If you already live in France and you are less than 30 years old, you have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on work experience through a work-study contract, also called apprenticeship contract (“contrat d’apprentissage” in French). This allows you to put the knowledge you learn through your classes into practice and to fulfill the work experience requirement needed to complete the program. It also gives you the opportunity to specialize in one of the master’s areas of your choice. What’s more, your tuition fees will be covered through your contract!
Please note: If you are not already living in France, the distance-learning format of the CAWEB master’s degree does not qualify for you to apply for a French student visa. Only higher education programs that take place in person qualify for this type of visa. You must already have a French visa or be a citizen of the EU to qualify for an apprenticeship contract.
What is an apprenticeship contract?
An apprenticeship contract is a short-term employment contract that allows a student to fulfill the professional work experience requirement of their degree while they study. It binds the employer, the university, and the apprentice and gives the student the status of an employee. The apprentice is paid a percentage of the French minimum wage according to the student’s age, level of education, and the collective agreement in place with the host company.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for an apprenticeship contract, you need to fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
- You must be less than 30 years old at the start of the contract.
- You must be a citizen of the European Union (EU) or already live in France for at least one year and be enrolled at university. Then the employer will ask for a temporary work permit for you, valid until the end of your apprenticeship contract.
To find more detailed information on the apprenticeship contract and eligibility, you can visit the page dedicated to it on the French government’s website.
The contract normally lasts for a year and begins at the start of the academic year, in September. During the entire academic year, from September to June, you’ll spend 3 days working and 2 days studying. During school holidays and breaks, you work full-time in the company.