Montpellier is an old city, that’s young at heart. As the eighth largest city in France, Montpellier only continues to grow into a prosperous hub of industry and education, making it a perfect destination for internships in France. Rivaling Marseille and Nice, all while maintaining its intimate charm, internships in Montpellier will be hard to beat. Home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Montpellier, the academic influence in Montpellier breeds excellent internship opportunities.
Internships in Montpellier
Montpellier has been a historically important economic center in southern France since its 10th century founding, which is great news for international interns. Thankfully, this means there are plenty of internship opportunities to take advantage of in Montpellier.
Popular internships in Montpellier range from tourism to marketing and advertising to hospitality and the culinary arts. Additionally, many large international technology and IT companies, like Dell, IBM, and Access Source, call Montpellier home and regularly hire interns around the calendar year. Internships in Montpellier are usually available in either English or French, but most programs will include some form of French language study, whether supplemental or intensive. Not to mention, as a major academic center in France, Montpellier has some of the best French language schools in the country.
Some internships in Montpellier will even offer job-specific language courses; while you intern in marketing, for example, you may have the chance to take a business French language class, or if you are learning the art of French pâtisserie (pastry) making you might be offered a course on the language of gastronomy. You don’t necessarily need to be fluent in French to intern in Montpellier, but some key French phrases and a little effort will go a long way with your colleagues.
As an intern in Montpellier, you can look forward to gaining practical experience outside of the classroom. If you’re itching to ditch the library, an internship in Montpellier is the perfect opportunity. The French know how to work hard and live well; even as an intern in Montpellier, you can expect a healthy work-life balance, with plenty of time to explore the city and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, colors, and tastes of daily French life.
Life in Montpellier
Vivant et dynamique! Vibrant and dynamic are two of the best words to describe life in Montpellier. Ideally located just a bus ride away from the Mediterranean, nearby Provence Region, and UNESCO World Heritage sites, like the walled city of Carcassonne and Pont du Gard, you’ll never be far from adventure during your internship in Montpellier.
Montpellier averages 300 days of sunshine a year, which lends itself to the region’s natural beauty and the infamously pleasant culture of southern France. Spend your weekends hiking, biking, or visiting one of the many vineyards in the region. Montpellier is a multicultural metropolis; interns can even experience some of Spanish flavor by attending a bullfight! There’s never a dull moment for those who choose to intern in Montpellier.
As a university town, with well over 60,000 students calling Montpellier home, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a drink and dance to get rid of any internship stress. Place de la Comédie, the main square in town, is lined with cafés, bars, and restaurants. In the summer months the square comes alive with street performers, so you can enjoy your glass of wine on the terrace with dinner and a show!
With a tramway and bikes haring, transportation around Montpellier is relatively inexpensive and easy to get used to. One key to saving money on transport: save yourself a lot of headaches by buying a monthly pass for public transport.
Salary & Costs
Internships in Montpellier can be either paid or unpaid, and this will vary by industry and placement type. However, the standard stage (internship) in France will offer a modest stipend, and some internships will offer additional benefits, like housing and meals. All benefits will vary between providers and employers, but most will provide at least a general suggested budget for food, travel, and living expenses.
France is consistently one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, which drives up the cost of living across the country. However, it’s nothing you can’t manage with clever budgeting and an ear to the ground for free events happening around town. General rule of thumb for any French city is, the further away from the tourists, the cheaper (and oftentimes more authentic) it will be; this goes for shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, and even bakeries and small grocers.
Accommodation & Visas
Apartments in France can be quite expensive, especially the closer you are to the city center. Most internship providers or employers will help you find housing, whether that be an apartment, a student housing complex, like a dorm, or even assist you in arranging a homestay.
If you’re planning on interning in Montpellier for longer than 90 days, you will need a temporary long-stay visa, whether it be a student or work visa. Most internship program providers and employers will help you through this visa process and provide necessary documents. However, you are responsible for scheduling and attending your consulate appointment in person. It’s important to start this part of the process early, because French bureaucracy can be slow and frustrating.
Benefits & Challenges
Work Hard, Play Hard. During your internship in Montpellier you’ll learn to work hard and play hard like the French do, by living and learning on and off the job. Whether you’re interested in tourism, hospitality, business, or the culinary arts, Montpellier continues to grow as an industrious center in France, and with this growth comes increasing numbers of internship opportunities.
Discover Yourself & the City. Completing an internship in Montpellier provides you with the opportunity to learn about yourself in a new corner of the world and open yourself up to new experiences and a new culture, as you wander along the winding, cobblestoned streets.