Franco-American Fulbright Commission
Mingjiu Gao (Middlebury College)
During my second semester in Paris, I did an internship at the Franco-American Fulbright Commission, which runs the various Fulbright exchange programs in France and manages the allocation of grants for the laureates from both countries. I mainly worked with the Education USA Center, also integrated into the Commission as part of a larger network of international advising centers under the direction of the U.S. Department of State to promote U.S. higher education. The center provides information on opportunities to study in the US as well as counseling and guidance for interested French students.
My main tasks included updating informational documents, verifying the English translations of official diplomas and transcripts of French candidates, or sitting in at my supervisor’s counseling sessions and providing my personal insights. I also helped my supervisor with her new project, the Competitive College Club, which works with a group of selected French high school students to prepare for their applications for US colleges or universities. Some of my work might seem mechanical or minute, but they actually require an amount of self-learning and research about the US postsecondary education and special programs for international students, the French higher educational system as well as related vocabularies in both languages.
What I appreciated the most during my internship was the intimate and international working environment at the Commission. As a small team with only seven persons, I got to know and to spend time with all the employees, who treated my with a lot of openness and kindness. Almost everyone has an international background as well as a curiosity and passion for different cultures. My favorite moments was those as we gathered around in the small kitchen at lunch time and talked about things from classic French movies to Chinese food. I am grateful for this experience where I was able to create connections that I otherwise wouldn’t have had and enrich my professional experience at the same time.
European Producers Club
Jay Pier (Pomona College)
The European Producers Club (EPC) is an independent film club, governing body, and lobbyist group. There are 130 production companies that make up the EPC, but only two full-time workers, and therefore it is a very intimate and enriching internship experience. There is no particular pattern to the tasks asked of an intern at the EPC, but you can certainly shape the experience around your interests, if you make them well known to your superiors. There is work in marketing, design, computer science, communication, translation, film analysis, and event organizing all within the scope of the EPC, and so don’t be afraid to let them know what your preference is. In addition, the EPC office is shared with numerous other companies, and so an intern gets a great sense of the European professional scene, and an opportunity to meet other interns at the same time! I recommend this internship for anyone who enjoys the film industry, is ready for a fast-paced and sometimes intense environment, and wants an ideal place to practice French (and sometimes even Spanish and Italian!).
Theatre in Paris
Acadia Klepeis (Middlebury College)
In the fall of 2022, I worked as an intern at Theatre in Paris. The organization aims to make French theatre accessible to everyone, regardless of the language that you speak. They sell tickets to shows for which you don’t need to know the language (like opera or dance) or offer performances that have surtitles in English. It was really cool to learn about what was showing in Paris this season and get to know the French theatre scene.
My favorite tasks that I completed were writing-related. I loved writing for their blog and newsletter because it was super creative and allowed me to interact closely with Theatre in Paris’ offerings. I also got experience translating my own and others’ work.
That said, I did complete a lot of data-heavy tasks that involved finding information from our website and putting it into a Google Sheet. Even if you come from a strictly humanities background, you may be asked to do some data management, which was a surprise to me and took up a significant part of my time there.
Overall, the team was nice and it was a good experience.
Les Ateliers Masurel
Andreya Zvonar (Middlebury College)
I spent my internship working with Jerome Masurel of Les Ateliers Masurel. He runs a one-man architecture firm located in Malakoff, one of Paris’ suburbs. There, he does not work in a traditional office, but rather a coworking space. The people are friendly and on Tuesdays they give presentations about that which they are working on.
My schedule consisted of arriving to Casaco (the name of the building) at 9h and working until 17h or 18h with a 20 to 30 minute lunch break around noon. M. Masurel allowed for a fluid schedule, so these hours were not imposed on me, just how I chose to structure my time. During my internship, I worked alone on a model of a proposed project. This required being able to read construction documents and having prior experience building models.”
Mariia Makutonina (Middlebury College)
Doing an internship during my study-abroad semester in Paris has been an incredibly challenging but rewarding experience and has prepared me in numerous ways for life after college. As a film major, I have been placed in a small Parisian video production company ACIDprod, where I was primarily working in the marketing department. The experience has given me an opportunity to transmit my academic knowledge into professional environment and gain new skills of adaptability, initiative-taking and effective organization. Most importantly, I have improved my language skills as the whole experience was in French. My colleagues were one of the best parts of my experience abroad as they guided me through cultural dos and don’ts in the workplace and beyond. I would recommend to everybody to do an internship as a part of their study abroad experience as it opens up new professional, cultural and linguistic horizons.
Emma Ahadoberry (Pomona College)
Interning in France was easily the most valuable experience I had during my year abroad. This internship allowed me to explore a potential career path all while discovering cultural nuances. Thanks to the incredible people I worked with, I gained a lot of self-confidence speaking and writing in French, as well as a much clearer image of what I am looking for in my future career.
The report following the internship was also very beneficial to my understanding of French culture. I chose to explore the origin and economic impact of strikes in France, much like the ones I lived through against retirement reforms. By researching the history of strikes in France I began to understand the cultural and political impacts that they have had and still have today. Through this process, I was able to deepen my understanding of the French and gain a new perspective on much of my experiences from the year.
Qing Zhao (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Paris, I interned at Galerie RX, an art gallery in the heart of the Marais, which is a district greatly dedicated to contemporary art. The gallery values its partnerships with international galleries and collaborates with artists all over the world. That being said, I really appreciate having the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment. I worked mostly on doing research and preparing for the gallery’s participation in various international art fairs, translating artist statements and exhibition brochures, updating the gallery database, helping prepare for the openings and managing the inventory. At times I also needed to make runs to the post office, organize receipts and help moving or hanging artworks around the gallery as needed. From both the larger individual projects and the “small errands”, I really gained a deep insight into how art galleries function. In addition, being forced to practice my French in a professional context for two full days each week no doubt improved my French conversational skills. The gallery has a small team and working with my colleagues who are all extremely patient and warm was a blessing.
The internship did require a decent amount of work and a heavy time commitment, so I would recommend it to future students who are not worried about having limited free time. However, I think it has been a great way to learn about French culture from a very different angle, provided a nice balance to my coursework and, more importantly, it offered a valuable opportunity for self-growth which will translate into my future capabilities to cope with different situations.
Planète Enfant Développement
Melanie Liu (Pomona College)
I really enjoyed working with planète enfant et développement. I am trusted with many responsibilities and everyone is very kind, willing to communicate about and share their experience, and passionate about their jobs. It is an NGO that works to improve children’s conditions in developing countries. I really appreciate that it works with local organizations instead of taking charge of everything in place of the locals. It has been truly a learning experience in the NGO domain as well as French culture.
