Corentin's expat experience at Extia Romania
V.I.E. contracts are more and more popular amongst young workers, providing them with the opportunity to discover a new country and a new culture within a French company. Our company, Extia, is part of this adventure as we are offering many V.I.E. contracts in our international agencies. We’re going to explore further the successful story of Corentin, who initially joined the Romanian agency for a V.I.E. of 2 years, as a Business Manager, and is now continuing his tenure as a Business Coach in Bucharest with a local contract.
The International Experience Program (V.I.E. contract) 🌍
Why did you want to do a V.I.E.?
“I’m from France, more precisely from Brittany where I did all my studies. After I graduated with my master’s degree, my goal was to find a position abroad. I always tried to have a “think outside the box” attitude, so I wanted to be able to live by myself in a new country with a different culture. Born with a constant desire to learn, the V.I.E. contract allowed me the possibility to have many changes in my personal and professional life and I loved that idea of adventure!”
What was your professional desire after your studies?
“I always wanted to leave France after my master’s degree to see how life abroad would be. In my opinion, one life is too short to stay in the same country for the whole life. During my studies, I was also working as a Digital Marketing Analyst for three years. At the end of this experience, I was more inclined toward the business side and was eager to continue in this area.
After several interviews with different companies, I discovered Extia’s Business Manager job offer and liked the diversity of tasks mentioned (business, human resources, and management). I was aligned with Extia’s values: an Agile company that puts people first, with the motto: First Who, Then What! I finally joined my colleagues in Bucharest on the 1st of March 2020.”
What are the opportunities and advantages of a V.I.E. for you?
“This contract allows me to have a position that is related to my studies and my objectives for the future. The V.I.E. has a multitude of advantages both for the company and for the volunteer. Hiring is made easier because the employer is exempt from all social security charges and the candidate can have an attractive income.
On the volunteer's side, the travel and visa costs are covered by the company, he or she is exempt from taxes in France (or abroad) and has good international health cover. Personally, this program enabled me to fulfil my dream of going abroad. Moreover, it is an incredible professional opportunity: with the V.I.E., young expatriate candidates can have interesting responsibilities!”
If you want to learn more about the advantages and regulations of a V.I.E, click here!
What did you learn during these 2 years of V.I.E.?
“On the professional side, the most important was understanding the IT market and all its characteristics: the programming languages, different ways of development, data organization, etc. It was like learning a new language; now I am comfortable with it. The management and the way of working were also different from what I experienced in the past. I also learn about the Business manager position and its complexity. I had to learn to be more patient in having an answer from clients or candidates. I also changed my way of thinking and talking to different stakeholders. Obviously, my skills in English are much better now as well as my strategic thinking and international vision.
On the personal side, I’ve always considered myself an open-minded and sociable person. Now, I am even more because I met a lot of people from different countries, in a lot of new contexts. I am truly more adaptable.”
Extia Romania 📍
How did your integration in Extia Romania go?
“Two weeks after my arrival, Bucharest was placed under lockdown, so you can imagine it was not the best situation to arrive in a new country. Thanks to my warm colleagues, I could rapidly be integrated into the team! And the next summer was pretty cool because the regulations were not as strict as in other countries. I could easily meet new people from everywhere as Bucharest is a cosmopolitan city. Otherwise, I adapted fast to the country as everyone speaks English well, so there is no language barrier. I am still trying to learn Romanian and its amazing grammar.”
Why did you choose Romania as your destination?
“Right after my master’s degree, I took a European trip by train to 15 countries. When I arrived in Romania, I immediately felt a good atmosphere and a huge potential. The culture is for me close to Italian culture (with also some Spanish and French similarities) and you can rapidly feel the safe and positive vibes. Romania is a country that is constantly evolving, a lot of people are working in IT and many big and well-known companies are based in Bucharest.
Many villages and places in the countryside are well preserved, and you can enjoy the wild nature when you visit the Carpathian Mountains which cross the whole country. During summer, you can enjoy the Black Sea and the active nightlife there.”
How is daily life in Bucharest?
“After being in France and living in big cities there, the most important point for me in Bucharest is safety and security. Here, I never had a problem on the streets or on public transportation, people are really friendly. Bucharest is a city of 2 million inhabitants, this is the perfect size for me because there are many things to do but it is not as crowded as Paris for example. I heard that in the last 10 years Bucharest changed a lot, art and culture are more and more present. From Bucharest, you can be in two hours at the beach during summer or in the mountains in the winter. There is no monotony regardless of the season. From December to February, you can have -16 degrees; in July/August we also had +43 degrees. I was about to forget the low prices of beers… Insane!”
In conclusion, Corentin said he enjoyed his experience at Extia Romania. If he can give one piece of advice to people who are hesitating to try a V.I.E. adventure, it will be: “take the risk and you will never regret it!”.
After his V.I.E., Corentin had the opportunity to continue with a local contract within Extia Romania. He has been working in Bucharest for two years and a half and is still enjoying it. For the time being, he intends to stay in Romania for a while and see where life takes him.