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Working abroad as a Volunteer for international experience (VIE)
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Are you under 28 years old and want to gain international work experience? Go abroad for up to two years as part of a "Volontariat international en entreprise" (VIE)! Every year, around 10,000 young French people do a VIE. Because France is putting in place measures to encourage young people's mobility, this figure should keep rising over the next few years. But VIEs are not limited to only French people! Find out how to get an assignment in a company abroad and use the VIE as a real professional springboard.

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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),
  • have completed the national service obligations in your home country (if any),
  • have a clean police record,
  • not have done any VIE in the past.

If you are selected for a VIE assignment, you will need to undergo a medical check-up and carry out the necessary vaccinations depending on your destination country.

Spotlight on VIE assignment conditions

The VIE programme is managed by Business France, the French agency for international business development. It is a win-win formula that allows both companies to increase their international development and young people to gain expatriation experience.

Duration and location of the mission

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 €732.99 and of an additional allowance whose amount varies depending on the country (and sometimes the city) of assignment. It is recalculated on a quarterly basis.

For instance:

An assignee in Berlin, Germany will receive an additional allowance of €1,385.26 This means the total monthly allowance will amount to €2,109.25.

If your assignment takes place in New York, USA: the additional allowance is of €2,724.87 You will be earning €3,448.86 per month.

If Toronto, Canada is your destination, you will receive an additional allowance of €1,663.13 Every month, you will be paid a total of €2,387.12.

For Dubai, the geographical allowance will be €1,737.30. The total allowance will therefore be €2,461.29.

If the accommodation is provided by the company (compulsory in some countries), the additional allowance is reduced by 20%.

VIE insurance scheme

During the period of volunteering, the VIE benefits from an insurance policy that includes coverage for health expenses, repatriation assistance, special risks, death & disability, civil liability and work stoppage. The VIE insurance, paid for by Business France, is valid both in the France and abroad.


Over 35% of the volunteers find an assignment abroad within one to three months. What is the VIE application procedure?

Find an assignment

To find a VIE assignment; there are several steps to follow.

  1. Prepare a resume.
  2. Register on the Mon Volontariat International website.
  3. Check the assignment offers published on the website or elsewhere and apply.
  4. If you are selected, the company will submit the assignment request to Business France for approval.

Setting up the assignment

The assignment request has been sent to Business France. What happens next?

  1. Business France processes the request.
  2. If the assignment request is approved, you will receive an appointment letter.
  3. You send copies of the requested documents (if any) to Business France, such as your visa and/or work permit and pass a medical examination.
  4. You attend the orientation meeting organised in Paris by Business France.
  5. You leave for your country of assignment.

92% of the volunteers find a job shortly after their assignment comes to an end. When you get back, Business France issues a certificate which will allow you to prove your international experience!

More about the "Volunteer for international experience"

Find all the information about the VIE and consult the mission offers on the Mon Volontariat International website.

Visit the Business France website to find out more about the VIE for companies.

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Know more about : International volunteering