As a student living in France, I have long thought that doing an internship abroad would be quick and easy. But make no mistake! Only the most ambitious and tenacious will reach their destination.
How to apply for an internship with an American company?
First of all, make sure you have a resume that meets American standards. U.S. companies prefer a clean, concise resume. There is absolutely no point in using too many colors or images. Be specific and to the point about what you are looking for.
It is imperative to know one thing: never put a passport photo on your resume. It’s eliminatory. Don’t even think about it!
Accompanying your resume with a cover letter will allow you to highlight all the skills you could not put on your resume.
Introduce yourself briefly, highlight your qualities but also your defects. Show companies the reasons why they should choose you and not someone else.
The two documents listed above are the most meticulous and require a lot of rigor. Do not take this lightly and do not make any spelling mistakes.
Now you are finally ready for the remote interview, by videoconference.
You will need to be dressed in professional attire for the occasion (preferably jacket and shirt). Choose a quiet place and try the camera on your computer so that the quality of the video is good.
Let the representative of the host organization ask you questions, ask him/her to repeat if you have not understood. And articulate when you speak, everything will be fine. If you are stressed by nature, practice in front of a mirror a few days before, it is a great method.
The bravest and most comfortable with English will be able to proceed to a telephone interview by applying spontaneously. In this case, practice spelling your first name, last name, phone number and email address in English to be contacted again.
Where can I find American companies that want foreign trainees?
You have many trainee placement organizations in the United States (my internship abroad, Vitae USA, Euromonde Inc, …). They will find you an internship depending on your field of study and the place where you wish to stay. They will arrange interviews with different American companies. You will suspect that all his services are not free, you will have to pay between 500 and 1,000 euros (without counting the cost of the J visa and the plane ticket).
In addition, you have many Facebook groups that offer internships throughout the year in all sectors of activity. For example, the group ”internship abroad” post internships all over the world. You can find the HR managers of companies or current interns who are about to leave.
Finally, you have job search websites like INDEED or professional websites like LINKEDIN.
But especially for Americans, there is an essential platform called CRAIGLIST, where you will find job offers but not only. It will be very useful for you when you are looking for a place to live afterward.
How do I apply for the Pre-Visa and choose a sponsor?
All students wishing to go on an internship in the United States must call upon a sponsor in France to validate their departure, and obtain the coveted J-1 visa. Indeed, a sponsor is mandatory in the context of your steps, and it is impossible to ignore it!
But what exactly is the role of a sponsor? The organization that you will select as a sponsor will ensure the validity of your internship in the United States and will take care of all the steps related to this validation, in order to deliver the DS-2019 form that will give you access to the J-1 visa, category “Intern”. He or she will also follow up on your project during your stay in the United States to ensure that it runs smoothly.
There are many sponsors, it is up to you to find out which one would suit you best. Do not venture with an American sponsor alone if you are not bilingual. Many French agencies such as “Parenthèse” work directly with an American sponsor. They will represent you to the sponsor and help you with your administrative procedures.
Be careful because some agencies and sponsors do not work with start-ups with less than 10 employees or internships with only your boss. Ask for more information by phone to find out which one is best suited to your needs.
You will have many questions that you will have to answer on an online platform in English. The representative of the host organization will also have to highlight the tasks that you will be entrusted with and justify his or her choice to take a trainee who is not a resident of the United States.
If you start early, everything should go well.