paris photo
I have always looked at study abroad as a chance to be challenged, both academically and socially, in the best way possible. I couldn’t wait to experience all the wonderful opportunities Paris had to offer.
– Sarah Pattison
Villanova University

internships/service-learning

On Central’s study abroad programs, learning begins in the classroom, but continues in many different settings outside the traditional educational environment — offering you a more in-depth cross-cultural experience.

Both internships and service-learning provide a more dynamic understanding of French culture as you work and serve alongside members of the local community. This unique component sets our program apart from other study abroad options that are available to you in France!

Internships (for high intermediate language students)

Our unique internship option allows students to take French language and content courses at the Institute for Language and Culture (ILCF) at the Catholic University of Paris while gaining practical work experience alongside local professionals. This option is ideal for students who plan to use their French in a professional setting after graduation.

Internship details

  • Course work and internships are completed in French
  • High intermediate level French is required (approximately 4 semesters of college-level French)
  • Students intern three days a week for eight weeks
  • Placement includes guidance in the completion of a French-style internship report ("Rapport de stage") that can be presented to future employers.


Internship sectors

Internships in the following sectors have been offered to students over the past few years. No one placement is always available, but many are frequently open to students. New internships are always being negotiated, and students are placed individually.

  • Arts & Architecture
  • Film and Television
  • Journalism
  • Advertising, PR, and Mass Communications
  • Business and Economics
  • Politics Abroad
  • Comparative Law
  • IT
  • International Non-Profits
  • Health and Human Services
  • Hospitality administration


Academic overview
The Paris internship option is an academic course that is graded and undertaken for academic credit. In addition to an eight week placement, the following criteria comprise the academic program:

  • Required French language course work at the ILCF (5 credits)
  • Two electives at the ILCF (6 credits)
  • An eight week internship with a French company or organization (3 credits), which includes:
    • Interactive workshops to prepare for the placement
    • A reflective writing assignment (termed an ‘Internship Report’), which must be defended in an oral presentation.
    • A series of tutorials with an academic supervisor to develop the Internship Report.
  • A one-credit culture course

The Paris internship option is an intensive, independent and uniquely French course that links the practical experience of working abroad – and the professional development you gain – with the capacity to reflect on your experience in a scholarly way. Therefore, students participating in the internship option fulfill the requirements of the culture course, Discovering Contemporary France, through their internship requirements.


Elective course work

All required French language course work and electives are taken at the Institute for Language and Culture (ILCF) at the Catholic University of Paris. Popular course areas for students completing an internship include:

Economics Phonetics
Fashion Political science
French for business
Tourism and leisure
French language

Students interested in interning while in Paris must inform Central College Abroad during the application process. Please contact us if you have questions about interning in Paris.

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Academic service-learning (available for all language levels)

Academic service-learning in Paris is an integral component of the required course, Discovering Contemporary France. Academic service gives students the opportunity to connect course concepts to France and French society. Placements are with local community-based organizations around the city, many of them at after school programs and community centers. Academic service-learning in Paris is an integral component of the required culture course. Academic service gives students the opportunity to connect course concepts to French society, urban culture and global issues. Placements are with local community-based organizations around the city, many of them at after school programs and community centers.

Service-learning offers:

  • Increased language proficiency
  • Acquired country specific knowledge about France and its institutions
  • Critical reflection on social issues confronting France and local issues in Paris
  • Increase critical thinking, problem solving and interpersonal skills
  • Enhance cross-cultural understanding and intercultural competence
  • Cultivate a sense of civic responsibility
  • Receive official recognition of service by the city of Paris

Faculty involvement at the site is essential to assure academic rigor. Faculty guide students in how to learn about population served on site. They also assign pre-experience readings, assumption guided questions, debriefings and aid in setting clear expectations. Service-learning placements meet daily during the orientation period and once a week for the remainder of the semester.

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Application process

To apply, you must first create an online account and submit a complete online application for the Paris, France program. Detailed internship guidelines including deadlines, application requirements and materials will be provided in your online account. There is no placement fee. Additional placement areas may be available.

Students interested in an internship placement while in Paris must contact the resident director, Shelley Cavaness, early in the application process to discuss their interests and language level. Early insight into your interests and goals will aid in finding the best possible option.

Please feel free to contact the Central College Abroad office with questions about internships and/or service-learning.