Grape picking at a vineyard is a popular summer job in France.
For the majority of people, including myself, taking a summer holiday is something that's planned and budgeted for well in advance. However, not too long ago, when I was a little younger, I decided to pack my bags and spend the summer working (and holidaying) in France. A working holiday gives you a lot of freedom, and is a fantastic way to get abroad and experience a country without needing to save and plan for months. Because once you've organised a job, you're good to go.
France is the perfect destination for a summer job as there are many types of work on offer all over the country. I found loads of options before taking the plunge, so to save you doing all the research, I thought I'd share my experiences with you. If you're thinking about spending the summer working in France, take a look at some of my ideas below.
You could get a summer job supervising kids at a holiday park.
Wherever you want to go in France you'll find holiday parks, and they're usually in need of workers, particularly during the summer months. The kind of work that you can do depends on the campsite, but there are lots of different positions and types of work. You could get a job as a cleaner, a receptionist or a childminder, for example, or you could get a more general role that includes shifts in various areas all over the park. The great thing about working in a holiday park is that you'll get to stay on-site for free (or for a small fee) which significantly reduces the cost of your trip.
Al Fresco Holidaysis a Europe-wide holiday park company. They are currently advertising Apprentice Al Fresco Representative positionshere.
It's hard to think of a holiday to France without thinking about wine, so why not take a summer job at a vineyard? There are vineyards all over France, from Bordeaux to Côtes du Rhone and from Burgundy to Champagne, which means you can holiday in almost any region in the country. Picking season starts in September and runs for between seven and 18 days, although it all depends on that year's harvest. More often than not, when you work at a vineyard, your accommodation will be included, which gives you added freedom and money. You'll also get the chance to sample delicious wines, direct from the source, and you'll probably learn a bit about how they're made, too.
You can find vineyards that are offering summer jobshere. Contact them directly to see if they have any positions available.
Au pairing in Paris means you'll have free time to visit all the sights.
If you like working with kids then au pairing is a lovely way to spend the summer in France - and you don't even need to speak French! You'll get to stay with a French family and take care of the kids during the day (while their parents are at work), and then when they're back you'll have free time. In most cases, this means you'll get evenings and weekends to yourself, which gives you plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas and even further afield. I've found that this is a great way to make new friends, simply choose an area in France that you'd like to visit and then use an au pair website to find a family that's looking for an au pair.
There are plenty of websites that offer au pair programs throughout France. You can see a few options offered by InterExchangehere.
Fruit pickers may find themselves picking apples in an orchard.
Like grape picking at vineyards, fruit picking is a popular summer job for visitors to France. The type of fruit that you can pick depends on the month and region that you visit, as different fruits grow at different times and in different climates. Depending on where you choose to go, you could be picking apples, cherries, peaches, strawberries or many other types of fruit. You'll find that lots of young people take up fruit picking for the summer, so like most of these summer jobs, it's a great way to meet new people. You may also find a job on a farm where you'll get to do a mixture of work, including fruit and vegetable picking, and livestock handling.
You can see fruit picking, harvesting and farm work job listingshere.
Want to work your way across France?
Travel from Folkestone to Calais with
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
and you'll be across the channel in just 35 minutes. From there you can make your way through France and to your ideal summer job.
What's your favourite memory of working a summer job in France? Let us know viaFacebookorTwitter.
Grape picking at a vineyard by Flickr user Pipers Brook Vineyard Media
supervising kids at a holiday park by Flickr user The Big Lunch
Au pairing in Paris by Flickr user Patrick Nouhailler
picking apples in an orchard by Flickr user erin