Paris Internship Program

The Paris Internship Program offers a semester of study and work in the hub of French and European business and culture. The program combines an internship with intensive French-language study and liberal arts courses. French faculty from local universities teach courses on contemporary France that are specifically designed for students in the Boston University program.

The BU Paris Academic Center, including administrative offices and classrooms, is located in the fifteenth arrondissement, within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower.

Internship Areas

Please note these are examples of past internship placements only. While BU Study Abroad guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available. Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed. The level of proficiency in the target language is an important factor, which internship supervisors will take into account.

Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations

Serve in marketing and product development, press relations, events management, or public relations. Past internship placements have included Le Book, Set in Paris, Parisianist, Publicis, Brain for Beauty, MEEDEX, Quartier General, and Reputation Squad.

Arts & Arts Administration

Serve in museums, galleries, and related cultural institutions. Recent placements have included Galerie Maeght, Atelier Lytfa Kujawski, Galerie Richard, Galerie RX, and Théâtre in Paris.

Business & Economics

Serve in the marketing, or research departments of French. Recent placements have included Mediatic, JPA International, Finance Innovation, and Q.S. Paris.

Film and Media

Experience small film and production companies. Recent placements have included Forecast Pictures, European Producers Club, and ECU Film Festival.

Health & Human Services

Observe and assist in hospital, therapy, or educational programs. Serve in health centers, social service departments, or community care centers. Recent placements have included Hôpital des Quinze-Vingt, Hôpital Franco-Brutannique, Centre Popincourt, and Centre Social Belleville.

Hospitality Administration

Serve in the hospitality industry in such fields as hotel or event management. Recent placements have included Buci, Hotel Baume, Parisianist, Comforts of Home, BNB Sitter.

Journalism

Serve in writing (usually in English), research, design, and production for magazines, newspapers, or publishing houses. Recent placements have included Naja Presse, Le Book, and European Society of Authors.

Politics & International Relations

Serve in NGOs or international institutions. Recent placements have included AERI (teaching and learning about the Resistance), Robin des Bois (environmental protection agency), Children of Prisoners Europe (parent-child relations), EGAM, Ambassade du Méxique, Jeunes Européens France, Promothée Humanitaire, and Orphelin Sida International.

Program Curriculum

Week 1–Week 8 (Core Phase)

After an orientation period, students enroll in three courses and work with the internship coordinators to determine their internship placement. Depending on their linguistic proficiency, students are placed into one of two tracks. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Track I is designed for those who have completed through fourth-semester French. It includes two language courses, one elective, and the internship course.

Track I Required Courses

Students enroll in two required language courses listed below, as well as one elective, and an internship:

CAS FR 300: Advanced Language Practicum (4 credits)

Taken in tandem with FR 301, this practicum is designed for students seeking to maximize their skills in French language and transfer those skills quickly to the elective and to the subsequent internship. Syllabus

CAS FR 301: French Communication Skills (4)

This class trains you to optimize your communication skills for your internship interviews, to succeed in your elective, and to become more conversant in your French environment. Syllabus

Track II is designed for more advanced students with six or more semesters of French language, and includes one language course, two electives, and the internship course.

Track II Required Course

Students enroll in one required language course listed below, as well as two electives, and an internship:

CAS FR 304: Travaux Pratiques (4)

The diversified approach of this practicum is intended to make you progress optimally towards acquiring skills necessary to succeed in your electives, as a prospective and active intern and as a fledgling participant in French society. Syllabus 

Elective Courses for Both Tracks

Students choose one or two electives based on their chosen track. Elective course offerings vary and may not be offered every semester.

CAS AH 356: French Art and Architecture: Contemporary Art in Paris (4)

This class is an occasion to better understand contemporary French society through a study of various cultural manifestations that have marked the Parisian art scene since the middle of the 19th century. It allows visiting students to understand that Paris is not only a city with a brilliant and prolific artistic past, but is still today an important cultural place. The seminar offers the opportunity to experience contemporary visual art under its various expressions (painting, sculpture, photography, installation art, video art). It gives students the tools for investigating the various meanings of a work of art and ultimately prepares them to argue and defend their own perspective on the most recent cultural productions. Syllabus

CAS EC 361: Economic Development of Europe: From Economic to Political Union (4)

