Internship Programs in France
Guide to getting an internship in France
Imagine spending weekends strolling along the Seine in Paris, hopping from museums to sculpture gardens, and eating fluffy croissants in open-air cafes. This life can be yours as an intern in France! Learn about how to land a career-building internship in exciting cities like Paris, Bordeaux, and Nice.
Top industries in France
From high-intensity business placements and Fashion Week apprenticeships to creative art jobs, France has paid and unpaid internship opportunities in a variety of industries. With the seventh-largest economy in the world, France is full of opportunities for those willing to work hard and get ahead.
- Fashion: Fashion internships in France are highly popular because of the country’s reputation as the fashion capital of the world. Interns can expect to be immersed in the intensive culture of the fashion world and always be on the cutting edge, or avant-garde.
- Art: It wouldn’t be France without the breathtaking pieces of art and architecture that can be found around the country. For art enthusiasts, France is the place to be as The Louvre alone houses 35,000 pieces of art including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Those looking to intern with an emphasis on the arts will not be disappointed, with opportunities in art galleries, museums, and interior design.
- Culinary: French cuisine has an international reputation. Its dishes are known for their rich ingredients, elaborate recipes, and traditional techniques for preparation. If you’re looking for a culinary internship, France is certainly a great place to receive formal training.
- Marketing: France also offers many opportunities for those who wish to work in marketing. Interns could be placed in a variety of industries such as communications, public relations, fashion, music, and theater.
Best cities to intern in France
France’s cities, towns, and regions are unique and diverse, with something to offer every intern. Here are some of the most popular cities for interns and what they’re great for.
- Paris: The City of Lights is one of the most sought-after destinations for interns. France’s capital is brimming with famous art, architecture, and cultural activities that are great for internships in tourism, hospitality, the creative industry, tech, and history.
- Bordeaux: Famed as the hub of wine-growing country, Bordeaux is nestled in southwestern France. Internships in agriculture, business, accounting, and project management are popular choices in this dreamy port city.
- Nice: Located on the French Riviera, gorgeous Nice is a dream destination for interns interested in sustainable tourism, marketing, environmental and marine studies, and hospitality.
- Lyon: Largely considered the foodie capital of France, those seeking a culinary internship will find their perfect fit in Lyon. Learn how to make dishes like Salade Lyonnaise, Rosette de Lyon, Quenelle Lyonnaise and impress your friends, family, and future employers.
Where to find internships in France
To find paid or unpaid internships in France for English speakers, the easiest way is to apply through a program that matches you to employers abroad. Program providers connect you to employers and help you through the application process. Internships can also be found on the GO jobs board.
How to apply to internships in France
To apply for an internship in France, you'll likely need to follow these 5 simple steps.
- Check that you meet the eligibility requirements. You’ll need to review the academic, language, and visa qualifications required for the position. Some fields may ask for a portfolio or experience.
- Prepare your application materials. Optimize your resume (CV), write a cover letter that helps you stand out, and be ready to present a portfolio and/or personal statement to support your application.
- Submit any necessary documents. Have your academic transcripts from your home university and letters of recommendation on hand in case the program provider or employer asks for them!
- Prepare for the interview. Research common interview questions and practice with friends or family. This is your time to shine!
- Apply for a visa. Check with your employer or program provider to learn about the type of visa you’ll need for your internship in France. If you take on a paid internship, you’ll likely need a form of sponsorship to receive a legal salary.
Work culture, language, and etiquette tips in France
Learn about the ins and outs of working as an intern in France. Knowing proper office etiquette will help your transition abroad.
- In business settings, courtesy and formality are expected.
- The French can often appear direct in business because they are not afraid to ask questions.
- Making appointments is a very important part of doing business in France; appointments should be made at least two weeks in advance.
There are 62 million French speakers in France, the official language of the country. Some placement programs will require a high level of proficiency in French. However, it is possible to find internships for English speakers -- tell your program provider if you have no or basic French.
For those not using a placement program, knowing the language will give you a better standing in the business environment. Your co-workers and employees will appreciate your efforts to learn the language and they won’t be shy about helping correct your grammar and pronunciation.
Culture & etiquette tips
- As a whole, French people are generally reserved and private.
- Handshaking is a common gesture for meeting someone, and you will need to address everyone with a polite bonjour during the day or bonsoir during the evening.
- First names are reserved for close friends, and you should usually err on the side of too formal with Monsieur and Madame.
View the latest intern placement postings on our job board.
Can an English speaker intern in France?
English speakers with no knowledge of French can definitely find internship opportunities in France. Program providers can place English speakers in international companies that use English are their main language of communication.
How do I get an internship in France?
Using an internship program provider is a good way to be matched with positions with top employers in your desired field. Program providers help you through the entire application process as well as offer guidance on visas and relocation overseas.Related Content
What types of internships are in demand in France?
Art, fashion, marketing, business, media, and the culinary arts are the most popular industries to find internship opportunities in France.
Are internships paid in France?
If your internship lasts longer than two months, you are entitled to be paid at least €3.90 ($4.31) per hour. Interns shouldn't work more than 10 hours per day or a total of 35 hours per week.Related Content
Do I need a visa to intern in France?
If you stay in France for less than 90 days, you may not need a visa to intern abroad. If you are a student, you can work for a certain number of hours per week on your student visa. Make sure to confirm with your employer and your home country embassy which visa you may need.