Many tourist sites in France recruit students every year to welcome and guide their visitors. If you like history, architecture or geology, these seasonal jobs are for you.
An exciting summer job in an exceptional setting awaits you. Each year, many tourist sites in the four corners of France recruit students of all backgrounds to take guided tours during the summer. No need for a diploma or special qualification: being curious, dynamic, smiling, is often enough to fulfill these missions.
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In Charente-Maritime, 15 kilometers from Royan, the Régulus caves welcome more than 70,000 visitors each year. They are looking for two guides between July 6 and August 31. “We recruit students every year, from the age of 17. They are tourist guides but can also take care of the ticket office and reception.explains Carole Angibeaud, manager of the Régulus caves site. “A first professional experience is desirable but we don’t demand anything, we give everyone a chance. In the same way, it can be advantageous to do cultural studies, or which are close to tourism»she explains.
Nothing prohibitive, however, for those who are not familiar with these fields of study. The qualities required are accessible to all: “You have to have a certain oral fluency, not be too shy. Be a little sporty too, because there is a lot of walking». Recruited candidates are trained upstream. They receive a fifteen-page form with the various points to be addressed during the visit, which lasts 45 minutes. The pace is demanding: each guide makes seven visits a day for groups that can reach 35 tourists.
Guide-boatman in the Lot
300 kilometers east of the Regulus caves, in the Lot, the Padirac chasm opens its gaping mouth and engulfs up to 7,000 daily visitors every summer. Every year, the site recruits a regiment of boat-guides in charge of taking tourists, by boat, on the underground river which meanders more than 100 meters deep. Sixty students are wanted for July and August. “We are still looking for a dozen more”says Mathilde Bouyssou, human resources manager at Le Gouffre. “We welcome all profiles, tourism students but not only. Students who are interested in geology, the history of the place. What counts above all is the desire to convey to visitors, in an exceptional working environment.” It is also recommended not to be claustrophobic…
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The students also receive a five-day training course during which they learn to navigate and to address their public. Each crossing lasts a few minutes, in boats of 10 people. “We have been recruiting student boat guides for over 20 years”continues Mathilde Bouyssou. “It’s a job accessible from 18 years old.” The amount of work is significant, up to more than 40 hours per week. And it is not easy for the Gouffre de Padirac to fill all the positions, especially since the site must also expand its staff of sellers in souvenir shops, waiters for the restaurant and reception agents to inform the visitors. Do not hesitate to submit your CV.
History and architecture at the Château de Castelnaud
For those who would be put off by the idea of diving deep in a cave for two months, don’t worry, there are many similar opportunities on the surface too. The castle of Castelnaud, in the Dordogne, is offering 6 guide posts this year to students keen on history and architecture. “For almost 30 years, I have been recruiting students to strengthen the reception and guidance teams. I am very satisfied with this partnership, adapted to our needs and theirs”, explains Nathalie Bapst, director of the castle. A more than welcome recruitment in a context of a drop in the number of seasonal workers, aggravated by two years of health restrictions. “Without the students, I couldn’t cope with the crowds in July and August. Luckily they’re here.”, insists the director. The castle recruits a total of twenty students, spread over different positions and presenting various profiles. “They are between 18 and 25 years old, some are preparing their thesis, others have just passed their baccalaureate”. The mission of guide nevertheless requires a certain qualification: “You have to have a degree in history or art history. It takes a certain level to explain medieval architecture, for example.” The influx of many foreign tourists also requires a good command of English.
Many other historical monuments and tourist sites are just waiting to open their doors to you. All you have to do is submit your application. To find the offer that suits you, you can, for example, go to the “1 young person 1 solution” site, which lists dozens of positions in this genre, for a unique intellectual and human experience.