Working abroad as an International administrative volunteer (VIA)

Would you like to ensure your resume doesn’t go unnoticed? The International administrative volunteer (VIA) scheme allows young Europeans under 28 years old to work abroad in French government administrations for up to two years. You could be a project officer in the French embassy in Australia or in the New Delhi Alliance Française…Though this program isn’t as popular as the VIE scheme, each year over 1,000 volunteers go abroad to complete a VIA assignment. Spotlight on a different way to gain worthwhile international experience.

VIA eligibility criteria

To be able to take part in the International administrative volunteer 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),
  • be a student, a graduate or a job seeker,
  • have completed the national service obligations in your home country (if any),
  • accept the discretion obligations,
  • have a clean police record,
  • never have taken part in an International volunteering program in the past.

If you are selected for a VIA assignment, passing a medical examination and making sure you have done all the required vaccinations is compulsory. 

VIA assignment factsheet

The VIA program is run either by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by the French Treasury and allows young Europeans to work abroad in French governmental administrations.

Length of the assignments

A VIA assignment lasts between 6 and 24 months. Ministry of Foreign Affairs assignments usually are 12 months long. Only one renewal is possible, within the same 24-month limit.

Location of the assignments

VIA assignments take place in French administrations located outside of France such as: embassies or consulates, research institutes and centers, Alliance Française establishments, Chambers of Commerce or UBIFRANCE (French Trade Commission) offices.

Positions offered

For most assignments, having successfully completed a fourth-year university level is required. Many different positions may be offered to International administrative volunteers: project officer, research analyst, archivist, IT specialist, cook…

Allowance and insurance

VIA assignees earn a monthly allowance which is made up of a basic allowance of 715.38€ and of an additional allowance whose amount varies depending on the country (and sometimes the city) of assignment.

For instance :

An assignee in Belgium will receive an additional allowance of 871,11 €. This means the total monthly allowance will amount to 
1 593,49 €.

If your assignment takes place in Tokyo: the additional allowance is of 2 289,29€. You will be earning à 3 004,67 € per month.

If Peru is your country of assignment, you will receive an additional allowance of 1 367,94€. Every month, you will be paid a total of 2 083,32 €.

The cost of international volunteer insurance is included in the monthly allowance and offers several benefits: healthcare costs, repatriation assistance, and personnal liability.

Becoming a volunteer

Looking for a VIA assignment isn’t exactly like searching for a job or an internship abroad. Learn about the application procedures.

Landing an assignment

To find a VIA assignment, there are several steps to follow.

1. Prepare a resume.

2. Register on the CIVI (International Volunteering Information Center) website.

3. Check the assignment offers published on the CIVI website. You cannot send your application directly to the different administrations or embassies.

4. If you are selected, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the French Treasury will invite you to interview.

Before you leave

Before you leave for your country of assignment, there are several formalities to be completed.

1. Once you are selected, you receive an appointment letter.

2. You pass a medical examination, receive the compulsory vaccines (if any) and in some cases, you get a service passport.

3. You attend an orientation meeting organized in Paris by the French Treasury or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invites you to attend an interview.

When you get back, you will receive a certificate proving you took part in the VIA scheme.

To find out more about the International administrative volunteer scheme:

Register on the CIVI website and browse the assignment offers.

Date of publication Sep 28 2015

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