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Living in French Guiana : guide for newcomers

Welcome to French Guiana, a land of adventure and cultural diversity in the heart of South America. Whether you're a civil servant, a soldier, a nurse, a young doctor or simply looking for new horizons, this guide will provide you with the essential keys to a successful move to French Guiana.

3 reasons to live in French Guiana

1. Professional opportunities

One of the main reasons for moving to French Guiana is the diversity and abundance of professional opportunities. Guiana is a territory where sectors such as the civil service, medical, construction and public works (BTP) and services are in high demand.

  • Civil service : Due to its status as an overseas department, French Guiana regularly recruits civil servants for various administrative, educational and security positions. Civil servants benefit from a 40% salary increase, which can represent a significant financial advantage.

  • Medical sector : With a growing population and significant health needs, French Guiana offers many opportunities for healthcare professionals. Doctors, nurses and other medical staff are particularly sought after. Health infrastructures, although sometimes limited in certain specialties, are well developed, with 2 hospitals and clinics.

  • Building and civil engineering (BTP) : Infrastructure development is booming in French Guiana, with construction and renovation projects underway. Building and civil engineering professionals can find lucrative opportunities and participate in projects that are shaping the territory's future.

  • Services : The service sector, including tourism, hotels, catering and retail, also offers numerous job opportunities. With Guyana's growing appeal as a tourist destination, opportunities in these fields are multiplying.

In French Guiana, professionals can often progress more rapidly in their careers than in other regions. High demand for specific skills and the need for rapid infrastructure development mean that workers can take on greater responsibility and progress professionally.

2. Quality of Life

In addition to professional opportunities, quality of life in French Guiana is a major asset.

  • Wild nature and beaches : French Guiana is renowned for its natural landscapes. The beaches, often deserted, offer perfect places for relaxation and outdoor activities.

  • Incredible biodiversity : French Guiana is located in the heart of the Amazon, one of the world's richest regions in biodiversity. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Amazon, observe diverse fauna and flora, and immerse themselves in a unique natural environment.

  • Spaces for rejuvenation : French Guiana offers numerous opportunities for those seeking rejuvenation: hiking, kayaking, wildlife observation... Perfect activities to escape the stress of daily life. For a first experience, the French Guiana Zoo already offers a captivating taste of this richness.

  • The weather in French Guiana : It is pleasant year-round. Whether it's raining or windy, you can comfortably enjoy the region wearing light clothing. This favorable environment enables outdoor activities and a full enjoyment of life throughout the year.


3. Culture and Adventure

French Guiana is a true cultural melting pot, enriched by influences from Creole, Amerindian, Brazilian, Asian, and many other cultures. This diversity is evident in every aspect of daily life, from cuisine to local festivities. You'll have the opportunity to discover and savor traditional dishes like calalou or awara broth soup, as well as participate in significant events such as Carnival and patron saint festivals.

Good to know before living in French Guiana

living in French Guiana

Administrative formalities

For French citizens, an ID card is sufficient to enter French Guiana, but yellow fever vaccination is mandatory. Make sure to have proof of vaccination before your departure. Plan this vaccination carefully to avoid any complications upon arrival.

living in French Guiana

Where to stay ?

The vibrant neighborhoods of Cayenne Island, including Cayenne, Rémire-Montjoly, and Matoury, come highly recommended for newcomers. These areas provide an ideal setting to meet new people. Be sure to explore Hibiscus Square for a drink and to soak in the atmosphere.

Before settling in, you can join Facebook groups such as "Living in French Guiana". These groups are full of tips, recommendations on housing and neighborhoods, and useful information shared by current residents and other newcomers. This can greatly facilitate your arrival and help you find housing that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

living in French Guiana

The education system

The education system in French Guiana is comprehensive, offering quality education for children of all ages. Nursery, primary, and secondary schools follow the French national curriculum, ensuring educational continuity for expatriate families' children. School facilities are well-developed, and there are both public and private institutions, including international schools. However, it is important to note that choices for higher education are limited in French Guiana. The opportunities mainly focus on training up to BAC+2 or BAC+3 levels, and some specialties are not available locally. Therefore, many students choose to continue their studies in mainland France.

living in French Guiana


In French Guiana, a car is essential due to the scarcity and irregularity of public transportation. The price of taxis makes this means of transportation hardly feasible on a daily basis. If you do not yet own a car, we recommend a long-term rental upon your arrival before considering purchasing a vehicle. The introduction of the TCSP (Transport Collectif en Site Propre) on Cayenne Island should improve the situation by offering a more reliable and efficient public transportation alternative

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