This section is a compilation of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help intern candidates in their pursuit of a suitable internship in the US. If you have suggestions or contributions to add to this list, please send an email to Internships at AmericanFriendsAM dot org.
Do I need a Visa to work as an intern in the US?
Yes, you do, unless you happen to be a U.S. citizen. It is not legal to work in the United States unless you have a qualified visa, even for a short period of time such as a summer internship. The visas for which you may qualify are of type F1 or J1.
How do I apply for a Visa?
Visa applications must be filed with the American Embassy in Paris, or with an American Consulate outside of Paris. However, if you apply for a work visa on your own, you are unlikely to receive it. You will need a visa sponsor.
Who can sponsor me for a J1 visa?
It is typically your employer’s responsibility to sponsor you for a J1 visa. However, if you only rely upon your employer for sponsorship, you may be passed over by other applicants who do not need a sponsor (e.g. US citizens or non US students who already have a sponsor). Internship applications in the US are very competitive. So, you may be well served to contact other organizations can also sponsor students for a J1 visa, once they have identified a qualified internship and received a legitimate offer from an employer.
You may contact:
Program Associate - Career Training USA
161 Sixth Avenue,
New York, NY 10013
InterExchange offers two different programs for students, recent graduates and young professionals. For details on J-1 Visa requirements for each group, please visit the website: http://www.interexchange.org/ct-participant-requirements
- J-1 Visa Sponsorship Program: This program is for candidates that have found their own positions and simply need J-1 Visa sponsorship to legally work in the US. Current students or recent graduates (who graduated within the last year) are eligible to apply as long as they find internships related to their field of study. J-1 Intern Visas can last from a month to a maximum duration of one year for that program. Applicants who graduated more than a year ago can apply for a J-1 Trainee Visa as long as they have one year of work experience related to the field of the internship in the US. The maximum duration of the Trainee Visa is 18 months.
- Internship Placement Program: This is for candidates looking for placements in the US who want to apply to one of the placement positions we are currently recruiting for. It’s important to mention that we do not do independent job searches for candidates interested in our Placement Program. Interexchange has an internship board (www.interexchangejobs.org/internships) that lists all of the positions for which they are currently recruiting for and students can apply to the program if they are interested in and qualified for one of the positions posted on the internship board. If there are no positions that match their qualifications, they can keep checking back on the site for new positions that become available. The Internship Placement Program is small and the number of engineering positions available is very limited.
- Christopher Gallagher at the French-American Chamber of Commerce
Deputy Managing Director
French-American Chamber of Commerce
1350 Broadway, Suite 2101
New York, NY 10018
- Another group that may offer similar help to you is Parenthese. Their web site is in French and can be found at: http://www.parenthese-paris.com.
Will I receive a salary as an intern?
It is customary that interns receive a monthly salary of at least $2,000. We strongly encourage the employers who contact AFAM to post an internship on our site to offer reasonable and competitive salaries. Be aware however, that it is unusual for employers to offer health care and other benefits in addition to a salary
Can I benefit from additional financial aid to help me finance my trip and other miscellaneous expenses?
How do I get in touch with local alumni near my place of work?
There are probably at least 500 alumni (gadz’arts) living in the US, of who at least half reside there permanently and are US citizens. They can be of great help to you, particularly if this is your first visit to this country. Many of these alumni started their US experience as an intern, or perhaps as a graduate student in an American university.
How do I help future interns?
One of your responsibilities as a US intern is to file an internship report to AFAM that we may post on this site, such that future internship applicants may benefit from your experience. In addition, we encourage you to send us your feedback and comments to make this site more informative and helpful.
How do I help Arts et Métiers ParisTech?
How do I help AFAM?
AFAM was started by alumni who, like you, decided to work in the US and pursue their professional career in this country. We are a volunteer organization. Our members make financial contributions to AFAM, which help us provide more and more services to our community of US alumni, to our school and to future generations of students. It is YOUR DUTY to financially contribute to AFAM, as soon as you can afford to, and more than you have received yourself. This is in line with our ancestral tradition of fraternity and solidarity.