Past Internships for Credit in Paris
Elizabeth McElvein (Scripps College)
Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques
I interned at l’Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques, a strategic defense think tank in Paris. It was an excellent opportunity to apply and to enrich my language skills in a professional context. I translated English documents into French and revised English policy briefs written by francophone researchers. I developed a new appreciation for the complexity and nuance of bilingual communication, as well as a familiarity with European politics that will serve me well in my academic and professional future. I feel that I made a tangible contribution to the IRIS team, and would be very interested to pursue work in a think-tank after graduation.
Hannah Ostrow (Middlebury College)
Musée en Herbe
I interned at the Musée en Herbe, an art museum for children in the 1st arrondissement. Primarily catering to kids ages 3 through 12, the museum puts up temporary exhibitions featuring original works from major (primarily 20th-century) artists. They welcome mostly school groups and families who come in for guided tours, as well as accompanying visual arts workshops. During my time at the museum, I gave tours to English-speaking families who came in, monitored galleries and explained works and accompanying games, assisted in and helped design curriculum for visual arts workshops, and translated contracts, professional correspondences and press materials from French to English. The people who work there are all really great, super nice and welcoming and helpful, and interning was a great insight into French professional life that I would definitely recommend to anyone considering living in Paris post-grad.
Olivia Hipkins (Middlebury College)
I was fortunate enough to be placed in an internship with a French NGO called Prométhée Humanitaire, who puts on biannual sales in order to fund their humanitarian actions with street children in Haiti, Vietnam, Madagascar and Senegal. I'd never worked in a NGO before, so it was a really interesting experience seeing how one worked. I was working with really lovely French people, who we're just genuinely nice people; it was a great view into a piece of French society I probably would have never seen. I also worked almost completely in French, with the exception of translation work and when I was researching American foundations. Overall, it was a great experience, and not only did my French improve, but my confidence speaking it improved as well.
Brianna Morse (Middlebury College)
NGO Robin des Bois
This semseter I did an eight week internship at the environmental NGO Robin des Bois. It was amazing to have the chance to have an internship in a foreign country, and even more so one that fit so perfectly with my interests and studies as a political science and French major. Even though it was a lot of work, participating in an internship kept my schedule moving and helped me stay even more organized throughout the semester: from doing my work from other classes to exploring Paris. It was definitley a rewarding experience.
French website: http://www.robindesbois.org/
English website: http://www.robindesbois.org/english/robin_english.html
Alena Shish (Middlebury College)
JCh Moreau Consultants
In the Spring of 2013, I worked at JCh Moreau Consultants. JCh Moreau Consultants is a small financial consulting firm in Paris. This internship focused mainly on translation. Jean-Christophe Moreau, the head of the company, had written a book about crisis communication in French and was looking for an intern to translate it from French to English. I spent the first six weeks of the internship focusing on translating, revising, and researching case studies to include in the American version of the book. I also researched photos, videos, and documents for publicity Mr. Moreau was doing for clients. The only person working for the firm was Mr. Moreau, so I got to talk to him a lot about different aspects of the work he does. I really enjoyed my time at JCh Moreau Consultants because I was able to pursue something that interested me in a professional setting. It added a lot of my study-abroad experience gave me a chance to experience the French professional environment.
Claudia Crook (Pomona College)
During the months of February and March, I worked as an intern for ÉCU the European Independent Film Festival, which takes place in Paris at the end of March each year. ÉCU is run entirely by interns so there is a lot of opportunity for real responsibility in addition to the normal intern-type tasks. For example, I often translate social media messages into French or went to the post office to mail documents, but I was also in charge of managing the festival’s Much More than a Script competition, and my input was a major contributing factor to the winners of that competition. This job requires a lot of extra hours for video shoots, festival weekend, and various festival-related parties and events, but if you’re really interested in working in entertainment, you’ll want to be there during those extra hours anyway. This internship was probably the defining feature of my time in Paris, not only because of the professional value of the lessons I learned in the office and at the festival, but also because most of the friends that I made in Paris were fellow interns.
