Moving to Carcassone

7 Replies
kerry maid



I am hoping to move to Carcassone from Ireland in September with my 2 children a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 6.  I would love to stay for a year to broaden their horizons and  learn french.  I have been looking on line for a furnished 2 or 3 bed apartment or town house to rent in Carcassone.  It would need to be in a safe and secure area and walking distance from all facilities as I won't have a car.  My husband will be commuting over and back fom Ireland every 3 weeks. I am a primary school teacher so I am thinking of homeschooling my children for the year.  However I am not sure if ths is the best idea as it will take them longer to get the language.  Would anyone have any suggestions on a good preferably catholic school.  I cannot afford to pay big fees.   So accomoddation first I suppose.  So if anyone knows of a nice house or appartment to let I would really appreciate it. All general advice accepted.   Mnay thanks, Michelle

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TASKER-497318 1437688723

Hi  -   our boys were 10 and 5 when we moved here and the best way they made friends was at school  -    if you are only here for a year then I wouldnt stress too much about one school year but let them enjoy the experience.   You will probably meet plenty of english or english speaking families around Carcassonne.    good luck  Carol x

spanner-495051 1438360869


Can I ask if there is any reason why you need to be in Carcassonne? THere are other large towns around such as Limoux, which has a 2 private primary schools tho I don't know if they are catholic or not - there is a catholic college in the town so one might be.

Also, there are plently of homeschoolers in the Upper Aude Vally - Haute Vallée de l'Aude - south of Carcassonne - see LEDA: AND a wee free school called Grain de Vie in Quillan.

If you want te kids to learn french, school is the quickest way as otherwise the temptation is to hang out with other english speakers.

Good luck!




Nicole W 1438641529

Hi, my parents have a holiday home located in a small village outside of Limoux. After 9 years of visiting the area we are all going to sell up and we all be moving and looking to buy in the area. 

I have four boys 4,6,10,13 I'm a nurse and my husband is a dental technician  does anyone have advise for me about schooling, nursery, how much it cost , jobs etc? 

We are after quality of life and family time which is lacking in the uk. I plan to fly back to the uk to work at first as unsure how I can use my nursing skills with little french. 

Im flying out on the 19 for two weeks and would value anyones advise know matter your experiences good or bad.

kind Regards


TASKER-497318 1438678602

Hi Nicole -    if you are going to send your boys to the local state schools then the only fees are for school lunches -  just as in the uk.    If you need school transport -   it was free for our youngest to maternelle -  and subsidised for primary school and high school.   We used to pay around 25 euros a term for our son's school transport from Nébias to Quillan  (11k)    For senior school and lycee you can apply for grants -  towards school meals and if you choose a boarding school .   To enrol your children you will need the usual paperwork -   birth certificates - passports -  vaccine certificates and possibly a letter confirming leaving the school system in the uk permenantly -   we needed this for our youngest son but not our eldest.  Children going to high school and lycee need insurance -  for  the younger children it is included in your house insurancee -  for the older children it is average 15 - 20 euros per school year . We have been very happy with the french education system -  our boys have experienced -  maternelle - primaire - college and lycee.  Your youngest son will go to creche as maternelle takes children from 5yrs .   You can PM me if you want    good luck  Carol x

Nicole W 1438690609

Hi Carol,

Thanks for all the information you have given me. Its another part of the puzzle put together. So much to think of. We are all very excited with our new adventure.



romakayak 1438703225

Try leboncoin  to give you an idea of various properties on the market


spanner-495051 1438710424

hi Nicole

Well done for making the decision! However, not wanting to rain on your parade, but jobs and working in France can be quite complicated if your level of french is less than 'good'.

Firstly, both of you would appear to have qualifications that will need to be recognised officially and that is something you should maybe get done from the UK - certainly as soon as possible. Check here for info:

Secondly, you mention that your french is not great - what about your husband? I know one english woman who has worked as a dental technician in Limoux, but bear in mind that the level of unemployment in this area is high. Just because he could work does not mean that there will be actual work available.

Without a regular income - how do you intend to support yourselves? Do you have enough money to sustain you over a year or 2 until you get established?  Or will you need to hit the ground running?

If you have transferable skills (inncluding offering services to other expats) you could consider registering as self-employed (Auto-Entrepreneur) but that in itself requires a good bit of paperwork and unless you are selling (commercant) you will have to do a 1 week compulsory course at the Chambre de Metiers in Carcassonne on how to run a small business.

And of course - then there is the health cover... if you are employed or registered AutoE then you can get a Carte Vitale ie will be entitled to basic health cover for you and your kids. However, if not, then you will have to buy private health insurance which is not cheap.

There is an awful lot to think about but it is worth doing a bit of homework before hand - forwarned is forarmed as they say! And do post more questions as they occur to you!

Good luck


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