First expatriation abroad – Iwona Testimony
Iwona has just arrived in France, it is her first expatriation abroad.
Dedicated and dynamic, she shares with us her feelings about her new adventure in Paris.
– Hello Iwona, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Iwona. I am forty-five years old. I come from Poland where I lived in Warsaw (Varsovie) all my life.
In my private life, I am a happy wife and mother. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. Veronique is 13 years old, she is a smiling teenager. Suzanne is 18 years old. She is very hardworking and studying at « La Sorbonne ».
Usually my friends said that I am an energetic and talkative person. I love to cook and discover new flavors.
I worked for 20 years in a big Polish bank, then for 8 years in mBank. First in the customer service department and later I prepared reports for the National Bank of Poland concerning money laundering.
Then, we had the opportunity to have our first expatriation abroad.
– What is your education? What did you study?
I studied Management and Marketing at the University of Warsaw. Then I graduated in Audit and Banking.
– When and why did you move to France?
We moved to Paris 8 months ago (in . I followed my husband, Robert, who works at L’Oreal.
– What is the cultural difference that has impressed you the most?
I appreciate the quiet life of the French who celebrate every moment of their day.
In Warsaw, life goes by very quickly and is more stressful. Poles have lost the pleasure of daily life.
– What was the more difficult for you, during this first expatriation abroad?
The loss of my social status!
In Poland, I was : Iwona, expert in bank, with lots of collegues who know me and my job. I was a worker. Here, I’m the mother of my daughters and the wife of my husband. I became transparent.
This is the most difficult for me.
– What is your expatriation project?
First of all, I would like to master the French language to communicate easily. I would like to be fluent by June.
Then, I would like to find a job that corresponds to my professional experience and skills.
I like to work in a group and don’t want to work from home, so I would like to find a job where this is possible.
– What have you learned through your expatriation?
I feel like I am learning every minute since I arrived in Paris. I am learning the culture, mentality, and habits of the French to adapt to my new daily life.
– What qualities best define you?
I am responsible, precise, and ethical. In my daily life, I organize all the activities of my family. I am flexible and energetic. I never give up and find a solution for every difficult situation.
Bonus questions :
– 3 words for Paris:
Paris is magical, multicultural, and unique.
– 3 magical places in Paris:
Eiffel Tower and
Café « Ella » in my building (XVème arrondissement : 85 Rue de la Convention)
– My favorite French word:
-My favorite quote:
« Life is a permanent learning process; the more we think we know, the less we know,
so many things change, and with them mentalities ». -Yasmina Khadra
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