Internship Seminar

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Course Information
Internship Seminar
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

Placement in an internship


This seminar represents the academic element to accompany various internships throughout Paris. We will study the professional working world in France, with a focus on intercultural communication. A discussion of the internship experience, external visits and course readings will form the basis of our study. Students will be asked to consider how French companies are organized, French work culture, communication and notions of efficiency and pleasure in the work place.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Command a socio-cultural knowledge of France
  • Analyze specific books and press articles
  • Communicate in French within a professional context (improve oral and written skills, as well as general comprehension). Acquire a specialized vocabulary (French professional)
  • Adapt to the place of internship by interacting into a French team
  • Participate in the day-to-day experience of a French company while carrying out concrete tasks
  • Observe, analyze and manage cultural differences in a professional context. Develop the ability to problem solve from an intercultural perspective
  • Gain valuable professional experience and prepare a final report on that experience
Method of presentation: 
  • 90 minute seminars per week
  • 80-120 hours of an internship over an 8 week period
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Attendance, punctuality, professionalism and personal investment during the internship (including an evaluation by the internship director) - 30%
  • Internship report (10 pages) - 30%
  • Oral presentation about the internship experience (15 minutes) - 20%
  • Class participation as well as presence in personal meetings - 10%
  • Internship logbook - 10%

Students must dress and act professionally during their internships (punctuality, personal investment, dress code, hygiene, communication, etc.)





Lesson 1 Internship and seminar presentation  
Lesson 2 Individual meetings with Anna Shoemaker. Students should bring their CV (in French) and a letter of motivation.  
Lesson 3 Education and formal training in France  
Lesson 4 Class visit  
Lesson 5 Intercultural communication and interpersonal relations

Evidences invisibles: Introduction (p. 15 à p. 30)

La conversation (p. 43 à p. 66)

Lesson 6 Class visit  
Lesson 7 Intercultural communication: manners

Le tour du Monde de la politesse : présentation (p. 7 à 14)

Etats-Unis, Californie (p. 47 à 51)

Etats-Unis, côte Est (p. 53 à 57)

Et les Français ? (p. 121 à 133)

Lesson 8 Work in the United States and France La logique de l’honneur : « Une manière française de vivre ensemble » (p. 56 à 94).
Lesson 9 Individual meetings with Anna Shoemaker To turn in: Internship logbook for the first 3 weeks
Lesson 10 Work life in France. Presentation preparation in relation to the internship

Le travail : « La durée… » (p. 13 à 20)

« En France… » (p. 21 à 26)

« Les fonctionnaires… » (p. 59 à 66)

« La lutte des classes » (p. 83 à 86)

« Les paradoxes… » (p. 119 à 122)

Lesson 11 Work life in France. Presentation preparation in relation to the internship

To read: internship experience reports

To turn in: Internship logbook

Lesson 12 Student presentations  
Lesson 13 External visit: Société Générale  
Lesson 14 Student presentations  
Lesson 15 Student presentations  
Lesson 16 Review and discussion about the internship experience To turn in: Internship logbook and final report
Required readings: 
  • CAROLL, Raymonde, Evidences invisibles, Américains et Français au quotidien. Edition du Seuil, 1987.
  • D’Iribarne, Philippe, La logique de l’honneur : Gestion des entreprises et traditions nationales. Editions du Seuil, 1989.
  • MAUCHAMP, Nelly, LINHART, Danièle, Le travail. Collection Idées reçues, Editions Le Cavalier Bleu, 2009.
  • Le tour du Monde de la politesse. Edition Denoël/Le Monde, Paris, 2012.

All of the documents distributed in class and on Moodle.

Students must also regularly read the French press. Examples include: Le Monde, L’Express, Courrier International, Challenge, Le Figaro, Libération, Le Nouvel Obs, Le Point.

Students must also use and regularly consult a French dictionary, such as Le petit Robert.