Most French Business and Engineering "Grandes Ecoles" require their students to perform internships abroad during their curriculum to expand their experience and language skills prior to starting their careers. Hosting these students can be invaluable as you get motivated, eager to learn and dynamic, well trained, students to work on your projects. On this site you can find internship postings for jobs at South African or French companies in Cape Town.

What could we do to increase the exchange of students (both ways) between France and Cape Town and the Western Cape?

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I've just finished my French Business School. Last year, I had to do an internship in a foreign country.

My wish was to go in Africa, and more particularly in South Africa. However, my school couldn't provide me interesting contacts for this country. In consequence, I decided to contact an organism to help me find an internship in SA.

I would rather I found it by myself. I really think that the Cap 40 platform is a great opportunity to make links with Business Schools. For that, the best idea appears to contact directly Business Schools (and Engineering Schools) to make Cap 40 known.

Benjamin Vichery

Our own experience: we have hosted many interns in the past years and found great value in doing so, we ensure that such internships are a win-win for both parties; the one learn more about a job and an industry, the other benefit from someone already able to create value for the company when well managed.

We have used various channels so far to source interns in our organization, for example kickstart.co.za or kunjani.org who assist the intern in finding companies, accommodations along with VISA applications.
But also spontaneous candidates have been considered (it is not all that difficult to get organized in Cape Town...) along with candidates using their own school network.

However it appears that the Department of Home Affairs has somewhat tighten the rules for granting VISA for internships. From recent feedback from an immigration practitioner there are currently possibly 2 ways to apply for VISA for interns:

1) "Work Exchange Permit" – time for application: 6-7 weeks ; no reapatriation deposit - no experience on this so far

2) "Tourist VISA" (Section 11.1)
    No work allowed at all, even if for free.
    However the applicant can make a "business VISA request on landing" (section 11.2) which is possible:
    - if the internship is paid: payments must be made overseas only - not possible for South African companies (exchange control regulation)
    - duration: strictly 90 days
    - motivation letter to be provided (qualification, cv, tasks required from intern)
    - such application is to be organized before landing via a letter to the Director General of Dept of Home Affairs (1 month)

PS: for Business School, our company does not have much need unfortunately as we are mainly focusing on engineering tasks for the time being. We consider mechanical, civil and electrical engineers, programming skills are also welcome, it all depends on the person, its motivation and flexibility.

Nicolas

Correction!

concerning my previous post:
This apply for German students, not for French students; it appears that french students can still apply for "Work Exchange Permit" with the South African Embassy in Paris... Different countries different treatments... at least for now!

I am a Bcomm student at Stellenbosch University, with majors in French, Economics and Marketing. I am very interested in doing an exchange to France for a semester of my studies.

The cost of living and studying in Europe is probably the biggest challenge facing South African students who would like to do exchanges. Perhaps French businesses with interests in South Africa, or vice versa could recognize deserving students who they would like to have on their teams and provide them with bursaries to study abroad and gain invaluable experience. 

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