Voluntary work in France

Information & guidance about volunteering projects in France

The rolling vineyards of Burgundy, towering peaks of its Alps, luxurious French Riviera and mighty cliffs of Normandy all lend to France’s incredible beauty and seductive scenery that draws visitors in to indulge in the amazing sights, food and wine the Western European country has to offer. Highly refined cultural tradition means France has a worldwide reputation of elegance and class, which is proven by the country’s natural magnificence, culture, art, literature and fashion that kept the French central influence on Western society throughout history. Voluntary work in France allows visitors to have a positive influence on local communities, while indulging in the French lifestyle, considered one of the finest in the world.

Where to volunteer in France

When you think of French cities, it is likely that Paris spring to mind; famous around the world as the cultural, artistic, and political capital of not only France, but also of Europe throughout history. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame cathedral, and des Champs-Élysées are all big draws to a city that offers unrivalled sophistication, but the streets are packed with lesser known gems, meaning no two people’s experience of Paris is the same. Parisian styles adorn those walking the streets, and the city carries the legend of a past artistic pedigree; Picasso, Monet, Manet, Dalí and Van Gogh are but a few of the masters who have lived and worked here over the years. A beautiful city with a rich history, Paris unfortunately suffers its share of social problems, that require the assistance of those undertaking voluntary work in France.

Lyon and Marseilles are large cities that also offer a great location for voluntary work in France; Marseille’s heart is the vibrant Vieux Port (old port) situated on the Mediterranean coast and was named in 2013 as the European Capital of Culture. Lyon echoes Paris’ sophisticated vibe thanks to an accumulation of outstanding museums, bustling clubbing and drinking scenes and amazing shopping, has been nicknamed the “Capital of Lights” for its annual Fête des Lumières festival, which is a must see for those visiting in December.

Montpellier, Nice, and Toulouse are also popular locations for voluntary work in France, offering an authentic French feel, so whilst volunteering in France you can truly immerse yourself in the culture. If you want to experience a more rural French experience, there are many smaller towns and provinces where you can volunteer.

Volunteering projects in France

Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the small country still faces social issues that leave a gap to be filled by those seeking voluntary work in France. Opportunities volunteering within social work and community development fields allow volunteers to tackle the problems of France’s poorest populations.

Education is the most common field of placement for voluntary work in France; positions can vary from teaching in a classroom to offering private tutoring sessions to living with a French host family to help the whole family improve their English. To succeed in these voluntary positions volunteers should be able to speak a high level of French, so that they can communicate effectively with their students. However, there are also a variety of volunteer programs in France which combines French language learning with English teaching for those who are not up to fluency, creating a linguistic exchange for the volunteers and the locals.

Voluntary work in France typically last from two weeks to a few months, depending on the placement… working on one of France’s of vineyards or agricultural fields is a great option of voluntary work in France for those interested in experiencing a more leisurely paced life in the French countryside, but it is important to remember that these roles require hard manual labor.