Work in France enables US university students to participate in French life by taking employment for up to three months during the summer.
Apply for seasonal jobs in France, on our website you can search employers or find summer jobs, winter jobs and employment agencies. France is a popular country to work in, there are lots of summer, winter and year round jobs available where you will get to experience the local culture, food and country. There really is a lot of choice when it comes to applying, from winter ski jobs, to fruit picking at farms, working at a campsite or holiday resort or spending time living in a world famous city like Paris where you could gain employment as a babysitter, nanny or teacher.
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Jobs can be found throughout the country, where you work really comes down to personal preference or what role you want to apply for. Here is a general guide to the most popular locations:
Cities - Paris, Nice, Bordeaux and Marselle are popular places for work experience, teaching, nanny and professional jobs
French Alps - Most winter ski positions are found here
Rural Areas - Some jobs e.g. farm work can be found in very remote areas of the country
Coastal Locations - Holiday resorts, caravan campsites
We have put together a guide to working in France where you can learn about the types of jobs available, what to expect and also how and when to apply for your dream job. Read more information.
There are lots of options to work a ski season in France and on our guide you can read more information, research all options and also apply.
We have local and international companies listed on our website including UK based hiring companies. You could apply to work a winter ski season in places like Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil area which are two popular choices. Other resorts and places include Chamonix, Alpe d'Huez, Courchevel, Les Arcs, Meribel, Les Menuires, Serre-Chevalier, Val Thorens, La Plagne and Tignes. It can be difficult to get a job in Val d'Isere, this is a really popular location and you might struggle to gain a job here. A good alternative destination is Les Arcs, here there is fantastic skiing and your chances of gaining employment will be better.
There are so many reasons you should consider working a ski season in France, imagine waking up and working on pristine alps with everyone on holiday enjoying themselves. Taking time out to work a ski season in France can easily be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you can have, and a lot better than a normal 9-5 job. The benefit is you is you will meet new people from all over the world and have a lot of fun! These jobs can include long hours and be quite tiring but the benefits far out weigh the negatives.
When to Apply
These jobs are some of the most popular seasonal work opportunities in the world, you will need to apply at least 3 months indvance to give yourself the best chance of getting hired. You can contact employers through our website above or browse online listings and check ski company websites direct in April, May and June. Interviews usually take place well in advance of a starting contract during summer and companies like to have vacancies filled well in advance of September.
Advice for Applying Last Minute or on Arrival
Don't panic if you are making a last minute decesion, a lot of people usually drop out for one reason or another and so as the season starts there are usually vacancies to be found. If you are trying to be independent you can just turn up at resorts and apply locally. This can have mixed results and make sure you have enough money in your bank to cover yourself as ski resort locations can be expensive. Be preapred to put a lot of hard work in too, sometimes there are few jobs available and so its important you get talking to the right people (bar managers, chalet staff, tour operator staff) - these people might be the key to you finding a job.
The Application Process
- Apply online: get your CV/cover letter filled with relevant and promotional information
- Attend an interview: attend and hopefully make a good impression to make yourself stand out
- Get hired, sign a contract and get your start date and location
Train to Become a Ski Instructor
You could take your BASI level 1 and 2 ski qualifications in a resort like Val d’Isere, we have companies listed which offer training and then employment on completion of a course. This is perfect if you are interested in a career change or just looking at doing something different. The price of a course can vary depending on the company and location but you will need a few thousand pound to participate.
There are lots of chalet and resort jobs where you can work hard and then spend plenty of time on the slopes. You could apply direct to privately owned chalets, they are looking to hire chalet hosts, chefs and a resort managers for winter 2014 ski season. A lot of ski companies hire couples and friends to work in chalets please check all options before applying as there are lots of different jobs. They usually include free accommodation and food too which is a bonus. This is an amazing opportunity to live and work in some of the best ski areas in the world.
Sometimes the wages can vary and don't expect the greatest amount of money but this is as much about the experience than the pay. You will be paid weekly and there is a bonus at the end of the season whilst included is a accommodation, food, a lift pass, ski & snowboard hire and more. If you want to have some time away and refresh yourself or do something different like working abroad then definately think about working in France, this will be an invaluable experience. You might also like to view our seasonal jobs in Switzerland.
On our website you can also find seasonal positions throughout France and arrange the summer of your life. Below we have put together a guide to the best summer employment opportunities:
There are also jobs at activity centres which educates hundreds of British youngsters over the summer break. They offer language and sports programs where you can be leading fun lessons and working with over 100 children every weekend. This job is a lot of fun, its also a great way to live in and see more of France. Centres welcome school groups throughout summer and aim to give them the best time possible, they are one of the most popular activity centres in Europe! During summer they hire international staff for a number of roles where you can teach lessons, instruct sports or become a team leader. These are great hands of work experience roles which are perfect if you are looking for a summer job abroad, you will need to be fun, creative and energetic. There are also lots of jobs behind the scenes for example working in the kitchen or even helping with the maintenance and up keep of the large property and gardens.