Sarah Harthun (University of Michigan)
I found my internship in Paris through EUSA to be a very enriching experience. Going into my semester abroad, I knew that I wanted to get the most possible out of my time in Paris. My goals were to integrate as much as I could into French life and culture and improve my French. My internship allowed me to work towards these goals and also gave me the unique opportunity to work in an international setting. EUSA was extremely helpful in finding me an internship that aligned with my interests and they continued to support me throughout my experience. As I was interested in working at a Non-profit, EUSA was able to find a great match with an organization called Planète Enfants & Développement, an NGO that works to help women and children in Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Nepal. The office was very small, which allowed me to interact with my colleagues and to improve my speaking and writing abilities. I found the work, overall quite doable and generally interesting. Furthermore, I was able to interact with the other interns who were all around my age and were French, which was fantastic for practicing the language. I really enjoyed spending my lunches speaking with them and I felt like a real member of the team. I am so grateful to have been able to have a completely unique and transformative experience doing this internship.
Yiyi Jin (Middlebury College)
I completed my eight-week internship at Finance Innovation, a cluster in the Fintech industry in France. Housed in the prime location of Bourse, which use to be the ancient stock market of Paris, Finance Innovation is a major player in Fintech with connections to hundreds of startups, research institutes, big enterprises and local administrations. I worked primarily with my supervisor Nicolas, but also worked with other colleagues on the team. As a part-time intern, I worked two afternoons and one day per week for a total of 16 hours. I received organizational and administrative tasks which helped me familiarize myself with the structure and responsibility of the team. I participated in the weekly traffic meeting every Tuesday morning. I also played a key part in the organization of many Fintech events that took place at Finance Innovation, including the Kickoff event of the Fintech tour in France, which attracted more than 200 clients and partners. The office environment was very friendly and loving, and the casual conversations with my colleagues improved my daily French immensely, and helped me learn more about the French work culture.
Michael Jiang (Brandeis University)
My internship at Finance Innovation was one that was rewarding not only because of my experiences gained from working in a French business, but also because I was able to gain valuable internship experience for my resume. As my title was simply intern at Finance Innovation, my tasks ranged from filing business cards to researching about the impact post Brexit on the Fintech industry; from finding the contact information of different startups, to researching the DSP2 law and its impact on French banking. The internship requires its participants to be very proactive and rewards interns that constantly seek out different work and who do not remain complacent. l would highly recommend this internship to anybody who wishes to gain valuable internship experience in a financial sector. My only advice would be to make sure to be always proactive as everybody in the company may be doing their own separate tasks and leave you with nothing to do.
Daniela Roldan Cabrera (Middlebury College)
Finance Innovation is a fintech cluster with the goal of developing the financial sector in France. It does this by connecting large financial institutions with innovative fintech startups. They help give these startups recognition, funds, and legitimacy. I worked in this company as an intern for 8 weeks, 2 days per week, and had a great experience. There were 15 other people working in the company and they were all very accessible and ready to give me work. They were patient with me as I understood the tasks and navigated them in a foreign language. Other than doing certain organizational and administrative tasks that helped me familiarize myself with the company and the work, I mostly did market research for their projects, translated firm documents from French to English, and researched fintech trends across the world. I think this was a great experience to learn about a foreign work culture, improve my French, and learn financial terms and concepts that interest me a lot. If you are at all interested in economics, markets, and innovative trends in the financial sector, this is a great internship for you.
Daisy Tian (Brandeis University)
For the Fall of 2015, I interned at Pôle de Competitivité Finance Innovation, a competitiveness cluster brings together large and small firms, research laboratories and educational establishments, all working together in a specific region to develop synergies and cooperative efforts. The objective is to boost competitiveness of the French economy and to help develop growth and jobs in key markets by accelerating innovation efforts. During my internship, my main task was to sell “white paper” written by the association. I exchanged emails with different people everyday and sometimes made phone calls. My writing skills and communication skills improved a lot and I learned to communicate in a more professional way. During my last week of internship, I assisted to organize and participated in a large event about “Fintech”. It was an eye-opening experience to see how people organize events in France. Overall, it was a great experience for me and I gained a better understanding of finance industry.
Aissatou Gaye (Middlebury College)
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!
Paolo Frazzini Meléndez (Tufts University)
At Benenova, I worked mostly on translations of articles and other documents from French to English. In addition to that, I participated as a volunteer in multiple volunteer projects throughout my internship. This included preparing a meal for people in precarious situations who do not have the means to a warm meal (such as the homeless or refugees), or helping an organization with recycling used material for artistic purposes. At these volunteer events, I had the opportunity to interact and have discussions with people of all backgrounds, which provided me with valuable insight on the French way of life. At these volunteer events, I would take videos of “témoignage” that would later be shared on social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram. Those who work at Benenvoa are extremely open-minded and always happy to have new interns/volunteers.
Galerie Art’et Miss
Lyra Ding (Middlebury College)
During my study abroad semester in Paris, I interned at Galerie Art’et Miss, an art gallery in the Marais, close to Musée Picasso. During the internship, I worked with my supervisor Dominique Rémond, the owner of the gallery. My main job was to write art critiques of the works from the exhibitions in the gallery. Madame Rémond would help me edit my writings every time I finished one critique and post it on the gallery Facebook page. Therefore, the experience significantly enhanced my French writing skills. I also had the chance to meet and talk with the artists during gallery openings. Such conversations allowed me to comprehend their works better and to practice my French speaking skills. Through this internship, I have learned how the art market works, how to write art critiques, and how to build up relationships with artists. I would highly recommend this internship to the students who have an interest in contemporary art and art market.
Stephanie Alcántara (University of Virginia)
I interned at Galerie Art’et Miss, a contemporary art gallery in the Marais, during my second semester abroad in Paris. Every week was a new experience. I learned everything from selling artwork on Amazon to setting up for a new exposition to the day-to-day tasks of running an art gallery. I was able to interact with the exhibiting artists and visitors to the gallery, which helped me to improve my French speaking and comprehension skills. Going to the gallery was something I looked forward to every time, because I knew I would be learning something new or meeting someone new. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in Paris, and I highly recommend doing an internship while here.
Galerie Kamel Mennour
Olivia Peabody (University of Virginia)
During my spring semester, my second semester on the Middlebury in Paris program, I had the chance to work at the Galerie Kamel Mennour in Saint-Germain-des-Près for eight weeks. Kamel Mennour is one of the leading galleries in Paris and in Europe as a whole, with three gallery locations in Paris and one in London. I cannot express how lucky and humbled I feel to have worked in a gallery representing some of the most sought-after contemporary artists, including Anish Kapoor, Claude Lévêque, and Bertrand Lavier. I got to meet many of the artists, help prepare the gallery for the numerous art fairs in which they participate, review press articles, research art books, and so much more. I found my time at the gallery incredibly enriching in more ways than I had anticipated — I was able to gain a better understanding for the gallery culture and see exactly what goes into running a top-tier gallery. It is not always glamorous, often involving making runs to the post office and organizing receipts, but even, and perhaps especially, in the “little things”, I learnt an extraordinary amount. I gained confidence in my ability to contribute to the greater whole, which will translate into whatever I do from now on. My handle on the French language improved tenfold — at no moment did I speak in English during my stage. There is something to be said for entire days speaking, reading, writing, and thinking in French. I would absolutely recommend considering an internship in an art gallery, big or small (but perhaps preferably small), to anyone interested in art, business, press and communications, and/or accountability. An invaluable experience ! I am thankful to Middlebury and to EUSA for this opportunity.
