Naomi is a full stack JS developer expatriated to Montreal since January 2023.
She gives us her first impressions of life in Montreal as an expatriate.
Discover his testimony and his feedback after several months in North America!
Naomi, an expatriate developer in Montreal since January 2023.
My name is Naomi and I've been a full-stack JS developer at Maplr since February 13, 2023 to be precise. I arrived in Montreal on January 11, 2023, in the middle of winter!
That's me and my super ex-colleagues who accompanied me to the airport. ✌️😀
What are the reasons for your expatriation to Montreal?
I've always wanted to live in Canada for a while, I don't really know where that came from. When I was in high school, I wanted to go to Quebec, but it was quite expensive. So I went to high school in France and looked for a university course that would allow me to spend a semester abroad.
That's how I did my 1ʳᵉ year of Master's in Chicoutimi! I spent a year there. I loved it so much that it was a real turning point for me. I hadn't even left yet and I already knew I wanted to come back to Canada. I went back to France to do my second year of work-study, and then I stayed for a while on a permanent contract, all the while keeping this desire to move abroad in the back of my mind. Then one day, Clara, a Tech Recruiter at Maplr, contacted me on LinkedIn.
Her message really came at the right time, and I took it as a sign. That's how I got involved in the Maplr adventure!
How was your expatriation to Montreal?
Clara sent me the message on LinkedIn in September, I signed up for the PVT pool in November and was drawn in April. The waiting time for the draw was long, but it was a good opportunity to take a break and prepare for my expatriation with peace of mind.
After resigning and completing my notice period, I took the opportunity to settle down for a while and do all the things I'd always wanted to do in France, so as not to regret anything.
I felt it was the right time for me during the winter of 2022/2023. I was a little afraid of arriving in the middle of winter, but in the end it wasn't so bad.
Did you encounter any difficulties during your expatriation in Montreal?
Honestly, no, none at all.
There are many testimonials on the Internet and even on the Maplr blogI think I've read them all. 😂 And Clara really helped me through every stage of the expatriation. Even at customs, I had no problems at all, everything went very smoothly. As far as accommodation was concerned, I wanted to look on the spot to see the apartment for real and meet my roommates, so I was staying in a youth hostel until I found my new home.
Just after arriving, I came across a Facebook marketplace ad, the person who was giving up his place seemed to be reluctantly leaving, so I assumed the apartment and the roommates were cool. I sent them a message, met them and the feeling was mutual - I'd be moving in within the week, in the snow!
The view from my snow-covered balcony 👉
What do you think of the support offered by Mapl?
With the Internet, you can find all the resources you need to do everything yourself. That saidMaplr support has been a support I could hardly have done without. Clara helped me with everything I was struggling with.
For example, I have a Spanish driving license and I had a lot of questions that I couldn't find answers to on the Internet. Clara explained everything to me. It's a phenomenal stress reliever!
What kind of reception did you get from the Canadians?
I was lucky enough to be welcomed by my two new flatmates. They were the first two people I met here. One is from Quebec and the other is a French woman who has been here for several years. They both immediately integrated me into their group of friends. By the third day, I was spending an entire evening with Quebecers, all of them very nice. Generally speaking, I find Quebecers much friendlier than the people I've met in France. They're also very open-minded!
What do you think of the cost of living as an expatriate in Montreal?
Despite restaurants that can sometimes be expensive after adding taxes and mandatory tips, life in Montreal isn't really that much more expensive than in France. The cost of living is equivalent, I'd say. At least in Paris, where I lived before coming to Canada.
Come to think of it, I do a lot more than I used to! Let's just say that I spend my money differently than I used to in France. In France, I used to go to restaurants and bars a lot, whereas here, I do more outdoor activities, camping weekends, sports outings and so on. And I have the purchasing power to do a lot too!
What do you like most about Montreal?
Without hesitation, access to the great outdoors.
I do activities that I would never have done in France, summer or winter. Quebec is a huge playground for all nature lovers. We have access to every conceivable activity within 2 hours of Montreal!
What is your favourite neighbourhood and why?
I love the plateau, it's where I live!
My apartment is in a really good location, everything can be done by bike or on foot, and there are lots of little stores and restaurants.
Verdun is also a neighborhood I like! If I have to move in the future, I'd like to go to this neighborhood to have a bigger apartment and a quieter pace.
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?
There are a few of them. I get a lot less pressure, and there's no notion of presenteeism here. By 5 p.m., the offices are empty. The work/life balance is so much nicer!
Working in the tech world, I've noticed a slight technology lag in some companies, but that's just my experience at the moment.
Any last words of advice for aspiring expatriate developers in Montreal?
I'd say don't be afraid to take the plunge. I like to say that we're like cats, we always land on our feet! So no matter what you go through when you get here, every experience makes you grow and is good to take. Especially if you come via Maplr, it's a safe way to settle in Quebec. Montreal opens up so many opportunities, both professional and personal. It's a city where you have the power to be who you want to be.
Want to try an adventure in Canada?
Do you want to discover Quebec, go on a road trip or explore the great outdoors? Then join the Maplr community.
Like Naomi, are you looking for a job as a Fullstack JS developer? At Maplr, we'll help you find an IT job in Montreal, free of charge, and support you every step of the way. relocation. Our French-Canadian team is here to guide you and give you all the information you need to start your new life in Montreal with peace of mind!
Join our community now and become an expatriate developer in Montreal.