Cultural Vistas’ Internship Program in France provides U.S. and Canadian students with intensive language training and internship placements in Paris.
The goal of the program is a full linguistic and professional immersion experience. Participants complete 2-4 weeks of intensive French language courses, followed by 2-6 months of interning in a French-speaking work environment. Internships are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to, business, hospitality and tourism, IT, fashion, media/communications, engineering, the nonprofit sector, journalism and media, art and museum studies, and health. Internships between eight weeks and six months are possible.
All internships are unpaid; however, scholarships are available to qualified participants. All participants receive a scholarship application following acceptance to the program.
- Application assistance
- Internship placement in your target field with a French organization
- Language training for 2-4 weeks prior to internship (longer language training encouraged)
- Pre-departure orientation mailing and web-based orientation seminar
- Financial assistance via the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund (must apply separately)
- Health insurance (at an additional cost of 50 € per month)
- Housing in shared apartment or homestay (optional add-on)
- Airport transfer upon arrival and departure (optional add-on)
- Support throughout the program in France and the United States
- Reentry information and tips on marketing international experience to U.S. employers
- U.S. or Canadian citizen
- 18–30 years of age
- Minimum B1 level French proficiency
- Minimum of two years of university-level studies in degree program related to internship field
- Enrolled in degree program throughout internship. Your home institution must approve a “training program” that your host company in France prepares.
- Sufficient funds to cover living expenses throughout internship
- Practical experience in target internship field does not need to be extensive, but is preferred (i.e. summer employment, prior internship, volunteer position, etc.). The more experience an applicant has, the more desirable he/she will be to a potential host company.
- For internships longer than three months, participants must apply for a trainee visa at a French consulate or embassy in their home country prior to arrival in France (process can take up to two months)
For program fees, please see the full list of fees and housing options below. A non-refundable 65 € application fee is due with your application. Applications are reviewed only after this fee has been paid. Please note that we will only process payments from qualified applicants.
Fees and Optional Housing Services
Internship + Language Course (for students with B1 – B2 French proficiency):
- 4‐week language course + internship placement: 1870 €
- 2 week language course + internship placement: 1350 €
- Additional language training (optional):
- Standard Course: 275 € per week
- Intensive Course: 350 € per week
+ 80 € enrollment fee
Internship Placement Only (C1 level or higher): 775 €
Note: candidates with advanced French language knowledge may forego taking a language course prior to the beginning of the internship. In this case, candidates must only attend two pre-internship workshops in France.
Insurance (required): 50 € per month
Airport Transfer (optional): 79 €
Host Family Immersion Experience Accommodation Fees (optional)
- Host family accommodation (single room, no meals): 196 € per week
- Host family accommodation (single room, breakfast): 260 € per week
- Host family accommodation (single room, half board): 327 € per week
+ 80 € housing placement fee
Upon acceptance into the Internship Program in France, you will receive an invoice for the services you have selected. The internship search process will commence upon receipt of payment. If a participant cancels their program, they may be entitled to a partial refund of fees, depending on the policies of Cultural Vistas’ partner organization and the point in time a written cancellation request is received.
Once we have received your complete application, we will review it to make sure you meet all program requirements. If you meet the requirements, we will conduct two Skype interviews with you to discuss the program and your expectations and answer your questions. The first interview will cover your motivation and expectations for the internship program. The second interview will include a French language component to assess your level of speaking and comprehension. Following successful interviews, we will formally accept you to the program and start the internship placement process.
Once your application has been reviewed and you have been accepted to the program, we will await your confirmation of your participation. Once your signed acceptance documents are received, Cultural Vistas, in cooperation with our in-country partner, will begin looking for an internship position with a host company in France. We work with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium-sized companies, and multinational holdings are all possible. Many companies are experienced in accommodating foreign interns and have been working with these internship programs for years.
The placement process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months after acceptance into the program. Your résumé and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found.
Participants will receive regular email updates about program-related topics and helpful information about France. Please note that it is crucial for the placement process that participants check their email frequently and respond to emails as soon as possible. Participants must inform Cultural Vistas immediately of any changes in their contact information and/or start and end dates of their program.
