Help my Daughter Get to France
March 23, 2011 9:19 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way for my adult daughter to live in France or the UK for a year?

My 25-year-old daughter wants to spend a year living and working in either France or the UK. She is a college graduate (BA in business management) and is currently taking courses in accounting while working in billing and accounting for a law firm. She would need to work and would prefer to work in a professional capacity in business, but could be flexible if necessary. She speaks a little French and is taking additional courses in that as well.

She has all kinds of questions--how to do this legally, how to find a place to live, and what she should do before she leaves and what she should do after.

She is currently a half-time student and if enrolling full time were part of the mix she could do that. Are there long term paying internships she could apply for?

posted by LarryC to Travel & Transportation around France (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
What country are you in?

That said, regardless of your nationality, if she's a native anglophone, she is almost definitely eligible to be an English language assistant in France.
posted by threeants at 9:24 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry, see now that you're in the US.
posted by threeants at 9:24 PM on March 23, 2011

UK :

Those are the easiest ways. Other ways are less than Legal.
posted by Metheglen at 9:33 PM on March 23, 2011

Response by poster: Yep, she is an American, currently in Albuquerque.
posted by LarryC at 9:43 PM on March 23, 2011

Response by poster: I should add that she has mad people skills and her former employers will write recommendations that she walks on water.
posted by LarryC at 9:44 PM on March 23, 2011

Honestly, the fact that you're asking this for her (rather than her doing the research herself) is a sign that she should do something really structured, or a homestay - something that doesn't expect adult independence.
posted by Kololo at 10:04 PM on March 23, 2011

Response by poster: Hang on guys, I was just trying to save her the $5!
posted by LarryC at 10:09 PM on March 23, 2011 [10 favorites]

A family member is currently teaching English in France. She is an American. She got the info at . One thing to note is that it is extremely competitive and she had sterling grades and recommendations. I believe it is a little less than a year long commitment, but she is having a great time.
posted by meta87 at 10:33 PM on March 23, 2011

She is currently a half-time student and if enrolling full time were part of the mix she could do that.

As a student is the easiest way to get a visa. Work and residency permits are much harder to get - you will need a company to sponsor her AND she will need to have special qualifications not available in the local market. The ability to speak English and some French is not a special qualification.

Before we were married, I tried to get my American wife a visa in Sweden, but it was no go. So she enrolled in an MBA program and came on a student visa. Before that expired we got married and applied on that basis - not probably an option for your daughter.

Point is that it is quite difficult to legally get a work permit without assistance.
posted by three blind mice at 2:44 AM on March 24, 2011


Student visa is possible and (AFAIK) would mean she could legally work part-time. If her grandparents were British she would qualify for an ancestry visa, as someone mentioned above.

Work? Very unlikely. The current government was elected on a promise of cutting immigration, and basically the only way they can do that is to restrict immigration from non-EU states. There's a points-based system which I'm willing to bet she would not qualify for (we're talking high-income, high-education people here. I don't mean to insult your daughter - I certainly wouldn't qualify under the current system; whereas a few years ago I did).

Sponsorship by a UK company? Forget about it. They are up in arms because they aren't allowed to recruit enough foreigners as it is (as in, they can't bring in the highly-skilled US lawyers that they need).

On the other hand, there are ways to do this either black or grey market: grey market - sign up for a semi-legit college that doesn't expect you to actually turn up (note that the government knows about this loophole, and is cracking down on them, but it worked for friends of mine a while back). Black: no-one checks your passport at the UK/Ireland border. So it's hypothetically possible to fly to Dublin then ferry to the UK (or train to Belfast and ferry/fly) and then get a job that won't look at your permission to work. But that wouldn't be legal.
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:12 AM on March 24, 2011

(To non-answer: if she's willing to consider other countries, then there are much easier options. For example, she could live and work in New Zealand under the Working Holiday Scheme, which is open to (among others) US citizens under 30. There may be similar schemes in other countries - but not the UK).
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:16 AM on March 24, 2011

I think if you want to get really helpful answers here you're going to need to give alot more information. *Why* does your daughter want to move to the UK/France (she does realise France and the UK are very different in terms of work culture, possibly living standard, etc? Has she ever visited either country?). The lack of specific information in your question about her motivation/what she hopes to get out of this one year experience gives the impression this is a pipe dream/romantic what-if exercise rather than a serious question (of course maybe it's because you are posting for her and you can't give those details - in which case I would encourage her to pony up the 5 bucks and come provide more specifics).

Both the UK and France have plenty of their own unemployed 20-something uni graduates with accounting qualifications. There is no incentive (and active disincentives) for any company to take on a similarly qualified foreigner for such positions. Now if your daughter has truly unique skills or experience, she can use that to try and get a foot in the door with a specific company, and she should start doing some research into where that might be - in that sense, job searches abroad are no different from job searches in the US. Otherwise I agree with the posters above that her best shot is to go to school - but that can be expensive (she would pay international tuition as a foreigner, which can be exorbitant), I would expect she would not be able to work (legally) at the same time, and in the case of France, there may be a language issue.
posted by aiglet at 4:21 AM on March 24, 2011

In the UK, if she comes to study on a student visa (which is necessary if you're here for more than six months) she would be able to work at least part time. Master's in the UK are often one year programs, from what I understand. I'm currently in the UK on a student visitor visa, which means I can't work or even volunteer legally. I got it by just showing up at Heathrow with evidence that I'd been accepted as a student here, but the longer-term student visa is a more involved (and expensive, I think) process.
posted by MadamM at 4:51 AM on March 24, 2011

She should look into BUNAC - it's a non-profit organisation which helps students and other young people organise work and study placements in many countries including, yes, Britain and France. They would be able to guide her through the whole process.
posted by greenfelttip at 6:46 AM on March 24, 2011

I don't know if it would at all fit in with her interests or goals, but I've had several friends who loved WWOOFing in France, England, and Scotland.
posted by forkisbetter at 9:57 AM on March 24, 2011

She should look into BUNAC - it's a non-profit organisation which helps students and other young people organise work and study placements in many countries including, yes, Britain and France.

The Britain and France programs are limited to college students and very recent college graduates. The only program options for those past that age bracket are Australia and New Zealand. (I worked in Britain on a BUNAC permit in 2004 and wanted to stay longer but I would have had to get a student visa instead.)

That said: it's a fantastic organization and if I had any interest in working in either of those two countries (AU and NZ), I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
posted by anderjen at 10:58 AM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, friends.

She wants to live abroad for the same reasons that most of us travel, to experience another way of life. She is a very recent college grad so may qualify for BUNAC, she'll check it out. Lots of ideas here.
posted by LarryC at 1:36 PM on March 24, 2011

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