Checklist before registration

Going on an International Volunteer program requires some organisation. To make your life easier, we guide you step by step on the international intern’s experience - before, during and after departure.  

Questions on the V.I.E scheme, registration and recruitment ? A doubt on the procedures to be undertaken ? You want to know more about the daily life of the intern and what happens after the V.I ?    

All relevant information to go on an assignment is here. 

I check that I have fulfilled the conditions of eligibility 

- I am 18 years old and I am not yet 29
- I am French and/or a citizen of the European Economic Area.  
- If I am a french citizen or have a dual nationality including French, I have carried out the obligations of national service.
- I have a clean criminal record

Is everything OK ? Then let's go !  

I ensure that the V.I. is compatible with my projects 

You are an employee or self-employed ? You dream about continuing your studies or creating your own company ?  
Please note that you cannot carry out another activity at the same time - the V.I. is an experience that takes up all your time ! 

I make sure that I am ready for the V.I. adventure 

 Leaving to work abroad is a fantastic adventure ! But, it is also quite a challenge. 

You are leaving your family and friends behind, you are becoming more independent, you are experiencing a new culture. 

Are you ready for such a change in environment ? 

If you are hesitant, take a look at the testimonials of former V.I.Es and V.I.As to see what your new life will be like !  

The checklist to apply

I register on the My International Internship web site 

You have checked in “before you register that the V.I. was right for you ?  
Yes ? To access the V.I.E and V.I.A offersregister via Gmail or Linkedin or by completing your names, first names, email and a password. 

I look for the V.I.E or V.I.A assignment that is right for me 

Before diving head first into sending applications, take stock of your desires and your professional project.  

Are you interested in a particular company? Think about unsolicited applications.  

You are a trainee or on work experience in an international company ? Offer to extend your employment in the context of a V.I.E for an assignment abroad.  

Do you feel attracted by a country? Or a sector of activity ? You are hesitating between an International Internship in a Company and in an Administration ? Sort V.I. assignment offers based on your criteria thanks to search engine.

An assignment catches your eye ? Do you fulfil the expectations of the recruiter ? Check that your situation fulfils the hosting conditions of the country of the assignment (link to the The Countries block). And make sure that the local culture corresponds to what you want ! 

You have found the right assignment ? It’s time to convince the recruiter. Trust yourself ! 

I write my CV and a covering letter to persuade the recruiter 

Mass mailings of cut-and-pasted CVs or covering letters are of course prohibited. 
To stand out from the crowd, put forward the arguments that fulfil the needs of the assignment and the expectations of the recruiter. For this, obtain information on the recruiter, sector, country of assignment, offer…  

Draft a CV that stands out

- Dare to highlight the originality of your background. An atypical profile that is a major asset for recruiters, particularly in the context of the V.I. 

- Make the most of all your relevant experience, even extra-professional but keep it short.  

- Do not forget to highlight your linguistic skills and your international experience.  

- Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. 

- And above all - remain authentic and never lie on your CV ! 

As for the covering letter, see it as an opportunity to express your personality, your motivation and your passion in a freer format.  

- Focus on a common theme and a few major ideas to convince the recruiter.  

- For the general structure, you will never go wrong if you follow the framework of “me, you, we” but don't hesitate to show some originality. 

- Don’t forget that the purpose of this letter is to make the recruiter want to meet you and to learn more about you - it should be short and to the point ! 

I am applying for an assignment 

Ready to apply for a V.I. offer? Provide your full profile (link to “register”) and send your applications to the recruiters. 
Be patient, there are quite a lot of fields to fill in. Completing your profile enables you to increase the visibility of your CV with other recruiters and start your V.I. file as soon as you are given an assignment.  

I prepare my interview with the recruiter 

That's it! You have been selected for an interview for the assignment of your dreams. Spontaneity is good. But being prepared is much better.  

