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Kamila Kolasa

International Co-op Assistant
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing

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France
The French will respect someone who comes to them with already-established knowledge and experience.

Famous Landmarks of Paris

Experience Paris and its wonders: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter, Montmartre, and the Georges Pompidou Center

Learn the art of making wine while visiting Bordeaux – home of some of the world’s finest wine and exquisite chateaus!

Enrich your life experiences while working on an international Co-op placement. Learn life-long skills that this culture can offer that can be transferred into the Canadian work environment and education. Create your experience, just like the past SFU International Co-op students:


“Although my official title is ‘teacher’ I find that I am the student being taught news lessons each and every day. Each new, incomprehensible, or even embarrassing experience has become an opportunity to grow and learn. I enjoy living in the company of two Americans, two Germans and an Argentinean in our very own international village.”

- Emily Williamson  - English Language Teaching Assistant at CIEP centre internationale d’études pédagogiques (Lorraine Region, France)


"My role is to prepare and deliver games and activities that encourage my students to speak English. This job pays well and provides me the opportunity to visit France and/or other neighbouring countries during the numerous school holidays."

- Christine Hutchins - Teacher's Assistant, Education Nationale (France)

Interesting Facts

  • There is no coffee on the go (can you even pronounce Starbucks in French?). Sit down and enjoy the moment – c’est la vie

  • The French will usually very much appreciate any effort to use their language. They will correct mistakes made; this is not meant as a criticism, but as a compliment.

  • The metro is very reliable, and walking to any destination becomes an enjoyable part of the day as you pass historic sites and ancient buildings

  • A kiss on each cheek (two kisses) is a gesture exchanged by family, friends and new friends of friends upon greeting

  • A baguette is as essential as sleep! You will see that this necessity of life will quickly become a pleasure that will make you wakeup at 8am on a Sunday just to get to the bakery!

  • Wine is essential everywhere and free with most meals (including lunch), but you have to pay for milk for your coffee

  • The streets run in every possible direction, and many of the intersections are circular

  • When in a restaurant you are not offered a drink. It is assumed that you will drink water or wine. Pop or juice is a special request

  • Tour de France: every summer more than 100 professional cyclists race in the Tour de France. The race is approximately 2,000 miles long and lasts up to three weeks

General Facts about Work and Life in France:

  • The French will respect someone who comes to them with already-established knowledge and experience. No detail is too unimportant and a carefully proposed, logically organized proposal is key

  • Shaking hands (one brisk, firm shake is enough) with everyone individually in a group when introduced and before departing is the norm. The North American group "wave" is not acceptable

  • Privacy and individual accomplishment of one’s tasks are important

  • At meetings of peers, there can be open communication and sharing of ideas. Discussions are often vibrant with many people speaking at once. Expect a lot of interruptions and questions!

"I strongly encourage SFU students to participate in any opportunity that allows them to live, study or work abroad. Simon Fraser University provides students this opportunity through international exchanges, field schools and coop work terms. I participated in an exchange with Laval University in Quebec City, in a field school to France, and in two international coop work-terms. Through these experiences, I learned a new language, met lots of new people and was introduced to many new cultures. I loved every minute of it. I encourage you to do the same. You won't regret it!"

– Christina Hutchins

Beyond the Blog

  • Learn more about SFU International Co-op and your chance to work abroad!

  • Expression of Interest form (Fill out this form and you can be added to the International Co-op mailing list and get updates on upcoming international jobs!)

  • Find an international job with Goinglobal

  • Be sure to check out the International Spotlight articles for Germany, China, Australia, The UK and India!

About the Author

Kamila Kolasa

International Co-op Assistant
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Marketing

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