Moving to Toulouse
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Moving to Toulouse, France - suggestions?
We are moving to Toulouse, France, in August for three years. We have two children, who will be 9 and 11. Any suggestions for areas to live - I think we want to at least start out living more in the city, and would rather not live in an area that is more expat/British, at least to start out - to force us to speak more French. None of us speaks very well, especially the kids, but they will be going to French public schools. My son has aspergers/high functioning autism, so also any suggestions for resources in Toulouse/France on that front would be most useful! Oakland Mere
Hi There, my folks, who are French, live in a small village just outside Toulouse. Toulouse is a fantastic city. Their house has become too big for them and they may be interested in renting, also they have a smaller house just next door. Both come with garden and swimming pool and a huge room where artists perform or exhibit their work. Email me or call (510)984-9099 if you wish to explore this further. They know lots of people as they have lived there since 1987. I am also a French teacher who teaches one on one or groups, if this is interesting to you. Warmly. portraitpascale
This is from my sister, who lived for 3 months outside of Toulouse [Tournefeuille] back in the summer of 2009 w/ her 3 boys, ages 7 and 10[x2].
''If they are going to be there a while and want to be in the city, I don't have specific recommendations. Those we knew who lived in the city were in studio, 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, and most were just couples or singles. One couple with 2 young kids who knew the area were able to find a 2 bdrm, 1 bath apartment with a balcony right on the river (lovely view and nice breeze in the hot summer) - it was very small but nice. It was near a metro stop - very convenient, but that also meant they walked thru some homeless areas everyday. People on the street were like anywhere: mostly nice, but in Toulouse, at least then, the homeless seemed free to use the street/sidewalk as a urinal - so......
The same family had their kids in public school (the mom spoke french, but not the kids) and the mom said it was like an immersion - sink or swim (their kids were maybe 1st grade & preschool). We also heard from many sources that between the transition to french schools & then back to american schools, you had to expect the kids to lose a year academically. (I guess it depends on how long you are there, and the kids, etc.).
I am sure the original poster has already checked out http://www.americansintoulouse.com/index.php - I corresponded with them before we went, but we didn't end up needing to use resources other than what was on their site. (If we were there longer, I might have).
Our experience was that just about every french person in Toulouse and surrounding areas wanted to practice their english on us, so it wasn't real conducive to practicing french with them. There are massive mall type grocery stores which are overwhelming, and small boutique food stores which are classic, but the typical american-sized grocery stores were great for learning the language for food purposes - all that reading: food products, instructions, etc.
Toulouse reminded me in ways of Berkeley, and the climate & many plants were very California-like. The summers get very hot, but most places don't have air conditioning. Be prepared to purchase fans early in the season before the stores run out.
Lots of wonderful things to do in Toulouse and nearby - the huge park, the science museum, etc. And plenty of day/weekend trip to go on too, as that area has so much historical significance.''
Have fun! -a berkeley mom