As promised, I am asking to international travellers and people living and working in a foreign country to share their life stories with me to know why they decided to leave families and friends behind to explore new realities and meet new cultures!
Are you curious about how they managed to adapt and settle in their new countries? Then follow my expat interviews categorised by country! Are you an expat wanting to share your tips and experience with the rest of the world and be a source of inspiration? Then fill in the expat interview form: I would love to hearing from you!
“Travelling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Iba Battuta
Let’s meet Stefano: an expat who left Italy for another sunny location!
Introduce yourself briefly. Tell us who you are!
Hi there! I’m Stefano from Italy, I’m 33 years old and I’m living in Marseille, France.
Why did you move to your current country?
There were several reasons why I moved to France. First of all I always wanted to improve my French and find a way to get a job. Finding a job in Italy is not that easy and I wanted to do some work experience in another country. Then I was intrigued by the idea of living abroad as an expat staying close to my family in Italy at the same time.
What do you do for a living? How was the job hunting?
I started as a Disneyland’s cast member in Paris so I have been working in the Tourism industry for two years. Afterwards, I decided to move up to the South of France with my girlfriend, and I managed to find a job as a bank employee: nothing to do with the previous one! The job hunting was difficult at first, it took a while to get an answer, but eventually I got it by sending out my application on Indeed.com.
How is the social life in your city, is it easy to make friends?
It’s not that difficult to make friends in Marseille! Despite the fact that people have a pretty strong personality and are very proud of their city, they are generous and open minded. There are many bars, pubs, events and occasions to socialise. During summer, the seaside is the perfect place to meet new people as well!
Why should people move there? Why did you fall in love with this place?
Like most of the Mediterranean cities, Marseille is a very good place to be in terms of quality of life, beautiful seaside scenery and food. People are smiling, very passionate, proud and devoted to their city! Marseille’s unique identity is strongly protected by its inhabitants, so it’s impossible not to be in love with Marseille and feel part of it!
What do you want to say to people looking to move there?
Come to South of France and stay for a while! Marseille is warm and generous like its citizens, a sunny place full of vitamin SEA!
How is the health system? Is it a safe place to live in?
Generally, the healthcare system works well in France and it is free for people working here. As for safety, although there are a few neighbourhoods you should avoid in Marseille, I feel safe at all times.
How is the general cost of living, what is the average rent?
Life here is cheaper than Paris for sure. The average rent is about 700 euros for a two rooms flat for example which is very good considering the crazy prices in the nearby French Riviera! Transports are generally well priced and there are plenty of monthly tickets and discounts, although they are often delayed and not very efficient! Food in markets and supermarkets is fairly priced too.
Tell us something you don’t like about where you live and the difficulties you came across when settling in.
Sometimes it’s a bit irritating to see people always complaining about everything. Traffic jams are a true nightmare in Marseille, like in every big city, and make people become insane on the road! As I don’t like incivility, another annoying thing about Marseille is that people very often don’t pick up dog’s excrements on sidewalks!
Tell me an unmissable thing to do in your city over a weekend
In spring/summer time, if you are a trekking lover, my advice is to get by car to the Calanques National Park, an incredible natural area 30 minutes away by car from Marseille, perfect for nature contemplation and to discover small hidden beaches with crystal clean waters!
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