Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines
I came to France because of the immigration law approved by ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, accepting professionals to come and work in France. Our special permit to stay was called “Card of Competency and Talent”. I worked as a pharmacy aide since I arrived in France because I have more than 10 years of experience as a chemist working in a laboratory of research and development. I studied a short course in tourism in a French training center as a travel consultant. I put up my own travel agency specializing in Philippines as a tourist destination.
The greatest challenge I had encountered in living overseas is the language barrier. To overcome this challenge, I spent five years studying the language in school after work. I would somewhat blush everyday but I was motivated to learn, because I believe the key for a greater opportunity is learning the language. I built a circle of French friends to enhance my knowledge, and my job in the pharmacy helped me a lot. I also passed the language proficiency exam level B1 that made me qualify for French nationality.
Success for me is sharing your personal experience in helping people, especially the Filipinos living in Paris.
The Philippines is a small country compared to France, but we can find great people living there. We have our own authentic culture that is interesting to discover.