Past Internships for Credit in Bordeaux
Julia Angeles (Middlebury College)
Centre Animation Jeunesse
During my second semester in Bordeaux, I interned with the Centre Animation Jeunesse (CAJ). The CAJ works with middle and high school youth year-round, offering them a variety of activities, as well as a safe space to hang out, meet new people, and receive support. As an intern, I mainly worked with their education sector. Among others, I helped middle school students with their schoolwork in French and English, I ran the center’s English Workshop (English homework help and a fun activity to help middle school students work on their language skills), and I started an informal English homework help/conversation group for high school students. In addition to learning about different aspects of French culture and education, I gained insight into my identity as an American, and I became more confident in my ability to lead others in French. It definitely helped that the staff members were so supportive and welcoming, always telling me to feel right at home. Ultimately, the internship was an excellent way to cap off my year in France, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about the culture in a really practical way.
Kristen Meredith (Middlebury College)
Aquitaine Wine Company
This semester I interned at the Aquitaine Wine Company, a négociant company based in Bordeaux which specializes in selling wines from Bordeaux and the South of France in the United States. I got to experience the day to day of working at a wine company and work on many different projects, including translating informational sheets about different suppliers’ wines, communicating with different chateaux, helping with all of the preparations for wine shipments to the U.S., and contributing to the submission of several suppliers’ wines to be reviewed by Wine Spectator. My internship greatly helped me improve me French: speaking on the phone to clients, speaking with my coworkers, and listening to everything that went on in the office were all very helpful to my speaking and comprehension skills. It was also a great opportunity to gain interesting work experience and develop wonderful relationships with my coworkers. I would strongly encourage any student to consider completing an internship during their time abroad!
Alex Saunders (Middlebury College)
This semester I interned for eight weeks at the “Centre Animation Jeunesse” (CAJ), in Talence, which is just outside of Bordeaux. The CAJ is an organization where youths between the ages of 10 and 17 can go after school and during vacations to relax, socialize, and participate in numerous activities. At the CAJ I helped with English homework, hosted several “American” cooking classes, and had the opportunity to go surfing each week—just to name a few of the things I did! During my internship, I felt that I was really able to integrate into the organization; it allowed me to improve my French and also offered me valuable cultural experiences I would have never had elsewhere. Interning at the CAJ was the best decision that I made during my semester in Bordeaux; it was an incredible experience and I was able to form great relationships which I hope will last a lifetime!
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.
Past Internships for Credit in Paris
Kayla Lemus (Scripps College)
Libraries without Borders
During the Fall Semester 2014 in Paris, I worked for the NGO Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (BSF), otherwise known as Libraries Without Borders (LWB). This organization was created in 2007 by the historian Patrick Weil and has developed projects in over 20 countries. This organization promotes access to information and culture through the creation of libraries and cultural centers, as well as training librarians and creating projects both nationally and internationally. Their latest project is the Ideas Box, an education, information and culture/humanitarian response device that has been deployed to refugee camps in Burundi and will be deployed to Jordan in the new year. In addition, they have translated various learning platforms, such as the Khan Academy, from English to French, thus allowing Francophone countries access to free math lessons. They are also working with Codecademy, another learning platform which provides free, interactive lessons on how to program. As an intern I primarily worked in communications, translating articles from French to English which would be published on the Ideas Box blog, Facebook, Twitter, and the organization’s website, in both the English and French versions of each site. In addition, I translated articles for Codecademy, emails, and budget reports. I also had to constantly update the site and post things weekly on Facebook and Twitter, ranging from articles to library-related news that demonstrated the organisation’s mission. Working for BSF allowed me to develop my French language skills, learn a bit of coding, translation, and social media work. More importantly it allowed me to experience what it was like to work in a professional environment in France. All members of the team were extremely welcoming, friendly, and helpful and I developed great relationships with everyone there. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone looking for a warm, friendly, and open environment to acquire new vocabulary related to NGOs, improve your French language and translation skills, and overall experience working for a French NGO. Although previous translation experience from French to English is not required, I would definitely recommend practicing and studying translation before starting your NGO to feel more at ease the first couple of weeks.
