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stories of immigration

To Paris for the PhD

Maria Fedorenko; 29

We publish real stories of emigration to France to make it easier for you to understand how the move actually happens.
The idea of immigrating to France
I came to France to get my PhD in art history, and I did not even think about staying here. The main purpose of my trip to Europe was to strengthen my position in the Russian labor market, because it is known that if there is a line in my resume about working abroad, in Russia such specialists are seized with arms and legs.

At the time of my decision to go to study in Paris, I had a Russian Master's degree with honors and no understanding of what exactly I needed to do to get a degree in France.
Paris, France

Problems and solutions when moving to France

I talked to friends and acquaintances who studied abroad, learned something from them, found useful pages about studying in Europe, websites, experts who could help with the visa in my case. I studied the information on my own for a long time, then I turned to a company that I trusted by the fact that it took payment for the visa not immediately, but in installments, and was located directly in France, where I decided to go.

Suitable graduate school, we chose together, I was advised how to complete a double-degree program - in Russia and in France, helped to collect and process all documents - certificates, insurance, proof of financial solvency, etc. I got a student visa, but I studied both in Moscow and in Paris, one semester at a time.

In the second year of my post-graduate course there appeared an opportunity to get a job in an antiques gallery in Paris, and of course I took it. The work visa was made out with the guys who helped once to get a study visa - I already had a successful experience working with them, so I did not consider other options.
There was a lot of bureaucratic fiddling and closed circles that I could not get out of on my own, such as a bank card requires a phone number, and without a card you can't get a phone number. There is a lot of bureaucracy in France, and without understanding the laws and how it all works, I think it is very difficult to get anything done. I had help at all stages, so it was relatively easy and quick.
Maria Fedorenko
Paris, France
Documents, prices, final
In France I like culture, aesthetics, everything is beautiful here. In addition, the French are incredibly gallant and very respectful of personal boundaries - no one has ever imposed their opinion on me here or taught me about life, unlike in Russia, where this seems to be done all the time. It is not customary here to disturb each other, to call or write at unusual hours, to visit uninvited, but a lot of work is done in the direction of tolerance, humanism, gender equality, combating racism and inequality - I like it!

I now live in a large apartment with my neighbor, a girl from Spain, with whom we share household chores, rent and rent - life here, of course, is not cheap, but my salary is quite sufficient for everything necessary - to eat, dress, sit in a cafe, go to an exhibition or the opera, to fly to Prague, Berlin or Bordeaux for a weekend walk.
Paris streets
I don't regret moving, on the contrary, I'm happy that I once decided on this adventure with two graduate schools, especially since I found my love here and am in a very happy relationship.

Art people, of course, is not easy everywhere - we do not get paid much, both in Russia and in France, but my work is very interesting and every day I see so much beauty that takes my breath away! In terms of the antiques market France is a very rich country, there are an incredible number of collections of the highest level, so that sometimes it seems to me that I work not in a gallery, but in the Hermitage.

I have a lot of plans for the future. First of all, to make a career as an art expert, and maybe even to open my own gallery, but of course this is still a long way off. And also a family and children. So far I am not thinking about it, but of course I have such dreams, too.