France receives roughly 200 million international visitors each year. It’s one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, and if you’ve ever been, you’ll understand why.
It’s always been one of my favorite countries, I first traveled there my junior year of high school. As a history buff, exploring the amazing city of Paris was a dream come true.
The stunning Gothic architecture in Paris. The beautiful sandy beaches and clear crystal waters along the South of France. The spectacular scenery of the Alps and Pyrenees. France is a country that offers travellers a little bit of everything. Plus, the food is amazing!
It’s also an expensive country, which can be a problem for the average traveller. But, there are plenty of opportunities to earn money while travelling around France. In fact, plan your trip at the right time, and you may find you’re able to work in France and save enough money to get you to your next destination.
How can I work in France?
There are many different ways you can work in France. Seasonal work is a popular choice amongst travellers as it is usually quite well paid, and you are free to move on after a relatively short period.
Here are some ideas if you’re looking for work in France.
Work Ski Season
Working in a ski resort is very popular with seasonal workers. You’ll find some of the best skiing and snowboarding in France. There are a variety of jobs to choose from, and you also get to enjoy the pistes yourself.
If you’re less keen on the slopes, being a ski rep might be the job for you. You’ll deal with guest requests (and complaints), organise apres-ski events, run airport transfers and arrange ski hire.
If you do want to get out there yourself, choosing a chalet role may be better. You’ll get a lot of time to yourself while guests are out skiing.
We recommend choosing your resort carefully. If you’re a beginner, go for an all-rounder resort where you can start on the beginner slopes and move to more tricky slopes as the season progresses. For more experienced skiers and boarders, Chamonix is extremely popular. The main attraction, Mont Blanc, is the highest peak in Europe and the nightlife is fantastic.
Here are some tips from The Telegraph if you’re thinking about looking for a ski resort job in France.
Be an Au Pair
If you’re looking to improve your French skills or immerse yourself in French culture, becoming an au pair may be the right choice for you.
Au pairs live and work with a native family. You’ll contribute to the house by looking after the kids and helping around the house. Expect to do some light housekeeping and laundry. In exchange, you’ll get room and board and an allowance that will give you the freedom to explore a town or city in France.
Having some basic French knowledge will help you get a job, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. Lots of families will want you to speak your native language so that their children can learn a second (or third) language.
The Local, France’s English newspaper, has written about things to consider before becoming an au pair in France.
Try a Holiday Park
If you prefer the sun to snow, you may want a seasonal summer job, and France’s holiday parks and campsites have plenty of vacancies through the summer months.
There are plenty of roles to apply for, including cleaner, receptionist and childminder. Again, you’ll be more employable if you can speak some French.
The advantage of working at a French holiday park is the free on-site accommodation. These jobs are usually well-paid too so you will have the opportunity to save some money.
If you’re coming straight from your home country, some tour operators may even pay for your travel to and from France.
Historically, the French haven’t been that keen on learning English. However, there has been a significant shift, and TEFL jobs are increasing. Business English tends to be the main focus for most TEFL teachers, but teaching children is rising in popularity.
You will usually need a degree and a TEFL qualification, and if you get a full-time job with a language school you can expect to be paid reasonably well. There is also the option to become a freelance English teacher. This can give you the flexibility to choose your own working hours.
There has been a steady rise in the popularity of learning English in France, and you may want to consider the FrenchTeaching Assistantship Program (TAPIF). This offers people the opportunity to work in France for 7 months teaching students of all ages.
Help with the wine harvest
With over 750,000 hectares of vineyards, wine is one of the world’s leading fine wine producers. And that means there are a lot of grapes to pick!
Wine harvest, or Le Vendanges as it is called in France, usually attracts thousands of seasonal workers looking to escape the cities and spend some time in nature.
The season usually starts in late August and can take between 1-3 weeks. Although, it can sometimes end as late as the beginning of November.
Let’s be realistic. It’s manual labour, 8 hours a day. So it isn’t for everyone. But you can get board and lodging, and the pay is pretty decent. It might be the perfect solution for those who find themselves travelling around France on a tight budget. Who can say no to eating fresh french cheese and bread in the beautiful countryside?
Work in a Hostel
If you love to surf, check out Biarritz. It’s a world famous beach resort and has tons of youth hostels. Typically the hostels will give you free accommodations and meals if you agree to work for a few hours each week. Although I’ve never done this myself, I’ve met many young travelers that have, and they all said it was well worth it!
Earn while you travel
It’s surprisingly easy to find work in France. You need to check visa requirements as there are more rules to follow if you’re from a non-EU country. But, it isn’t impossible to enjoy travelling around the beautiful regions of France and earn money too.
If you are planning a trip abroad or know someone who is, it’s probably time to invest in some equipment before you go. This article recommends the best 14 gifts you can buy a backpacker. Obviously, you’re allowed to buy yourself gifts too!