For young French people in Silicon Valley, nothing will be the same

Second year of peregrinations in pandemic America. Brittany Bir and her husband, a young Franco-American couple living in Silicon Valley since 2016, have already traveled through Texas, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon … A whole tour of the United States with their Toyota Camry. From one Airbnb to another, always telecommuting.

“Since we couldn’t see people, we might as well see nature”, summarizes Brittany, 32, program manager at Salesforce, the software giant whose headquarters – still three quarters empty – is in San Francisco. Before leaving California, the couple kept three pieces of furniture, filled with “Everything we could put in”. The rest was sold or donated to the Goodwill charity. “We cleaned up our life”, she describes.

Brittany and her husband end the adventure in style with Hawaii. The last time they passed through San Francisco, they had fun finding that the overpriced apartment they rented in Palo Alto was still on the market. Born in California, awaiting French naturalization, Brittany still plans to come back: “We want to ask. And for our careers, it’s still good to be in Silicon Valley. ” Back to San Francisco in early 2022, we promise.

Expatriation always appreciated

The pandemic has not changed anything. Young French people living abroad are still interested in expatriation. Since March 2020, most have traveled, changed jobs, often worried about visa issues, some had to return for lack of internship, but they have not given up living abroad. In San Francisco, many have joined the group of “pandemic nomads”. Nothing held them back in their companies anymore, they took advantage of teleworking to discover new horizons, schedules, even continents if their visa allowed them. According to a survey by the Observatory of expatriation, young people continue to have a positive vision of expatriation, and 41% of them have designed new professional projects during the pandemic.

“Many French people are in tech. Tech is doing well; They are fine. »Frédéric Jung, Consul General of France in San Francisco

For lack of statistics, the impact of the pandemic is difficult to measure on the French community abroad, and particularly on young people, who do not register with institutions. The only figures available come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but they only concern the French who take the step of registering in the consular registers.

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