Skip To Main Content
two female students in foreground posing with Iffil tower in the background

There are few cities in the world as beautiful and beloved as Paris, and there are few internship opportunities as exciting and impactful as that with the United States Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in France. Together, the City of Lights and the U.S. Commercial Service create an internship experience that is meaningful, challenging, and significant for both personal and professional development

Living in Paris

From the French monarchy and the Revolution, to Napoleon and Charles de Gaulle, Paris is known for its rich history and culture. A bustling city with a population of over 2 million residents, Paris is home to a diverse group of people, and receives over 32 million visitors a year. With over 150 museums and monuments, internationally renowned shopping, restaurant, and music scenes, and a history that is celebrated and remembered, the City of Lights has an unmistakable heart and soul that never fails to impress.

While the city of Paris divided into 20 districts, or arrondissements, the Paris transportation system is convenient and easy to navigate. With advanced metro, rail, tram, and bus systems, it is possible to travel from one side of the city to the other without much hassle.

Map of the city of Paris

Guides to Living in Paris 

Daily tasks such as laundry, banking, or getting a haircut can be more difficult in a foreign country. However, several resources have been put together to make things easier for American abroad.
U.S. Embassy’s Guide to Living in France: This site, operated by the U.S. Embassy in Paris, provides resources regarding official documents, banking, insurance, driving, and voting while abroad. 
Excuse Me, Where is…? This site provides information on where to find Laundromats, grocery stores, drugstores, and public restrooms.

Working in Paris at the U.S. Commercial Service

The United States Commercial Service in Paris, France is a branch of the Department of Commerce and an organization of the United States Embassy in France. The United States Embassy in France has a long history that dates back to America’s first ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin. Today, the United States Ambassador to France is Jane Hartley. Ambassador Hartley arrived in October of 2014 and serves as the Ambassador to France and Monaco.
United States Embassy seal

The U.S. Embassy in France is made up of several offices, including the Commercial Service, Africa Regional Services, the Econ department, the Consular section, and several others. The Commercial Service, or the Foreign Commercial Service as it is known around the Embassy, is just one of many organizations involved in the Embassy’s mission.
The mission of the Commercial Service is to provide assistance to American companies that are looking to do business in France, as well as to French companies that wish to invest in the Un Pasteited States. Often, American companies contact the Commercial Service in France looking for French distributors for their product, or information about the current market in a specific industry.


U.S. Commercial Services United States of America Department of Commerce logo

The Commercial Service is managed by three American commercial officers. The Minister Counselor is the head of the office with a Commercial Officer and Commercial Attachée in the #2 and #3 positions, respectively. American commercial officers serve three-year tours, and thus rotate periodically.

The staff of the office is made up of 14 locally employed French citizens. Staff is broken up into four different teams: heavy industry, services/consumer goods, technology, and marketing/special events. Upon arrival interns are assigned a team and a supervisor.


Typical Intern Duties 

Upon receiving your team assignment, the work begins. Workload may vary depending on team assignment, as different teams will have different trade shows or events for which they are preparing for. Typical intern responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Market Research
    • Much of the intern workload includes market research. This entails looking up data and information on a specific sector or industry (i.e. energy, audiovisual, aerospace, etc.). This is done using databases, past reports, and Google searches. 
  • Company Research
    • When an American company is interested in meeting with a member of the Commercial Service staff, it is often the intern’s responsibility to gather as much information as possible on the company to properly prepare the staff member.
    • Additionally, this may involve collecting contact information for companies that may be interested in attending a trade show.
  • Prepare Materials for Trade Shows
    • Staff members often meet with American companies at trade shows held in Paris. Prior to the trade show, interns prepare a kit for the company that includes information on the U.S. Commercial Service and any market research that has been conducted.
  • Prepare Remarks for the Minister Counselor
    • Interns are often asked to prepare the first draft of remarks delivered by the Minister Counselor at an event or show.
  • SelectUSA
    • SelectUSA is a summit that encourages foreign businesses to invest in the United States. Foreign Commercial Service offices across the world host Select USA seminars throughout their country to encourage participation and investment. Interns take a large role in putting together information for these seminars. This includes marketing, day-of information, and welcome packets for participating companies. 
  • Reception Support
    • Interns offer support at receptions and events that Embassy offices hold. You may be asked to work at a reception for an office that is not the Commercial Service. Reception support includes greeting and escorting guests as well as any other service that is needed.