Intern Abroad

Making magical memories in Paris

October 13th, 2023 | by
  • Medicine
  • France, Paris
  • Sorbonne Université
  • 07/2023 – 09/2023

Application/Finding an internship.

For quite a long time I dreamed of going to Paris for working and living there. That`s why I decided to spend 2 months in this beautiful city during the practical year in my medical studies. Once my intention was clear I started looking for contact persons being responsible for international affairs at my preferred university, the Sorbonne. After several email exchanges with the head of the international office at the medical faculty, I received a list with free spots left for my preferred period. Fortunately, I sent my application early enough (nearly one year in advance), so a few free places were still available; I hereby confirm applying as soon as possible because even one year in advance, places were limited and already reserved for French students. In the following, I had to upload my application with all the necessary documents (including CV, proof of language, Health insurance, Letter of motivation, Erasmus-Learning Agreement) on a Sorbonne interne platform to complete my application. I also applied at the medical service directly (even when the head of the international office will manage this for you) to get sure of having tried my best for realising my dream.

Accommodation & Living expenses.

Living in Paris is quite expensive. As all the big cities in the world, cheap apartments near to the city centre are rare and the housing market is hardly disputed. Personally, I was quite lucky because I knew another Erasmus-student who was looking for the next tenant. What I can really recommend for finding an accommodation is to participate in a preparing course of “Campus France Deutschland”. There you will get plenty of tips on which platforms you can find a room for your stay for example “La carte des collocs”, “leboncoin” or “A partager”. For the monthly rent the average price in Paris should be estimated with 700-1000 Euro. If you are lucky enough to get a place in a student housing, like “The Crous”, the rent will be lower, but places are hard to get, and you have to apply early in advance.

Paris is divided into different districts. I have lived in a multicultural area near to the train station “Gare du Nord” not far away from famous Montmartre, known for its artistic history and the well-known church Sacré-Coeur. Even when this area is renowned for many conflicts in the past due to poverty issues and immigration conflicts, I really appreciated living in this area during my stay because it gave me the possibility to get an authentic insight how it feels to live in Paris not as a tourist but as an inhabitant. Besides, there are many charming restaurants in the streets around the hill of Montmartre and street life is always vibrant. Compared to Germany, food prices are much higher in the supermarkets. For vegetables and fruit, the cheapest way is to go to the local market which takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays just near to the metro station Barbes-Rochechouart.

Everyday life/ the internship

During my internship I worked at the university hospital Saint Antoine in the 12th arrondissement, near to “Place de la Nation”. To get there I took the metro, the Parisian subway, which is quite the easiest way to move around the city. Sometimes I went by bike which was also a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed cycling the big boulevards and nearly everywhere you can find spots to rent a bike, I truly recommend discovering Paris by this. In the hospital, medical students so called “externs”, work under the supervision of “interns”, who have already finished their studies. Thanks to the system that every student is guided by a certain medical staff member, there is always an experienced person which you can ask for help. My daily tasks included the anamnesis and physical examination of patients, including the medical documentation of each patient concerning their progress of disease and therapy. Two times per week there were assemblies where the disease history of every patient was discussed with all doctors of the service. Normally medical teachings for students were planned for Friday mornings but not during summer. In general, my working day started at 9 in the morning and ended in the afternoon. All in all, I got the impression that patients were treated in detail and that the medical staff invested a lot of time for personal contact.

Free time/tips

Paris as a city has so much to offer: Whether museums, parks, bars and restaurants – there is something for everyone. Since I had already been to this wonderful city several times before my Erasmus stay, I was able to focus on a Paris off the beaten path during these 2 months.   4 days after my arrival, one of the biggest events of the summer was on the agenda: “La fête nationale”, the French National Day. In addition to the morning parade over the Champs-Elysées, where President Emmanuel Macron was received like a pop star, the Eiffel Tower shone in full colour on the “Champs de Mars” in the evening. With such an impressive firework, which is unparalleled, one can get an idea of the pride with which the French revere their country. And they are right! When thinking of France, everyone immediately conjures up images of fragrant croissants, picturesque cafés and a good glass of wine – if a country had invented pleasure, the French would be right at the forefront. Paris itself has so many boulangeries and delicacies to offer- probably a whole year would not be enough to test all of them. Since I lived in Montmartre district, I went on a culinary discovery tour especially there, what I can recommend to everyone. In the small streets not far away from the church “Sacré Coeur”, your own taste buds are sent on a world tour: Whether it’s a typical local flan, oriental couscous from Morocco or Argentinian empanadas – the 18th arrondissement lives cultural diversity on all levels. In case you feel homesick, you should order a portion of potato salad with Wiener Schnitzel including wheat beer fresh from the tap at the beer garden of the “Kiez Kanal, a lovely place near to the “Bassin de la Vilette” . In addition to culinary variety, Paris also offers an immense wealth of mental nourishment: from classics such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Elysees to lesser-known leisure activities such as a walk along the disused railroad line “Petite Ceinture” or a visit to the impro theatre “Theatre de la Gaite” at Montparnasse district – boredom is a foreign word in Paris! On the other hand, if you feel more like nature and relaxation after the hustle and bustle of the crowds, you will find plenty of green spaces in numerous parks, such as the “Buttes Chaumont” or “Bois de Vincennes”, to unwind.


Describing Paris in a few words remains impossible. This city simply has so much to offer that even the Parisians admit discovering new facets each day again and again. For me, it has always been a dream to live in Paris one day and to be able to immerse myself in everyday life. After these 2 months I am incredibly grateful to have made this experience. I’m taking with me a suitcase full of magical memories back to Germany; impressions of a city whose charming atmosphere is always worth a trip. I was able to learn a lot, both professionally and personally, and I am firmly convinced that I can make use of the skills I learned here in the future. To anyone who has good command of the French language (or is willing to learn it), without exception, I would immediately recommend doing an internship abroad in this wonderful city, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that may not return anytime soon! Or as Audrey Hepburn put it: Paris is always a good idea!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *