Internships & Assistantships

Looking for professional experience? Internships and assistantships are wonderful ways to acquaint yourself with a profession. Even if you don't pursue that field as a career, you will learn valuable workplace skills. Take note of the examples we list below: they are real and attainable goals. Many of these organizations have accepted Carleton students in the past, so you can do it, too.


Assistantships are teaching positions where you aid a principal instructor. These are always paid positions, and we recommend a few possibilities:

Carleton Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships. Advanced students (usually juniors or seniors) with excellent French work with Carleton professors to provide language practice sessions in elementary French classes. For more information, contact the Language Sequence Coordinator, Christine Lac.

Carleton Research Assistants for Summer Programs. Our new Summer Institute in Language and Global Issues hires two Carleton students with advanced French each summer. If you'd like to help introduce high-school students to language study, contact Scott Carpenter.

Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). The French government recruits hundreds of recent graduates from English-speaking countries to help teach English in secondary schools throughout France. The TAPIF experience provides a living wage, a relatively light schedule, and the opportunity to live and work in France for a year! Scores of Carleton students have done a TAPIF year and loved it. Learn more here.

Internships in French-speaking locations

Internships provide experience in professional workplaces. They may be paid or unpaid--and those arranged by outside organizations can become expensive. However, in the best cases (one organization in particular comes to mind, and has been popular with our students: IFE - French Field Study and Internship Programs -- more information below), the cost is fully justified by the rigorous academic framing of the experience--which means that academic credit may be issued for it.

The Career Center is an excellent resource of internships, but we have listed here those agencies or organizations that focus on French-speaking locations. 

AIFS: Internships in Cannes, France
AIFS offers a variety of internship possibilities from social work to work with production companies along with intensive language courses. Spring semester study abroad students benefit from being in Cannes during its world famous film festival.

AIPT: Association for International Practical Training
AIPT is the U.S. affiliate of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE), a network of more than 70 countries that coordinates on-the-job training for university students in the fields of engineering, computer science, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, architecture, and agricultural science. AIPT can also arrange work permits for students and professionals to go from the United States to one of 80 countries, and provide program support before and during the international assignment.

AHA International
AHA has placed over 600 interns in 32 countries worldwide, including France and Senegal. through its IE3 Global Internships.

BEST Programs
BEST offers French Internships in Brussels. This program combines an intensive French course with a practical professional post for candidates who want international work experience on their resumes. Optional lodging in a shared apartment is provided. (Fee)

Boston University
Boston University’s Paris Internship Program offers a semester of study and work in Paris. Combines an internship with intensive French-language study and liberal arts courses.

BUNAC: British Universities North America Club
BUNAC offers Work Canada, a program authorized by the Canadian Government to allow U.S. college and university students aged 18-30 to work and travel in Canada. The Canadian sponsor is SWAP, Student Work Abroad Programs. In Canada, SWAP provides on the spot backup and support.

CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange
CIEE offers work in Canada at a variety of locations.

EPA: Educational Programmes Abroad
EPA has been arranging internships in Europe since 1975. They have programs in six European centers including Paris and Brussels.

European-American Center for International Education (The Eur-Am Center)
Eur-Am offers internships in the Loire, France. Interns come from a variety of academic backgrounds such as business, liberal arts, science and fine arts. Adelante Abroad allows you to gain valuable work experience in your area of interest while exploring new talents and skills.

EuroInterns offers placements in Belgium in a variety of fields. (Fee)

Eurolingua Institute
Eurolingua Institute offers 3 or 6 month work experience programs in the region of Montpellier, Nice and Toulon, South of France, for participants aged 18 to 35 years. Applications for 2 month periods are accepeted during the summer. Work placements are in the Hotel/Campsite Industry.

French American Chamber of Commerce (FACC)
FACC oversees an International Career Development Program for candidates aged 18-35. Internships in companies are normally open to graduates with relevant professional experience. The maximum duration for these internships in France is 18 months.

French Embassy

The French Embassy and consulates provide information on short term internships in France and long-term internships in the public sector and in NGOs.