Permanent Delegation of Palau to UNESCO
Philip Sheers (Kenyon College)
I was fortunate enough to intern at the Permanent Delegation of Palau to UNESCO during my semester in Paris. Although I performed a variety of tasks at the Delegation, my main responsibilities were to draft, revise, and send diplomatic correspondence to other ambassadors and UNESCO officials, to prepare and send meeting minutes to delegations, and to work with my fellow interns on a research project.
The internship experience was invaluable to me in three particular ways. First, on a professional level, I was able to develop skills and understandings of the international relations sphere that are much harder to teach in classrooms; how to speak with ambassadors, how to navigate negotiations and meetings, and when not to speak at all. Secondly, on a more personal level, the experience gave me a strong sense of confidence in my abilities to handle pressure situations and maintain a professional attitude at all times. Finally, the experience also inspired me to continue to pursue an academic focus in international affairs, especially regarding issues of terrorism and international security. I’ve concluded the program proud of the work I’ve done and eager to build on my experience in the future. I would recommend such an internship to anyone looking for a rigorous challenge and terrific learning experience.
Hannah Beinecke (Bates College)
I’m working for the delegation of Palau at UNESCO and Palau is a small island country in the western Pacific just east of the Philippines. The country has a population of about 20,000 people and the state controls more ocean than it does land. It’s an interesting country because they’re working to make their entire national oceans into a marine sanctuary and they’ve made some really strict environmental policies that other countries have tried to emulate. It was really cool because for the celebration of the world oceans day on June 8th the President of Palau came to visit and I got to work with him and his delegation including a UN representative negotiating for climate change. With them I got to go to a conference at the senate here in Paris and meet the special envoy to President Hollande and different senators and ambassadors!
The Philippine Embassy
Charlie Hull (Middlebury College)
I spent eight weeks this spring working as an intern at the Philippines Embassy in Paris. I conducted research on economic relations between the Philippines and France, as part of a project to create a book to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Philippine Embassy in France. My tasks consisted largely of scouring archived documents at the Embassy for trade and finance data and descriptions of important diplomatic events with economic consequences, which I noted for further investigation. As part of my economic research, I made several trips to visit the archives of the INSEE and the French customs headquarters to note official figures and reports dating back to the early nineteenth century. In my final weeks, I wrote a finished draft of a chapter of nearly twenty pages in length to be included in some form in the published book. I examined both English and French sources in my research, and my visits to offices of French state organizations required a great degree of comfort with the spoken French language. The internship provided me with a firsthand opportunity to observe past and present diplomatic relations between the two countries and to learn a great deal about international economics.
Maison des Journalistes
Amelia Seepersaud (Middlebury College)
The Maison des Journalistes is a very unique and special place and I am glad I had the opportunity to intern with them during my semester abroad. Everyone is really kind and they understand that I am a learning French and are patient and willing to help when you don’t understand something. The team is really small, so it makes for a pretty comfortable office space. Because it was such a short internship though it was a little hard at times to feel fully integrating into the work. However, there was a lot of flexibility in the type of tasks I could engage in and I enjoyed that freedom to choose what to work on.
Sarah Corsico (Middlebury College)
Interning at la Maison des Journalistes in Paris this past semester was a truly incredible experience. This being my second semester in Paris, I was hoping to further improve my language skills, understand French culture and to have an understanding of how NGOs in France work - more specifically in the field of human rights. La Maison des Journalistes is an NGO that promotes and protects freedom of expression and the press. It welcomes and supports professional journalists who have been persecuted and forced to flee their countries, providing them with the means to rebuild their lives in Paris, France. On a professional level this internship enabled me to learn about the financial side of NGOs, grant writing, and how to communicate professionally in French. On a more personal interest level, this internship enabled me to learn about freedom of expression not only in France but globally; it enabled me to interact with professional journalists from around the world and it taught me a great deal about the resettlement process in France as well as refugee and asylum seeker rights.
I not only admire the work that this NGO is doing but I was also greatly impressed by the passion and drive of each one of the people who work at the MDJ. The cultural interactions and the thought provoking conversations that I had throughout my time at the MDJ made the experience truly special.
Aviva Shwayder (Middlebury College)
I interned at the La Maison des Journalistes (MDJ), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting journalists who have fled their countries (such as Syria, Iran, Rwanda, Tunisia, Cuba) who are now political refugees in France. The MDJ not only provides these journalists temporary housing, but the staff also helps them apply for political asylum, teaches them French, and find employment so that they can integrate into their new community. The journalists are able to continue to pursue their work in the name of freedom of the press by writing for the MDJ’s online publication “L’oeil de l’exilé.” The MDJ also organizes outreach to secondary schools and universities throughout France, explaining the importance of freedom of speech, the press, and human rights. Aviva worked in the communications department, where she translated documents, designed promotional material, and assisted with weekly events with the journalists.
Siming Chen (Tufts University)
I interned at the contemporary art gallery Galerie Maeght and the experience was unparalleled. The gallery is founded by a family and it has a great amount of art works, including some original lithographies of Joan Miro, Calder and Chagall. My daily responsibilities are sorting the lithographs, framing and hanging art works, translating the exhibition brochure and greeting the clients. I had the chance to meet many artists in the gallery and I learned a lot about modern and contemporary French Art. The internship was definitely a great chance to know how an art gallery functions every day for someone who is interested in art. Besides, the gallery has a small team and all my colleagues are friendly and helpful, from whom I learned a lot.
Sydney Read (Middlebury College)
This semester in Paris, I interned at Galerie Maeght, a modern and contemporary art gallery right in the heart of Paris. The gallery has a rich history and an international reputation. As an intern, I was responsible for assisting with client relations, framing pieces of art, helping prepare for and manage openings, arrange window displays, manage the inventory, translate documents, and run the bookshop. This internship greatly improved my French, was an incredible career opportunity, and provided valuable insight into French culture that I would not have otherwise received.
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.
La Laboratoire de Psychologie du Développement
Tyree Cowell (University of Michigan)
During my semester in Paris I completed an 8 week internship in La Laboratoire de Psychologie du Développement, a well known psychology lab associated with l’Université Paris Descartes and le Centre National de Recherche Scientifique. This lab is at the forefront of research into developmental psychology, cognitive science and neuropsychology, as well as pedagogy and education research. During my internship I was able to start my own research project from scratch, as well as assist several PhD students in conducting their research on both children and adults. This internship greatly improved my ability to work independently and efficiently, as well as my self-confidence. It was incredible to be able to work on a project of my own creation, giving me a glimpse into what a career in research might be like. In addition, I got to experience French culture in a setting outside the classroom which really completed my entire study abroad experience. I would highly recommend this internship program to anyone thinking of studying abroad.