Hannah Markell (Washington University)
Centre Francoise Grémy
I worked at the Centre Francoise Grémy (http://www.elan-retrouve.fr/centre-francoise-gremy.php), a day hospital for adolescents with autism, pervasive developmental disorder or other severe behavioral problems. The center is at the forefront of the field and works especially to help adolescents who were not successfully treated/cared for elsewhere. The ultimate goal is to reintegrate the adolescents into society and the team uses a variety of activities and tools (dance lessons, weekend retreats, regular psychological evaluations, setting up internships) to help this process. As an intern I primarily observed activities and participated when appropriate. I also had the opportunity to observe a psychological evaluation, attend weekly staff meetings, and meet with head psychiatrists to learn about the diagnostic and treatment processes. This internship definitely added a practical dimension to my experience abroad and my study of psychology in the French system.
Claire Laubacher (Pomona College)
My internship at the Popincourt Center was a very important part of my academic and cultural experience in Paris. The organization is involved in both clinical and political activities to prevent suicide and isolation. It is both a CMP (Medical-Psychological Center tied to the national healthcare system) and a Centre de Recherche et Rencontres (an association founded to prevent suicide by promoting social ties.) As an intern, I observed patient’s appointments with the psychiatrist and the social worker, intake interviews, and art therapy sessions. These kinds of observations are almost impossible to do as an undergraduate in the US. I also attended the conference for the National Day of Suicide Prevention and other interesting community outreach activities.
Jaewon Oh (Middlebury College)
European Grassroots Antiracist Movement
During my second semester abroad in Paris, I interned with a small NGO, EGAM (European Grassroots Antiracist Movement), an offshoot of the larger and better-known French antiracist NGO, SOS Racisme. Being that this NGO is small and relatively new (created in 2010), I had the chance to perform a lot of interesting and varied tasks. On a day-to-day basis, I was in charge of preparations for a newsletter that EGAM will send out to political leaders at the European level (for example, in the European Parliament, the Commission, and the Council of Europe), which involved finding contact information for these politicians and studying and comparing existing newsletters of similar types and by member organizations of EGAM. However, I also got to do different things as the occasion required--booking a conference room in Norway, for instance, and calling French newspapers to find contact information. As an International Studies major (Political Science/French/Europe), this was an interesting internship, especially because I got to discuss lots of politics with coworkers during the electoral spring! Although this is probably not the kind of work I envision doing long-term, and it's true that an internship does take up a fair bit of time, I had a great experience and developed wonderful relationships with my coworkers and fellow interns, so I personally think it was quite worthwhile.
Shannon Muscatello (Middlebury College)
Solidarité Roquette (social and cultural center)
During my time in Paris, I decided that I wanted to do an internship to have a professional experience and something different from just going to classes. Being a French/psych double major and an education minor, I had a lot of ideas of what I wanted to do, but ultimately decided on something in the education sector with kids. At Solidarité Roquette, I got to work with kids of all different ages. Some days I would play and sing with the 1-3 year olds. Other days, I would learn and dance hip hop with the 10-17 year olds, and still other days I would help the older students with their homework in primarily math, French, and English. My main task was to bring the American culture to the kids to let them see another life style. We made pancakes, french toast, cupcakes, all things that they had never had before and had only learned about in class. Another part of my daily work included one of the main missions of the center: developing autonomy in the kids. This was not something you just sit down and teach, but rather a part of everything that we did. Doing this internship was one of the best experiences I had in Paris. I got to have a completely different perspective on Paris than the other students; I had a second life with these kids. I created fantastic relationships that I hope not to lose so that I can always see these amazing people again when I return to France.
Tiffany Xu (University of California Berkeley)
My internship was at a contemporary art gallery in the Marais district, and was one of the most rewarding experiences that I did during my time here. While it was a small enterprise and on a daily basis I talked only with my “maître de stage,” who was the gallery owner, it allowed me to learn a lot about the art world and interact with artists, collectors, and other members in the Paris art scene. The tasks I performed ranged from writing emails in French and English, formatting and writing artist files, and talking to visitors during gallery openings. As someone who is exploring potential career and future study directions, I found the internship very valuable. Another thing I would add is that doing an internship is a great supplement to academic work because it allows you to learn vocabulary used in a professional setting and is exposure to the culture of the French workplace. Although I was here for the year, I did my internship during my first semester and I would say that it was challenging but still worthwhile and not too overwhelming to take on even if I was here for only a semester. However, it did take up a large chunk of my time and was a considerable commitment.
Santiago Zindel Mundet Cruz (Middlebury College)
La Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes
During my semester in Paris I interned at the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes which is a zoo located in the Jardin des Plantes, the park where one con also find the National Museum of Natural History, right in the center of Paris (5th arrondissement). During my time there I was supervised by one of the veterinarians there and was assigned two main projects: 1. To create a list of all possible reptile candidates for the animal collection (I had to look individually at all the reptiles in captivity in the world and add those that met the zoo’s criteria to my list) and 2. I did an observational study of the Patagonian cavy, a large rodent from Argentina, with the goal of proposing one or two pairs that the zoo should keep since they wanted to reduce their population sample. The internship itself did not teach me much about French culture because I worked by myself except for when I had specific questions. I did, however, become a lot more self-sufficient and got to design and perform my own study, which is valuable experience for the future. I would recommend doing an internship while abroad because it is an opportunity that might never again come up and even though it did take a lot of time, I gained valuable experience and showed me a different side of living abroad other than simply going to school.
Salma Berrada (Bowdoin College)
Winter months 2011
I have always been fascinated by the publishing industry so as soon as I got to Paris, I sent out résumés to a myriad of publishing companies in the capital. And the only one that replied also offered me an interview and ultimately an internship. It was neither Gallimard nor Grasset but a small company by the name of Allia founded by a Dadaist in the mid-20th century. The small-scale structure actually enabled me to explore my interests in the field far more than what could have been possible at a larger company. From the reception of a manuscript to the layout of the book cover, I realized that there were multiple steps in the creation of the final product that we find in the bookstores. Although I came in wanting to be part of the manuscript readers division, it was interesting to discover the other facets of this realm of books such as participating in book-fairs and promoting new books on the radio and in literary magazines... There was never a typical day at work! What I certainly enjoyed the most was reviewing the translations from English to French of collections of poems before the final version was selected. Moreover, when I met with the translators to discuss certain details of their work, I was surprised that they actually took into consideration my assessment in their following version! Although I know now that working at a publishing company is not exactly how I conceive of my dream job, this opportunity was unique in enabling me to improve my translation skills considerably, meet French authors and critiques, and last but not least understand the intricacies of a perfect page layout.
Bre'anca Sanders (Scripps College)
Throughout my spring semester in Paris, I served as an intern at ArchiTurn, an interior architecture agency that provided its services strictly via Internet. The most amazing aspect of the company stemmed from its objective to democratize the world of interior architecture for the average citizen. This goal explains their reasoning to offer the help of an actual architecture exclusively through the use of high-end technology, photos, ample communication, and more. I was primarily responsible for translating their website and performing research on the realm of American interior architecture. Luckily for me, my position played a major role for the agency's future goal of expanding its company's presence in the States. As a result, I had the ability to compare and contrast the perspectives of interior architecture of both cultures. The team that I worked with was truly welcoming and amazing. I met great new people and gained a vast amount of knowledge about the Parisian culture and way of life. Without my experience as an intern, I am positively sure that my adoration for my stay in Paris would not have been the same.
Kristine Unkrich (Whitman College)
Ligue du Droit International des Femmes
During my semester in Paris, I interned with the organization, la Ligue du Droit International des Femmes (LDIF), which fights to ensure women receive the rights they deserve. There are several sectors within the league such as sports, sexual mutilation, forced/ arranged marriages, etc. I helped my boss, Maitre Linda Weil-Curiel, fill out a questionnaire educating an international organization about the status of forced marriages and female circumcision in France and I also translated a few documents from french into english. Throughout the semester, I also went to meetings with other nonprofit organizations and victims of female circumcision. I attended professional informational sessions, a debate, and a few receptions, and I went to a television station where my supervisor was interviewed. I would greatly recommend having an internship, because it is a great way to immerse yourself in the language and challenge your capabilities in French. You meet lots of interesting people and learn about subjects that you might not have necessarily been exposed to otherwise.
William Higgins (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Paris, I interned at Insiders Corp, an economic intelligence company headquartered in Paris. My main tasks included research on various markets and products, preparing briefs for my boss, and translating presentations into English. My internship was the best part of my semester abroad; in addition to making enormous progress in my French and getting to see a side of French society to which I would have not been exposed otherwise, I discovered an entire industry that I had no idea even existed beforehand. I gained a great deal of perspective on methods of doing business outside of the United States, and made some valuable connections. I highly recommend doing an internship, as it is a nice counterbalance to classes and puts you into an environment in which you will have daily interactions with French people in an alternative setting to the university. Be aware, however, that an internship is a real time commitment and will cut into your time for other activities. Overall, the experience was more than worth the extra time commitment.
Katherine Burdine (Middlebury College)
Air Products and Chemicals
Air Products and Chemicals is an an American multinational headquartered in Pennsylvania. This semester, I interned in their Paris office, which is also the company's French regional headquarters. Air Products bottles and sells gasses, like oxygen, nitrogen, and helium, destined for industrial and medical purposes. I worked in customer service department, answering directly to the head of the department, who also directed a team of about thirty people, responsible for customer service throughout France. My job was to do company and market research on some of Air Products' major French clients, including SNCF, Renault, and Citroen. The goal was to create an account plan for each client, a document that took into account the size of the company's French operations, including factories, sites, and total employees, as well as looking at other market forces, to allow the reader to predict the general movement of the client's gas needs for the upcoming fiscal year. I also did some ad hoc video conference interpreting between my French colleagues and their counterparts in the UK. An internship with Air Products was very rewarding, as I was entirely immersed in a francophone environment, and met many interesting young professionals. The customer service department was both large and lively, and I made a lot of good friends. My supervisor was very kind, funny, and he taught me a lot. As both the research and writing were entirely conducted in French, I learned a lot of new, technical words, and my writing improved with the steady use. I would add though that an intern with Air Products should be fairly confident in their language abilities, or risk feeling at sea in a fast-moving office.
Megan Margel (Middlebury College)
Institut National des Sports et de l'Education Physique
During my semester in Paris I worked for INSEP (Institut National des Sports et de l'Education Physique) in the international relations department. My main work included updating the main database with basic information for different countries and the board members for different international organizations. I also got to participate in other activities such as welcoming a delegation from Bhutan, assisting with an English class for the athletes, and attend an international conference on recuperation methods for athletes. My experience taught me a lot about the organization of high level sports at an international level. This internship was one of the best things I did in Paris because it gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in a French speaking environment outside the university system with a group of people who were incredibly welcoming.
Jennifer Kurland (Middlebury College)
During my 2nd semester in Paris I had an internship at Ni Putes Ni Soumises, an active organization against violence towards women. I attended sessions with jurist and victims of violence and answered and returned phone calls from victims seeking help from the organization. This was an incredible experience for me to learn about an aspect of French society that I wouldn't have otherwise seen, as the organization aids primarily minority women living in the suburbs. In addition, I had the opportunity to get to know many of the people who work there and learn about an organization that well known and active in political affairs and French society. It coincided extremely well with my psychology studies and has given me a perspective on a subject I had never worked with before. My internship added an incredible and certainly unforgettable aspect to my experience in France.
Allison Bailey (Middlebury College)
For my second semester studying in Paris, I decided to do a for-credit internship during the spring semester. I interned with a firm that does marketing and brand management consulting, primarily for fashion and beauty companies. I learned a lot about the current market for fashion and beauty companies, as well as upcoming trends and problems for the industry. This internship also gave me insight into how a French company works on a daily basis. I was able to interact with French adults and observe how their work occupies their life (in contrast to work experiences I have had in the United States). Overall, it was a great addition to the rest of my classes and I am very glad I had this opportunity.
Kelsey Nelson (Middlebury College)
While studying in Paris, I interned for 10 weeks at Galerie Maeght, a prestigious modern and contemporary art gallery, where I primarily worked in the adjoining bookstore and print shop aiding clients and selling merchandise. I had a variety of other tasks as well, including framing art works, taking inventory, preparing mailings, making deliveries and editing correspondence. The internship experience was truly indispensable -- in addition to allowing me to get to know other young French people and to improve my language skills, it gave me the opportunity to discover the French work sector, a completely different side of the culture. I highly recommend doing an intership, for both the fact that it brings variety into life in Paris as a student and for the interactions that it allows you to have with French people in an environment completely different from that of the university or of a homestay.
