Before The Departure
Now start the long wait! You are excited, you have a positive answer, you’ve got a new nice job in a new country… And you have to wait 2 months minimum that Business France (BF) creates the contract… When you have to leave outside of Europe, you can understand this time. Visa, work permit, plane ticket bought in advance to avoid excessive costs, etc. But in Europe it seems so long!
During this time, Business France asks you the common paperwork: passport, Defence number (specific to French people), etc. They give you your personal access on Civiweb when you will be able to read the section “before your mission starts”. In this part, BF will give you details on mandatory processes you need to complete according to your country of assignment and the documents to provide.
Most important! Do not anticipate. You’re facing the French administration, don’t forget about it. I wanted to take a day off and obtain the medical certificate. What a mistake! The GP gave me a perfect medical certificate. But BF refused it because of its “non-conformity”. Indeed, several days later, I received my contract with… a basic form the doctor has to fill. Of course, the information on this form were exactly the same the GP put in his certificate… but not the official form of course… so it’s not ok. But actually the official form was just a simple document created with Word, without any official header… So just wait for the nice document from BF (I believe you still can feel my irritation just by reading this).
You also have to send your bank details provided by a French bank account. The only reason for this is that BF will send your allowance in Euros. From a French bank account. They don’t want any transfer fees or currencies fees. For the VIEs who are going to a country where the local currency is more powerful than Euro, like the UK, well you won’t earn a lot. BF also offers a partnership with Societe Generale I talked about in the page “Expatriation contract”, section “Benefits” (spoiler alert: it’s not really a benefit actually… you can find better).
Anyway, after these administrative procedures, BF gives the date for the mandatory induction meeting, that takes place, usually, on the last day of the month (like, 29th, 30th, 31st).
During this meeting, BF reminds you the contract’s rules, the Volunteer’s duties, the safety rules (especially for the countries with risks), gives you an introduction to the health insurance. They also make a 10-min break inviting all people going to the same country to talk to each other.
This said, this meeting is mandatory but is not amazing… They make it mandatory to remind the rules only. It could be seem as useless when you are a minimum logical. But after discovering the VIE group on Facebook, you realize BF really need it. Because rational people seem to be in minority…
BF already gave you your plane ticket (or train ticket for those who don’t go too far), and you travel on the 1st of the month. Exciting!!!
My dad gave me a lift to the airport, but I won’t tell you a touching goodbye, worthy of a drama movie. No, because it wasn’t the 1st I was going abroad, I was really impatient to start my new adventure, it wasn’t so far, etc. So we quickly said “see you soon” (the queue for customs was impressive and I wasn’t so early). And with time, my dad became an accomplished traveller so he really wanted me to leave and me to quickly move in so he can come and visit (smart…!).