Adapting a new country lifestyle may be tough, especially when you have to deal with a new language too. Bring the pressure of starting a new work or finding a new job and amidst all of that, you also need to take care of your health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, France is blessed with an appealing work-life balance as surveyed by HSBCs Expat Explorer Survey. But how is this country a good option for expats and how can you maintain a good lifestyle while working at a new place?

Good eating habits

France is famous for its rich cuisine and good eating habits. French eat small portions when eating out or at home which is quite smaller than those of America, UK and Canada. Also they have a healthy snacking habit which not many people follow.

Usually in France, meal times are at specific hours of the day and it is followed religiously whether you eat in the house or outside. A major part of French food culture is to enjoy your food and take complete time to experience it. There isn’t any forbidden food in France. The country stands in the bottom 10 for adult obesity.


The French follow quite an active lifestyle. The country stands in the top 10 nations for health and quality of life according to the Expat Explorer Survey. A lot of European cities can get clogged with big traffic volume, thereby deleting cars as an option. In most of the cities, it is normal to walk or to use public transportation to go around. French people love to walk, jog, ride bikes and play sports like tennis. The gym culture isn’t as popular in France as in the United States and United Kingdom as people here prefer outdoor activities. 

Work life balance

Another major aspect to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in France is to keep your wellbeing balanced and to accomplish a good work-life balance is often the major factor for expats looking forward to living a different lifestyle from their home country.

Though jobs in Paris may be the same as jobs in the USA and UK and may require longer hours of working than the usual 9 to 5pm routine, but you do have your own leisure. Rather than eating lunch at your desk, you are allowed to take lunch breaks.

Unlike the US, France has a work-life balance with a full-time working week of 35 hours and everyone gets at least 5 weeks paid holidays. Women can also get good maternity leave here.


It is said that the healthcare system of France is one of the best across the globe. It stands at the 19th position for healthcare in the Expat Insider Survey which works as a contributing factor to the average life expectancy of the nation which is 81.8 years.

The French healthcare system (PUMA) is a hybrid system which is funded by two ways: the employer and employee taxes and by individuals or their insurance companies.

The Protection Universelle Maladie covers everyone who has been a resident or working in France for over 3 months- However, before the PUMA cover starts, you will either need to bear the expense of any medical care all by yourself or go for an expat health insurance policy. When you get eligible for public healthcare coverage, you will get a carte vitale which is helpful in covering the majority of your medical expenditure.

Previously the French healthcare system demanded to be paid upfront for any medical help you receive from them and the government then reimbursed a part of the cost usually it was 70% though for some chronic illness, it went to 100%. But after 2017, doctors and medical academies weren’t allowed to charge for any upfront cost, rather the cost is covered by your insurance provider or the government.    

A lot of expats in France may have problems in finding an emergency doctor. However, with the help of ALLO Medecin Garde, you don’t need to look further. The platform helps you find a doctor as per your geo-location. It will give you access to a doctor on call nearest to your location. So, no matter what health issue you are facing, whether you are new in France or a resident, if it is a Sunday or public holiday, you can find the best doctor on call or specialist for your problem.

If you are shifting to France in search of a better life or you just want to move to start off your life with new challenges, it is clear that you can get a lot of health, and wellbeing benefits here. You may have to change your routine and learn to bring balance in your daily life, but maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle will definitely bring you good in all ways in France.