Le Mouvement de la Paix
Lilian Gharios (Bowdoin College)
During my semester in Paris, I did an internship with Le Mouvement de la Paix , an NGO that organizes many different activities to promote peace all around world. They also work on political issues like the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the question of the Kurdish People…etc. and try to push politicians and governments around the world to find peaceful solutions to those issues. They also focus a lot on nuclear disarmament. I had the chance to do many different things with the organization: I did a lot of translating (French to English, and English to French), wrote four articles to be published in their monthly magazine Planète Paix, worked on improving their website, on making flyers with another intern who is French which was a great way to interact with French people (they travel internationally for conferences) and working with an older volunteer on organizing a trip to Palestine and on making a book with all Palestinian articles and another book with all Middle Eastern articles that have been published on their Planète Paix since 2005.
The experience was very rewarding, I have learned so much about the world in general, my writing and speaking in French have improved and I have learned so much about French culture and costumes from the employers at Le Mouvement de la Paix, as during lunch we have extraordinary conversations. They are very friendly, and I felt so welcomed and comfortable over there.
Grace Gillooly (Middlebury College)
At Lukarn, a distributor-producer film company in Paris, I translated scripts, summaries, and promotional material from French to English. I also researched and compiled customized lists of program titles suited to clients’ preferences that they would go on to purchase. At the internship, I developed my French skills, communicating with my two kind bosses in French during my two days a week there. Through translations, I actively retrieved French words I hadn’t remembered and learned new vocabulary, which strengthened my overall language.
Ally Merkel (Kenyon College)
During my semester in Paris, France I interned with LUKARN, an international television production and distribution company. As an intern, I translated numerous synopsis from French to English and communicated via email and telephone with English speaking clients. I also had the opportunity to accompany the director of LUKARN on a few business meetings with clients who were looking for new television programs. Although translating materials and communicating with clients were my two main tasks, I also gave my recommendations on whether LUKARN should distribute certain programs, created a newsletter, and did research on television channels. Interning at LUKARN was a fantastic way for me to immerse myself in French culture and improve my language skills. The team at LUKARN was incredibly supportive and eager to teach me everything about international distribution and production, and made me feel like I had a community in Paris.
European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM)
Jingjie (Alva) Dai (Pomona College)
This semester I did an internship at EGAM, European Grassroots Antiracist Movement, a small NGO that seeks to launch an antiracist movement at a European level. The executive team had only 10 people but the organization had multiple partnerships with national antidiscrimination organizations and European institutions. Some projects that the organization was working on were genocide denials, Calais Jungle, etc. My main responsibility was to write two weekly newsletters in French and English on what was happening around the world and EGAM’s activities. I also participated in the organization and preparation of “Sarajevo-sur-Seine” Film Festival that projected films on human rights made by Balkan directors. Since some of my colleagues were not French, I had the opportunity to practice both French and English. Thanks to this experience, I got a better understanding of how NGOs - especially small NGOs - function and what antiracist associations do.
Victoria Marambio (Middlebury College)
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!
Fredy Rosales (Middlebury College)
During my second semester in Paris I interned at Solidarités Jeunesses, a non-profit organization with a network of partners in France and all over the world. Their work consists of organizing “workcamps” -2 to 3 week long projects that bring people from different backgrounds together to work in and with a local community with the goal of breaking intercultural and intergenerational barriers. In their central office in Paris I worked mostly on their international workcamps, translating projects’ descriptions from French to English and vice-versa, updating their database, and promoting the workcamps. Overall, it was a rewarding experience as I improved my French, met and worked with a very diverse, young, and socially minded group of people, and acquired international professional experience.
Becca Cohen (Middlebury College)
In my internship with EUSA, I worked OPALS, an NGO headquartered in Paris that combats aids in Africa. As a communications intern on the team for the semester, my main responsibilities were to research health news in Africa and in France for daily Facebook posts, to update figures on OPAL’s website about projects in 2015, to write news articles with updates from health centers for the website, and to enhance the website.
The experience was very rewarding. I loved being able to get class credit for a course while being engaged in French day-to-day life in the workplace. I was able to learn new skills about working in France, social media, conducting research , and a more global mindset in reading health news and considering the differences in care and availability of resources in Africa compared to the Us. My final dossier project, in which I researched the Ebola effects and response in Guinea (a location that OPALS operates in) was also very interesting given my interest in global health. I hope to continue to study Global Health and the inefficiencies that exist in healthcare when I return to Middlebury this fall.
Robin des Bois
Evelin Toth (Middlebury College)
This semester I interned with an environmental NGO, Robin des Bois. My main responsibility was to carry out research on a variety of subjects (such as industrial pollution, nuclear waste and biodiversity protection). I also supported the organization by translating press releases and a publication that focuses on the violations of an international convention on wildlife trade (CITES). The internship experience helped me better understand how NGOs shape environmental policy solutions and I also really enjoyed working in a multicultural environment. Lastly, the 8-week long internship helped me improve my French, while gaining a professional experience in Paris.
Shubha Ganesan (Middlebury College)
During my fall semester in Paris, I interned for Robin Des Bois, an environmental NGO in the Belleville area. RDB does a number of activities (including working with the French Minister of Ecology and selling organic products) but mainly focuses on research, specifically on animal trafficking, nuclear waste, ship-breaking, and pollution. The staff was small (~6 people), but they were all incredibly welcoming, warm and friendly – I shared a desk with my boss, and she and the other staff were always there to answer my questions and give me advice. They made sure to make me feel included in all aspects of office life, which I really appreciated. The work itself, as a previous intern mentioned, was very translation-heavy, which ended up getting a bit monotonous after a few weeks. I eventually asked my internship director if I could help her with other subjects that were of more interest to me (namely, cartography) – though there wasn’t much for me to do in that area, they did give me some more diverse projects to work on after that. Though I realized that my interests are somewhat different from those of Robin des Bois–their research topics skew more towards the “ecological” than “environmental,” and they don’t do much work on issues related to climate change – I learned a lot about other subjects that I hadn’t known before, and left feeling like I gained a lot. It was definitely a great experience, and I feel like I really improved my French and learned more about working at NGO environment, especially one that deals with international issues.
Asher Talerman (Middlebury College)
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.
Brianna Morse (Middlebury College)
This semester 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 definitely a rewarding experience.
