! Bordeaux is lovely! But I hope someone will be along soon who actually lives there and can give good advice about school/accommodation/meeting people!

Fizzy13 Thu 09-May-19 15:40:24

We're looking at moving to Toulouse and have been using
to look at housing options.

MariaNovella Thu 09-May-19 15:52:01

I was down near Toulouse last week. There are lots of gorgeous houses in the surrounding countryside. Like Bordeaux, the traffic around Toulouse is truly appalling - you need to be careful about your commute(s).

littlebear1978 Thu 09-May-19 16:01:38

Toulouse was another option as they have an international school there too. Thanks for the link!

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MariaNovella Thu 09-May-19 16:03:55

The lack of a proper international school in Bordeaux makes things a bit more complicated and suggests that the international community isn’t very significant. But, IMO, Bordeaux is more interesting a place to live than Toulouse - and the TGV to Paris is great.

Oliversmumsarmy Thu 09-May-19 16:05:22

I second Bordeaux traffic.

Madamfrog Thu 09-May-19 18:22:50

There is an 'international' school in Bordeaux but it doesn't have a fantastic reputation. There are lots of collèges and lycées, state and private, you could look at somewhere like La Sauque in La Brède - or Magendie is good too. In any case you want classes internationales, ideally, and FLE (French for foreigners).

Frenchfancy Thu 09-May-19 20:46:33

For rentals look at seloger and leboncoin. In theory landlords cannot forbid you to have a dog but they may suddenly find someone else to rent to. Once you have signed a rental contract they cannot evict you for having pets.

Does DHs work have a relocation department? One of the difficulties with renting in France is that you normally have to provide 3 months of payslips as well as an up to date electricity bill (and a bank account which is hard to get without said electricity bill) . If the company can help you with the paperwork life will be much easier.

littlebear1978 Thu 09-May-19 20:58:32

Thank you for the advice. DH will be moving over there for a few months first and his company are helping to relocate so they can help us with paperwork etc. Me and the boys won't move over there properly until we have a rental place and school place.
To be honest he can choose where he sets up the business, needs a place with good transport, a direct airline from Birmingham, good school and ideally an English expat area to make it a bit easier. Not asking much I know!

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MariaNovella Thu 09-May-19 21:14:34

Surely you aren’t planning to send your 14 year old to a French school?

littlebear1978 Thu 09-May-19 22:28:12

What do you mean? I thought an international school was great for lessons in both French and English for children of other languages too. I read the international school of Toulouse has 44% English students.

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MariaNovella Fri 10-May-19 07:42:13

The international school of Toulouse is a proper international school that takes all comers and makes it its job to integrate them. But there isn’t a proper international school in Bordeaux. There’s the school I linked to earlier but it’s not an IB school with all the training and the mobility an IB school has to offer.

littlebear1978 Fri 10-May-19 08:57:05

Ah I see! Thanks for that x

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MariaNovella Fri 10-May-19 09:37:00

I really recommend you meet with all potential schools ASAP. School, not housing your dog, is going to be THE critical issue you are going to need to solve before choosing where to live.

littlebear1978 Fri 10-May-19 10:40:40

Of course, that's the most important thing. I will not want to upset my son in the middle of an important few years at school. A few trips to visit schools and different areas is our plan. It's just getting all the information together at this stage before making any decisions x

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MariaNovella Fri 10-May-19 10:43:49

I agree, the information gathering stage is really important! Bordeaux (and Toulouse) is a really lovely city. IME actually meeting with schools gives you huge amounts of information.

Frenchfancy Fri 10-May-19 12:07:22

I hadn't spotted that DS was 14. I would seriously consider boarding in the UK rather than moving to a French or international school at that age.

Do not underestimate how isolated you may be if you home school. Home schooling is permitted and regulated but I believe you have to follow the French ciriculum.

MariaNovella Fri 10-May-19 12:10:39

I believe you have to follow the French curriculum.

Actually you don’t. Someone I know is home schooling a SN child in English, with tutors, according to an individualized plan. They get French state supporting payments and are inspected by French officials.

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