IEC co-op in France: Marie-Chantal Germain

Canadian students! Looking to get valuable overseas work experience related to your field of study? An International Co-op (Internship) through International Experience Canada (IEC) is one of your best options. Watch and Canadian Marie-Chantal talk about her co-op (internship) in France.

This video is also available in HD on YouTube where you can leave a comment, share it on your social network or embed it into your site.

Transcript: “IEC co-op in France: Marie-Chantal Germain”

Video length: 5:25 minutes

Light music plays in the background.

Visual: A small frame appears against a light blue background. A woman speaks in French. Another woman provides English translation.

MARIE-CHANTAL: When the opportunity came along to do an internship abroad, I jumped on the chance and never looked back. It really was a highlight of my life and of my career as well.

Visual: The frame is replaced by a series of other frames showing images of world travel. The sound of a camera shutter is heard as each new frame is shown.

Text on screen: “Experience That Lasts a Lifetime – Work Globally – Travel the World – Expand your Limits”


Visual: A woman speaks against a light blue background. A montage of groups of people, international landmarks, a world map and people taking selfies appears behind her.

JEWELS: Hey, I’m Jewels. Did you know that all around the world, young people are working abroad? It’s a great way to gain experience, travel and hang out with people from fascinating cultures in some amazing places. And, one of the best options that can help you get there is International Experience Canada.

Visual: An image of a group of young people collaborating appears behind her.

JEWELS: You’re a hard-working student, nose buried in books, making the grade. And, now you’re considering doing a co-op (internship). You’re all over it, researching the best places for you to go in Canada.

Visual: A map of Canada appears under her feet followed by a world map behind her.

JEWELS: But, here’s an interesting twist: instead of doing it here, why not go to one of IEC’s over 30 partnering countries and grab yourself some much sought-after international work experience related to your field of study?


JEWELS: Wouldn’t that be awesome? Students all over the world are doing it. Why? They know the importance of bringing that experience back to where they live and how it will give them a competitive advantage once they graduate.

Visual: A world globe drops in beside her.

JEWELS: Let’s not forget you could also be learning a new language, seeing some amazing sights and, of course, connecting with new, incredible people who live and breathe what you want to do in life.

Visual: An image of a group of people appears behind her.

Visual: Raised hands hold small Canadian flags behind her.

JEWELS: So, if you’re a Canadian citizen and a student between the ages of 18 and 35, what will your co-op (internship) be? But, before you make this life-changing decision, let’s hear what Marie-Chantal Germain, a communications student who went to France for her co-op (internship), has to say about it. Hello, Marie-Chantal!

Visual: A woman speaks in French to Jewels via a video teleconference monitor. Another woman provides English translation.


JEWELS: Marie-Chantal, you had every opportunity to do your co-op placement in Canada. Now, why did you decide on France instead?

Visual: An airport appears behind her.

MARIE-CHANTAL: Well, I’ve always been interested in the world at large. It’s always been important to me to explore, to go outside my comfort zone.

JEWELS: And, even though you speak fluent French, did you still experience some culture shock over there?

Visual: A montage of French locales, people and activities appears behind her.

MARIE-CHANTAL: Surprisingly, you think, when you arrive, OK, I speak French; it’s going to be easy. But, as soon as a discussion gets a bit more lively, or you strike up a spontaneous conversation with someone, you realize that there is a language barrier there that’s rather bigger than you’d expect. I was really curious to see how I could fit in an environment that’s similar but not quite the same.

JEWELS: And, what was it like fitting in at the recruitment agency that you were doing your co-op at?

Visual: A montage of people collaborating in an office setting appears behind her followed by a newspaper article.

MARIE-CHANTAL: It was the first time I found myself in a situation where I could really put into practice what I had learned in school. So, I was putting all that theory into practice and, bit by bit, taking it to a more professional level. I had my first official photo in the newspaper as the representative of the organization because I was, in fact, doing public relations for them.

JEWELS: This was a recruitment agency for people with disabilities, right?

Visual: A nighttime streetscape appears behind her.

MARIE-CHANTAL: I was responsible for communications at a recruitment firm for people with disabilities. To that end, we recruited candidates to establish ties with them, to ensure they had a better work environment.

JEWELS: Sounds like this was the type of placement that really opened up your eyes and heart.

MARIE-CHANTAL: I learned a lot. Sometimes you arrive with preconceived notions, either positive or negative, and the experience of living abroad allows you to examine certain values and to strengthen others.

JEWELS: And, let’s not forget the opportunities to travel. Where did you get off to in your free time?

Visual: A montage of European locales, people and landmarks appears behind her.

MARIE-CHANTAL: In all, I travelled to six countries around France. What’s fun about Europe is that you can spend a weekend in Italy or Portugal, and it’s pretty easy to do, so I was able to learn about a lot of other cultures. I made friends. And, of course, when you have a place to stay in Europe, a lot more friends decide to come visit.

JEWELS: In your well-travelled opinion, why should Canadian students get out of their comfort zones and take the plunge and go abroad for their co-ops?

Visual: A montage of Marie-Chantal pictured in various French locales is shown as she speaks.

MARIE-CHANTAL: When you’re out of your comfort zone, that’s when incredible things can happen. You develop an incredible sense of independence; you don’t have a choice. You’re in a situation where, regardless of whether or not there’s a language barrier, you’re still in a situation where you’re on your own, where you don’t know anyone, where you have to overcome your shyness and push past whatever might scare you in order to open up to the world. And, when you do it, you realize it’s not actually that hard. And, when you come back, all those qualities and abilities stick with you, and they’re an important asset in your professional and personal life. So, I think the best advice I could give someone is to say go for it; do it. Only good can come from it.

JEWELS: Now, that’s some sound advice. As is “experience is one of the greatest forms of education.” Take it one global step further with an international co-op (internship.) Check out IEC’s website for more information.


JEWELS: There’s also information about Young Professional and Working Holiday opportunities. See the world. Acquire valuable work experience with IEC, and go abroad!

Screen fades to black.

Text on screen: “International Co-op (Internship) –”

The copyright message “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2017” is shown.

Canada wordmark is shown on a black background.

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