To be sure to find the right words and overcome your stress on D day:  

- Carry out research into the company, the market, the industry… 

- Work on your pitch, often the first impression for the recruiter 

- Prepare yourself to answer classic and also incongruous questions! 

- You can also expect to be tested on your linguistic skills and on your initiative. After all, the company must be able to trust you when they see you from far away.  

- Finally, ask the recruiter the questions to which you really need answers! An interview is not an interrogation but an exchange that allows both parties to see if they are mutually compatible. 

Is it a video interview ? Don’t panic ! The preparation is just the same. Express yourself clearly and project your voice. Do not hesitate to point out if the connection is bad and ask the person you are speaking to to repeat themselves.  

At the end of the interview, you need to come out with a clear mind about the assignment and what the organisation expects. And, normally, with an idea of whether the adventure appeals to you or not.  Do not forget to send a thank you email, highlighting what the exchange taught you and your motivation.  

You were not selected ? Do not hesitate to ask for feedback on your interview. This may help you understand why you were not chosen.   

Finally, hang on in there! Perseverance is the key to a successful V.I. search. 

The checklist before your departure

I sign the letter of appointment  

You have passed your interview hands down and have been selected by the company for the V.I.E of your dreams. Bravo!  

You are impatient to sign your employment contract. In fact, that's not how it is done...  

There is no employment contract between you and the company. You sign a letter of appointment with Business France. This document records your mission, recapitulates the scope of your action, the amount of your allowances, your rights and your duties, the terms and conditions of care... You are then committed to accomplishing your assignment as defined with the company.  

For the V.I.A, things are different. There you sign directly with the administration that is recruiting you.  

I give a commitment to rights and duties  

The public status of the V.I. offers a very safe environment for you, your family, your recruiter : 

- You are supported by Business France until the end of your assignment.

- You are under the protection of the French Embassy in the country.

- You benefit from social cover suited to the country's healthcare system.

- You receive an allowance that is exempt from income tax in FranceYou get a return ticket between your country of residence and your country of destination.

- The freight carriage of your luggage is paid for up to a maximum of 150 kg both ways. 

In return, you undertake to : 

- Respect the inner regulation of your host structure, notably the commitment to professional discretion. 

- Act in a responsible manner in your country of assignment. 

- Declare any trips to Business France.

- Communicate your contact details : for your safety, Business France needs to be able to reach you at any time.

- Send to Business France the requested information : reports for the start and finish of your assignment...

I carry out the procedures needed for my departure 

At least 2 months will elapse between the time you are selected by the company and the day of your actual departure. A period of time to validate your file and obtain the official agreement of your host country, which cannot be shortened. 

You think that's a long time? Make the most of it to get ready for your departure!   

After signing your letter of appointment: 

- Open a bank account in France to allow you to receive your allowances. If you are not a French resident, carry out these procedures in good time so as to not delay your departure. 

- Start the VISA/work permit procedures - become familiar with the country memo you have received. If your destination requires a VISA, start the administrative procedures with the company that is recruiting you. You will be reimbursed the costs for obtaining a VISA by the company upon presentation of the receipts.  

- Organize the freight transportation of your luggage with the company or Business France as mentioned in your letter of appointment. Good news, 150 kg of luggage is paid for.

- Look for your accommodation on site unless your company takes care of it: your letter of appointment states whether or not the company pays part of your accommodation.

- Plan your travel tickets with the company that has recruited you or Business France based on the choice stated in your letter of appointment.  

- And if your better half or your children are accompanying you to the country of destination, you are responsible for any administrative procedures concerning him/her. 

One month before the departure : 

- Get a medical check-up with a Doctor approved by the Agence Régionale de Santé, and send Business France the medical certificate provided.  

- Ensure that you have received the obligatory vaccines for the country of destination and that you are up to date with your reminders

- Inform your tax office, healthcare insurance and other relevant administrations of your departure.

72 hours at least before departure when confirmed with the company :  

- Complete the travel certificate on your personal space on the My International Internship site.   

