Moving to Toulouse from Australia
Affordability 4 out of 5
Safety 4 out of 5
Healthcare 3 out of 5
Traffic Flow 2 out of 5
Property affordability 4 out of 5
Climate 5 out of 5
Environment quality 4 out of 5
When you learn that Toulouse has the highest population growth in France in recent years, attracting expats from all over the world and French citizens, including plenty of Parisians, you’ll realise this city in south-west France must be something special. Situated within easy distance to the mountains, the beach and some of France and Spain’s most exciting cities, you couldn’t pick a better location for this big city with a friendly small-town feel.
Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France by population. There are over 1.3 million inhabitants in the greater metropolitan area and around 460,000 in the city itself alone. Only Marseille, Lyon and Paris are ahead of it, but none have the unique geography that makes Toulouse so special and partly why it’s such a popular city to move to. The pleasant climate in Toulouse is reliably mild all year round. With your close proximity to the French Riviera coastline in one direction and the Pyrenees mountains in the other, you can choose whether you fancy a weekend of sunbathing at the beach or feeling the cool mountain air on your face at a moment’s notice.
Moving to Toulouse from Australia will involve a lot of planning and paperwork; France is infamous for its love of bureaucracy and complicated processes for official procedures like getting work and residence permits. Here’s some basics you’ll need to know at the start of your exciting journey…
- The one official language spoken in Toulouse is French. It’s a great idea to take some lessons to brush up your language skills before you arrive in the city, as it will make the first few weeks of settling in less daunting.
- The currency in France is the Euro. We recommend you check the exchange rate in the months and weeks leading up to your move to Toulouse, but you should expect to get around €0.66 to one Australian dollar. However, consumer prices will likely be slightly lower in France, compared to similar sized urban areas in Australia.
- Finally, staying connected with family and friends when you’re on the other side of the world is really important, so make sure your laptop and phone stay charged when you arrive by buying a plug adaptor for the European two-pin sockets before you travel.
The city of Toulouse has an abundance of charm, character, and history that any urbanite will love, yet the size of the city isn’t too overwhelming for a newcomer to France. Home to two UNESCO world heritage sites and many other beautiful buildings made from the iconic pink-hued bricks from which the city gets its nickname, “la Ville Rose”. One local tradition we’re sure you’ll assimilate to very easily is the love of food. As with most areas of France, there’s local products that are held in high regard, and in Toulouse, its the delicious stew of beans and sausage called a cassoulet.
Getting a visa
As we mentioned, making the move to France from Australia to live and work can be a little more complicated than other countries popular with Aussie expats. The most common route for moving to Toulouse will be through a skilled worker visa. If you have a job offer from a French company (there’s plenty of opportunities up for grabs in Toulouse!) then your new employer will be involved in getting all of the required contracts and paperwork together to issue you with the correct visa to start your new life in Toulouse.
The Ministry of Labour office, known as the DIRECCTE (Direction regionale des enterprises, de la concurrence et de la consummation, du travail et de l’emploi) will review and approve the contract issued to you by your new employer along with the OFII (L’Office Francais de l’Immigration et de I’Integration). You’ll then need to visit the French Embassy in Sydney for an interview to get your visa application granted. Then, you’re ready to travel!
Shipping to Toulouse
Once all of the paperwork is in hand, you’ll need to start making decisions about moving your belongings to France from Australia. There are many different options available that will work for different households. For a large family move, you can send a shipping container from any major Australian port to Fos-sur-Mer or Marseille ports near Toulouse for approximately $4500. If you’re planning a temporary move and only want to bring a few beloved items and essentials with you from Australia, you can usually ship one or two boxes for around $580. To get ahead of the game with your move to Toulouse, add your requirements to the form at the top of this page for accurate costs for shipping.
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With its booming economy and diverse international workforce, Toulouse is one of the best places for Australian expats to find a job in France. If you have skills in engineering, aerospace, and aviation, check out the impressive number of companies based in the so-called Aerospace Valley where Airbus and Air France Industries are based, along with hundreds more.
There are lots of helpful resources online that will give you tips on how best to present your resumé for impressing French employers. Toulouse is also a respected centre of higher education. The University of Toulouse is one of the oldest in Europe and has teaching and research departments that are world renowned. You could find some amazing career-progressing opportunities in Toulouse as an academic or researcher.
Toulouse has an excellent public transport system that’s amazingly cheap for such a large city. There is a metro system, buses, and trams too, that take you all over the city – perfect for your commute to and from work, as well as weekend and evening trips to explore Toulouse and socialise with new friends.
Property and accommodation
Hunting for accommodation in France comes with the inescapable litany of paperwork and official requirements. Do your research and make sure you have all the necessary documents (your dossier) that a landlord will want to see when you go to viewings for apartments to rent in the city.
If you’re looking for some short-term accommodation to help you find your feet when you first move to Toulouse, there are a good number of options available thanks to the large population of international students and foreign workers. Check out forums and message boards for English-speaking groups in Toulouse for the latest tips on finding good accommodation. Once you’re ready to put down some more permanent roots in Toulouse, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the pretty apartments and attractive neighbourhoods.
You can find cheaper properties – to rent or buy – on the south side of the river in places like Saint Cyprian. Or, for more upscale city living with bags of charm, check out les Carmes. With welcoming people and cosmopolitan culture, La Ville Rose is the place to live la belle vie!