Working while studying in France – International students who are planning to move to France for their higher education are usually worried about the high cost of living and not being able to truly immerse themselves in the culture due to a lack of finances. As such, working while you are studying in France is one of the options available to students who wish to supplement their finances without compromising on their degrees. The Government of France has provisions put in place that allow international students to work part-time in the country to help ease their financial burden.
This article provides you with information regarding the different rules and regulations that you need to know about if you are considering working while studying in France.
Latest: Full guide for Study in France
Working While Studying in France – Visa Options
International students moving to France for their higher education are required to go through a visa application process. The following table describes the main types of student visas available and the allowances they provide for working while studying in France:
|Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa)||
This visa allows you to come to France for up to 3 months and doesn’t require a specific residence permit.
Suitable for students pursuing short term courses.
|Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams)||
This visa allows you to come to France to sit for an entrance exam for a higher education institute.
You will have to apply for a residence permit after you have cleared your entrance exam.
|Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa)||
This visa allows you to study in France for a period of 3 to 6 months.
It does not require you to apply for a separate residence permit.
|Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa)||
This visa allows you to study in France for a period longer than 6 months and also doubles as a residence permit.
Recent changes to the rules have allowed the visa, in this case, to last for the entire duration of your course.
Working While Studying in France – Rules and Regulations
The French government has specific rules that international students need to abide by while they are looking for work options during their stay in the country:
- Every foreign student has a right to work while studying in France. If you are from a non-EU country, you must also have a residence permit or a visa that doesn’t require a residence permit, before you can start working.
- French law only allows foreign students to work for 964 hours during the year. Which is equivalent to 60% of the time of a full-time position.
- This income cannot be your sole source of living expenses in France and is qualified as auxiliary income.
- All workers in France, regardless of their status as students, are eligible for a guaranteed minimum wage. It comes up to around EUR 7.61/hour.
- The temporary work permit or Autorisation Provisoire de Travail is no longer required by international students to work while studying in France.
Want to know about which post study permit applies to your candidature? Read Post study work permit France article here.
Working while Studying in France – Part-time jobs within your University
Some universities in France also allow their foreign students to work within the institution during the time period of their course. These contracts can only last for 12 months, i.e. from 1st of September to 31st of August. This work is adapted to ensure that the students also succeed in their chosen courses and allows them to succeed in finding work after the conclusion of their degree. The work schedule is balanced around the timetable of the student’s classes. One important thing to know is that students who are working in a French university cannot work for more than 670 hours from the 1st of September to 30th of June, and cannot exceed 300 hours from the 1st of July to 31st August.
Internship Programs while Studying in France
A student internship is not classified as employment in France and as such, you don’t need to apply for any special permits before starting them. The following list details all the things you need to know about student internships in France:
- An agreement needs to be signed between you, the company and academic institution before you begin the internship program. This agreement defines the type of work, conditions and the relevance of the program to your current discipline of study.
- After 2015, every internship that lasts longer than 2 months qualifies the student to be remunerated for their time. The minimum wage for the internship is EUR 577 per month as of January 2018.
- The placement company may also take care of your transport, accommodation and meals, depending on the terms of your internship.
- Most universities in France have a placement office which specifically deals with helping students navigate their way through the internship process.
Working while Studying in France – Part-time jobs opportunities outside your University
For students who wish to work outside the confines of their university there are other part-time job options as well. Most of these jobs can be found through word-of-mouth or agencies that specialise in helping international students find gainful employment while they are studying in France. The following list details some of the options available for part-time employment to international students:
These are some of the most common and popular jobs among students who wish to work part-time while studying in France. You can apprentice under a head-chef, manage the counter or wait tables. These jobs are great for students who wish to socialize and practice their French skills around regular people, out of the context of a classroom. If you are a person who enjoys working in highly social environments, the restaurant industry is a great choice for you.
English Teaching Jobs
Students who have good TOEFL scores that are still valid can easily get a job tutoring English in France. You can apply to English teaching academies and offer them your services, or you can also find out if your university has a requirement for an English tutor. Another option is private classes where you can hold one-on-one sessions with interested students. The average income for these jobs can be anywhere from EUR 900-1300 per month.
Students can also find work at department stores or retail outlets. They can work the register, work as custodians or at specific floors as salespeople. These jobs allow you to interact with a wide range of people on the social scale and also practice your day-to-day French language skills. You will also be eligible for the minimum wage with all raises depending upon the policies of your employer. Whether it be at a small family run store or a mall/supermarket/chain store, retail jobs are always a reliable option for international students looking to work while studying in France.
Working while Studying in France – FAQ’s
Q. Why should I consider working part-time while studying in France?
Working part-time while studying in France will allow you to supplement your finances with another source of income. It will also help you decide whether you would like to stay in France and work full-time after the end of your course. This will also give you an opportunity to practice your French language command with native French speakers and give you confidence when you interview for full time opportunities in France.
Q. Do I need any special permits to start working in France?
If you are a student, you don’t need a separate work permit under specific conditions. For example, a VLS-TS visa doubles as a residence permit and allows you to work in the country. You can also visit Buddy4Study guide to France.
Q. What is the minimum wage I can earn while working in France?
According to the rules, all international students in France qualify for the minimum wage in the country which comes up to EUR 7.61/hour.
Q. Are there internship programs available for international students?
Yes, many institutes have collaborations with companies in France that allow students to work in programmes that provide them with real-world experiences in their chosen fields. For example, Global Experiences Internship, IES Abroad Internship, Fashion Week Internship etc.
Q. How many hours can I put into my job as a student in France?
The government regulates the number of hours a student can work in France to around 964 hours per year. This is done so your academics aren’t affected by your job.