Foreigners in France: Fewer Opportunities for Employment

Claude Guéant, France’s Minister of Interior, has recently made it even harder for foreigners to get a job. France still welcomes many foreign students (with 280,000 France is third in the world) but the list of métiers for which foreigners can be hired has been reduced from 30 to 14, with local préfectures being able to reduce the list even further. This largely concerns students and other foreigners who do not already have the right to work in France and who are attempting to either get a work permit or change the status on their current residency card (from student to worker, for example).

The government is trying to reduce unemployment for French citizens by limiting the number of foreign workers. However, only 0.03% of the 65 million people in France are foreigners trying to get a work permit (20,000 people who make up only 10% of all legal immigration) and there are 4 million unemployed French citizens. It seems like the government should focus more on training French citizens so they are prepared for the jobs that are available, but now more money and resources will be diverted to immigration issues instead of Pôle Emploi.

I still receive lots of e-mails from non-EU citizens asking for advice on how to find work in France. I always say getting a degree in France is the best first step because almost all require an internship at the end which can lead to a job, or at least contacts in the field. If you haven’t done the internship in France, you’ll be at a disadvantage. But now it seems like even having a degree from a French university won’t help as much as it used to.

Diplômés étrangers non grata : Claude Guéant « fait du chiffre »

La liste des métiers ouverts aux étrangers réduite de moitié

Immigration de travail: la liste très select du gouvernement

France : les travailleurs étrangers indésirables

Grandes écoles : les jeunes diplômés étrangers interdits de travail

Finding a job in France is not impossible but with more and more anti-immigration laws popping up, it is getting even harder. That was part of the reason why I left France (and the low incomes – half of French households have an income of less than €19,000!) but I do know many people who have found jobs and obtained work permits, though I do have to admit many of them were also PACSed or married to a French or EU citizen.

I don’t want to sound overly pessimistic about France but with the current state of the economy and immigrants often being blamed for problems that they have nothing to do with, foreigners trying to work in France should be prepared for an uphill battle.

Say it in French Phrasebook and Swedish Listening Resources Now Available

My Say it in French phrasebook (Dover Publications) is now available through for $5.95! I have recently updated the Listening Resources podcast to include Swedish mp3s. Transcripts, English translations, and an RSS feed are also available. Check out the Swedish Listening Resources page for the first eight mp3s. (The mp3 player is not Flash-based […]

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Most Studied Languages in Europe, Australia and the US

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the European Day of Languages and Eurostat has provided statistics about the most studied languages in the 27 member states of the European Union plus Iceland, Norway, Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey (though stats for Portugal are missing). “In the EU27 in 2009, 82% of pupils at primary and lower […]

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New French-Language Films: Omar m’a tuer and French Immersion

Even though I am living in an Anglophone country again, I still find ways to immerse myself in languages. Besides e-mail and Skype to keep in contact with friends, I am still using French quite a bit since my PhD research is on the teaching of variation in French. I’ve also been able to find […]

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Variation and Standardization: Romansh in Switzerland

An article about Romansh in the latest Weekend Australian is very interesting and relevant to my PhD research on the teaching of variation in language. Romansh has been the fourth official language of Switzerland since 1996, but there are five main dialects of the language among its 60,000 speakers, and none of the dialects are […]

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Pronunciator: Free Vocabulary & Phrases in 60 Languages

Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s been nearly two weeks since I last posted and my only excuse is that I love working on my PhD so much that I spend all my time with my books and articles instead of my computer. I’m barely keeping up with updating the site and responding to […]

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Multicultural and Multilingual Australia

One of the many reasons why I love Australia: an official Multicultural Policy From the government’s Multicultural Policy released in February of this year: “Australia is a multicultural nation. In all, since 1945, seven million people have migrated to Australia. Today, one in four of Australia’s 22 million people were born overseas, 44 per cent […]

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Free Two Week French Course + Accommodation in Brussels, Belgium: Giveaway from Easy Languages

Easy Languages is currently offering their first giveaway: two weeks of French courses in Brussels, Belgium, including accommodation in a residence, valued at €795.00 or approximately $1,100.00 (USD) / £700.00 (GBP). This prize does not include airfare or any ground transportation. If you are a US or UK resident over the age of 18 who […]

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Being a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student in Australia

Let me tell you a little about being a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student in Australia. As the name implies, it is a research only degree that is supposed to take three years – meaning you don’t have any courses to take and your “full-time job” is to do research. You can teach/tutor if […]

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Aussie English for the Beginner

And now for the post on Australian English! Thanks to Australian friends and the internet, I had learned some Australian English words before arriving so I wasn’t lost when reading about diggers in the news or picturing the wrong thing when hearing the word thongs. Being a linguistics nerd, I am endlessly fascinated by the […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is now available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.



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