Natalia is a 35-year-old woman from Argentina. After studying in Buenos Aires (including 4 years at the French high school) she came to France for work. Today, she works at L’Oréal Paris.
According to her, the biggest challenges related to integration in France are:
Going out of your comfort zone : « When I arrived, the hardest thing was to get out of my comfort zone, to get out of this fear that we all have, I think, which is very human, the fear of the unknown, of what we don't know or what requires an effort to go towards the other to build a circle in which we feel good, from a somewhat cold environment to a more warm environment where we feel a little more surrounded. »
Don't be alone: « It took me time to get into a routine and not feel alone in that routine, trying not to be left to yourself is something that took me a while.»
The language / accent: « Even if the French language is complicated, I went to the French high school in Argentina and I had this chance there, which was a real accelerator when I arrived in France, to be able to talk at work. »
French administration: « [The needs I had] to have people explain to me a little bit about the easy ways to access things, whether it was job search, education, or just administrative procedures. »
What emanates from her journey in France and the resources she wanted to highlight in the FemTalks Forum programme is the importance of developing external resources, not remaining alone and building a network. However, internal resources seem particularly necessary such as having self-confidence, not being afraid of being afraid and seeing your difference as an added value : “You have to see fear as something motivating for the future, that is, as an engine, as if it were oil in an engine, or gasoline as something that will push me and not something that will slow me down”. Today, Natalia has turned her migration experience into a strength : “I think that the landscape around me in France is not at all the same as in Argentina, more cultural diversity, a different history, a different rigour, a different requirement, so all this learning about local codes is a process that is very interesting to live through and that has taught me new things and made me evolve on the way I see the world. So I think it's as if wearing these years of life in a country that is not mine, has allowed me to wear increased glasses, it's as if I see the world a little more enriched”.
About her experience in FemTalks Forum (Pilot 1 - IO2), she says: "I loved meeting this group, after three days I felt like I had known you for a lot longer. I wish I had discovered this program when I first arrived in France, I think it can help a lot of women to lower the level of threat that a situation can represent, and to realize that we have all been through the same stages, and that we are... strong! "
Posted in Testimonials on Aug 02, 2021