Aissatou Gaye (Middlebury College)
Pôle de Competitivité Finance Innovation
During my fall semester in Paris, I interned for 8 weeks with the “Pôle de Competitivité Finance Innovation”, a competitive cluster dedicated to reinforce French competitiveness by leading concrete actions to facilitate the creation and development of innovative projects in the financial sector on relevant social, economic and environmental issues. It does so by offering consulting services to start-ups and linking them to potential investors, testing and spreading innovative financing tools and hosting think-tanks bringing together relevant actors of the financial sector in France. During my internship, I closely work with a consultant of the Pôle in a commercial prospection project. My tasks consisted in building up a list of large companies that will be interested in our service offerings, finding the contacts of the relevant people in those companies, doing research on innovative projects undertaken by those companies and use those as a basis to write emails to and/or call the relevant people in those companies to expand on the benefits of joining our network and to propose a meeting between them and our management team for further information on a collaboration with us. Working in this project really helped me improve my communication skills! I learnt so much about convincing communication tools that will be of great use in my future career path. I also got the chance to work with people from different continents and it was just a great experience to learn more about French culture but also Chinese Peruvian and Ecuadorian culture, all in the same place!
Asher Talerman (Middlebury College)
Robin des Bois
When I arrived in Paris, I was paired with Robin des Bois, an NGO that publishes reports on diverse environmental issues like animal trafficking and the destruction of cargo ships at the end of their life. I was initially paired with Hop-Cube, a consulting company that specializes in designing solutions to enterprises trying to frame and advertise their environmentally friendly aspects, but at the end of my interview we realized that Hop-Cube thought the position advertised was for a full-time job! With that not working out, I dove into the experience with Robin des Bois, although pretty soon I realized that the daily work was not quite that exciting. Doing translations was interesting, for sure, but certainly got tiresome. Towards the end I proposed other projects I might do for them that took advantage of my “Anglophone” qualities, like revising the English version of their website pages. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the office and how the NGO functions. It was a good opportunity to practice my French in a different context and have different types of conversations and my vocabulary improved as such despite the fact that 16 hours a week in the office and a research project at the end proved to be a lot of work. For the eight weeks the internship lasts, time will be crunched, but having the days off in the beginning and end of the semester was very nice and certainly helped with the huge workload at the end of the year.
Caroline Moynihan (Middlebury College)
This past semester, I interned at Pixopolitan, a French start-up company that sells fine art photography of different cities, neighborhoods and towns around the world. For my internship, I was primarily in charge of translation, which meant that I translated the website, client letters and some interviews with photographers. I really enjoyed my internship at Pixopolitan; it was very interesting to see the differences between a French and an American company. And of course, my French really improved because of it, which was great!
Ali Haas (Middlebury College)
Parisianist is a small startup founded in 2014 that works in tourism. Parisianist is a website that functions as a guide to the city of Paris, focusing on a personnalisation of information and content coming from real parisians who know the city well. Moreover, Parisianist is in the process of developing an app for smartphones. The office is located in the 6th arrondissement in an incubator that houses 10-15 other startups who also work in tourism. Being a startup, Parisianist is currently composed of 10 employees/interns, 3 of whom are the founders of the company. Interning at Parisianist offers the opportunity to work intimately alongside the founders in a dynamic environment that characterizes the incubator. My principal role as an intern was "translator" of articles from French to English. I also edited articles that had already been written or translated into English. There are many who would describe the task of translating quite banal, but I found it useful for improving my French and for getting to know Paris, given that the articles are written about restaurants, hotels, bars, museums, monuments, and goings-on in the city. Plus, the results are the work are very tangible and the payoff is nearly immediate since the translations are published on the website. As an intern you may also have the opportunity to attend expos and other activities alongside the Parisianist team. The staff, composed mostly of young people, is very welcoming, funny, and open to engage you in conversation. You will feel immediately part of the team. That said, I would not recommend this internship for someone who is very shy.
