internships in france for international students
Preparing to intern in France
What to expect from an internship in France
A French internship offers you a unique opportunity to improve your language skills, gain global experience, and launch your career. But it’s up to you to make the most of it. Here are some tips for getting the most out of an overseas internship.
- Internships in France can be a fantastic way to boost your work experience and travel the world—but they come with a set of challenges that many students don’t anticipate.
- Figuring out how to survive as an intern abroad is a big step. If you want to know what it’s really like, find someone who has done it before and ask them advice.[This tip comes straight from our CEO.]
- Don’t go into your internship abroad unprepared! Check out our list of things you should do before going on exchange so that you know exactly what to expect when moving abroad for work or study.
Where to start searching for internships in France
There are many ways to go about finding internships in France. Here’s a list of the best methods:
- Using an internship job board such as Internships.com or GoAbroad.com.
- Using your university’s job board, if they have one.
- Using your university’s career services office, if they have one. Some career offices can help you find an internship and help with the application process and paperwork.
- Using a job search engine like Indeed or Monster to make a targeted search for relevant opportunities in France.
- Using a professional association related to your field of study or intended profession, since these are excellent sources of opportunities that might not appear elsewhere. For example, if you’re studying history, you may be able to find internships using the American Historical Association or similar organizations from other English-speaking countries around the world. You’ll need to do some research into whether this association has any international chapters or contacts that may be useful for your search!
Important documents for interning in France
- A valid passport
- Evidence of sufficient financial resources to remain in France without working.
- A certificate of good conduct (not older than 3 months) from your home country/state.
- Proof of health insurance (e.g., EHIC).
Do I need a visa?
You will need a visa to work in France as an intern. It is your responsibility to apply for and obtain a visa before your internship begins. Once you have been accepted for an internship by one of our partner organizations, you must apply for the correct visa within two months. You cannot apply for one until you have been accepted for an internship with one of our partners, so it’s important not to delay accepting an offer of placement.
The visas usually take 90 days or more from the time you submit your application. We recommend that you start this process as soon as possible after receiving your acceptance letter from us, so that everything can be finalized in time before your arrival in France. (Note: The US maintains separate relations with each EU country on this issue, but we’re hoping that won’t impact Americans’ ability to complete internships in France.)
What’s required when applying to an internship program in France?
When applying for an internship program in France, you’ll need to submit the following:
- Cover letter
Scholarships and other funding options
When you’re studying abroad, you’ll likely need to finance your education and living costs. Some of the most popular outlets for funding include scholarships and other financial support, such as government loans.
Scholarships are awards made to students who meet specific criteria, such as academic excellence or financial need. Many scholarships are funded by institutions like universities and governments, but they can also come from private sources (such as corporations or foundations). Here are some common types of scholarships:
- Government-funded: These scholarships are usually awarded by ministries or agencies in your country of residence. For example, if you live in the US, your government may offer scholarships for international study in certain disciplines.
- University-funded: Universities can also award their own merit-based awards for study abroad; these will vary from university to university so it’s a good idea to check with an advisor at your home institution about any available options there. Similarly, individual departments within a university may be able to fund student travel for academic internships or research (usually through teaching assistantships). Check the website of each school where you’re applying to see what is available—for example here is a list of grant opportunities from Stanford University. You should also contact department advisors directly to find out about other possibilities that aren’t listed online.
- Private/external: There are many organizations that sponsor students who want to study abroad; these groups range from large corporations like Coca Cola and Wells Fargo, which have global scholarship programs specifically designed for international students; many smaller organizations that work on more specific issues (such as environmental advocacy) will also offer grants and fellowships that would cover some costs associated with completing an international internship or semester abroad; finally there are many public sector organizations (like the Peace Corps) whose mission includes cultural exchange programs that could help pay for travel and living expenses while working internationally. A quick Google search can help you find out whether any of these groups have relevant award opportunities!
Housing and accommodation options for interns in France
As a student intern, you have many options for housing in France. The choice is up to you and your budget, but one thing is for sure: the cost of housing will be the biggest factor in your budget. Here are some common options for student interns:
- Company-provided housing
- University-provided housing
- Private rentals (apartments)
- Host families
- Hotels and hostels
How to get the most out of your internship experience in France
Once you’ve secured your internship, it’s time to start thinking about how to get the most out of the experience. Here are some tips:
- Speak French as much as possible
- Network with your peers, mentors and colleagues
- Be proactive about solving problems you see at work—you’ll benefit from the experience, and so will your company