Offers a broad understanding of the European Union, its history, and its prospects of growth beyond the current member-states. The course covers the following areas: Europe in search of new structures; institutions of the Union; instruments and systems of organization; economic policies of the European Union; social dimensions of an integrated market; monetary policies; and relations with other free market nations. Syllabus

CAS LF 342: Paris Aujourd’hui: French Society and Civilization through the Performing Arts (4) (Track II only)

This course is conceived around current literary, theatrical, musical, and cinematic events that mark the cultural calendar in Paris during any semester. The selected titles are inevitably the object of media coverage, and students read the works themselves as well as critical reviews in the press. They also have the opportunity to meet authors, directors, and performers. Syllabus

CAS LF 343: La France à Paris: Paris in Literature and the Arts (4)

Using the city of Paris as a unique text, students will read its monuments and buildings and interpret selected texts devoted to the city (fiction, history, politics). The course aims to teach students not only how to critically engage with and interpret textual material, but also how to read and analyze the physical space around them. Authors include Hugo, Baudelaire, Zola, and Modiano. Visits include the Palais Royal, Montmartre, and the Musée d’Orsay. Syllabus

CAS LF 344/HI 268: Post-Colonial Paris: Cultural and Political History of Colonization and Immigration in Paris (4)

Paris, after being the capital of the second largest colonial empire in the world, is now (i.e. after decolonization) the center of important flows of immigration, especially from its former colonies. It is difficult and almost impossible to understand French history without taking into account its colonial past. It is even more difficult to understand today’s Paris without thinking about its postcolonial condition. This course aims to introduce the students to this lesser known but quite real postcolonial Paris. They will discover physically, during visits tailored to the course, how this heritage of colonization, decolonization and immigration is seen and understood in Paris’ monuments (Vincennes, Musée du Quai Branly) and urbanism (slums, suburbs, projects). Syllabus

CAS PO 240: Paris Politique: Institutions of the Fifth Republic and Current Events (4)

(Formerly CAS PO 450.) Analysis of the political life of France beginning with an historical overview of the French political system. The course includes issues related to administrative organization and the civil service, issues of regionalism, and France’s role in the international community. Syllabus 

Week 10–16 (Internship Phase)

During the second half of the semester, students participate in local professional life through faculty-supervised internships. Students serve as interns full time, Monday through Friday, while also attending small group and individual writing tutorials which monitor progress in the internship and the drafting of an extensive analytical internship report. An oral defense of the report completes the semester’s requirements.

Internship Courses

Students enroll in a four-credit internship placement. The course number will depend on the area of specialization in which the student completes his or her internship. Placements are contingent upon students’ past experiences, language abilities, professional interests, and available opportunities in any given semester, so flexibility is essential.

Interns are evaluated throughout their placements by the faculty member monitoring the final internship paper and the oral defense jury.

  • CAS AH 505 Internship in the Arts/Architecture/Arts Administration
  • CAS EC 497 Internship in Business/Economics/Finance
  • CAS PO 405/IR 455 Internship in International Organizations
  • CAS PO 401/IR 451 Internship in Politics/International Relations
  • CAS PS 495 Internship in Health/Human Services
  • COM CM 471 Internship in Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations
  • COM FT 493/494 Internship in Film/Radio/Television
  • COM JO 411 Internship in Journalism
  • SHA HF 390 Field Placement in Hospitality Administration

Program Details

Requirements
  • Minimum of four or more semesters of college-level French language, or the equivalent
  • Priority will be given to students enrolled in a French language course within the year preceding their semester in Paris.
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to mid December
    • Spring Semester: early January to late April
    Cost
    Credits
    • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
    Housing
    • The BU Paris Academic Center, including administrative offices and classrooms, is located in the fifteenth arrondissement, within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. Most students are placed in a French household with their own room and share a meal once-a-week with the family. There is also a limited number of rooms at the Fondation des Etats-Unis, a residence hall in the Cité Universitaire international student complex, which are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Boston University cannot guarantee students their first choice of housing.
    Application Deadlines
    • Fall Semester: March 15 
    • Spring Semester: October 1 

    Download a description of the Paris Internship Program.

    Program Faculty & Staff

    The Boston University Paris programs are administered by staff in both our Boston and Paris offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Paris. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In Paris the staff comprises a director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.