We are pleased to welcome Michael Bahati, Communication & Partnerships Manager at expats-paris.com. The website is an online expatriates community for people living and working in Paris to get together whether it be for support, friends or connections. With over 5000 members, expats-paris.com is quickly becoming the largest online community for expats in Paris.
Your website expats-paris.com is a wonderful place for expats to get together. What brought on creating this online community?
The creation of Expats Paris came from the need of knowing more about Paris and meeting with other like-minded people living in this city. From language barriers, to loneliness through divorce, unemployment and other Expats related moments of sadness and joy, parisian Expats need time to settle and it’s only through existing associations, networking communities that they can learn how to deal and understand the way of life in the city of lights.
Has the site progressed and changed from how it initially was?
Launched is a very modest way late February 2013, Expats Paris has seen itself grow incredibly. With only few articles about Paris on its Information section, the site has taken a major place within the Paris Expats Communities thanks to its social media strategy. The design hasn’t changed, many articles are published every week and the site keeps on growing each and every day.
How does the expat community in Paris differ from the rest of France?
The Parisian Expats are almost like the rest of France’s. The only difference is these ones live in one of the biggest cultural metropolitan cities in the world with so much to explore. Living in Paris also makes them less exposed to other situations related racism and xenophobia as Paris is a city where you find a big number of French that are themselves, former or future expats, work with expats or are married to people for different countries.
What tends to be the main reason that people immigrate to Paris in particular?
People come to Paris for three main reasons. One; for work. Two; studies and three; for love. There’s also another very small number of people that come to Paris for one single reason; Starting everything all over again. This is, for this category of people, like a second chance they’re giving to themselves.
Paris is an expensive place to live, how do Expats deal with this?
Despite the fact that the cost of living is very expensive, many expats have come to understand that one of the ways to live a better life is to invest into a good lifestyle. This is all about spending on what you consume on a daily basis: accommodation, good French food, paid and unpaid cultural frequently organised events, fashion and so on. Living in Paris is a choice of life that one cannot regret as there’s no such thing called routine.
If you could give one piece of advice for prospective expats, what would it be?
Learn the language; Even if your French isn’t very fluent, just make sure you can understand a few sentences as some people around here wouldn’t (or won’t have time) want to make an effort of speaking your language.
If you were to emigrate, where would go and why?
Well, I never knew I’ll find myself living an Expat’s life in France one day. My choice has always been Canada (though the weather is mostly cold there) or Australia. If I were to move today, Canada wouldn’t be part of my list anymore. India, Indonesia or any other country in Asia might be first on the list.
We would like to thank Michael for taking the time to share his expert advice with us.
Written by Sofia Kluge on Google+