With a student visa, you have the right to work in France for up to 964 hours per year, which works out to about 22 hours per week for ten months, or full time (35 hours per week) for six months. Whether you want to complete an internship and gain international work experience, or just make some extra money to travel, working in France can be a great way to practice your French and get to know French people.
French social protections and job security that make it difficult to lay off employees during recessions are great for French people with jobs, but they also mean that it’s very difficult for companies to hire young workers, and that job openings are hard to come by. As a native English speaker, the easiest jobs to get in France are teaching English, babysitting, and tutoring; there’s also the occasional freelance translation job posted. Other jobs are available, but they are best obtained through connections, and internships, which we’ll discuss later in this section, differ significantly from their American counterparts.
Anglophones from outside of the European Union with student visas, which only give the right to work part-time, imperfect French, and a busy schedule will often have trouble finding jobs, especially jobs outside of the fields of teaching or tutoring English. Fortunately, such jobs are usually part-time, since they are designed for foreigners and students, and abundant, since most students stay for a short period of time and there is constant turnover. Unfortunately, these jobs can be low-paid and unpredictable. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the common jobs for English speakers, their advantages and disadvantages, and a few options for making money without binding yourself to a teaching contract:
In France, a stage, or internship, is typically a full-time position for a predetermined amount of time. New laws require stageaires to be paid about 400€ per month, plus half of transportation costs, for the privilege of working for the company. While some internships provide learning opportunities, most are a way for a company to replace workers who have taken maternity leave or gone on summer vacation, and stageaires are often expected to discharge the duties of the person on leave for less than 20% of that worker’s salary.
Applying for jobs and internships:
And once you’ve been hired, you’ll need to read our quick guide to Reading Your French Payslip.