The French V.I.E. program (Volontariat International en Entreprise) is an international internship program that offers young professionals a high profile placement in a corporate environment. You can join this program to find an internship in Germany if you are an EEA national (European Economic area).
The V.I.E program offers you a remunerated professional assignment between 6 and 24 months, which can be renewed once within in a 2-year period.
Many types of commercial, managerial or technical assignments can be carried out:
- in a company, international organisation or accredited association,
- within a French public organisation attached to the Ministry of Economy, Foreign Affairs and International Development
- in foreign public organisations such as universities or research centres
Good to know:
You have the possibility to suggest your own types of assignments, depending on your skills and that of the company.
In order to take part, you must:
- hold EEA nationality,
- be between 18 and 28 years old,
- be a student, a graduate or a job applicant,
- hold a clean criminal record and
You must be in order with the national service obligations of your home country.
It is not necessary to hold a diploma in particular, but keep in mind that the higher your level of qualification is, the more you will have the opportunity to draw the attention of recruiters.
Conditions related to labour rights, fiscal rights and health care are not the same for all types of assignments.
To be able to apply you'll first need to register for free on the CIVI website (Centre d'Information sur le Volontariat International), the Information Center for the International Internship Programme.
Once registered, it's up to you to find an assignment. The CIVI remains to be the main source of job offers for International volunteers. Start applying as you would normally do using unsolicited applications and reply to job ads on corporate websites or recruitment forums etc. You should always transmit a cover letter with your CV to the recruiter.
Once a French company has selected you, you will have to wait for the final validation step of the examination of your file in coordination with the body administrator organization, Ubifrance. In order to become an official International volunteer, you will also have to pass a medical evaluation.
Matriculation on the CIVI website is mandatory.
If you are to become an international volunteer, you will benefit from a fixed monthly allowance set at a minimum of 660 euros. Monthly allowances can reach until 3 200 euros, depending on currency movements.
Transports fees are charged to the French companies.
Your eligible for 2,5 days off per month of assignment. Exceptional vacation could be granted by the company in case of special events (death, birth, weddings in your family, for example).
Wages are exonerated from payroll and income taxes. In the case your assignment is made in a country where the allowance is submitted to tax, these are to be met by the hosting company.
An International volunteer is not eligible for unemployment benefit.
The German labour market
Almost 1600 companies participate in the International Internship Programme in Germany with over 850 placements in 2015. The majority of the companies offering assignments for International volunteers are small and medium sized (SME's.).
Most of these companies are situated in the South and in North Rhine-Westphalia, where most job opportunities generally arise. The German most recruiting fields are the car industry, aeronautics, trade affairs, management and the finance sector.
The positions offered to the International volunteers require different important skills such as being self-sufficient, being well organised and being capable of adapting to any situation.
A professional springboard
The V.I.E. Programme could be a real advantage for your work experience. The good command of the German language acquired during the International Internship Programme is usually considered as an additional skill by German recruiters. Furthermore, a professional experience made abroad is a good point on a CV. The International Internship Programme sometimes gives access to a permanent contract after the end of the duration of the internship in the company.