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BU Abroad: Paris as Workplace

Internships open doors in a great city

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City of lights, city of love — for students in the BU Paris Internship Program, the French capital also becomes a city of work. Students are encouraged to choose a specific interest, which the program matches to an organization in the city.

“The internship really made me understand what it’s like to be a working foreigner in another country,” says Nick Salazar (SHA’10). A hospitality student with a strong interest in journalism, Salazar was placed at L’Association de la Presse Etrangère, a support organization for foreign journalists.

Salazar’s workplace was entirely French-speaking; while proficiency in the native language is required for the program, few students arrive truly fluent, and he struggled with the language barrier. 

“Coming from San Diego,” he says, “I have always tried my best to be understanding with people who don’t speak English very well.” Now he has even more sympathy for people who struggle to work in a language not native to them. “It makes me wonder how different our country would be if everyone went through an experience like this,” he says.

Since returning to Boston, Salazar has taken on another internship, in the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel’s sales and marketing department. His overseas aspirations remain.

“I have always wanted to do some sort of international work,” he says, “and now I feel as if it might be an actual possibility rather than just an idea. Living in a foreign country really gives you a sense of confidence and independence.”

Read more about BU Abroad.

Devin Hahn can be reached at dhahn@bu.edu.

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