AMA: “How well did you know French before applying to work in Paris?”

I took classes for 3 years in middle/high school, went to a few meet-ups, and practiced whenever my family from Tahiti was in town. I was far from conversational though, and knew I would have to find an English-speaking company in order to work abroad. Over the course of 2 years, I started with my own company (who had an engineering office in France) and also reached out to similar American companies located in the countries I wanted to live. If you’re interested in tech, most large companies also have European offices and are used to relocating American employees abroad (Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon…) My high-level advice would be: be persistent and have patience.

I’ve also met many people who moved to France to work remotely, study, teach, au-pair, or do research. There are plenty of ways to get here without speaking French (though it’s never easy), but I really advise you to learn the language when you get here.

Here are some tips I’ve collected along the way to learn French better, and here are more details on how I landed a job in Paris. Good luck!


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