« International Voluntary Experience »

You’re between 18 and 28 years? You can perform a mission of working abroad on behalf of a French company for 6 to 24 months. Indeed, it allows citizens of the European Union to obtain extensive experience of several months or years in a company abroad. This is an ideal solution to gain a first international experience.

Officially, no specific qualification is required, but in practice most of the volunteers have at least 3 to 5 years of professional experiences, including a high proportion of graduates from business schools or engineering .

The International Voluntary was created in 2001 under the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. It is a great opportunity for young people to emigrate safely and provides large or small businesses, the possibility of employing beginners but certainly motivated and whose salaries are exempt from payroll taxes.

Throughout the duration of their mission, the volunteers are under the supervision of the Embassy of France in the host country. They have a public status that gives them rights, managed daily by the French Agency for international business development: social protection and health insurance, paid vacation, pension rights and compensation … This monthly compensation is between 1100 and 3100 euros. The only drawback is : since the compensation is exempt from social security contributions, the volunteers can not qualify for unemployment insurance back in France.

In 2007, China was the second most popular destination for International Volunteering : the inventory counted 516 volunteers in 303 different companies. In 2009, there were even 629 International Voluntary, mainly in the region of Shanghai and Hong Kong. Over 50% of volunteers were working in large groups, especially in the fields of banking and financial services, but also among automotive suppliers, in the food industry, distribution …

It is possible to find its own Voluntary International Business while contacting businesses directly or visit the “Centre d’Information sur le Volontariat International” (Information Centre on International Voluntary) , managed by the French Agency for international business development (UBIFRANCE).

Then the only thing to do is to convince companies !


2 thoughts on “« International Voluntary Experience »

  1. I think that the mentioned International Voluntary Program is really a great opportunity for young people to gain their first experience abroad. Especially that the volunteers are under supervision of the French embassy in the host country gives them a perfect framework to get settled in. I totally agree with the mentioned point that the only disadvantage of the program is that although the volunteers are working, they are not entitled to qualify for the French unemployment insurance.
    It is not surprising that China was the second popular destination, due to the fact that the Chinese economy will be soon the largest economy in the world and a year in China will be a good investment in the personal future.
    It is a real pity that this kind of program is just offered in France.

  2. This Program is a good opportunity to have an international experience. We can see that nowadays, it is a big advantage to have a working experience abroad. It shows that your are independent and not afraid to live and to discover an other country, an other language, …

    But sometimes even if you want to work abroad, it can be difficult to find good conditions to do it, so I think that to “use” the international voluntary experience can be a good way to do it with some “help”.


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