Moving to France for a new life: Wafa's testimony


Pauline Jxxx

Moving to France for a new life: Wafa's testimony

Today, we will discover the testimony of Wafa Essaghir, a 30-year-old Moroccan who came to France with Cooptalis 







A few words about me 

I am married and I have a two-year-old daughter. I am from Morocco, Casablanca more precisely.

I have a master's degree in banking audit and information systems design. 

I have worked 7 years in Morocco before arriving in France, in a subsidiary of BNP Paribas. Today, I work in long-term housing in Ile-de-France. 


My choice to come to live in France 

It's a project that we have made evolve with my husband.

We thought it would boost our professional career. In fact, my husband has a highly sought-after profile in France. A headhunter quickly approached him. After discussing it, we thought that this expatriation could be beneficial for both our careers.


For my part, I went through all the positions that could be offered to me in Morocco: position of analysis, design, development, project manager... I didn't see much opportunities for my career.

Beyond the professional project, I really wanted to discover another culture, just like my husband. We were particularly attracted to France. That was our first choice.  


My career in France 

We arrived in France in 2015, my husband having preceded me by two months. When I arrived in France, I first stayed two months without having a professional mission. In fact, at the beginning, I had to join a company in Lille in March 2015.


My husband being based in Paris, I preferred to wait and find a job in Ile-de-France. So I started in May as a project manager in Paris. I worked for my first year in insurance industry. And, as I said, I've been doing long-term housing for 3 years now. 


Our life in France 

It's been four and a half years since we arrived. We have our lives in France now, with our friends and colleagues. When we arrived in France, we quickly integrated. We first resided in a hotel apartment. There were a lot of students. The atmosphere was very friendly, it was really full of life actually. We organized breakfasts together, etc. At the company level, I immediately felt comfortable. They really welcomed me with open arms.  It's kind of funny, by the way, because they're the ones who didn't really know how to behave with me. Indeed, I was the only Moroccan on the team. They did not know if they could talk about this or that in front of me. They also didn't know if they could kiss me to say hello in the morning.


We want to continue our life in France. We started the process to get the 10-year resident card. By next February, we will have 5 years of residency in France. We will be able, and we want to ask for our naturalization. 

My expatriation with Cooptalis 

Cooptalis contacted me on a professional network. I didn't know the enterprise before, but I already had plans to move to France. I knew other international mobility companies, but I had only negative reviews from my colleagues.  

Two things really pleased me at Cooptalis. 

First, it is the fact that they do not only see employees as profiles. They also, and especially, consider them as humans. I was very much struck by an anecdote. The Paris attacks took place shortly after we arrived. It turns out that my husband was working near the Stade de France at the time. In the evening, Cooptalis contacted us to find out how we were going. They assured us that they would be there for us if we needed to talk. They knew we had no family or friends here. 


Then, it was the accompaniment that I was able to benefit from. I was not aware of the French procedure in terms of expatriation at all. I was really happy to see that they accompanied me in all my steps, from A to Z. And then I was a little afraid that, being based in Lille, their support would be weaker towards me. In the end, I never felt that distance. They were very present by email, on the phone, etc. They were there whenever I needed them. I've always had the answer to my questions. 


You want to tried the mobility experiment ?  

Of course, I recommend expatriation to those around me all the time! If I had to give advice: keep in touch with his family and forge constructive relations in France. This gives an emotional balance and it facilitates social integration! 

Pauline Jxxx

by Pauline Jxxx