Paulina Carvajal (University of Michigan)
During my semester in Paris, I did an internship which was facilitated by EUSA. Though it was an added time commitment, it was overall a great experience, starting with EUSA; they helped the students throughout the entire experience from getting the internship and making sure it was a good fit to keeping up with the students during the internship. They made sure that my internship was in relation to my interests. I did my internship at Le Book, a fashion-related, international reference company for the creative world (photographers, brand representatives, PR agents, creative directors etc.). I was there to help out in the preparation for their annual event, Connections, a trade show where the international creative community meets to network. My responsibilities included translating texts from French to Spanish, calling their contacts in Spain to invite them to our event, and putting up content on the website. I got to attend and work the event as well which was a great way to make some connections myself! In addition to the internship, it is required to submit a research paper about a topic relating to the internship which was an added time commitment in itself. However, it was worth the experience, for the internship was a great way to not only improve my French, but to expand my French skills by speaking French in a professional setting. It was also a great professional opportunity and has expanded my network greatly.
13 Pour Tous
Elizabeth Lee (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Paris, I interned at 13 Pour Tous, a social and community center in the 13th arrondissement. The 13th arrondissement is very diverse, with a high density of immigrants from Asia and Africa. 13 Pour Tous wants to create strong ties among community members, and they do so through leading activities such as cooking, tutoring children, and literature circles. At 13 Pour Tous, I helped out with the French as second language class, tutored children with their homework, and led activities (such as charades). Overall, I had a lot of interaction with the community in the 13th arrondissement (definitely was not a desk job, I was always up and about) and have a better understanding about how to recreate such communities in the States.
Nelson Willmotte Architectes
Tanya Chen (Middlebury College)
During my semester in Paris, I interned at a small architecture firm called Nelson Wilmotte Architectes. The two main projects I worked on whilst there were creating a new logo for the firm and creating a product catalog for Copacabanon, Nelson Wilmotte’s enterprise that makes prefabricated, personalizable wooden cabins. I was able to advance my Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign skills and I really appreciate that I was trusted with such big graphic design projects. The work was mostly independent and self-guided, but my coworkers were super friendly and always willing to answer my questions or give me feedback. Doing an internship is definitely a big time commitment, but overall it was a rewarding experience.
Adara Wicaksono (Middlebury College)
During my second semester in Paris, I interned at Nelson Wilmotte Architectes, a small architecture firm located in the heart of the historic district that is the Marais. Whilst there, I assisted with a project on a series of prefabricated, personalized wooden cabins by developing renderings of several types of cabins using different forms of architectural software such as AutoCAD and SketchUp. I was also able to refine my knowledge of other software such as Illustrator and InDesign when creating pricing posters for the developers. There was a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere in the office where I learnt a lot from the architects themselves. Overall, I am very grateful to have been given the chance to intern at this firm because I was able to develop the necessary skills in the domain of architecture as well as gain a deeper insight into the numerous processes from designing to realising a work of architecture.
Qingying Wang (Middlebury College)
For my second semester in Paris, I interned in an architectural firm called Nelson Wilmotte Architectes, a small cabinet founded by a young architect. During my internship, I worked mainly on a project of a series of wooden cabins that the clients can individualize according to their own preferences. I made several different models by hand from the digital drawings to more directly showcase the project in a three-dimension with a smaller scale. Helping with the publicity of the project, I also realized some architectural drawings using AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator. I attended the presentation of the project in a design exhibition, and helped with some Chinese-French translations of the firm. At first, this internship is a little bit challenging for me because the pace of working in an architectural firm is faster than what I am used to. However, after a while, I became much more comfortable with my work, and realized that I had improved a lot in relating skills as well as learnt many new things. I got a much more profound understanding of the professional field of architecture after seeing the process of real-life architectural projects. I really love my colleagues, who were always very friendly with me and encouraged me a lot. The flexible and horizontal structure built bonds between us and the cabinet ate together in our office sometime after work.
Elizabeth Sun (Pomona College)
During my second semester in Paris, I interned with Parisianist, a small tourist company focused on providing personalized, authentic experiences of Paris. They were focused mainly on Anglophone tourists so as an English speaker a lot of my duties involved verifying texts as well as composing my own articles. I was responsible for updating their social media accounts as well as doing online research about certain sites in Paris. In addition to learning a lot more about Paris as a city, I also got to hear a lot of cool anecdotes or little known facts about the city from the people that I worked with. I gained insight into cross-cultural communication through my experiences in the tourism industry. Not only did I realize how useful a skill my English is in an international setting, but I also became more confident in my ability to communicate in French. I think completing an internship in a French speaking work environment is a great way to see another side of French culture as well as to challenge yourself to grow both in your French skills as well as your personal capabilities and would recommend this experience to future students.
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 personalization 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.
Enfants et Developpement
Catherine Hamet (University of Michigan)
During my stay in Paris, I decided to do an internship with EUSA, which counts for academic credit. The whole experience was overall extremely positive, albeit very demanding. I would absolutely recommend it to any student who is willing to put in some extra effort in order to get the most out of their time in Paris. To begin with, the internship was guaranteed as long as the student is willing to participate. This takes care of the most difficult part of an internship experience (finding an internship to begin with). The EUSA team was very supportive and helpful; they learned what I was interested in as a student and found an internship that would match my interests. They were there to encourage me and answer any questions I had, and really seemed to care about my experience. As an International Studies and Economics major, I worked with Enfants & Developpement (E&D), an NGO that works with families in several countries in Africa and Asia. From the beginning, the E&D team was very welcoming and friendly, and I never once felt out of place or unwelcome. Additionally, I got the chance to work with two other American exchange students, which definitely put me more at ease (we spoke French the entire time, of course!). The work within the organisation was just challenging enough to be interesting, but definitely not stressful. I do have to admit that the most challenging part of the internship was the final report. In addition to writing about the intern’s experience, the intern has to also submit a lengthy research paper about a topic related to the internship. I found this report to be the most demanding task out of anything else I have done during my stay in Paris; it certainly demanded more than any class I took, whether at the Middlebury Center or at the host institution (for me, it was Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne). Overall, I would recommend the internship experience to anyone who is willing to put in a decent amount of work. However, it was probably one of the more enjoyable and transformative aspects of my exchange, and that’s what studying abroad is all about!
Wanning Seah (Middlebury College)
Enfants&Développement is a French NGO that intervenes in developing countries such as Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia and Burkina Faso in the sectors of health, education et social development. I happened to join the organisation at a time when they needed someone to write the final report of one of their 5 year-long projects that had just concluded, so right from the start my internship experience was quite different from what I had expected in terms of the work I thought I would be doing. Instead of taking on different tasks, having regular work-related exchanges and being exposed to different areas of their work, I spent the duration of the internship working on this one report which turned out to be fairly time-consuming. However, it soon became clear that it was also a unique opportunity to get a good first-hand understanding of what NGOs do in terms of the kinds of projects/interventions that they carry out, and what those projects actually consist of. My day to day work involved reading up on the initial contract of the project, consulting the yearly reports and analysis of the outcomes of the action in the different countries, communicating with the people-in-charge on the field, and writing the report itself that fundamentally accounts for its action over the past 5 years — all of which eventually gave me a good picture of the work of NGOs in the international development sector, what some of their objectives are and what kind of action they undertake to attain those objectives. All in all, it was quite challenging and pretty a heavy time commitment, but nevertheless a positive and valuable internship experience.
