Developer in Montreal since April 2019: interview with Arnaud,
After spending all his life in the Paris region, Arnaud decided at the age of 33 to change continent and join the city of Montreal as a .NET developer.
Apart from a 'simple' desire for change, which may coincide to some extent with the arrival of his thirties, Arnaud had the desire to leave everything behind and move to a more Anglo-Saxon country.
For him, the proximity to the great outdoors and nature that can be found within an hour's drive of Montreal was the criterion for choosing his adopted city. Indeed, the famous incomparable quality of life in Canada is obviously THE most important point for him.
We took the opportunity to ask him a few questions to find out more about his expatriation experience.
How was your expatriation as a developer in Montreal?
I was redirected to Maplr by a recruiter who had contacted me on Linkedin and to whom I had confided my desire to move to Canada. After a first interview with them, which allowed me to talk about my project and to assess my motivation, I was contacted by the first company to which Maplr had shared my CV.
Then things went very fast: I had 3 interviews in 10 days and the company made me an offer which I accepted the same day. I think it was only 3 or 4 weeks from the time I was contacted by Maplr to the day I received a concrete job offer.
The rest is based on preparing my immigration file and waiting for the final approval of the Canadian immigration service. In my case, this took a little over 6 weeks. As soon as I received all the documents, I left 3 weeks later.
I was welcomed in Canada by Olivier, another developer of the Maplr community, who was kind enough to host me while I found a place to live that matched my expectations. I spent 2 weeks there before starting to work. These two weeks were very useful to take care of all the important things to do after your arrival.
What difficulties have you encountered during your immigration to Montreal?
I was fortunate not to encounter any majorproblems following my arrival. The Canadian immigration process is generally smooth and all the important administrative procedures were done in less than 2 weeks.
I was also fortunate to be able to get advice from those who arrived before me (the Maplr community people) whom I met shortly after my arrival.
I was also followed by Maplr who really accompanies people! This is an important point and can be very reassuring. I have always been quite resourceful in my life but in the case of an expatriation involving such big changes, this assistance was really appreciated.
What do you think of the support offered by Maplr?
Maplr 's support was really perfect. I have no complaints whatsoever. I really feel that I couldn't have done better and I will probably congratulate myself for the rest of my life.
"Maplr's support was really perfect. I have no complaints whatsoever. I really feel that I couldn't have found a better company and I will probably be thanking them for the rest of my life."
Developer in Montreal
What do you think of the cost of living as a developer in Montreal?
The cost of living in Montreal is very reasonable! Especially if you compare it to other Canadian cities like Toronto or Vancouver.
I think you can compare it to some extent to the cost of living in some French provinces. Some things are more expensive than in France (phone, internet, some imported food...), others less, so it balances out pretty well. It also depends on the standard of living the person is used to.
Be careful, this figure can vary a lot, depending on your personal choices (internet speed, insulation of your home, etc.. But here, there is no housing tax, and overall the energy is really cheaper :)
This leaves me with about 49% of my income for my leisure time, compared to 31% in Paris (I still deducted 10% for groceries and/or other expenses, but again this figure varies a lot depending on individual choices). Overall, my purchasing power has increased, but it can be noted that I have no particular medical expenses, no children, no car.
If you need more information about the cost of living in Montreal, this article this article is for you.
How did the Canadians welcome you?
As I have only been here for a month and a half, I don't have enough time to judge the state of mind of the Canadians, but everyone I have met during my administrative procedures or at my workplace has been very welcoming.
There is always a very appreciable general good mood that I feel every day when I leave my house.
What do you like most about Montreal?
It's not specific to Montreal but I like the discipline of people in everyday life. It makes life in society much more pleasant when you are in a big city and it improves the relationships that people have with each other. You can really see the difference between a Latin country like France and the Canadian state of mind which is obviously completely Anglo-Saxon.
Specifically in Montreal, I like the proximity to the US and the wide open spaces and national parks that are present throughout Quebec. The bilingualism of the city is something I also appreciate a lot and I like to switch from one language to another several times a day.
On the pro side, are there any differences with France?
I think this can vary a lot depending on past experiences in France and the "quality" of the job here. In my case, I have gained a bit on all levels: high value-added projects, highly respected agile methodology, salary, working hours.
I think that the relationships between colleagues can be slightly different from those built in France, but that's part of the cultural differences and you get used to it quickly.
Any last words of advice for future expats in Montreal?
I would recommend trying to anticipate as much as possible the steps to be taken in Canada from France a few weeks before your arrival. There are things that can only be done on the spot, but if you can reduce the number of "surprises" on the spot, it is always positive. Moreover, anticipation allows you to focus on the first few weeks of work, which will already be a source of considerable pressure (depending on the position held and the nature of the person, of course).
I would also recommend planning at least 2 good weeks there before starting work and having some money saved up. Indeed, money tends to go away quite quickly at the beginning, especially for people moving into an unfurnished flat and/or those who have a family and possibly children.
Finally, don't let yourself be demoralized or frightened by the amount of things to do on the spot and all the obstacles to overcome the first weeks. The Maplr community, of which I am a part, is ready to help/advise those who have fears or questions when they arrive...
If you have a job when you arrive, that's a huge point in relieving some of the financial pressure. Not many people are lucky enough to have one before they even set foot here...
Want to try your hand at an adventure in Montreal?
If you also want tohave more time anda better work/life balance? Then join the Maplr family. In addition,on is actively looking for someone motivated to try the new trendy activity in Montreal: lightsaber combat! ? So don't hesitate!
At Maplr, we will help you find your IT job in Montreal for free and assist you in all phases of your 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 confidence!