The Complete Guide to Internships in Paris

Paris Internship

The Complete Guide to Internships in Paris

Landing an internship abroad – particularly in a city as cosmopolitan and romantic as Paris – is often a dream come true.

With its rich history, artistic heritage, and status as a global center for culture, fashion, gastronomy, and business, Paris is one of the best places to reframe and rediscover your academic and professional horizons.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about internships in Paris. Are you ready to begin the next exciting chapter of your life?

Can Americans Intern in France?

Americans can – and often do – intern in France. According to recent statistics, the U.S. has seen a 50% increase in the number of students and young professionals seeking internships – many of these abroad.

The opportunities to learn have never been better for American students studying in France. With a growing digital economy, all kinds of startups, and plenty of multinational corporations that call it home, Paris is one of the best places for college students to pursue an internship.

But landing an internship in Paris isn’t just about finding any role. It’s about identifying your niche and taking advantage of the the city’s many specializations. 

The worlds of art and fashion are often the go-to industries. But Parisian opportunities go even further beyond that. Sectors such as hospitality, international relations, and finance also have plenty of openings.

What Are the Benefits of Internships in Paris for English Speakers?

Internships in Paris, where English is widely spoken in professional settings, are more than an opportunity to accrue work experience; they offer a cultural exchange of profound depth

Here, you’ll be able to hone your professional skills while also immersing yourself in rich cultural and linguistic opportunities. 

Beyond the language learning benefits, internships in Paris offer an unprecedented insight into global operations, delicate client-relationship dynamics, and, often, a first-hand view of high-stakes business negotiations. 

Plus, with English as a core (if not primary) language in many different industries, Americans and other Anglophone interns can integrate seamlessly into work environments. 

Additionally, with Paris being a hub for international business, interaction with professionals from various backgrounds can enrich your learning and networking experiences with an unmatched level of diversity.

What to Expect When Interning in Paris

Cultural immersion is a significant component of an internship in any foreign country, and Paris offers a rich backdrop to this experience. 

From its world-famous landmarks to its daily café culture, there’s no shortage of new experiences to indulge in. Interns should prepare to adapt to a different work pace and communication style in a distinctly French business setting. 

This includes an expectation of formality in certain business practices and, of course, a distinctly long lunch break.

benefits of Paris Internship

Here are a few more of the nitty-gritty details: 

Travel Visas

Internships that extend beyond the standard 90-day tourist visa mandate require a long-stay visa if you’re not a European Union citizen. The long-stay internship visa is designed for those undertaking professional training, including internships, with a duration of 3 to 12 months. 

To get one of these visas, you’ll need to gather up specific documents, such as a convention d’accueil from your host entity or company, a financial guarantee, and proof of health insurance. You’ll want to begin this application well in advance, as the processing times can be lengthy.

The alternative is to work with a company like Absolute Internship who can guide you through this process if necessary and pair you with internship opportunities that are shorter and do not require advanced visa documentation.

Language Requirements

While many companies in Paris operate in an international environment where English is commonly spoken, knowing the basics of French can greatly enhance your overall experience and integration. 

You’ll be best off if you have a working knowledge of the language, even if only for everyday interactions and out-of-office culture. 

Dress Code

Professional attire in Paris, like its chic reputation, is an art form in and of itself. 

While the conservative approach is typically preferred in business attire, industry norms and company cultures may differ. 


In France, interns are usually not considered employees under labor law, meaning they may not receive traditional salaries. 

However, companies are required to provide compensation from internships of more than two months. 

Tips for Making the Most of Your Paris Internship

To truly benefit from your Parisian internship, you’ll want to approach the experience with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and, of course, a spirit of adventure. 

Here are some tips:

1. Immerse Yourself in the Culture

Take advantage of Paris’s cultural richness by visiting museums, attending performances, and engaging with local customs. The more you immerse yourself, the deeper your appreciation for the city will be.

2. Connect with Other Internationals

Paris is a melting pot of nationalities, drawing students and professionals from all over the world. Networking events offer you a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and to further  expand your global network.

3. Seize Every Opportunity

Whether it’s a last-minute invitation to an art gallery opening or an extra project at work, be proactive in seeking out new experiences. You never know what you might learn (or experience) just from saying “yes.”

4. Manage Your Time Wisely

With that said, take care to balance your work commitments with personal pursuits to avoid burnout. Prioritize your tasks and plan your schedule to make sure you get the most out of both your professional and personal time in Paris.

5. Keep an Open Mind

Expect the unexpected. Approach challenges with a positive attitude. Being able to adapt to new situations and learn from the differences you encounter is an integral part of the internship experience.

How to Find Internships in France

By choosing to intern in Paris, you are opening the door to a world of possibility. Whether you aspire to a career in the fashion industry, seek to refine your culinary skills in the city’s bistros, or want to be at the forefront of technological innovation, Paris stands ready to welcome you into its dynamic and diverse community.

To get ready, remember to plan ahead for applying for your travel visa and brush up on your French. And once you’re there, seize every opportunity that comes your way! This will likely be the experience of a lifetime. 

With the right preparation, a positive mindset, and the guidance of dedicated programs like Absolute Internship, your internship in Paris can be a milestone on the path to a successful and fulfilling career. 

Take the leap, and discover the magic that Paris has to offer – both personally and professionally.

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