In search of new opportunities, enriching their personal and professional experience, living in an exotic country, discovering new cultures, learning a new language… these are just some reasons why French people might want to work abroad.

But before embarking on such an adventure, it’s important to make sure that your plans are worthwhile, and that you can put your skills to good use in the host country. In any case, over 2 million French people have chosen to expatriate, and it has to be said that they have not regretted their choice, because it is usually a rewarding experience.

Why work abroad?

Experience is an asset

Employers consider professionals with foreign experience to be « worthwhile » candidates. This could then serve as proof of resourcefulness and adaptability.

Professionals can also take advantage of their stay abroad to develop their international business contacts and relationships.

Boosting your self-esteem

Living in another country is an extraordinary adventure. Prospective expatriates must learn a new culture, fundamentally change their way of life, and adopt a new status and new habits. On the other hand, they also need to forge new relationships to make it easier to adapt to life in their new country. All this contributes to developing self-confidence and autonomy, crucial qualities…

An enriching human experience

Expatriation leads to open-mindedness and tolerance, because professionals have to « learn » and adapt to the local culture.

How can I work abroad?

The first thing you need do is to find a position that matches your professional background and expectations. To do this, you can search for international job offers on Pôle emploi, the French job service, or find out about French groups with subsidiaries in the four corners of the globe. This information is provided by the MFE (Maison des Français à l’Étranger), which can also help prospective expatriates:

  • Look for an available position,
  • Write their CVs,
  • Do the necessary paperwork,
  • etc.

The Association pour l’Emploi des Cadres (Employment Agency for Professionals and Managers (APEC)) has a wide range of offers for managers and recent graduates, such as employment contracts, internships and more.

Professionals can also contact the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the country where they wish to set up business, to find out more about French companies who might be interested in hiring them.

The EURES network (European Employment Network) can also help those wishing to move to a member country of the European Union.

Various job offers can also be found on specialized platforms, such as:

  • Workwide: this website lists a wealth of job offers available in many countries around the world. As an added feature, this website provides an interesting comparison of the cost of living in the countries concerned.
  • JobTrotter: job seekers can select the country and industries in which they would like to work before posting their CV on this portal. This website will send you alerts if there are job openings that match your profile.
  • Business France: this is a network of International Internship Program (VIE) professionals. The website publishes job offers abroad. Note that the VIE program allows you to work while on a subsidized stay.

There are also other programs for young people under 35, such as working vacation visas in Canada.

Which are the most popular countries in which to work abroad?

Most French people who work abroad choose to settle in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Because they are renowned for their quality of life and the hospitality of their people, these countries appeal to the French.

The more adventurous can choose more exotic countries such as Thailand, Mexico or Ecuador. Not only do these countries offer better living conditions, but there is also no shortage of job openings for « highly qualified » professionals, especially in industry (in South America).

Those who do not wish to leave the Old Continent prefer to expatriate to Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany and Malta. This choice is explained by proximity, a better quality of life than in France and, above all, more attractive working conditions. With international wage portage, you can work abroad while still being covered by French social protection.

Wage portage is an alternative status that combines the freedom of independence with the security of salaried employment. This status enables independent consultants to outsource their activities abroad, while enjoying the benefits of traditional French salaried employment.