Escape Your Sofa
Abigail MacCumber (Scripps College)
This semester I interned at a French start-up called Escape Your Sofa, an entreprise a bit like Airbnb that markets travel packages (transportation + lodgings + activities) to the European public. Their website exists in both French and English, so a lot of my work was making sure that the tone of the English website matched that of the French. Additionally, I edited photos, tested a new beta site, and even wrote some of my own pieces. My office in the Paris 10e housed 3 other startups. This was a lot of fun because I got to meet other young people from all over the world - Germany, Spain, the UK, and of course, France. Finally, as a college student in California where “boom” doesn’t even begin to describe the tech industry, it was interesting to see how this sector is just starting to blossom in France and other parts of Europe.
Sirun Wang (Middlebury College)
For the spring of 2016, I interned at Dolead, a technology startup using their software to help optimize Search Engine Marketing campaigns for online advertisers. The company has developed a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that enables its clients to manage and optimize their Google Adwords and Bing Ads campaign through the automatic analysis. Currently, their business operates only in Europe and they want to launch into the U.S. market, so my responsibility was to prepare the marketing materials for the U.S. market, as well as updating their blogs and social media platforms. The marketing team has two members (not including me), a director who is also in charge of their product itself, and another French intern who is responsible for all the marketing in Europe. A huge part of my job is the translation of blog posts, articles on the website and press release, which could be monotonous after a while. That being said, I also had the opportunity to analyze their internal sales data, which I enjoyed a lot. Overall, this internship opportunity allows me to have a better understanding of the SEM industry and my French has improved a lot!
Tony Jin (Middlebury College)
This semester I interned for eight weeks at Swapcard, a technology start-up in Paris. Located in a startup incubator in the 18th arrondissement, the company now has 12 employees, and is rapidly expanding. The company’s main product, Swapcard, is a professional networking application available on iOS and android. My main task was to help them design and develop a matching algorithm in Java that helps recommend potential connections to a user according to his/her skills and needs. It was definitely a rewarding experience to get to know the young entrepreneurs in France while improving my skills in Computer Science.
Bibliothèques Sans Frontières
Jessie Modlin (Scripps College)
For the fall 2015 semester, I interned at Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, an NGO founded in 2007 and located just outside of Paris in Montreuil. The organization works to improve access to education and information all over the world, partnering with Google, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UNHCR to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to education. The office is big, with about 50 employees and an open layout; it felt as informal and friendly as any American startup. I got to know everyone really well, and everyone made sure I felt included in office activities. As an intern, I worked mainly in communications; translating articles, updating the website, and managing the different social media pages. I got better at translating from French to English (as well as from English to French) and my conversational French improved dramatically. I loved having the opportunity to work in a French NGO and learn about their different projects, and my experience was one of the most valuable parts of my time here.
Cabinet Castellane Avocats
Cherish Molezion (Scripps College)
For my internship this fall, I worked with Béatrice Castellane at Cabinet Castellane Avocats, a law office based in Paris. Madame Castellane is an international lawyer (specializing in business law, employment law, and real estate law) as well as an arbitrator. Madame Castellane is the sole partner of the office, and I was fortunate enough to work with her one on one. She was very welcoming and supportive of me, as she knew that I wanted to learn. As an intern, I worked on activities with Madame Castellane, such as reading, critiquing, and analyzing cases as well as writing various documents such as letters, summonses, and other correspondence. Despite that I was not a law student, Madame Castellane respected me and entrusted me with serious tasks, and I gained significant experience in the sector of international law–an opportunity I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I was able to make an impact in the office, and see how the various cases develop over time. I have a solid idea of international law at this point, from a hands-on approach, and I am confident that I want to pursue a career in this sector. My French improved greatly from all of our interactions; since we worked in both English and French, I have a better grasp of legal vocabulary as well. I would highly recommend doing an internship – it was a very positive experience, and by far one of the highlights of my semester abroad.
Emmet Shipway (Bates College)
This semester I interned for eight weeks with a sports marketing company called Youfoot in Paris. The company mainly deals with soccer and is based on the idea of Youtube – a user-dependent website to generate as much data as possible for anyone connected to the world of soccer. Most of my internship consisted of entering data into the Youfoot system: updating scores, creating teams, updating player profiles, updating championships and tournaments, etc. Youfoot also creates mobile applications for soccer clubs to centralize all of the consumption of their club (scores, ticket office, contact information, player profiles, etc.). I had the opportunity to create a presentation which aimed at convincing national soccer federations to let Youfoot sell their applications to soccer clubs in their country. Youfoot actually uses a version of this presentation for this purpose. To be a small part of this process of developing soccer around the world was a very gratifying and unique experience and is definitely a highlight of my semester abroad.
Le Centre Popincourt
Joanna Marks (Connecticut College)
This semester, I was an intern at Le Centre Popincourt, a suicide prevention center in Paris that uses both conventional and alternative methods in order to help those at risk of suicide and those recovering from the aftermath of a suicide attempt. There are psychologists and psychiatrists employed by the organisation, but also a large focus is on art therapy and alternative types of treatment. As an intern, I sat in on sessions with patients, helped with research, and helped out at art therapy sessions. This internship was one of the best aspects of my study abroad experience. My level of French skyrocketed because I was forced to interact on a professional level in French for two full days each week. In addition, I was able to sit in on sessions with patients. This direct clinical contact would not be possible for an undergraduate in the States, so I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have done this, as I learned a lot about the clinical aspect of psychology. I would strongly recommend doing an internship. It provides a nice balance to your coursework, and is a vision of another aspect of French Culture to which you wouldn’t otherwise have access.
Planète des Enfants
Natalie Barbaresi (Pomona College)
This semester, I had the opportunity to intern at Planète Enfants, a French NGO that fights against child trafficking and women and children’s sexual exploitation in Nepal. Even though the majority of the personnel work in Nepal to oversee its many programs, a small team works here in Paris to promote and expand the NGO’s image and reputation in France and Europe and to secure funds and donations to finance its programs abroad. Given that the majority of its transactions, appeals, and publications are written in English, translating from French to English represented the core of my work for Planète Enfants. Nonetheless, I was able to improve my French writing and oral skills by writing a research report for the organization on early childhood development in the Third World and socializing with the staff during our lunch and (many) coffee breaks. In all, I felt that I was able to completely integrate myself into this NGO, improve my French with the staff, and produce work that was respected and useful for Planète Enfants, all of which contributed to a positive internship experience that represented a highlight during my semester abroad.
