Working in the South of France: My Summer Placement

I lived in Antibes on the Côte d’Azur

As a Modern Languages student, I had the opportunity to do a placement year abroad in between second year and final year. I spent a total of 11 months abroad with 8 months in Spain as an English Language Assistant with the British Council and then 3 months in France as a tour guide and Marketing Assistant. In this blog I’ll go into detail about the application process, job role, skills and overall experience in my French placement. Please note that this is specific to my experience in 2022/23 and aspects may have changed or vary depending on location. 


I found my French placement on LinkedIn in March where I applied directly with my CV and a cover letter. I was then contacted by my future employer followed by an informal online interview in April. I found out I had been successful a few weeks later and began contacting landlords and organising accommodation via sites such as LeBonCoin and RoomLaLa. This was definitely a challenge as the French Riviera is a very desirable tourist destination especially in summer. Rent was very expensive and there wasn’t much availability so I definitely recommend taking this into account if your placement is based in a popular tourist destination. 

My role

I also got to meet some friendly pets on my tours

I was a tour guide on the French Riviera, leading tours around the towns of Cannes and Antibes. My groups would vary from 2-25 tourists and the tours were usually in the morning. Before my arrival, I was sent scripts to learn with facts, dates and information about these French towns. I then had 2 weeks of training with my manager where I learnt the routes, the booking system and how to adapt to any changes. After my training, I led my own tours where I got to meet tourists from all over the world, answer their questions and show them around two beautiful French towns. 

In addition to being a tour guide, I was also the marketing assistant where I created content such as posts, stories and reels for the company’s Instagram page. I really enjoyed this aspect as I could view the analytics and observe which types of content were popular. It was also really satisfying to see how my content was rapidly increasing following and engagement. 

My hours would vary but it was usually 1 or 2 tours a day, Tuesday-Saturday with an hourly rate of 4 euros (typical for a French internship). My placement was from the end of June until the beginning of September and I received around £700 of Turing funding. 

The Rothschild villa


I lived in Antibes which is a pretty seaside town famous for yacht maintenance and old architecture. I was able to go to the beach everyday, swim in the Mediterranean sea and explore the surrounding area. I visited many towns including Nice, Monaco, Eze, Grasse, Menton and my personal favourite: Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. These locations were incredibly beautiful and I feel very lucky that I was able to visit these amazing places during my placement. 


This placement was definitely challenging for many reasons but especially the heat and humidity. Walking around for long periods of time whilst maintaining enthusiasm and energy wasn’t easy. The cost of living is also very high in this region where eating out, transport and even groceries are priced at a premium. There also wasn’t much opportunity for me to practise speaking French as the locals are used to tourists and many of them speak English. I also found it very difficult to make friends as most people are only visiting the French Riviera for a few days.  


The exotic garden in Eze

Although this placement was difficult for me, I learnt so many new skills which really helped me figure out my next steps and future plans. It was originally my dream to move to the French Riviera after graduation however I have now realised that a place with a larger student population, lower cost of living and less tourism is more suitable for me. I also found a new love of marketing and this is now a career I wish to pursue further. This placement further built upon my confidence and resilience whilst also challenging me to adapt quickly to new situations, solve problems, negotiate and maintain positivity. 

Overall, despite being challenging, I learnt so much about myself and my future goals. The French Riviera is a beautiful place but I think it’s more suitable for a holiday rather than long term living.