Every Year we offer two Stage 1 or 2 students studying French the opportunity to go and spend August working as interns in Nancy municipal services.
This is a great opportunity for students to improve their knowledge of the French language, discover another way of life, another culture and understand the functioning of French institutions. Interns are assigned specific tasks and participate fully in the life of the service where they work. Read what Nat and Rebekah wrote about their experiences there in August 2016!
One month doing an internship in the city of Nancy, working for the municipal services while embarking on a cultural discovery in the heart of Lorraine with meals, accommodation and a bursary all included – it sounded too good to be true!
In our first week we settled into the modern university residence of Boudonville and met the fifteen other interns from Nancy’s twin cities. After a few icebreaker activities everyone was getting along and excited to start their various internships. One highlight of the first week was the Welcome Party organised by the Erasmus Student Network, which gave us a taste of student life in France.
My internship started off working in the Musée Lorrain, but as I had hoped for more opportunity to develop my speaking skills, I asked to be moved to Notre Maison, a residential care home, at the end of the first week. The organisers of the internship were very willing to accommodate anyone who had a problem or wanted to be doing something different, and finding the courage to ask to change was definitely worth it! At Notre Maison I worked as an Animator, organising and delivering activities alongside two other staff members.
Every day I did something different, from visiting individual residents to delivering art activities. I felt really appreciated during the internship and was given the chance to organise activities myself and talk to residents. Notre Maison was a very welcoming environment and although I found it difficult to begin with, jumping in at the deep end pushed me to use my French!
As for my internship, I was working with the department of Parks and Gardens. I carried out a wide range of tasks – from planting to pruning plants and sowing seeds. While this may not seem to have been ideal from a language learning perspective, the people I worked with were so friendly and welcoming that there was every opportunity to practise my French. Being a gardener in France is something I never expected I’d be doing, but it turned out to be an incredible experience!
What was great about this internship was the chance we had to explore the rich culture of the region of Lorraine, through a series of excursions and activities organised by the International Relations team. From visiting the war memorial in Verdun, to enjoying a cocktail evening on the terrace of the German consul in Strasbourg, there was always something exciting going on. We were lucky enough to be in Nancy during the 250th anniversary celebrations of Lorraine’s reunion with France, allowing us to see the Son et Lumière light show in the Place Stanislas.
published on: 10 November 2016