Headed to France? Top Tips For Navigating an Internship In Paris For International Students

Internship In France

Headed to France? Top Tips For Navigating an Internship In Paris For International Students

Interning in Paris is something many college students dream of. The city lights of the Parisian skyline, the dream of nibbling on a croissant while you sip your morning cafe au lait, the idyllic villages and neighborhoods you’re sure to explore during your time there…all of these are something out of a movie.

But before you can board the plane and really start immersing yourself in an internship abroad, you need to have your metaphorical ducks in a row. 

Interning in Paris can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to make sure your journey goes off without a hitch.

Tips for Navigating Internships in Paris

Are you gearing up to start an internship? Here are a few helpful tips for navigating your first internship in Paris.

Understand Your “Why”

Before you even start filling out applications for your internship, make sure you have a clear understanding of why you’re choosing to intern abroad in the first place. 

Are you trying to expand your professional network? Learn more about the different opportunities available in your field? Just get a breath of fresh air in a brand-new setting?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but having a clear idea of why you’re completing an internship in the first place can be hugely helpful as you plan out your experience.

Decide What Type of Internship You’ll Pursue

France does have some legal requirements in place as far as interns go, but this depends on how long you’re planning on staying. 

If you’re coming to France from another country and plan on working in France for more than two months, you’ll need to be paid a minimum of €4,35 per hour.

Many internships, however, are not paid, particularly the shorter ones or those that are done remotely. Decide ahead of time what matters most to you. Do you want an unpaid internship? POaid? On-suite? Virtual? Part time? Full time? Narrowing down your options will not only give you a clearer idea of what to expect when you arrive, but will also help you set goals, as mentioned earlier. 

Dress for Success

Dress codes vary in Paris, as they do in any other country and any other work setting. However, a good rule of thumb is to dress to the nines. Dress professionally and make a positive first impression. 

Get There Early

Speaking of a good first impression, don’t be late! A common misconception among interns is that, if they’re not getting paid, they don’t need to take the internship as seriously as they  might otherwise, with a paid job.

Wrong! Internships have the availability to open all kinds of doors from you, so don’t blow the opportunity. Punctuality and an eagerness to learn (and to contribute) will both go a long way.

Prioritize Relationships

It can be nerve wracking to start a new job, particularly a new job where there’s a language and cultural barrier to overcome in addition to first day jitters.

However, it’s incredibly important that you focus on building relationships right from day one. Introduce yourself and express your willingness to learn. Ask for advice and be open to constructive feedback. Criticism might sting, but it’s the only way you’re going to learn – and that, for the vast majority of interns, is really the goal of an internship in Paris in the first place.

Maximize Learning Opportunities

You might not think that the administrative tasks you’re assigned to hold much value as far as building real world skills, but the truth is that you’ll want to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

Be proactive about seeking out additional tasks and responsibilities. Take initiative and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, even if they seem silly. You are there to learn, and you need to take every opportunity for learning that comes your way.

Get Really Good at Time Management


Internship in Paris France

It’s easy to get distracted during an internship, particularly one in a city that’s as beautiful and as culturally rich as Paris. However, you need to do your best to stay on top of things.

You’re likely going to be tasked with a wide variety of assignments and projects while you’re in your internship. Make sure you’re prioritizing those responsibilities and asking for help or guidance as needed. 

Try not to let the allure of the Parisian cafes and waterfronts draw you away from your other responsibilities! It’s great to take advantage of exploring and traveling while you’re interning abroad, but your work should be your top focus while you’re there.

Follow Up

Once your internship is over and you’re back at home, don’t let your internship experience become just a dusty memory resigned to a tucked-away photo album. Instead, draw upon what you gained from your internship in Paris to move you forward in your career and education.

Be sure to add the experience to your resume, and use it as a talking point in interviews and networking discussions. There’s basically no chance that you’ll finish your internship experience with no good skills to share or great stories to tell – so take advantage of them!

How to Find Internships in France?

Are you ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime? 

Interning in Paris, as you likely know, offers a wealth of benefits. Whether you’re a freshman looking for a life changing experience or a senior trying to get serious about exploring your career options, choosing Paris, the City of Light, is a great choice.

Armed with these tips, you now know everything there is to know. But if you’re still looking for the perfect partner in planning your trip, you may want to give Absolute Internship a try. We offer students just like yourself internships in cities all over the world, from Shanghai to London and, of course, Paris.

We’ll handle all the tedious details so you can get back to experiencing life at its fullest on your internship trip. We’ll deal with the fine print – you get back to enjoying that croissant.

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