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 Internships in France - hard to get for Americans

Forum فرنسا, Frankreich, Francia, France, Γαλλία, フランス, Francia, Frankrijk, Francja, França, Франция, 法国, 法國: فرنسا, Frankreich, Francia, France, Γαλλία, フランス, Francia, Frankrijk, Francja, França, Франция, 法国, 法國

Internships in France - hard to get for Americans

Postby jignakpatel » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:24 pm

I'd first like to vent about my frustrations related to finding an internship in France. I'd also like to solicit advice from anyone that has found some way to convince French companies that Americans are worth hiring.

I've been on the hunt for an internship in France for about 5 months. I am no longer a student, so getting a convention de stage from a university is not really an option. I recently found out that the French-American Chamber of Commerce in NYC offers assistance with obtaining a convention de stage once a company has agreed to hire you on. There is another organization-- AIPT --that also provides similar assistance. However, the AIPT process is a little bit more lengthy and there is a fee of $400. With BOTH however, there is a clause stating that these companies are required to pay me the French minimum wage (approx. 1280 euros)

That being said. I have interviewed with two companies in recent months, and both were thrilled to have me come on board as an intern. However, when it came to money, they completely abandoned the prospect of having someone with 3+ years work experience work as an intern because apparently the minimum wage is TOO high to pay an intern.

The more internships I apply to and the more research I do, it seems that most of the young labor force is working as interns all over France.

Often times, they are paid about 300 euros a month (30% of the minimum wage), while they work 40 hours a week. Obviously, I can't live off of that amount (even by supplementing it with my savings). I'm not sure how to convince any French company that it would be worthwhile to hire on an experienced professional that they wouldn't even have to pay a real salary for a couple of months!!

Any tips or advice is definitely welcome.

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Advice from a french person

Postby pookies » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:52 pm

Hi jignakpatel,

I just read your message and feel really concerned about what you are talking about.
You are totally right, a ot of young people work in firms as interns and are payed 300 euros. That is not much! I experienced it myself 3 years ago. Actually I experienced 3 internships, payed and unpayed.
The french governement is preparing a law in order to make interns payed a little more, because some firms make a lot of benefits as they pay interns that price.
You are also totally right, the french ambassy can offer assistance with obtaining a convention de stage. But you still have to find an employer.

Maybe I can help you finding an employer? Just tell me what kind of internship you would like (Marketing, finance...?), what area (Paris, South of France...), and tell me if you speak a little french. You an also send me your CV and resume if you want an advice about them from a french point of view, or ask me questions about what you would like to know.
I am actually creating a free website dedicated to internships in france (www.stage-en-france.com / www.expat-job.com) to help people like you find an internship or a job.
So do not hesitate to contact me, I would be glad to help you.
Regards,
Caroline
Last edited by pookies on Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Internships in France - hard to get for Americans

Postby jignakpatel » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:21 pm

Thank you for replying to me. I am actually trying to find a job in Marketing. I am fluent in French. I can send you my French CV if you want. I also have a lettre de motivation. If you can send me your email address by private message, I will send you my CV.

Also, on your site, I saw a project manager position that I think I would be a great fit for.

http://www.expat-job.com/Connections/Ar ... recordID=7

I have over 3 years of experience, and project management is definitely one of my best skills.

Even though this position is permanent, the company could hire me for a CDD of 18 months through the French-American Chamber of Commerce.

I could prepare a cover letter for you to send over.

I would really appreciate your help!

Jigna [/quote]

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