InterExchange offers U.S. students and young adults the chance to participate in work and travel, volunteer, education, language, au pair/childcare and internship programs around the world. Programs are available in France and Belgium. (Fee)

ICE: International Cooperative Education
International Cooperative Education (ICE) provides U.S. college and university students the chance to gain practical work experience abroad. Each summer ICE arranges for students to travel to Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America to work as paid interns in a variety of employment fields including retail sales, hospitals, banking, education and engineering.

IES: Internships in Dijon, Nantes and Paris France
IES internships are offered as academic options earning IES credit. They feature a strong academic component, which includes an academic seminar and an evaluative report from the supervisor of the organization offering the internship. In addition to the on-site work experience, students are expected to keep a work journal, give an oral presentation, and submit a final report, which analyzes and evaluates the activities performed during the internship. IES in Dijon, Nantes and Paris arranges internships for students who are proficient in French during the semester with businesses and governmental organizations. Students must devote a minimum of 8-10 hours a week to the work experience, for a minimum of 80 contact hours during the semester. Students earn three semester credit hours for the combined seminar and work experience. Placements are competitive and not guaranteed.

IFE - French Field Study and Internship Programs

IFE is a Paris-based educational organization (with branches in Brussels and Strasbourg) offering a semester-long academic internship program to students and recent graduates of North-American universities. Enrollment is limited to 12-15 students per semester.

Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)
KEI’s European Internship Program allows students to gain professional experience in an international setting. Internship positions are available with companies, NGOs and law firms -- in Brussels, Antwerp (Belgium). Internships are supervised by the International Management Institute (IMI). Students have the option of complimenting their internship with courses offered at IMI, professional visits and excursions in Europe. Academic credit is awarded by the IMI and Clark Atlanta University (accredited in the USA).

Lake Forest College
The Lake Forest College Paris International Internship Program aims to provide the junior or senior student with in-depth exposure to French society and culture through a combination of work experience and classroom instruction. Held in the fall semester each year, the Paris program provides intensive language study with an on-site French Culture seminar and a choice of academic internship from a variety of fields based on the student’s academic background and prior work experience. The student is hosted by a French family during their stay; housing and internship placement are arranged by the on-site director in Paris. Students must have sufficient proficiency in the French to qualify. See the off-campus programs page on the College Web Site for further information and application.

Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar’s Junior Year in France offers a limited number of internships in government or social agencies during the second semester. Students must have the approval of their Dean and a faculty sponsor on their home campus. One unit of credit (3 or 4 credit hours) is granted for the research paper which accompanies the internship. Students may also volunteer to serve as assistants to French teachers of English during the whole year or the second semester. The amount of time involved varies from 2 to 6 hours a week. Although these assistantships carry no academic credit, they offer good opportunities for direct contact with French schools. With the approval of their home college, students may also undertake an independent study project. Credit and grade may be recommended either by the Junior Year in France or the home college.

University of Syracuse
University of Syracuse’s program in Strasbourg France offers internships at the Council of Europe and the Court of Human Rights.

Villanova University
Villanova’s summer program gives students the opportunity to study in one of the world's most international cities: Geneva, Switzerland. Students will take a two-week intensive course on either "Global Governance" or "Studies in International Business." These intensive courses, taught by faculty from the University of Geneva, are followed by a six-week internship at a Geneva-based international business or organization.

Other Options. The following fall between assistantships and internships, but are worth mentioning:

Concordia College Language Villages. These summertime positions (ranging from one to three months) provide the opportunity to work with (mostly) middle-school and high-school aged children in an environment of French immersion. Positions include camp counselors ("moniteurs"), teachers, and other (cooks, etc.). The staff is always a mix of Americans and adventurous souls from French-speaking countries. The pay is light, but people make lasting friendships.

Little Big Land. This is the French equivalent of the language villages: a camp in France (near Tours) where kids learn English.

Rempart. This is a volunteer organization that brings together mixed groups (French and international) to work on cultural projects in various regions of France. Projects range from restoration of historic buildings to preservation of natural sites. There's a small registration fee, but most sites cover your food and lodging.

And finally, some general resources on working and interning abroad:

University of Michigan
Information and resources for working and interning abroad.

Transitions Abroad Magazine
Information on working, studying, traveling, and living abroad.