Understanding International Volunteering In Companies Or Vie In 5 Questions
Want to work abroad? If you are between 18 and 28 years old, you can take advantage of a program called International Volunteer in Business or VIE. We will explain to you what it consists of in 5 questions.
What is international volunteering in a company?
The International Corporate Volunteer Program, or VIE, involves going on a mission abroad for a period of 6 to 24 months. This program has an equivalent in the public sector called VIA.
Missions typically last around 18 months and take place outside of France, within small or large companies such as Carrefour, Natixis, Stellantis, Veolia, or Société Générale.
Created in 2000, this program aims to promote international mobility for young graduates. It is managed by Business France, the national agency that supports French companies in their international development activities.
2- Where do VIE missions take place?
As its name suggests, international volunteering in business takes place abroad, with missions offered in over 120 countries.
The United States and Canada are highly sought-after destinations for this type of international volunteering.
It should be noted, however, that about half of the contracts take place in Europe, in countries such as Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Spain, as well as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
Good to know
After an inevitable slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, International Volunteering in Business has just surpassed its pre-Covid record level.
Around 11,000 young people are on a mission as part of an International Volunteering in Business program in 2023. Over 100,000 contracts have been signed since the creation of this program.
The number of companies with less than 50 million euros in turnover that have used this type of contract has increased from 950 in 2020 to over 1,200 in 2023, representing a 30% increase.
3- Who can do international volunteering in a company?
International volunteering in companies is aimed at young people aged 18 to 28 at the start of their mission.
Currently, 90% of the offers are filled by young people with a Bachelor's degree or higher, with a high proportion of graduates from top business schools or engineering schools (75%).
The government, which wants to promote this program to other young people and increase the diversity of profiles, has committed to fully funding two months of the mission for young people from shorter education backgrounds (up to Bachelor's degree) or from priority neighborhoods.
To apply for this type of mission, you just need to register on the Mon Volontariat International website (link below). Then, you need to go through an interview process similar to a regular job application.
All candidates have a chance, although companies prefer young people who are fluent in foreign languages, especially one foreign language in addition to English.
4- What is the salary for international volunteering in a company?
The professions and roles performed during an international voluntary service contract in a company are very diverse. The VIE is possible in all sectors, even though a majority of missions concern the services sector and, more specifically, IT services.
The salary offered for this type of mission is generous. The average allowance is €2500 net per month in Europe and €2900 net worldwide. Another advantage is that the remuneration received is not subject to income tax!
The only disadvantage to be aware of is that you do not contribute to your retirement when working abroad under this contract. However, if you spend at least 6 months on an international voluntary mission, it will count towards your end-of-career quarters.
5- What are the advantages of VIE?
International volunteering in companies has been around for over 20 years, but its success is still going strong! The government wants to further develop this program, which appeals to both young people and businesses.
For young volunteers, this opportunity is a great way to discover the world of work and international experiences. It allows them to acquire new skills, give a boost to their careers, and make a meaningful contribution to society, as nearly one in five missions has a dimension of sustainable development in addition to its international aspect.
This volunteering mission is generally a good way to boost one's career and facilitate future employment, as this enriching experience often leads to a permanent contract.
Companies also benefit from this arrangement, as no social charges apply to this type of contract, which is fully managed by the operator on the administrative, legal, and social fronts.
Thanks to these missions, companies can recruit and retain promising young professionals. In fact, one in two young people chooses to continue their career in the company where they completed their VIE.
Good to know
Despite its many advantages, the VIE program remains largely unknown. That's why the government has announced assistance to promote and develop this program.
These aids will be available to companies labeled France 2030 that develop innovative technologies for ecological transition. Up to 1000 companies could benefit from reduced or zero costs for signing this type of contract.