Andrea Penman-Lomeli (Middlebury College)
During my spring semester, I was given the opportunity to intern at the Mexican Embassy in Paris where I worked in the Bureau du Ministre-Conseiller. While I was there, the office was preparing for the visit of the Mexican President to Paris- the first of his presidency. These preparations involved planning events, creating documents, and composing and cataloging the main library - where all formal meetings take place. In addition to these preparations, I wrote letters, worked on the embassy’s archive and organized the library’s database. Interning at the embassy also afforded me the opportunity to meet Mexican diplomats and government officials. Due to the multicultural nature of the work environment, it was necessary that I felt comfortable switching between communicating in French and Spanish. In addition to exposure to the French professional environment, the internship granted me an intimate look into Mexican-French diplomatic relations.
L’Espace Pierre Cardin and Artistik Rezo
Sarah Brooks (Boston University)
During my second semester in Paris, I interned at L’Espace Pierre Cardin and Artistik Rezo. L’Espace Pierre Cardin is a cultural center at place de la Concorde that hosts a diverse selection of plays, art exhibitions and private events. Artistik Rezo is a cultural events website that was created by the director of the EPC in 1998. The website publicizes different museums, galleries and performances and aims to encourage more Parisians to get out and experience the culture offered in the city. As an intern, my main task was to research and write descriptions of these exhibits and shows for Artistik Rezo. This daily exercise was a really great way for me to improve my french writing as well as to learn more about all that Paris has to offer apart from well-known museums and theaters. I was also fortunate enough to have free access to multiple exhibit openings, concerts and plays — it was truly incredible how much I was able to see and learn during my time as an intern. The office environment was very casual and friendly and I learned so much about the internal aspects of both of these companies. Interning in Paris was a truly special opportunity that added a certain depth and uniqueness to my experience here; I would definitely recommend that other students partake in the program to enrich their time abroad.
Jivika Rajani (Pomona College)
I interned with Forecast Pictures – an independent production company specialising in international co-productions. This internship has definitely been the highlight of my experience abroad. I was able to get a real behind the scenes view into the business of film because I was sitting in the same room as the producers / my supervisors. I wrote coverage for and recommended/rejected scripts in both English and French, redesigned the company website, translated the pitch document for an animated feature film in development, analysed and summarised industry talent/marketing/music contracts, did various research tasks to provide leads on future marketing opportunities, and shadowed meetings with other producers/directors/screenwriters. All in all, my internship was a great learning experience and my supervisors were very supportive and happy to answer any questions I had. I am confident that the skills / knowledge I gained can be easily transferred to entertainment-related opportunities in the US since Forecast concentrates on producing mostly English language films (although all at-work interaction takes place in French). Check out their new film Race when it hits theaters in April 2016!
Sonia Marton (Pomona College)
During my semester in Paris, I had the chance to do an internship with the French feminist network, Ruptures. In my work for Ruptures, I attended conferences with different feminist groups all over Paris regarding issues ranging from how France will represent itself at UN Conferences to how to best integrate female African immigrant entrepreneurs into established feminist entrepreneur networks in Paris. I also translated documents from English to French and help my supervisors compile their bimonthly newsletter. Overall, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life—personally, professionally and intellectually.
Jialong Wu (Middlebury College)
BnbSitter is an innovative start-up company founded in 2013 that allows hosts of Airbnb and other short-term apartment rental sites to welcome their guests with the help of independent caretakers, or “Bnb Sitters”. On our website, the hosts may book services of Check-in (arrival of the guest and key drop-off), Check-out (departure of the guest and key pick-up) and housekeeping according to the availabilities of the Bnb Sitters, while the latter may choose their own working hours and places to cover. At BnbSitter, I not only worked on the translation of the website, the Bnb Sitter guidelines, the contract, and the recruiting advertisements from French to English but also the market research of London where our services will be expanded. It was a very enriching experience because I’ve always been interested in the business sector of collaborative consumption and sharing economy. Through my internship, I learnt a lot about the daily operations as well as the future perspectives of e-commerce companies such as BnbSitter. Thanks to BnbSitter, I had a more precise idea of the internet industry and of what I want as a career in the future.
European Society of Authors
Georgia Wei (Middlebury College)
I had the chance to spend 8 weeks of my second semester in Paris interning with the European Society of Authors (la Société européene des auteurs) , an organization consecrated to the promotion of literary translation. I was delighted to be paired with the ESA because I am interested in working in the publishing field, and this was a wonderful way to supplement my past experience. My responsibilities were mostly related to Finnegan’s List, a project that is published each year. Finnegan’s List brings together 10 authors from around the world and asks them to recommend three under-translated books that need to be brought to the public’s attention. The goal of this list is to raise public awareness but also to convince publishing houses across Europe to offer more translations in their oeuvre. In order to help achieve this goal, I researched publishing houses that seemed like good fits for the project, especially in the United States, and helped brainstorm possibilities for 2016’s list. The office was quite intimate, which really allowed me to get to know my boss, with whom I had a great relation. This internship was an invaluable experience that truly complimented my year abroad and exposed me to a host of wonderful authors that I would have never known about otherwise.
Libraries without Borders
Kayla Lemus (Scripps College)
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.
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!
Leah Stavenhagen (University of Michigan)
I interned 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.
Immunochemistry Laboratory of l’Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière
Shelby Redfield (Middlebury College)
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 healthcare 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!
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.
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.
William Sepesi (Washington University)
I completed an internship at Wintics, an AI startup based in Paris. I worked there as a machine learning engineer, and was responsible for creating a new data pipeline, conducting various preliminary experiments, and then training two new deep learning models to assist in their computer vision product Cityvision. Beyond my technical duties, I was able to make friends and learn from the rest of the team, both in terms of language and culture.
Michelle Ma (Middlebury College)
I am a junior majoring in Economics and Psychology from Middlebury College. During the spring semester in Paris, I did an internship with Optionizr where I worked with the sales director as his assistant for two months. It is a small FinTech smart-up that provides innovative online payment methods and the majority of its clients are airline companies. It was my first time in the marketing sector; although I sometimes found it quite challenging, I was able to apply my academic knowledge and learn new things. My tasks mainly consisted of data analysis, email communication, video editing, and poster design and, since Optionizr has been reaching out to many foreign companies, I was also able to work in English and Mandarin. Working in the office setting and communicating in French was without a doubt a very unique experience to me. By the end of the term, I was thrilled to see how much my language skills and professional competencies have both progressed.