Once an internship has been confirmed and approximately a month before the program start date, you will receive a pre-departure packet covering details related to your program and an invitation to a web-based orientation seminar. The packet and seminar will cover topics such as program regulations, living and working in France, cultural adjustments, information on travel to France, housing, cost of living, health and safety, etc.
Generally, participants must attend at least two weeks of language training prior to beginning their internship. You may choose to extend your language course for even more linguistic training before the start of your internship.
If you speak French at a native or highly proficient level, you may be exempt from the language course portion of the program. An assessment will be made during your second Skype interview to determine your level of language proficiency. Language training takes place at the France Langue language school in central Paris.
Internships are available with various types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Please contact us for a sample list of past placements in your field of study. Please note that Cultural Vistas cannot guarantee that you will intern at any particular company, but will make every effort to locate the best possible internship for you, based on your previous work experience, language skills, educational background, and interests.
Tasks for interns are as diverse as the companies and the participants. Some companies will expect interns to work independently, while others prefer to supervise their work closely. Although it will be your responsibility to negotiate your direct work conditions, we will try to assist you whenever possible. Your resume will be sent to several companies in your field. You will be notified of your placement approximately three weeks prior to your program start date. In addition to gaining professional experience, you will have an opportunity to experience French culture firsthand. Even if the internship itself is not exactly what you imagined it would be, please remember that you will return home with invaluable personal and professional experiences.
Start Date and Duration
Language training and internships normally begin on a Monday and end on a Friday. Internships may last between 2-6 months. You are expected to apply at least three to four months prior to your desired program start date.
Scholarships to be used towards living and travel expenses are available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund for qualified applicants. All accepted participants who are eligible to apply to the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund will receive an application form and necessary instructions with a few weeks of acceptance.
To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase health and liability insurance through our provider, which has been approved for internship programs abroad (currently 50 € per month).
Housing can be arranged for participants to live with a French host family or in a shared apartment. Please refer to the full list of Fees and Housing Options. Participants should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary to adjust to French customs and way of life, as well as the usual adjustment that comes with living in someone else’s home.
Participants must bear all travel costs. All travel arrangements and expenses within France are the responsibility of the participant. While we understand that you want to see as much as possible during your time in France, please note that this is not a work/travel program. Participants are expected to spend the entire duration of their program improving their language skills and completing their internship. Weekend trips to learn more about France and its culture are, of course, encouraged.
How to Apply
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Applications must be submitted at least three to four months before desired start date.
After submitting a request to our online application system, it will be reviewed by a Cultural Vistas staff member. If you meet the program’s eligibility requirements, you will be sent a username and password to access the online application.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Applications must be submitted at least 3 to 4 months before desired start date.
Applications for summer 2017 are due February 15, 2017.
We encourage you to submit all of your application materials online. The complete application must be submitted by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time Zone) on the day of the application deadline, including any letters of recommendation or transcripts mailed separately.
Application Materials to be Submitted (all supplemental documents should be uploaded online)
- Completed online application
- Professional, passport-style photo (of you alone, wearing business attire)
- Official college/university transcripts or current student ID showing that you are enrolled throughout the duration of the program in France
- Proof of French language ability. This may be a letter from your current French professor or a standardized language test showing your level of proficiency. Candidates must have at least B1 level proficiency (ECTS scale) to participate in the program. Duration of required language training is determined by your level of French proficiency at the time of application.
- A photocopy of your passport
- If this internship is required for your degree, please include a letter from your school verifying this
- Current résumé in English
- Current résumé in French (editable Word document)
- Letter of recommendation from a current or former employer
- Statement of motivation in French titled “Ce que je m’attends d’apprendre et contribuer à mon stage en France.” The statement should not exceed one typewritten page (1.5 spacing, 12 point font) and should address the following topics:
- Your career goals, field of study, and the field in which you would prefer to intern
- The type of work you expect to do
- What skills you have to offer a host company as an intern, and where and how you acquired those skills, i.e. What qualifies you to work in your desired field?
- Statement of Available Funds Form
- Upon submission of your complete application, Cultural Vistas will schedule two Skype interviews with you and send you an invoice for a 65 € deposit. Upon successfully completing the interviews, you will be accepted to the program and receive an invoice for the remainder of your program fee (depending on courses and housing options selected).
