Interning abroad gives you numerous benefits. First, you can choose from a wide range of fields, and secondly, it helps you to develop a global network. Also, you’ll kill two birds with one stone – that means you’ll accomplish both travel and career development simultaneously.
Besides, you can learn a new language and gain skills in cross-cultural communication. Doing your internship in France, you get a vital opportunity to mingle with people who are not visitors to the country or students. You’ll get the exposure that would help you to learn the local language and culture as you navigate professional development.
If you are considering getting an internship in France, here are some tips to help you get started.
Are you Eligible for an Internship in France?
France is unlike countries like the United States when it comes to eligibility for internship for foreigners. You’re first required to be a current student in a recognized learning institution. However, if you’re a graduate already, it will be easier to land an internship.
Many French schools have structured their programs in a way to allow students four to six months of internship, and they also help you with the paperwork needed to apply for internships. For students completing degree programs in France, you will not have a problem applying and getting internships if you know how to navigate the job market. Getting a spot in one of your dream companies requires adequate preparation and the right effort.
Where to Find an Internship in France
Landing your dream internship does not have to be difficult. You can use one of these ways to make your search easier:
Do it Yourself
The cheapest option you could explore is doing it yourself. It gives you the benefit of independence and you gain job application experience. It also means you will not spend on fees charged by placement programs. The downside is that you risk not getting any placement.
Some ideas to consider include connecting with your university’s alumni network, using your existing network, and sending out cold emails through platforms like LinkedIn as a way to introduce yourself to companies and people. Just remember internships, just like job applications, are competitive. So, if you decide to go it alone, be prepared.
Your Study Abroad Office
For students already studying abroad in France, you can reach out to your teachers and advisers for information about where to find internships. Most of them have valuable information about local organizations you can reach out to, and they probably have helped other students in the same situation. Also, they might have a strong network and could connect you with people who will help you get your first internship in France.
Many study abroad programs have a strong relationship with different organizations, so students can use this network to find an internship in France. Speak to your host university for such opportunities. Also, reach out to as many people as you can.
Internship Placement Providers
Although applying on your own will help you learn how to navigate the job market, internship placement providers are there to simplify your search. They assist you in every aspect of your search – from social networking to visas and housing.
Internship placement providers expose you to a broader network. The only downside is the cost, which can feel too much for students trying to get off their feet and enter the job market. Search for internship placement providers in France if you prefer to use the easier route, but have some budget for their services.
Searching Job Boards
Job boards are also a good place to find companies that will give you an internship in France. Of course, knowing someone in one of the companies makes it easier, especially if you’re still a student with no professional experience yet.
There are job boards focused on internships that you could explore. Platforms like Idealist and Indeed are a recommended choice. Also, check your university’s career services page for information. Remember to connect with career counselors within your school for guidance.
How to Apply for an Internship Abroad in France
Identifying places to intern abroad in France is just one step of the way. You’ll need to submit your application with a resume and cover letter, and sometimes you’ll be called for an interview before your application is approved.
This means you have to customize your cover letter and resume to the standards of the industry you are looking to intern in.
How to Write a French-Style CV
The most important thing about writing a CV abroad is doing it with local requirements in mind. To get an internship in France, structure your CV following standards. You can search for templates on the internet if you want to move faster.
At the top of your French CV is personal information, which includes your name (surname first), email address, address, age, telephone number, nationality, and marital status. It’s also common to attach a professional passport-sized photo.
Next is education information. In this section, include your academic qualifications, indicating what the equivalent is in France if you studied in a different country.
After education highlight any work experience. Start with the most recent job experience and work backward. If you have interned in some companies before, make sure that information is captured in this section.
Lastly, add any special skills or competencies you have. These could include your language skills (what languages do you speak and how fluent), computer skills, whether you have a driving license, etc. You could also include information about any clubs or charities you contributed to, highlighting the things you learned.
How to Write a Cover Letter
A cover letter should complement your CV. It should sell your competency and convince the reader you are the right candidate. Write a maximum of a page. You must use impeccable grammar and be courteous.
Research to know the proper terms used in native French if your cover letter is in French. Avoid expressing your feelings and focus on extending your regards. Also ensure you are not using expressions that are too old, and use positive sentences throughout the cover letter.
Remember to state your degree because the French job market is degree oriented. If you also have previous job experience, make sure to include this information, but don’t write it in a way that says you are trying to show off.
If you cannot craft the perfect cover letter, you might want to enlist the services of professional cover letter writers who will guide you through the process.
Landing your first or second internship in France is not as complicated as it may sound. Even for an international student, you can get placement if you know the right steps to follow. Use this guidance to get started with your application.