Theo is an expatriate full stack developer based in Montreal since May 2022.
He tells us about his expatriation and his first impressions of life in Montreal. He is now an active member of the Maplr community.
Read his testimonial and his feedback after several months in North America!
Expatriate developer in Montreal since May 2022, testimonial from Théo.
Hello, I'm Theo!
I'm 25 years old and I'm originally from Grenoble in France. I arrived in Montreal thanks to Maplr in May 2022 where I was accompanied by Camille.
How did I hear about Maplr? I'd been following Marion, the co-founder, on LinkedIn for a while and took part in a webinar that she was running in early 2022, and it made me want to get involved. I signed up for the support program and arrived 6 months later!
I'm now a full-stack developer based in Montreal at Maplr.
What are the reasons for your expatriation to Montreal?
In fact, there are several.
The first is that I lived in Montreal when I was a child, until I was 5. Although I have very few memories of that period, I did spend a small part of my schooling here. I'm sure that played a part in the fact that I already have a small attachment to the city.
And I'd always said to myself that I'd go and live abroad after my studies. These two conditions combined to make Montreal my first choice.
Unfortunately, the covid arrived just when I wanted to leave. So it delayed my project to a later date, but I still had it in mind for 2022.
I finally did it in just a few months!
How was your expatriation to Montreal?
Really good! Everything went smoothly and quickly.
I registered in the PVT pool pool at the end of January 2022, was selected at the beginning of February, sent in all the paperwork and finally received the Holy Grail: the famous letter of introduction in mid-March.
You could say I speedrun the PVT 😂 I was really lucky.
And the rest of my expatriation went just as smoothly! As I got my LI very quickly, it took away a big source of stress. There were no problems at immigration and my luck continued right through to my apartment search. I found a great roommate on my first visit!
In fact, my former flatmate is now my best friend! We do everything together, even if we don't live together anymore.
In the end, the most difficult part of my expatriation process was my resignation in France.
Did you encounter any difficulties during your expatriation in Montreal?
My expatriation to Canada went very well overall. I'd say the biggest difficulty was leaving my family and friends behind. The first few months are also a bit difficult, as you're always wondering if you made the right decision to leave everything behind and move to the other side of the world, to a totally unknown country.
We're often faced with big questions... which seems pretty normal to me!
What do you think of the support offered by Mapl?
Maplr's support took a huge load off my mind. Of course, I could have done everything myself, but having Camille with me every step of the way really helped.
Even once you've arrived in the territory, you don't feel left behind. Then I was lucky enough to have Antonin, another Maplr, as a buddy. He very quickly integrated me into the team, showed me his favorite bars, introduced me to people - in short, thank you Antonin and Camille!
What do you like most about the Maplr community?
As we're all expats who've decided to leave everything behind to live on the other side of the world, it inevitably brings us closer together! We're surrounded by people who understand us.
And the Maplr community is quite young, so the working atmosphere is really dynamic. Especially since we've moved into our new offices all to ourselves! The ping-pong table is in full swing. 😂
And events are organized every week to introduce us to new restaurants and activities. There's no time to get bored.
What kind of reception did you get from the Canadians?
A warm welcome. What I love here is that it's so easy to be on first-name terms. When I arrived, I wasn't used to hearing "Hi, how are you?" when I got to the checkout. 😂
It immediately breaks the distance between people, and you're instantly at ease. And Canadians are very open-minded!
What do you think of the cost of living as an expat in Montreal?
It's quite a difficult question really. I would say that life is more expensive, but that I have better purchasing power.
It's easy to be surprised at first, because the prices displayed are higher than those in euros. And don't forget to add taxes, which are not included in the price, and the tip, which is compulsory if you go to a café or restaurant.
Shopping, activities and outings are generally a little more expensive... Even so, as an expatriate developer in Canada, I make a better living than I did in France. I really go out a lot, I also enjoy shopping, and I still manage to put some money aside. So, I'm fine!
What do you like most about Montreal?
There's always something to do! Summer or winter, it's impossible to get bored in Montreal. There are always festivals, street events, garage sales and more. What's more, all you have to do is get in your car to go and do things outside the city, which is an enormous asset. Montreal is a city on the move!
What is your favourite neighbourhood and why?
Aaah my heart sways.
I love the Rosemont district.
It's a very quiet neighborhood, and I like the vibe there. It's residential, but very chill, so it must be nice to live there!
I also really like Griffintown. It's a real departure from typical Montreal architecture. There are lots of big, modern towers and lots of condos (loft-style apartments), which makes me want to live there. 👀
To find out more about the different neighborhoods in Montreal, don't hesitate to consult our articles on housing in Montreal! 👇
As an expatriate developer in Montreal, what are the differences with France on the professional side?
Yes, I did notice quite a few. Thework/life balance is much more interesting here, for example. Presenteeism doesn't exist. So there's no need to stay until 6pm to put on a good show, since everyone has already left by 4:30pm. 😂
Then in France, if I had a medical check-up, I had to take the afternoon off. Here, I can make an appointment at any time I like, and my employer trusts me because he knows I'll make up my hours.
I arrive early in the morning so I can leave early in the afternoon, and nobody minds!
Any final advice for future expatriate developers in Montreal?
If you hesitate, just do it! Just go for it.
Good or bad, it's always an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. My life has changed so much in just one year. I've done things I would never have felt capable of doing.
What's more, Montreal is the perfect city to move to as a French expat, not least because of the language. Montreal is a French-speaking city, so you don't have to worry about understanding it, and the culture is very Americanized. In fact, it's the perfect blend of the two!
If this is your first expatriate experience, Montreal is an incredible city!
Want to try an adventure in Canada?
Do you also want to discover Quebec, go on a road trip or wander through the great outdoors? Then join the Mapl family.
Like Théo, are you looking for a job as a Fullstack developer? At Maplr, we'll help you find an IT job in Montreal, free of charge, and support you through every phase of your relocation. Our French-Canadian team is here to guide you and give you all the information you need to get your new life in Montreal off to a flying start!
Join our community now and become an expatriate developer in Montreal.