Shelby Redfield (Middlebury College)
Immunochemistry Laboratory of l’Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière
This semester, I was an intern in the immunochemistry laboratory at one of the largest hospitals in Europe. The lab was divided into two primary sections, one that studied monoclonal gammopathies and another that diagnosed autoimmune disorders. During my internship, I mostly observed the activities of each lab and learned about the techniques and equipment used by the lab technicians and doctors. I also participated in the analysis of medicals exams, such as electrophoresis, immunfixation, immunodot, and ELISA test results. Everyone in the laboratory was extremely welcoming, helpful, and open to chatting about the French health care system, medical research, laboratory equipment, etc. I really enjoyed my time here, and the skills, both linguistic and scientific, that I built during this internship are invaluable!
Leah Stavenhagen (University of Michigan)
Iinterned at Pixopolitan, a recent French start-up specializing in the sale of urban fine art photography. I performed various tasks during my internship, ranging from researching and contacting photographers from around the world, to managing Pixopolitan’s social media presence and adding subtitles to videos. Being part of the Pixopolitan team permitted the opportunity to join the French working culture and I enjoyed the experience so much that I'm staying on in June to do volunteer work for the company.
Joseph Leavenworth Bakali (Middlebury College)
During my spring semester in Paris, I interned at Peuples Solidaires, a French NGO committed to helping those struggling for their rights in developing countries around the world. It was my first time working for a NGO, and it proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging experience. My assignments mainly involved translating documents between English and French, although I was also given the objective of compiling the internal press review for the previous year. I felt that I was able to contribute in a significant manner to the work of the organization, and in addition, the staff were all extremely welcoming and were eager to make my time at the organization an interesting and memorable one. In addition, this internship provided me with an excellent opportunity to practice my French in a non-academic setting and to develop a professional vocabulary that could prove very useful in the future.
Jose Castaneda (Middlebury College)
I had an interesting internship experience with Reworld Media, a boutique publication and creative agency start up based in Boulogne-Billancourt which allowed me to reflect more upon the various forces that have shaped and are shaping the perception and reality of French SMEs.
Julie Shrieve (Pomona College)
During my semester in Paris, I chose to take part in an internship at Galerie Maeght. I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity because this gallery is very prestigious and rich in history. The gallery consists of a room for the ongoing exhibit and a library where all the lithographs and books are sold. Mostly, I spoke to clients to help them find what they needed, framed certain purchases, and sometimes organized books that had been taken off the shelf throughout the day. The environment was very warm and I liked everyone that I worked with. I improved my French and learned firsthand what it is like to work in a small, private gallery. At the end of my stage, I was even given a lithograph as a gift! Overall, I am very happy with my experience.
Graham Bishop (Pomona College)
While I was in Paris, I completed an 8-week internship with Galerie Area, a contemporary art gallery in the 10th arrondissement. In addition to presenting expositions of local and international artists, Area doubles as a publishing house by printing books, most notably its trimestral revue in which experts affiliated with the art world discuss subjects of intellectual debate. As an English major, I have long had an interest in the publishing industry, and an internship with Area also seemed like an ideal way to explore an interest in visual art that I hadn’t yet acted on in a work environment. For the first two weeks of my internship, I wrote interpretative French-language descriptions of drawings done by Polish artist Franciszek Starowieyski, who served as the subject for an exposition by Area this April. For the rest of my time, I conducted ethnographic research that would benefit Area in its publication of a book on Native American art. This included investigating the origins of Native American artifacts and writing summaries on the purposes of specific tribal customs and objects. Throughout the eight weeks, I also completed several assignments in translation, converting French texts into English and vice versa. I very much enjoyed getting the chance to explore multiple interests of mine in a foreign work environment. The internship was also a unique opportunity to meet artists and critics from the Parisian area. At the same time, however, the internship occupied a significant portion of my schedule, and I would only recommend it to students who are comfortable having limited free time.
Meghan Wallner (Pomona College)
l'Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique
During my time in Paris, I participated in an internship at l'Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique, a hospital in Levallois-Perret. Through shadowing interns and physicians at the hospital, I was simultaneously able to learn the science behind the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, which interests me as a pre-medical student, and the differences between the healthcare systems in the United States and France. My internship also provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself in a French-speaking workplace. I feel that this diverse exposure to the medical field in an international setting will be an asset to me as I work towards becoming a physician.
