French tips & Study Abroad Questions

(this image is completely silly- no real connection to this post;

Did you know that Twenty in Paris is on tumblr? This page was created during The Paris Diaries book promotion. You can find it here

Anyhoo, I’ve been posting study abroad questions that students ask themselves followed by some quick tips and French culture/language fun facts. Here’s some examples of what you’ll find on tumblr. These are updated everyday.

(this is a French tip)




(this is a study abroad question and tip)



Do you find these helpful? Do you have a study abroad question that you would like covered or a French culture/language tip? Tweet it to me @twentyinparis for a chance to have it featured.  Did you get your copy of Twenty in Paris yet on sale now? Hurry! These prices won’t last long!


Can you work in France to help fund your study abroad?

(Featured photo- an aspect of French work life by; detective photos by:

Can foreign students work in France during their study abroad? I have always been under the impression that students who are not part of the European Union do not have the right to work in France. However, a few weeks ago an interaction with @Ici & LA Provence on Twitter enlightened me that I am mistaken as she worked in France during her study abroad. So I did a little sleuthing to uncover the truth about foreign students having the right to work in France during a study abroad.

Here’s what I discovered:


Clue #1- le ministère de l’intérieur

Le ministère de l’intérieur is regarded as one of the most important French cabinets (wikipedia). This cabinet is mainly concerned with the general interior security of France and also handles many immigrant related procedures.

This website advised that students who do not hold a master’s degree must change their status from student to worker at their local police station in Paris unless working part-time and the work contract is less than 1 year. What isn’t too clear to me is this part- Vous devez vous adresser à la préfecture ou à la sous-préfecture de votre domicile et, à Paris, à la préfecture de police. It says that you must go before the prefect of your home and the police station in Paris. If you’re a foreign student, your home is usually your host country and the USA doesn’t have a prefect that does functions like this. So what does this mean exactly?



Clue #2- The French Embassy of Washington D.C.

Their website states that “International students wishing to work in France must obtain prior authorization from the French Ministry of Labor. Temporary work permits are usually given to students who do not have sufficient private resources to pursue their studies. The permit is valid three months and may be renewed upon presentation of evidence of continuing studies.”

This was clearer to me but had me wondering about the student who has sufficient private funds and wants to work in France- will this foreign student be denied a temporary work visa because they’re better off financially? Or is it that a temporary work visa is not needed for students who have sufficient funds? Is a work visa needed at all for students and if so, do you get that in the USA or in France?



Clue #3- Le ministère du travail, de l’emploi, et du dialogue social

I couldn’t locate anything on foreign students working in France but I did find this neat tidbit. Essentially it is a privilege to work in France as a foreigner; not a right, especially if the French unemployment rate is particularly high at the time you are looking for work .


Clue #4- le site official de l’administration française;

This was the most helpful site. It clearly states that foreign students can work in France without a work visa as long as it is part-time or 60% (or 964 hours for a year) of full time hours. It also states that your employer must inform the local préfecture of your employment. However, there are 3 situations when you would need to have authorization of your right to work in France:

1) you are going to be working longer than the allowed time of your academic program;

2) if you hold a long stay student visa;

3) If you are Algerian.


Case solved!

It appears as a foreign student you are allowed to legally work in France! Here’s what you need to do if you want to work abroad:


This request for your employment as a foreigner with the local préfecture de police from your employer will require the following information:

  • The nature of the job (job position and duty)
  • The length of your work contract
  • The number of hours you’ll work per year
  • Your expected start date
  • A copy of your visa de long séjour


We might have solved the mystery of foreign students being able to work abroad but stay tuned for the next part of the case- do all French labor laws apply to foreign students and what is it like to work for a French company?


Additional links for this article

Are you interested in teaching? Check out this opportunity to teach French abroad another great link to check out


Finishing your study abroad preparations this summer to go to Paris this fall? Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Twenty in Paris: A Young American Perspective of Studying Abroad in Paris as your ultimate guide to answer your questions on getting a French visa, what to expect of taking classes at a French university and how to immerse into French culture and language- on sale now. Hurry! These prices won’t last long (sale ends this Saturday 7/5/14)


The Most Important Study Abroad Articles of Our Time

(photo by:

Here at Twenty in Paris, I believe in quality over quantity. If I can’t give you a good, useful, fun and/or informative post about studying abroad, Paris or French culture/language- I’d rather let you know what I’m working on than put up something stinky. For today’s post, I’m giving you a sneak peek at the ultra secretive blog post idea document that I always keep handy to record ideas for future posts.

(Here’s the super secret blog post idea document) blogs

Study abroad dictionary – this isn’t actually a post idea but rather a project. I would love to team up with an artist with whom we would design and bring to life in a form of art (painting, drawing…) a particular aspect of the study abroad experience for each letter of the alphabet. Does this interest you? If so, send me an email at – I’d love to hear from you!

Make the most of it- Your 20s and the study abroad experience; What does it all mean?

Is studying abroad a girl thing? (need stats!)

Is English or French harder to learn as a 2nd language?

Food quality differences/relationship with food between France and USA

What I’ve Learned (and what you have to look forward to) 5 years out of college

What inspired me to study abroad (photo collage); ask others to share what is inspiring them

Dramatic Beauty is not very French

Be prepared to be Frenchified when returning home from study abroad

Is Eminem a student of Existentialism?

How to Frenchify your room in an authentic way

French existential anger is not very angry – why France was not the birthplace of punk or rock n’roll

Working in France


Do you like these “behind the scenes” style posts? Let me know by either rating it a “bon” in blue or giving it a stale baguette