Work and Learn French with These 5 Immersive Programs

French is the first language I ever studied and France was the first country I ever visited, so my love affair with the language is strong.

For this reason, I regret never having worked in a French-speaking country.

Has working abroad ever appealed to you? Read on to find five fun and immersive programs to work and learn French.


The Top Programs for Working and Learning French

1. Serve food in Quebec, Canada


Edu-inter is an immersive language school in Quebec City that teaches students of all levels. Class sizes are small, usually made up of five to 15 people.

This program’s goal is to prepare students for the workplace by offering job opportunities and teaching professional French. Not only do they offer workshops to help students prepare for interviews in French, but they help set students up with jobs in Quebec City.

You can start classes at Edu-inter on any Monday of the year. Their most basic package is 15 hours per week of core French, with the price varying depending on the number of weeks.

There are also several options for accommodation available. You can see the full breakdown of pricing here.

After completing Edu-inter’s interview workshop, you’ll apply for and be placed at a job in a restaurant, café or hotel in Quebec City. You’ll get to earn money while interacting with the culture on a daily basis.

For this program, you need to either be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or qualify for the Working Holiday Visa and have a minimum A2 level of French.

2. Intern at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland


As much as I love France and want to travel to Canada, my dream is to study and work in Switzerland. I visited Geneva as a teenager and was completely swept away by the gorgeous landscapes and mouth-watering chocolate.

You can work in Switzerland while giving a major boost to your resume. How does interning at the United Nations sound?

In this job, you’ll learn French vocabulary related to diplomacy, public policy, government, peacekeeping and management. This kind of command of the language can be a huge selling point when you apply to any company that operates on a global scale.

The application process is very competitive, but I would expect nothing less from the United Nations!

Often, for UN internships in Geneva, interns must be fluent in English or French as well as be either currently enrolled in graduate school, be in their last year of undergraduate school or have recently earned an undergraduate or graduate degree. However, it’s important to note that requirements can differ depending on the type of United Nations internship.

Internships tend to range from two to six months, 40 hours per week, but unfortunately work is unpaid.

3. Tutor in France


Babylangues is an English as a Second Language tutoring company that operates in 18 French cities, including Paris, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Nice.

As a tutor, you’ll travel to French families’ homes to work one-on-one or in small groups with their children. Babylangues wants to create an “English bubble” for the kids, and the company believes working in a safe space with a native English speaker is the best way to do so.

Pay varies depending on where you work, but if you work in Paris, you could take home between 13.40 and 20.90 euros per hour (approximately 14.52 and 22.65 USD) after taxes. (Your pay will vary depending on your resume and previous experience.)

In addition to monetary compensation, Babylangues provides tutors with free French cell phones. If you’re in Paris, they also give you a free pass to use Vélib’, the city’s bike sharing program.

If you choose to do so, Babylangues lets you apply for “intergenerational accommodation,” where you live with an older French person or a French family. In exchange for rent, you help them around the house.

Another way to further your French studies is to attend Mardis de Babylangues (Babylangues Tuesdays), where you can participate in a free language exchange. As an added bonus, your first drink is free!

4. Be a teaching assistant in France


The Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) is a government-run program that places fluent speakers of other languages in public schools. Rather than tutoring a child and working for a family, you’ll be working in classrooms.

After taxes, you’ll end up earning around 810 euros (approximately 877.76 USD) per month, but you only teach for 12 hours a week!

Outside of the classroom, you can learn French by conversing with French coworkers, engaging in language exchange or taking French classes.

A plus of the TAPIF program is that with the limited class hours and school breaks for holidays, you have plenty of time to travel around Europe. However, keep in mind that 810 euros per month doesn’t provide you with a lot of travel money after living expenses. For this reason, I recommend saving up a little money before moving to France.

Travel may also be more attainable if you live in an area with a low cost of living. TAPIF operates all around France, including French overseas departments and territories such as Martinique in the Caribbean and French Guiana in South America. You list your top three placement options during the application process and if you’re accepted, the government tries to take your preferences into account.

If you’d like to learn more about the TAPIF program, make sure you check out this page, where you’ll find the FAQs.

Visit this post for tips on preparing for your job interview: 

5. Intern in Aix-en-Provence, France


Attending L’Institut Américain Universitaire (The American University Institute), or IAU, means you can earn college credit, gain work experience and live abroad!

Aix-en-Provence is a quaint city in southern France. It stole my heart after spending just one afternoon there on my first trip to France.

IAU staff arranges internships for its students in fields ranging from education, theater, marketing or even event planning.

To earn credit for your internship, you must spend 10-20 hours per week at your work site while also completing academic work for your studies. At the end of the semester, you’ll earn three credits for completing your internship.

If you want to attend IAU, you must have already completed at least four semesters of college French and submit your resume before attending.

Why Work to Learn French?

It’s an affordable way to travel

While I love (read: live for) traveling, it can be a major strain on my bank account. The times I’ve enjoyed my travels most were when I worked as I went. This way, the money didn’t run out, so I could relax and afford to do more things.

Some of the programs listed above pay, while others are volunteer positions or provide free housing in exchange for work. Whatever route you decide to take, it can be a way to experience culture and learn French without going out and spending money.

You gain international work experience

If you want to work in the global market, one of these jobs might be your first stepping stone. You can explore what career fields interest you and what types of places you want to work in. Do you want to work in diplomacy? Hospitality? Teaching? Maybe you want to live in France, or even Canada or Switzerland.

You can build your resume

As someone who has studied, worked and lived in multiple countries, I’ve found that holding a job in another country can often stand out on a resume. Just serving tables in New Zealand has sparked conversations in interviews when potential employers have looked at my resume.

You can learn unique French vocabulary

In these jobs, you’ll spend significant chunks of the week at your workplace, so you’ll learn French that is required in the field. In many cases, this is professional French vocabulary that may be useful in future international jobs. These are words and phrases you won’t necessarily learn by sitting in a classroom or watching French films.


If you want to get a head start on your French before embarking on your new adventure, native content is the way to go. Binge French titles on Netflix, listen to France’s Top 50 on Spotify—the works. The video-based language program FluentU offers a variety of French media, with learning tools to help you get the most out of your immersive experience.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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