France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and because of this international companies hire staff throughout the year - both in winter and summer. Jobs can include working at caravan campsites, working as a courier, rep, activity sports leader or looking after children. You will usually need to apply well in advance and have an interview in your home country, competition for places can be high. These companies offer structured working holiday packages which include being placed on a positions overseas anywhere in France, training, uniform, a competative salary and time off with excursions. Sometimes working days can be long - usually around 6-10 hours per day 5/6 days per week.
Some alternative summer jobs can also include working on luxury yachts and boats which are located in Southern France around the Nice, Antibes, Monoco, St Tropez and Cannes in the Mediterranean Côte d’Azur. Some companies hire international staff, provide training and then place them on yachts with experiences captains and other staff from around the world. Types of jobs can include general deck crew, cleaners, hospitality staff and activity leaders. This is a unique experience where you will get to see the lives of the rich and famous whilst enjoying the climate and culture of a spectacular destination.
On our website you can also apply for jobs in France with recruitment agencies who offer live-out nanny jobs, baby sitting jobs and teaching jobs in most major cities. This is the perfect work and travel opportunity in France where you will get paid and have free time to see more of the country. Please note a minimum level of French language might be required and you will be able to improve your language skills when living there. Companies hire a lot of staff which are key to a successful environment for children to learn and grow up - you will be part of a family who you will hopefully bond with and be there to support you for the duration of your stay.
You could go to a region like the Loire and Rhone Valleys where there are seasonal fruit picking and agriculture jobs available. These positions can be a great way to live like a local in a rural location. There are small and large farms which hire migrant workers, backpackers and international staff - sometimes competative salaries are offered aswell as free food and accommodation. Some farms don't offer contracts and your salary is usually paid weekly, you will need to check how reliable the employer is by speaking to other staff or reading reviews on the internet. There have been stories where workers have been paid less than expected and also forced to work longer hours so beware of this. To apply for these positions you will need to be in good physical shape and be willing to work in the great outdoors. When on farm and picking jobs sometimes days can be long and the work hard.
Working on a campsite in France is a very popular way to spend your summer, this type of work has been happening for many decades due to the amount of tourists who visit France every year. Both French and International companies hire staff, if you apply direct with a British company you will need to get a job / interview and will then be provided with a placement - this is a good way to avoid the hassel of paperwork and also having to pay French national insurance. It is a good idea to get employment prior to arrival, as just turning up and seeking out employment in France can be extremely difficult. There are various companies which hire staff and if you get your application in early you stand a good chance of gaining employment. It is also an advantage if you speak a foreign language e.g. French, German, Russian or Mandarin - this is because you will more the likely be helping tourists from around the globe.
A popular option is to seek out work at hotels, resturants, bars and cafes. Generally you can apply for these jobs all year round and there is a lot of choice when it comes to your destination, you could choose a big city like Paris or head somewhere more touristy in summer like La Rochelle. Before applying though make sure you have a competant level of the French language, you will be working with natives and also dealing direct with people on these jobs so your French will need to be at a good level. If you don't know any French buy a phrasebook and try to pick up some words/phrases relevent to the industry you will be working in e.g. conversational things like how to ask customers what they want, names of drinks, how to be of help etc. There are some jobs in hotels behind the scenes where you might get away without being fluent for example cleaning, working in the kitchen, being a handyman etc. There are also lots of expat bars and clubs which are run by Brits, Australians and irish people where you should be okay if your French isn't up to scratch. Some hostels also allow you to work in exchange for your board and meals. You can apply online, direct in person or go through a recruitment agency.
If you are from a country in the EU you are free to enter and work anywhere in France for as long or as short as you like. If you live overseas you are required by law to gain a work permit. Working illegally in France is risky and if caught you will face a severe penalty. Most companies welcome job applications for students, graduates or anyone with any relevant experience, if this sounds appealing to you think about applying. You might need a basic level of French for most positions whether entry level or more experienced. Buying a phrase book or even joining language lessons when in country.
How much you get paid really depends on where you work and what job you do. The minimum hourly wage in France stands at €9.43 - this is the case for both as of 2013 and it applies to you just as much as to any French worker. Some jobs have fixed contracts whilst other are very flexible with temporary start and finish dates. You might also like to view our seasonal jobs in Europe for more options in this continent.
Author Bio: Paul Edwards is an experienced professional sharing his experiences to help people work abroad in France.