An expat reconciling her passions and a fulfilling family life in Mauritius

Expat interviews
  • expat in Mauritius
Published on 2021-11-26 at 08:00 by team
Passionate about languages ​​and arts, Sophie has a fulfilling expat life in Mauritius and wouldn't change it for anything. She arrived in Mauritius from France in 2018 with an Occupation Permit, and today she is her own boss. She talks to about how she reconciles her career and family life.

Can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Sophie, and I am 40 years old. I am married to Étienne, and we have a daughter, Noémie. We are French expatriates who have been living in Mauritius since 2018.

What made you want to move to Mauritius?

My husband has always had a deep passion for the ocean, fishing and has always wanted us to move abroad, somewhere in our forties.

We spoke a lot about it and had been planning our departure for several years, looking for a destination with the best compromise in terms of language, culture. We also wanted to be in a place where our daughter would be able to join a French school, just in case we would have to return to France.

During our research on forums, including that of, several trips overseas, including 2 to Mauritius in a homestay, it became obvious that this is the ideal place for many reasons. The rich culture, the kindness of its inhabitants, the ocean too, of course, and thinking about the opportunities that we could perhaps find here were motivating.

So I agreed to get started at the end of 2017, and we started looking for jobs remotely in January. A third trip was already planned for the end of February 2018, so we used our 15 days there to look for work on the spot.

In addition, the was a small cyclone during that period, so the weather was rainy!

Finally, I bagged an interview on the last day of our stay; it was on Mauritius Independence Day celebrations. The same evening, we boarded our flight back to France. I received a call 2 days later that informed me I was selected for the job provided I could join within 4 weeks. So everything went very quickly for our family. We were back in Mauritius 3 weeks later with a couple of suitcases. We had accepted the challenge.

What was your professional background before moving to Mauritius, and when you arrived?

I have mainly worked in tourism and the language sector. I have held positions at the airport, and I was a trilingual guide in a museum. Then I worked in a call centre for a Swiss airline. This is how I started my career in France and German-speaking Switzerland. After that, I worked with a service provider in the tourism sector, still in Switzerland. I stayed there for 11 years, climbing the ladder to higher positions: taking charge of customer sales, product purchases, management, then business development, being perfectly trilingual: French, German, English, with knowledge of Spanish. At the end of the day, I worked in many fields and acquired a wide variety of skills. I think that this diversity helped me to find a job in Mauritius.

In parallel with my studies and professional activities, I grew up in the entertainment world. I count more than 35 years of theatre and more than 25 years as a singer.

In Mauritius, after 18 months in my first position as Training and Quality Manager, I decided to change my career. I joined a company that provides language courses in France, my first passion, allowing me to use my linguistic knowledge daily. As the Head of Remote Operations, I was convinced that I had to evolve in this direction.

Today, you are your own boss. So what made you want to start a business in Mauritius?

First, it allows me to work when it suits me best, giving me a greater work-life balance. I haven't had much of this with my previous jobs.

Second, because being my own boss allows me to focus on the tasks that I like the most.

And finally, because among my activities, I found one that allows me to develop the artistic skills that I had not been in touch with since we moved abroad.

I got into dubbing, mainly. I keep a part of linguistics with German> French and English> French translations, writing/corrections, and I work with a recruitment agency to validate profiles and linguistic services.

I think that being able to reconcile your passions, profession and a fulfilling family life is still a privilege these days.

What are the benefits of being an entrepreneur in Mauritius?

Mauritius offers the possibility to foreigners to work in practically all fields. With remote working, many activities can be done from home. Moreover, global talent is in high demand.

Finally, with the new premium visa, working from Mauritius has become much easier. The island offers an exceptional living environment compared to the grey and cold Europe. We work on weekdays and go to the beach on weekends. It's amazing!

The procedures are not complicated, but there are conditions to be fulfilled. Therefore, get the necessary information about these and the obligations related to this status to obtain the precious self-employed permit that is now valid for 10 years!

You arrived with an Occupation Permit, and your husband was not allowed to work when he arrived. How was this experience?

Everything happened very quickly, and I immediately started working. My husband was able to take advantage of this time as a dependent to carry out all the steps we needed:

  • Open a bank account.
  • Find a car.
  • Enroll our daughter in school so that she could complete her school year.
  • Take care of her during her long school holidays in July and August.
  • Organize our life here in general, and most importantly: look for a job.

It was beneficial, I think, the very first weeks, but in the long run, it was long, and we were impatiently waiting for him to find a job because my salary alone did not cover our expenses. Still, we were able to manage the situation as we were already prepared for this.

Did your husband face difficulties in finding a job?

He found work after 4 months, although he applied for hundreds of jobs in that period.

You moved to Mauritius with your child. Now that classes are being held remotely, how is your daughter coping with her education?

Our daughter is 11 years old, and she is in 6th grade. She is rather autonomous. I usually check her schedule, but she knows how to connect to her virtual classes without anyone's help.

The college she attends is well organized. They use a virtual platform through which students can communicate with their teacher if there is a problem.

Have you made any arrangements to ensure the continuity of your business and your child's education at home?

We have arranged to work certain days from home when possible. Fortunately, we can also count on a few friends and neighbours who can take care of her and make sure that she takes the classes. They can also assist whenever it is needed. Without them, things would have been much more complicated since we don't have any family here.

What are your plans for the future in Mauritius or elsewhere?

We are looking to stay in Mauritius as long as possible, with our current statutes, first, and if possible later, to retire here as well.

Our dream is to become homeowners, so we are looking forward to signing for Flic en Flac's “Smart City” project, open to expatriates. It will take a few more months of patience, but it's definitely worth the wait.

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