1: Introduction

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Published by the AIT International Club, © 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher, except for reading and browsing via the World Wide Web. Users are not permitted to mount these files on any network servers. Browsers may copy information for personal use only. Reproduction for commercial purposes is expressly forbidden.

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Welcome to “THE AIT GUIDEBOOK”, an English-language guide published by the Americans-in-Toulouse International Club (AIT).

Who we are:

The AIT is a non-profit, English-speaking expatriate service and social organization, run exclusively by volunteers, that welcomes families, couples and individuals of all nationalities, living in or visiting the Toulouse area, whatever the length of their stay.

The AIT fosters friendships, offers support and exchanges useful information for anyone relocating or contemplating relocation to or from the Toulouse area, in order to ease their assimilation into a new country, city, language and culture. Our goal is to help each individual enjoy to the fullest their host community as well as to provide educational, social, and cultural experiences from both the home and host countries.

The purpose and objective of this book is to provide useful information about France and the French way of life to English-speaking visitors and soon-to-be residents of the Toulouse and its surrounding areas. There is so much to see, learn and explore. It truly is an adventure. Enjoy it!

Editor’s Note:

The information contained herein is subject to change and may not apply in all situations. Any matters concerning civil or legal rights, or actions, should be referred to the appropriate legal counsel. The information contained is alterable as new rules and regulations may apply. Thank you in advance for your comprehension.  

We encouraged all to submit further information and changes. Please submit it by email to “president(at)americansintoulouse.com” (insert at-sign), where it will be gathered awaiting further updates.

A bit of history:

Americans-In-Toulouse, the club’s original name, began in 1987 when a group of North American women living in the Toulouse area decided to meet regularly for friendship, to exchange information about living in France and to make an American quilt. These same women were the authors of the first edition of the club’s reference book La Trec to Toulouse. (Playing on the name of the famous artist, Toulouse-Lautrec.)

In 1992, a more formal structure was implemented. Meeting dates were selected in advance, information of planned activities was communicated to the group through a monthly newsletter and a membership directory was distributed. A committee was formed to prepare the club to become a French-chartered non-profit association.

The first AIT Annual All Member Meeting was held on 20 June 1994. The paperwork, charter and by-laws were presented to the Prefecture of Toulouse, which approved them on 23 June 1994.

In 2007, due to the fact that the Club’s success had developed an international membership, the name of the Club was changed to “AIT International Club”, or AIT. Today members continue to support each other by sharing information through our Club. It is in this spirit that our association will continue to be an important part of the Toulouse experience for newcomers and veterans alike.

Many thanks due:

A heartfelt thanks go out to those who contributed their time and talents towards the founding of AIT, and to those who are continuing the successful tradition. And, a very special thanks to those members who initiated this book dedicating their time and effort over the years to its success by updating its content.

The AIT is constituted under French law: Association Loi 1901 – Association #25353