Today, let me present you – So Innovative & So Good, So Useful & Helpful for Expats, Tourists & Visitors to France Concept and Company I found here in Lyon. It is called Avvinue
Have you already heard about Avvinue? This is a new concept, a totally free relocation platform for those who plan to move abroad. By registering here for free, you can create your personalized moving roadmap and get a personal assistant to help you out. I think we all have been waiting for such an easy service to use. I had been lucky enough to meet Nicole Caba, the founder of Avvinue as she lives in Lyon and developing an international relocation platform from this french city. It is great to see the real expat developing service useful for expats, putting her technical, entrepreneurial skills together with a passion to help people. She is building an ideal solution and great service. Find out more about her and her concept which launched in Lyon, below. Don’t hesitate to test out and give us a shout about what you think!
1. Who you are? What do you do? And why in France?
I’m a Dominican-American that always was eager to live abroad-the same way my parents had migrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States. So in my desire to experience life abroad, I looked up the various visas available to move to Europe. When I came across the French Tech Visa, I was super excited!
Last summer, I applied for the visa and in September, I was accepted into the Boost In Lyon incubator program to launch a tech startup that would be innovative and create jobs in France.
When I moved, I had an initial idea on what I would be building, but only after arriving did I realize there was a great need for a relocation concierge platform to help guide people on their journey abroad, which is what prompted me to launch Avvinue.
As the founder of Avvinue, I spend my time developing our platform, working with our team that’s based all over the world and speaking with expats on a daily basis to help them on their move abroad.
2. Do you help expats or do you get help as an expat?
Through the Avvinue free relocation concierge platform, we connect people with a personal moving assistant to coordinate the logistics of their move anywhere in the world. So naturally, we help expats, international students, people on their gap year or retiring abroad.
And recently, we have been partnering with universities throughout France and around the world to help international students apply for their visa (and all things immigration) and get settled abroad so they can better focus on their studies than on where to live, for example.
As an expat, it’s a rewarding experience to help other expats because we know what it feels like to manage a stressful relocation, get settled in a foreign country and then re-create a network when there are language barriers. So it’s my way of paying it forward to help others on their journey.
3. How does it work for expats in Lyon?
Anyone considering to move abroad or get settled in Lyon can easily create a free account on the Avvinue relocation concierge platform, and get connected with their personal moving assistant. From there, they can hop on a 15-minute call and discuss all their relocation needs.
So if you’re looking for an immigration lawyer, tax professional, guarantor service, housing or the likes, you can book those services from expat-vetted partners with your personal moving assistant right on the platform.
4. What are your top 3 tips for expats in Lyon?
- My advice for expats in Lyon is to find your own community. It’s natural for expats to connect with each other, as there are many events catered to expats, but it’s also important to find your sense of belonging amongst locals. One way to do that is to volunteer, attend events hosted by locals, or to get to know the owners of neighboring restaurants, cafes and businesses. When we first arrived in Lyon, we were so focused on the logistics of getting settled and also launching Avvinue that we didn’t dedicate as much time in building our personal connections and network. So that’s something I would recommend to others as they get settled is to find the different activities or groups that’ll help you build long-lasting relationships with both expats and locals.
- Stay open minded but connected with your emotions, as relocating to a foreign country can really make you question why you moved abroad. Remind yourself during down times to focus on the reason why you chose to live in Lyon. It’s okay to feel homesick or sad at times – we all go through those moments – so don’t tune those moments out. Embrace them, as they will help you throughout your journey abroad.
- Get to know Lyon like a local. Take a walking tour to learn more about the history, walk around different streets and familiarize yourself with the different areas and street names. It’s nice to walk down the familiar streets, but you’ll find yourself getting to know Lyon more and more if you venture off on the unbeaten paths.
5. What are your top 3 useful for expat resources? (magazines, books, websites, services, etc.)
- I’m a bit biased on the first resource, which is our relocation concierge platform, Avvinue, that can be used by expats anywhere in the world. The fact that it’s a free platform is a no brainer and a great resource for expats as they move and get settled abroad.
- There are so many hidden gems featured in This is Lyon magazine.
- I highly recommend joining these community groups: GGI Lyon or Sojoourn which are great places to connect and make friends. #
Where can we find you?
Super useful and cool relocation platform, created for expats by expats! I am loving the concept and you?