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.