Andrew Kushner (Pomona College)
During my study abroad semester in Paris I did a two-month internship with EUROCHIPS, an organization that helps care for the families of incarcerated individuals. The best thing about my internship was the opportunity to meet interesting people that worked for EUROCHIPS and its partner organizations. I am certainly happy that I decided to complete an internship while in Paris - the chance to see another side of French life was very interesting.
Antonio Aransaenz (Middlebury College)
I worked for the Communications department for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (DICOM). We responded to all questions from journalists concerning events the Ministry was organizing or was responsible for (ex: the municipal elections in March 2008). I distributed the press documents to all journalists in preparation for the election days on March 9th and March 16th. I also prepared all of the invitations for guests. I am also a regular translator for the video department when they want subtitles in their films and for the rest of the DICOM who sometimes want an official translated document of certain files or presentations. I also assisted in organizing the press conferences of Michelle Alliot-Marie and was often on location to help prepare the spaces for her speeches. My daily work consisted of speaking to journalists, compiling databases of questions asked for the elections, translating documents from English to French and vice versa and going on site to prepare for speeches. It was a great experience to see first hand the role of the Ministry and to see how an election was organized from the basics to the more complicated matters. I also visited many government buildings that are usually closed to the public and got to be very informed on political actualities.
David Birr (Middlebury College)
During this semester, I interned at Kaplan Aspect, a company that facilitates language immersion stays abroad. It primarily focuses on sending young students to English-speaking countries for a complete immersion experience. While at Kaplan, my tasks were primarily administrative. I followed the completion of students files, made sure folders stayed in order, and kept potential customers contacted by sending out mailings. I worked on one of the company's newest projects, a summer job program in London by contacting appropriate schools in Paris to gauge interest. The type of work I did was not interesting, but the people were great, helpful, and always sociable. It was a medium-sized office and presented a good opportunity to experience life in a French working environment.
Emily Thompson (Middlebury College)
This semester I worked for the Paris office of Deutsche Bank AG. I found the job through a personal contact, not through EUSA. I worked within the Mergers and Acquisitions group.As an intern, I created excel spreadsheets and models which highlighted business operations of companies. Other companies than used these models to see whether or not they would like to merge or buy the modelled company. My internship was a bit awkward because I was the only part-time intern. However, this did not prevent my bosses from keeping me after the normal 7pm leave time. One perk that arose from these long hours was the free dinners, a rarity in Paris. The people were extremely friendly and quickly forgave my sometimes-stuttering French in the beginning. The long lunches and dinners definitely helped to advance my French skills. Overall, I learned a lot about investment banking and the international business sector through a French perspective. I would recommend working in an international business environment if possible.
Past Internships for Credit in Poitiers
Lucie Torrey (Middlebury College)
International Relations Office, University of Poitiers
My internship with the International Relations Office at the University of Poitiers ended up being so much more than just a practical exposure to the field of international education administration. The time I spent there allowed me to work on a variety of projects almost completely independently, including translating official university materials as well as planning for their first-ever international study fair. The research I did on international students in France for the academic part of the experience helped to put my own year abroad in a broader context and will serve as good training as I write my senior thesis this coming year. But beyond that, completing an internship while abroad gave me personal connections and insights into the culture that I never would have gained had I only taken classes. My colleagues were among the kindest people I encountered while in Poitiers and chatting with them over the lunch hour was as much a part of the experience as the actual work (and was equally good practice for my French!)
Past Internships for Credit in Bordeaux
Emily Slatter (Middlebury College)
During my second semester in Bordeaux, I began working as an intern at a Red Cross-Nestlé center for young mothers in need called L’Espace Bébé-Maman. I was working with a team of 10 other women, all volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. The environment was very informal, and I often spent time with my co-workers outside of the center. I had the chance to work in the Boutique section of the center, helping the beneficiaries choose clothing, food and other products. With both my co-workers and the women coming to the center, I had the chance to discuss French society, poverty and social programs. My French improved dramatically through these interactions. This internship was one of the most rewarding parts of my time in France.