Are you under 28 years old and wish to gain valuable international work experience? The Volunteer for International Experience (VIE) scheme, which is run by UBIFRANCE, the French Trade Commission, allows young Europeans to work abroad for up to two years. Nearly 40,000 volunteers have taken part in the VIE programme since it was initiated in 2001. Learn how you can land an assignment in a French company abroad and use this rewarding experience as a career enhancer!
VIE eligibility criteria
To be able to take part in the Volunteer for international experience scheme you must:
- be between 18 and 28 years old at the date of registration,
- be a national of one of the member countries of the European Economic Area (EEA),
- be a student, a graduate or a job seeker,
- have completed the national service obligations in your home country (if any),
- have a clean police record.
If you are selected for a VIE assignment, passing a medical examination and making sure you have done all the required vaccinations is compulsory.
Spotlight on VIE assignment conditions
The VIE programme is a win-win solution, allowing companies to expand internationally while helping young Europeans to gain experience abroad.
Where and for how long?
Though most Volunteers for international experience leave for an average of nearly 18 months, assignments can last between 6 and 24 months. Assignments cannot be divided into several periods and may only be renewed once, for no longer than 24 months.
All VIE assignments take place in French companies or subsidiaries which operate abroad. Volunteers usually only have one country of assignment: 49% of the assignments take place in Europe but Asia also is becoming an increasingly popular destination (19% of the VIE assignees work in Asia). Only “regional volunteers” can be asked to travel to a maximum of eight different countries.
VIE monthly allowance
Assignees earn a monthly allowance which is made up of a basic allowance of 715.38€ and of an additional allowance whose amount varies depending on the country (and sometimes the city) of assignment.
An assignee in Germany will receive an additional allowance of 1,112.43€ This means the total monthly allowance will amount to 1,827.81€.
If your assignment takes place in New York: the additional allowance is of 2,792.27€ You will be earning 3,507.65€ per month.
If Cameroon is your country of assignment, you will receive an additional allowance of 1,367.49€ Every month, you will be paid a total of 2,082.87€.
If the accommodation is provided by the company (compulsory in some countries), the additional allowance is reduced by 20%.
VIE insurance scheme
During the assignment abroad, UBIFRANCE provides insurance coverage for each volunteer. Cover is valid in their country of assignment as well as in their home country and includes the following benefits: healthcare costs, repatriation assistance, special risks, personal liability, death & disability and income protection.
Over 35% of the volunteers find an assignment abroad within one to three months. What are the VIE application procedures?
Landing an assignment
To find a VIE assignment; there are several steps to follow.
- Prepare a resume.
- Register on the CIVI (International Volunteering Information Center) website.
- heck the assignment offers published on the CIVI website or elsewhere and apply.
- If you are selected, the company will submit the assignment request to UBIFRANCE for approval.
Setting up the assignment
The assignment request has been sent to UBIFRANCE. What happens next?
- UBIFRANCE processes the request.
- If the assignment request is approved, you will receive an appointment letter.
- You send copies of the requested documents (if any) to UBIFRANCE, such as your visa and/or work permit and pass a medical examination.
- You attend the orientation meeting organized in Paris by UBIFRANCE.
- You leave for your country of assignment.
94% of the volunteers find a job shortly after their assignment comes to an end. When you get back, UBIFRANCE issues a certificate which will allow you to prove your international experience!
To find out more about the Volunteer for international experience scheme:
Find additional information about the VIE programme and register on the CIVI website.
Visit the UBIFRANCE website and select your country to access the right information.