Moving to a different country can be daunting. Even more, when you are moving to a vibrant and dynamic city like Lyon. On top of the cultural adjustment, finding a new address that you can call your second home is not an easy task. In this article,Chez Nestor, the specialist in accommodation for young nomades, shares 6 steps on finding that home, sweet, home and succeed in your integration in Lyon. Read on!
Prepare your rental file and be patient #1
At the beginning of your search for accommodation, you may see a lot of options but in reality, there’s not that many available on the market. The locals even have the same struggle and have to wait several months before they can actually move into a new house or apartment. But worry not, with the right papers and a lot of patience, it’s not an impossible feat.
First up is to participate in a viewing or open house with about 20 other applicants through an agence immobilière or real estate agency. Once you’ve seen a house you like, you need to prepare the required documents and create your rental file for the landlord. With a little luck and a good preparation, your profile may be the most appealing to the landlord and you’ll finally get that house! Note that most of the accommodation you’ll find on the market are unfurnished, not so easy when you just arrived in the city…
Be careful Like any other high-competition market, scams exist so it’s ideal to get help from friends or networks. Also, you cannot go wrong by going to a professional company like Chez Nestor.
Apply for a French bank account #2
You’ll need a French bank account to pay the rent, bills, water, and to get paid by your employer, to name just a few. But it’s complicated: to open a French bank account, you need a proof of address… But to rent an apartment, you need a bank account! It’s a kind of bad joke.
To open a French bank account, you have to do 3 things:
- Set up an appointment with a bank adviser and ask for the list of requirements;
- Gather your documents;
- Show up to the appointment with the requirements.
Get a French mobile number #3
To not miss out on any opportunity, it’s ideal that you get a French SIM card as soon as you arrive. The majority of newcomers in Lyon choose prepaid plans or SIM cards because you can get connected easily without being tied to formal and long-term contracts. But in France, mobile plans are very cheaper than in some other countries. You can easily find a contract with no obligation for €10 per month. It will contain :
- Illimited call phone in France (and if you’re lucky in Europe)
- SMS and MMS illimited in France (and once again, maybe in Europe , depends on the operator.
- 50Go for internet on your mobile, so you can use WhatsApp or messenger to join your friends and family even if you don’t have wifi!
Get your transport card (Técély) #4
How can you enjoy your new city when you cannot get a ride? The Técély/TCL card is a pay-per-month card that enables you to ride on any of Lyon’s public transport (Tram-Metro-Bus) and is rechargeable every month.
The monthly subscription is valid until the last day of the month. So, it’s better to charge your card at the beginning of the month to maximize your credit (for example, you charged your TCL card on the 15th of January, your credit will only go on until the 31st of January). The annual pass costs €64 per month for non-students while it’s €28.80 per month for students.
There’s a high demand for the card and you will need a passport-size photo when you apply for the card. If you don’t have any, you can always take advantage of the photo booth in the TCL agency but make sure to use a fiver! You can also recharge or “top-up” your card in the TCL agency or any of the metro stations.
Apply for a health insurance #5
You will be able to establish residency after residing in France for three months. At this time, you are now eligible for the French national health coverage.
Here is the few steps you’ll have to pass :
- Fill out the health benefits application form (or formulaires 736 Demande d’ouverture des droits à l’assurance maladie).
- Request your Carte Vitale (green card), as it is not always automatically issued. As the Carte Vitale can – sometimes – take a long time to process, it is recommended to ask for a temporary French health insurance card.
Remind: you will need your Carte Vitale at every health appointment (doctor, hospital, pharmacy) to be reimbursed on your bank account.
Make your life easier with Sojoourn ! #6
We understand that all these steps look overwhelming but no need to worry! We want you to focus more on enjoying the beautiful city of Lyon and leave the rest to us. Lucky for you, Sojoourn is an all-around expat services company in Lyon who can help you:
- Book an appointment with an English-speaking bank consultant who offers affordable solutions to ALL expats of all nationalities. No commitment required means you can change banks anytime you wish! In 20 minutes, you will have your French Bank account with a credit card and a RIB (French IBAN).
- Get a SIM card with affordable international and national call rates and activates the SIM for you! Again, no commitments. You will be able to change to a different telco provider whenever you want!
- Find everything in one place through the Lyon Welcome Box! It’s a kit full of essentials to help you start your new life on the right foot in Lyon hassle-free!
- Connect with an international community to meet fellow expats but also French people while sharing your experience in Lyon.
Sojoourn it’s also a community that provides a wide variety of fun events. Discover more information on Sojoourn’s website!
To make sure you’ll find a furnished and equipped flat avoiding scams, you should see Chez Nestor’s shared accommodation on our website. You’ll be able to compare dozens offers on Lyon and book the flat share of your dreams online in 5 minutes, safely and easily.