As a native French speaker myself who has done a fair bit of travel in my time - Ireland has been the one to make me stay. I find that the Irish truly live up to their friendly and hospitable reputation. I have great friends an amazing French job and a life that brings me great joy.
Of course there is always going to be ups and downs to living & working abroad in a particular country so I have compiled a few positives and negatives for my fellow French Speaking expats to read to help them decide on whether Ireland is for them. Enjoy
Life Style & the People:
In Ireland there is a really great quality of life. Where you live and/or work you are never too far from the city or a country escape. The Irish people in my opinion live up to their reputation for their welcoming and friendly personalities even the bus drivers – yes you read that right!
I have been working on getting my full driver’s license here in Ireland and one day, don’t ask me how, I managed to get my car stuck in a ditch and I was totally stuck. The great thing was I did not worry, my immediate reaction was ‘’it’s Ireland – someone will stop and help me’’ – Every single car stopped for me and we eventually freed my little beauty.
Easy to Adapt to Irish Society:
To be honest, during my time here in Ireland I have not noticed any major cultural differences. If you are coming from Bretagne, you will feel at home which is great, the Irish are a lovely people. I love it here!
Language Job Opportunities:
If you speak both French & English you are very likely to find a French Speaking Job easily and have great opportunities to grow your career. Here in Ireland you can get the chance to grow both personally and professionally which for me is great I get to polish off my skills and grow my personal circle of friends at the same time.
Even starting off in a French job in customer service (which people don’t like but I don’t understand why) because doors for career growth open much quicker when you start off in customer service – doors to – Team lead jobs, HR jobs, quality analyst jobs and even management jobs which is great.
I started in a French speaking customer service job in Ireland which opened doors for me to join Careertrotter – I love my job, I am learning something new every day and this would not have happened if I had skipped the opportunity to join the customer service team in Dublin – where I gained and grew my skills, I met great people who I keep in touch with today, improving my English and overall getting used to the Irish way of working.
In Ireland, your taxes are taken directly from your salary – so that’s one headache taken care of. Of course the percentage is different according to your level of income – you can check this out here.
When you receive your wages/salary you don’t need to pay any more tax which is amazing, I don’t need to tell anyone from France what a delight this is. In France tax is taken directly from your salary and then you have to pay a second time when you receive your salary. I have heard Irish people complain about the tax system here in Ireland but for us Frenchie’s it’s a real positive in comparison to the tax system back home.
Learning the Language:
Yes, My fellow French speaker – at times we are not the best at learning English – I learn something new every day. The only way to make sure you will reach an acceptable level of English is by staying in an English speaking country, like lovely Ireland. So if you are looking for a French job in Ireland - You need to learn the lingo - Ireland is the best place to do that because the Irish are a patient and friendly folk so they will help you out.
THE NOT SO PRETTY
Irish people love their potatoes so if you’re not fond of them you are in a spot of bother. But I cannot fault the Irish breakfast – it is truly a meaty feast.
In comparison to France the Irish welfare system is lacking. Us Frenchie’s are used to a pretty comfortable welfare system. If you go to the doctor once or twice in a year in can cost you in between €50 - €60 for a consultation, unless you qualify for a medial card because it’s free then.
In France we are used to a good level of security, Ireland does have a number of private health insurance providers that you could look into to help you sleep easy.
My Advice to fellow French speakers looking to live & work in Ireland:
- Work on your English at home, watch TV, listen to music – this will help you when preparing for interviews in English.
- Be open minded: You may have just graduated and spent a long 4-5 years in college trying to get your degree. I hear so many graduates looking for a great French job title with an amazing salary but I am sorry to say that reality does not work that way. For graduates you will need to aim a little lower just for a little while. Companies are looking for skills and experience, so build on your experience take that customer service job in Ireland – build a career and grow – you’ll get where you want sooner than you think.
- Interview Process: In comparison to working in France – the interview process in Ireland can actually be very quick. It can often take just one week to get your first French job in Ireland. So if you are looking for French jobs here keep in mind it can be quick so you need to be ready.
- Interview Types: In the interview for Irish companies they like facts and figures. I always recommend that my candidates prepare an answer about a real day in a previous French job where they faced a situation and overcame it. Companies love this they love examples and hearing about how you managed certain situations.
So there you have it, my delights and the not so pretty parts of living and working in Ireland. If you have any questions about French jobs here you know where to find me.
For French jobs in Ireland they are just a click away.