Galerie 20 Vosges
Russell Jacobs (University of Michigan)
During my semester in Paris, I interned at Galerie 20 Vosges, a small contemporary in Place des Vosges in the heart of the Marais. The galerist, Déborah Chock, represents her own work. It was very insightful to see how a gallery like this operates in comparison to other French contemporary art galleries where they represent a roster of multiple artists. Because Déborah Chock represents herself, I became very familiar with her style of work, which consists of paintings that are captioned with various puns and phrases. My work mainly consisted of creating translations of the captions in each of these works so that English-speaking clientele could understand her approach. Trying to find comparable ways of expressing various French idioms and expressions in English was difficult, as there was never a word that came across exactly the same between both languages. However, this exercise was incredibly valuable as I was able to pick up pieces of French vernacular that I would never have been able to do inside the classroom, making the internship experience very valuable.
l’Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique
Meghan Wallner (Pomona College)
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.
FDFA - Femmes pour le Dire, Femmes pour Agir
Vlera Hasani (Middlebury College)
During my spring semester in Paris I did my internship with FDFA - Femmes pour le Dire, Femmes pour Agir. Their mission is to promote the place of women with disabilities in society regardless of their disability; fight against the double discrimination experienced by women with disabilities - that of gender and that of disability; and to fight against the violence and abuse suffered by women with disabilities.
In the internship, I was given research tasks, mainly focusing on the discrimination and violence that women with disabilities experience and how it impacts their work and their personal life. Most of the resources I used were in French (which helped a lot with my French skills) but from time to time I also used resources in English and translated them into French. I also attended their Workshops and was ready to help in any area needed.
I worked twice a week, from 10am-6pm and had my own office. The team I worked with was small, only 4 people, but that made for a great collaborative environment. The women in FDFA were all so hard working and so passionate about helping women with disabilities, which was very inspiring to see.
While this experience was challenging at times, it was also incredibly rewarding. I would recommend everyone to do an internship when studying abroad because it improves your French competencies, it provides you with new skills, it increases your confidence, and it helps you grow both personally and professionally.
Agir tous pour la dignité
Antonela Miho (Pomona College)
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.
L’Atelier Lytfa Kujowski
Natalie Dennis (Pomona College)
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 enterprise’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.
Fondation Scelles - CRIDES
Alex Evangelidis (Middlebury College)
I loved my experience working as an intern at the fondation scelles, a foundation that works to inform the public about and to advocate against prostitution, sex trafficking, and pimping.
My primary responsibility as an intern was writing and researching an article about how women and children are being sex trafficked as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. I felt as though the work I was doing was incredibly fulfilling, and I learned a lot.
This internship also taught me to better manage my time, strengthened my French writing skills and my research skills, and generally gave me the confidence boost I needed as I start thinking about finding my place in the workforce in the next few years.
The best part of my internship was easily all of the wonderful people I was working alongside! Sandra, Catherine, and Frédéric were so kind, welcoming, and patient, and made it so that coming into my internship was the best part of my week.
I would highly recommend an internship to anyone who has the dedication and the time to do it!
Greta Olivares (Middlebury College)
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.
Alexis Cheney (Connecticut College)
During my spring semester abroad in Paris, I interned at La Fondation Scelles – CRIDES. This non-profit organization’s main goal is to fight against commercial sexual exploitation in France and the rest of the world through raising public awareness. The organization publishes newsletters, pamphlets, and books on commercial sexual exploitation and organizes informational conferences. During my internship, I translated an in-depth brochure about the organization into English that the organization handed out at an international conference in New York City and will use at various other conferences. I also wrote a thematic chapter of the world report on prostitution that will be published in December 2015. For the chapter, I researched the consequences of regulating prostitution by conducting case studies of three countries where prostitution is legal and regulated. I enjoyed going to the tranquil workspace on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the opportunity to make connections with the organization’s staff members, interns, and volunteers. Although the internship was a large time commitment, from 8:45 am to 5:30 pm two days per week, the experience improved my French language abilities and provided a nice balance to my coursework.
Kayla Richards (Middlebury College)
I decided to do an internship in Paris mainly because I was curious about how cultural differences may be present within a workplace environment. I’ve long heard that Americans “live to work” while, Europeans “work to live”. My experience at Fondation Scelles taught me that there is a balance between these two work philosophies. Everyone at the foundation is passionate about the work that they do and take their roles very seriously; however, they also allow space for everyone to be a person first. I felt very welcomed from day one, and as if my contributions as an intern were valued.
I was particularly interested in doing an internship related to women’s rights, and I’m immensely grateful to have been placed with Fondation Selles. I spent a majority of my time there researching other organizations around the world who are also leading the fight against human trafficking, and with whom the foundation could potentially build partnerships. There were times when I was saddened to be confronted by the sheer size of the problem human trafficking presents. However, I was ultimately inspired to see the passion that those at Fondation Scelles put into their work, and their dedication to building a cohesive movement to eradicate sexual exploitation.
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.
Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques
Elizabeth McElvein (Scripps College)
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.
Musée en Herbe
Diya Mehta (Pomona College)
During my study abroad semester, I worked at Le Musée en Herbe, a museum for children right in the heart of Paris. This was such a valuable experience, and I learnt so much during my time at the museum. The museum is largely focused on children under the ages of 13, and aims to create engaging, immersive spaces for all visitors to enjoy. When I was at the museum, the exhibition (which changes every few months), was about the history of recorded sound, and so I also got to learn a lot about the historical development of music and sound, and how we got to where we are today, listening to music from phones and laptops.
My roles were mainly split into two different categories: working in the museum and interacting with visitors, or helping out with the art workshops the museum also runs. Working in the museum, I would usually be assigned to a room and then get to interact with all the visitors that passed through. Since the museum is so interactive, and filled with games and activities, I got to really interact with the kids; whether this be answering their questions or helping them solve a puzzle, it was a truly rewarding experience. My other role was helping out with the art workshops the museum had. These were conducted by museum staff, and every workshop was based on the idea of creating some kind of art or craft based on an aspect of recorded sound (e.g. making a vinyl cover, or a music box). This was also very fun, as it was very hands-on, and really helped me improve both my understanding and confidence of the French language.
All in all, this internship was truly incredible! I learnt so much about what it means to work at a museum and what it means to work in France, and I truly feel as if my grasp on the language improved so much! I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity!
Madeleine Mount-Cors (Pomona College)
I worked at the Musée en Herbe, which is an art museum for kids in the 1st arrondissement. My daily tasks consisted of helping with workshops and helping guide visitors through the exhibition, as well as helping with installation for a new exhibition. I also translated the new exhibition’s materials into English so that the museum could have English interactive notebooks as well. My job did not consist of much writing, so I think the biggest asset was being able to speak to my colleagues every day (some of whom were around my age) and just be in a French work environment. All of my colleagues were very nice and it was always nice to share lunch or even talk about the same classes we were taking at Paris 1. Doing an internship abroad is a cool opportunity so it’s up to you to make the most of it and just soak it in. This internship did mean interacting with lots of kids though, so be prepared!
Hannah Ostrow (Middlebury College)
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.
JCh Moreau Consultants
Alena Shish (Middlebury College)
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.
International Relations Office, University of Poitiers
Lucie Torrey (Middlebury College)
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!)