You may preview and edit your application at any time until you have clicked on the “Submit” button. To preview your application, click “Print Version.” When editing your application, please be sure to click “Save” before exiting to ensure that all data is saved. We encourage you to print a copy of your completed application before submitting it. Please note that once an application has been submitted, it is considered final.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I have an opportunity to travel while interning abroad?
Cultural Vistas encourages you to explore as much as possible during your time abroad; however, please keep in mind that you are an employee at a company. Therefore, you are expected to attend work according to the expectations of your employer.
Will I receive school credit for my internship?
Credit is given at the discretion of each respective college or university. Be sure to speak with a coordinator at your school before beginning the internship to arrange proper credit. Cultural Vistas is able to provide a letter certifying participation in the program should the university request it. Please contact us for assistance.
Does Cultural Vistas offer scholarships?
Scholarships are available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund to those who have already been accepted to the program and have confirmed their intent to participate. A scholarship application will be sent via email to all eligible participants. Scholarships are available to U.S. citizens only. Priority will be given to participants who demonstrate financial need.
What is involved in the application process?
Complete an online application by clicking the “Request an Application” button. After submitting background information about yourself, we will email you a password granting you access to our online application system.
After submitting a completed application, all supporting documents, and the application fee payment, Cultural Vistas will schedule telephone interviews with all qualified candidates. During this telephone interview, we will make an assessment of your abilities, language skills, and career goals and will answer any questions you may have.
After a successful interview, you will be formally accepted into the program and we, in cooperation with our in-country partner, will begin the search for an appropriate internship.
What kind of companies offer internships?
Internships are available with all types of companies: small family-owned businesses, medium sized companies, multinational holdings, research institutions, and non-profit or government organizations. To request a detailed list of previous host companies for your field of study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Am I involved in the internship search?
Cultural Vistas will work diligently to find a placement for you; however, proactive participation from your end is strongly encouraged, though not required. You may approach potential host companies independently or offer contact information to us throughout the search; however, it is essential that you inform us of all outside contact.
Will I receive a refund if I am not offered an internship?
Yes. All fees paid (less the 65 € non-refundable application fee) will be refunded if you are accepted into the program and an internship is not found for you; however, this is highly unlikely. Cultural Vistas will work with each participant to ensure that they are placed in an internship most suited to their interests and capabilities. Previous work experience coupled with the chosen field of work will influence the availability and ease of finding a position.
Do I need insurance coverage?
To ensure that all participants are covered throughout the duration of their internship, Cultural Vistas requires that all participants purchase Cultural Vistas’ Insurance policy (currently 50 € per month). Students who are required to purchase equivalent international health insurance from their university will be exempt, but must provide proof of insurance enrollment and a letter from the university confirming coverage.
How much is the program fee and what does it cover? What additional costs can I expect?
There is a 65 € non-refundable application fee due with your application. The remaining balance will vary, based on the options you choose regarding language courses and housing. The participant is responsible for airfare and transportation in the host country, as well as meals and housing if they opt out of the offered housing options. Insurance must be purchased through Cultural Vistas (currently 50 € per month).
Are the internships paid?
Most internships are unpaid, though depending on your previous experience and industry, your internship may be paid. There are, however, scholarships available through the Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund to help offset the cost of living expenses for those who qualify. Scholarship applications are available after acceptance into the program. As Paris has a high cost of living, all candidates are required to sign a Statement of Available Funds, certifying that they have at least 1500 € per month at their disposal for the duration of the internship.
Do I need a visa?
U.S. and Canadian citizens are able to enter and stay in France without a visa. However, internships over 3 months require you to apply for a trainee visa prior to arrival through the French consulate or embassy in your home country. Please plan accordingly.
What is the duration of the program?
The duration of the Internship Program in France is normally 2-4 weeks of language training, followed by 2-6 months internship.
Where will I live during the program?
Housing in France can be arranged with a host family or you may opt to arrange your own housing. Please refer to the full list of Fees and Housing Options above. Participants should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary to adjust to French customs and way of life, as well as the usual adjustment that comes with living with flatmates or in someone else’s home.
How does the placement process work?
After reviewing your resume and conducting a telephone interview with you, we will have a solid understanding of your strengths and professional interests. Based on this information, we will begin contacting suitable potential host companies. The placement process can take anywhere from two weeks to several months after acceptance into the program. Your personal resume and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found