Everyone assumes the work you can find abroad is always the same: teaching English, au pairing, or even more stereotypically, bartending. While these types of positions can provide great international experience and do make up the bulk of available jobs for foreigners abroad, they are far from the only jobs for foreigners in France. Instead, there are numerous job opportunities that give foreigners a more realistic picture of what it is like to work in France. In a place with so much geographic and sociological diversity, there are all kinds of unusual, creative, and even fun ways of getting a job in France and making some real Euros.
While having foreign language skills definitely helps foreigners find work in France, you don’t necessarily need to speak French to be successful in your job hunt. There are a lot of jobs in France for English speakers that can help you build your resume and get some solid international work experience too.
Go beyond your boring 9 to 5 office job and ugly work pants to really live la vie française with one of these five jobs for foreigners in France:
1.. Camp Counselor
Do you love working with kids, but traditional education doesn’t really do it for you? Are you more comfortable in nature than you are in a classroom? If you want to be a positive influence for children while living and exploring some of the most beautiful areas of the world, consider becoming a camp counselor in France.
In many parts of the world (especially the U.S.), summer camp has become kind of a hokey way for parents to keep their kids out of their hair while school isn’t in session. With the way some summer camps drill camp spirit, team building activities, and cabin pride into their campers’ heads, one would think it’s some kind of cult a lot of the time (listen to a camp’s “song” sometime and tell us the kids don’t sound slightly brainwashed). In France, however, parents send their children to “English camps,” so that they can become immersed in a different culture without having to leave the country. Basically, summer camps are like a mini study abroad in elementary school, right? Très bon!
Obviously, these English-based programs are quick to hire native English speakers. Even if you don’t want to work with kids all the time, it is still fairly easy to nab summer camp jobs in France for English speakers, whether you are working in the kitchen, administration office, or grounds maintenance. Since most summer camps only run in (surprise!) the summer months, foreigners can usually work in France under a tourist visa for up to 90 days.
We can think of worse things than spending a summer in a lakeside cabin in the French Alps! Getting paid to teach unaware children the beauty of s’mores is seriously the cherry on top of this type of employment in France.
2. Pub Crawl Coordinator/Promoter
Forget being a superhero or future president, being an international party planner is every kid’s dream! Besides, not all heroes wear capes. Pub crawls are basically the greatest invention, because why stay at one bar for the whole night when you can bounce between three bars, two pubs, a burlesque show, and a multi-level dance club? Imagine being responsible for trying out bars and clubs all over the region in order to assemble a kickass pub crawl? Yeah, sounds like “just another day at the office” to us, too. Have we told you that jobs for foreigners in France are WAY better than the ones you can find at home yet?
Working on a pub crawl team takes your run-of-the-mill bartending job to a whole new level. It requires really knowing the ins and outs of your region, as well as what foreigners find intriguing and unique and what is going to make young people from all walks of life kick back and par-tay. Pub jobs are the perfect type of work in France for anyone interested in tourism or hospitality, and especially good for social media obsessed, blogger types. If you want to meet young people from all over the world and really give them a night to remember (or not remember, either way), this is the gig to have.
The work is typically cash in hand, so no visa is required, with summer months definitely being the most profitable. Foreigners looking for pub jobs in France should consider contacting bar managers directly to see what type of opportunities they have available (start by just looking at their Facebook page). However, as with many jobs for foreigners in France, you’ll be more likely to get the job if you’re already living in France and ready to start work immediately. If you’re willing to take your employment in France a bit further and jump through the hoops of getting a French work permit, you could even consider getting a job in France as a bar manager. We’ll drink to that!
3. Ski Resort Employee
Do you dream of being a ski bum and love cheesey ‘80s ski movies? Are you a total snow bunny who busts out your equipment at the first sight of snowflakes? Do you feel a strong connection to Elsa and are jealous of her ability to magically freeze everything? Sounds like you should be living this cold-blooded lifestyle in the French Alps!
With huge resorts and snow-capped mountains for miles, seasonal ski work in France is an extremely lucrative part of French tourism. Concentrated primarily in the resort towns along the Alps and Pyrenees, tons of world-renowned hotels, slopeside restaurants and bars, and even the mountains themselves require all types of employees to make each ski season successful. Whether you want to work in France as a ski instructor, a server in the French Alps, a bartender, a hotel concierge, or lift coordinator, the job opportunities are pretty much endless. Learn to really understand apres ski culture, shred the trails and relax in slopeside hot tubs in your free time, and soak up the sunshine and nature, while everyone back home spends their winter wrapped in a blanket and fighting a cold. À tes souhaits!
The requirements for ski resort jobs for foreigners in France vary depending on the type of position, as you obviously need to already know how to ski in order to be a ski instructor. However, even if your French language skills aren’t particularly strong, you may still have an advantage, since there are some specific ski resort jobs in France for English speakers. Guests at high-end resorts love having a “familiar” face and piece of home helping them when they are vacationing in a different country, so being a foreigner and willing to work for a free ski pass and minimum wage is often enough to secure employment in France at a ski resort. After all, the biggest skillset on a mountain is knowing how to navigate the slopes, not the language!
4. Real Estate Agent
With the weakening Euro and international travel becoming more popular every day, there has never been a better time to jump into the real estate game in France; its high tourist rates and scenic, diverse regions mean plenty of opportunities in selling and renting homes to foreigners, particularly Brits and Americans. The amount of native English speakers coming to live and work in France is shown by the increase in Anglo agencies sprouting up. In fact, one of France’s biggest real estate agencies is British-owned, Leggett Immobilier. We’re not suggesting you turn this into a Vic Vinegar and Hugh Honey Real Estate situation, but there is a hell of a lot of opportunity to find career success in the realty boom in France.
Beyond working in real estate, foreigners who have relocated to live and work in France can play a huge hand in helping others do the same. We all know that moving is the worst, and every problem that can come up during a move is heightened on the international level. Especially in global corporations, relocation professionals are extremely valuable in assisting foreign employees who have decided to move to France. Given that you’ll have already been through the ups and downs of relocating abroad, your knowledge will help alleviate a lot of potential issues. This type of job could entail everything from simple advice to insider visa knowledge to physically showing new employees around their chosen region.
You can even become a relocation advisor or real estate agent on a consultant basis, assisting new team members with buying a house, purchasing or leasing a new car, or even opening up a French bank account. People are always willing to pay for stressful things to go smoothly, so capitalizing on your experience is a great way to make a Euro or two.
5. Tour Guide
Are you a solid public speaker with a knack for facts? Were your favorite stories growing up The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables? Do the tragic tales of Marie Antoinette and Napoleon thrill you? It sounds like being a tour guide in France is your destiny!
With over 85 million tourists each year, France is by far the most visited country in the world. Native English speakers are a hot commodity for tour companies in France for this reason, so even if you don’t speak much French, you can still be successful tour guide. While many tourism jobs in France for native English speakers are open to certified guides, you don’t necessarily need to go through a training course to land a job; some tourism jobs will only require an impressive knowledge of French culture and history. If you could get down with being paid to schmooze tourists with your history jokes and regional fun facts while exploring some of the most famous places in the world, this sounds like the type of employment in France you should pursue (Be warned though, herding 30 American tourists with screaming children and selfie sticks through Notre Dame in the summer is no easy task!).
These five jobs for foreigners in France are just the tip of the iceberg for French job seekers. You could also become a diplomat, a language ambassador, or hell, become the next Quasimodo. Think big here, people.
France is a country of opportunity and freedom, and foreigners shouldn’t feel trapped to a boring desk job when there are so many cool ways to make money!