I receive training from the company that has recruited me  

The V.I.E French International Internship program let you spend up to 182 days per year in France. That’s the perfect opportunity for the company to train you and make sure you are operational for your assignment.

This training time varies between companies. Do not hesitate to contact your recruiter on this subject !   

I take part in the induction day  

Before your departure, you take part in the induction day organised by Business France.  

On the programme for this day - raising awareness of good security practices and cybersecurity, the “dos” and “don’ts” of the V.I., the social and healthcare cover during the assignment, and question and answer sessions.  

The start of an assignment of international internship is always the 1st of the month. If everything is not in order, your assignment may be delayed a month.  

The checklist during the assignment

I do my duties as soon as I arrived in the country 

You have reached your destination? You are starting an incredible adventure! You are allowed the time to put down your luggage but you must carry out the following duties crucial for your safety:

- Send your local details to Business France by filling in the information sheet in your personal space on Mon Volontariat International website.

- Register to the Consulate of your country.

- If necessary, finish the procedure to get your final residency permit. Remember to send a copy to Business France through your personal space.

- Share your installation report via your personal space. Confidential between you and Business France, it allows us to get your first impressions and to quickly solve any potential difficulties you may encounter. Do not wait to inform us. It’s better, for everyone, to correct the situation from the outset!

If you don’t do this, your allowance can be suspended, so don’t forget!

 

I ask for authorization for all my trips 

You will travel, whether to carry out your assignment, to take holidays or discover your host country on your days off.

As you are under the protection of the French State, any trip:

- Has to be declared to Business France in your personal space on the Mon Volontariat International website.
- Must be authorized by Business France to make sure your trip is risk-free from a health and safety point of view.

Wait until you get the authorization of Business France to buy your ticket. It would be too bad to lose them!

I take time off 

You are entitled to 2.5 days of paid leave per month worked. 

To take these days off, you need to get the agreement from the company.

And again, if you have to travel, don’t forget to get the authorization from Business France.

 

I do not hesitate to ask for help  

Concerns while carrying out your assignment, a health problem, or just questions ? As you can see, Business France takes you under its wing ! Do not hesitate to contact your Business France or local V.I.E correspondent who will help you find solutions.

You need advice to adjust to your local life ? Get in touch with the Club V.I.E or any other expat networks in the country. It’s always useful and nice to exchange information with people who are in the same boat !

 You feel like sharing your experience of V.I.E ? Take part in the Grands Prix V.I.E organised by Business France by filming your adventure!

The checklist for returning home

I validate my experience as international intern 

It is time to go back home ! 

One month before the end of your V.I., you receive a booklet that guides you in your end of assignment procedures. 

Two documents are required to obtain your certificate of completion of V.I :  

- a medical certificate obtained from a doctor in the country; 
- your end-of-internship report.  

Do not skip this aspect ! You will need this certificate of completion to recover your rights to social security and to validate your assignment with the pension fund.  

I update my tax and administrative situation  

As you know, the allowances received during the V.I. are not taxable in France. However, you will need to complete a declaration of revenue in France, whether you are French or a European citizen. See the return booklet or the FAQ for guidance in this procedure.  

Don't forget also to reactivate your rights with the Social Security, your complementary health care, and Pôle emploi… unless you are fortunate, like 92% of V.I.s, and are hired at the end of your assignment ! 

 

I share my experience 

Good experiences are even better when you share them !   

You want to describe your adventures, to sponsor future V.I.Es/V.I.As or to stay in contact with ex-V.I.s ? Join the “V.I.E Club” that brings together former International Interns. You can join free of charge via http://www.clubvie.fr/.  

Express your enthusiasm on social networks and tell people about the benefits of the V.I. To give others the opportunity to live this experience.  

Don’t forget to highlight your experience on LinkedIn and in your CV - International Intern assignments open doors to the job market and are a recognized springboard for an international career ! (Success story)

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