Antonela Miho (Pomona College)
Agir tous pour la dignité
During my spring semester abroad in Paris, I had the opportunity to do an internship with a non-governmental organization called ATD (Agir tous pour la dignité)—Fourth World. The organization’s main goal is the eradication of extreme poverty through a rights-based, collaborative approach which focuses on supporting families and individuals through a grass-roots presence and involvement in disadvantaged communities. An international organization, they engage with various individuals, institutions, and most importantly, in partnership with people in precarious situations, to create awareness of extreme poverty and influence policies which address it. Throughout my time there, I facilitated the planning and running of a workshop aimed at youth mobilization efforts among the poorest across Europe, built up social media presence of Djynamo Jeunesse project to highlight the organization’s work and facilitate productive exchange between its actors, archived primary documents, and translated text and videos from French to English. Overall, the internship experience with ATD Quart Monde was extremely rewarding and contributed to my personal, professional and language development.
Natalie Dennis (Pomona College)
L'Atelier Lytfa Kujowski
L'Atelier Lytfa Kujowski (l'ALK) is a workshop to develop creativity. During the classes, one can paint, draw, and engage in improvisational theater. The classes are separated by age groups, and the intern works principally with the children and adolescents. Each student works for him or herself, and Lytfa does not give formal courses in any medium. Each student is allowed to freely use the materials as well as the library full of books on artists and various subjects. As an intern, you help prepare the art materials before class and supervise and engage with the children throughout the 3-hour session.
George Price (Pomona College)
During my semester in Paris, I interned at a small company whose goal is to improve the online reputation of its clients. I spent a lot of time writing articles about current events and maintaining the entreprise’s accounts on social media. I also helped compile monthly reports and wrote some Java code to pull resources from the internet. It was an extremely enriching experience largely because I got to know the people who worked at the company, all of whom were very welcoming. Going to work three days a week allowed me to discover a different side of life in Paris which would have been invisible to me otherwise. It also allowed me to develop a specific professional vocabulary in French.
Greta Olivares (Middlebury College)
Fondation Scelles - CRIDES
During my spring semester abroad in Paris I was able to do an internship at Fondation Scelles-CRIDES. This foundation’s main goal is to fight against commercial sexual exploitation in France and the rest of the world. Every year the foundation publishes a world report on sexual exploitation, which includes country profiles related to sexual exploitation and prostitution as well as chapters on subjects related to sexual exploitation. During the first few weeks as an intern my job was to help in translating the latest book from French into English. Afterwards, I translated their website as well as other important documents for the foundation into English and Spanish. During my last few weeks I conducted research on prostitution in Mexico and wrote a summary of my findings do that it will serve as an aid for the author of next year’s country profile on Mexico for the world report. Other work consisted of administrative work to help with the distribution of the latest world report in the United States. This was a great opportunity that gave me an inside look into the French professional life and added a lot to my study abroad experience.
Rafael Manyari (Middlebury College)
During my spring semester in Paris, I did an 8-week internship at UNESCO. I worked with the Delegation of the Republic Palau, which is an island-state located in the Pacific Ocean. The UN declared 2014 the year of the Small Islands on Development (SIDS) since these nations’ cultures, economies and existence are threatened by climate change. I worked closely with the Deputy Delegate and I was able to attend meetings of the Executive Board during my training. I practiced formal French when attending meetings or communicating with several other delegations and ambassadors at UNESCO’s headquarters. As part of my job, I created an official country profile for Palau, which included information on the country’s ocean policy, culture, history, economy, tourism and the arts. I also created a mock project for the official website of the Delegation and launched its Facebook page to diffuse information about their work at UNESCO. Other projects involved translation of documents from French to English as well as some office work to help the Delegation prepare conference materials.
Victoria Marambio (Middlebury College)
European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM)
My internship gave me the opportunity to practice French in a real-life, professional context. By talking and working with my colleagues, I became more confident not only in my interactions with the French, but in my use of the language. When I return to Chile after graduating Middlebury, I hope to use French by either by working with an international company or by working in Linguistic Psychology. For the moment, all options are on the table!
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.
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!)