Internships Abroad in Paris

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Paris

A city certainly doesn’t earn a timeless reputation as the City of Love for being dull. There is an eternally absorbing aura in Paris which for centuries has pulsated at the core of its ubiquitous global influence. Strolling along the banks of the Seine on a warm summer evening is magic, individuals interning in Paris will soon come to swoon at the city’s magnificence. Whatever your field of interest, internships in Paris are a viable step toward a future of great opportunities.

Internships in Paris

Finding an internship in Paris should be difficult because you can literally complete an internship in nearly any field. Beginning with business: Paris is host to 30 Fortune 500 companies, is continually ranked in the top five globally connected cities, and has one of the largest GDPs in the world. If you are interested in international business, marketing, communications, law, media, or any combination thereof, then it is likely that you will come across quite a few fruitful internships in Paris.

Moving on to the arts: Paris is considered a fashion capital of the world, is home to the world’s most visited museum (the Louvre), and has inspired some of the greatest minds in the history of literature, philosophy, and academia. The food is pretty good as well. So if you are seeking cultural or professional refinement in any of these fields (or perhaps all of them), then an internship in Paris should be considered as the world’s premier destination for you.

Paris is a city of immense global opportunity, a place where international interns can undoubtedly go as far in their own two feet will take them. Though, it is understandably competitive to land an internship in Paris. Intern abroad program providers in Paris can help tremendously in this process. Many companies and organizations differ in their baseline requisites, but most expect interns to speak at least some French and commit to working in Paris for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Life in Paris

Since Paris is such a large and diverse city, interns can quite literally live any sort of lifestyle they desire. There is an infinite depth of cultural activity to draw upon – museums, theaters, historical monuments, libraries, concert and sporting venues, cafes and restaurants, bars and clubs – the list goes on and on. Many of the latter establishments are considered to be world-class in nature, and all exude a distinctly Parisian essence.

Some of the city’s main tourist attractions are the Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and (of course) the Eiffel Tower. These are all certainly worth a visit, but eventually you will want to delve deeper into the rich underbelly of Paris while interning abroad. Take advantage of the city’s extensive metro system to explore a lot of different neighborhoods, and make an effort to befriend locals that know cool offbeat spots during your internship in Paris.

It would be ideal to speak at least conversational French before interning in Paris. Beyond the basic language requirements that many internships will screen for (French being the language of business in Paris), speaking the local tongue will help you greatly throughout everyday conversations and transactions. 

Despite having earned somewhat of a cold reputation, most locals are actually happy to interact with foreigners, but may simply be turned off when you try to speak to them in only English. Knowing the French language is the key to tapping into the real Paris during your internship in France.

Salary & Costs

Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), but higher expenses comes with the opportunity to intern in an international powerhouse and one of the most visited cities on the planet. Like any major city in the world, it is still possible to live cheaply if you focus on budgeting and finding cheaper options. While interning in Paris, try to eat and shop away from the major tourist areas; be aware that, generally, housing prices tend to cheapen the further you move from the center of the city. 

It is definitely possible to earn a decent enough salary through an internship in Paris, depending on your field of placement. Many internships in Paris are unpaid and instead are subject to program fees, which generally include some part of the costs of transportation, housing, and meals. However, there are also openings which offer a paid salary or at least living stipend. Take your time when researching different internships in Paris to find the right one which matches your financial needs.

Accommodation & Visas

Interns in Paris will likely be able to choose from a variety of living options, including homestays and apartment living. Homestays are a great way to become close with a French family and enter intimately into the Parisian culture. Apartment living will provide international interns with a more autonomous lifestyle, though internship program providers and employers will usually help organize apartments for interns.

You will also likely need to obtain an employment visa to live and work as an intern in Paris. It is a fairly simple application process and will often be facilitated by the company in which you will be working. Interns should allot themselves plenty of time when applying for a visa (check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to find a French embassy or consulate in your home country to find out more information).

Benefits & Challenges

There are few more desirable locations on the face of the earth in which to live and work than Paris. Throughout history it has been a pressure cooker to revolutionizing ideas in art, culture, and society. Today one of the most globally connected cities on earth, it is hard to imagine a more enriching and rewarding place to begin developing your own international career prospects.

Intern abroad in Paris and fall in love with the City of Lights itself, in all its splendor.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Paris


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