For those looking to escape the fast-paced hustle and bustle of city life, working in Aix-en-Provence is the breath of fresh air you’re looking for. Known as the city of a thousand fountains, Aix is overflowing with opportunity. Home to several universities, Aix is a popular town for French and international students alike, and also an ideal location for those hoping to find a teaching job abroad. The warm weather, blue skies, and proximity to the Mediterranean draw crowds south to Aix-en-Provence and away from the big cities, creating plenty of job opportunities in tourism and hospitality management specifically; get ready for what will feel like a working vacation!
Jobs in Aix-en-Provence
What was once a sleepy little town in the South of France is becoming more popular among students and expats wanting to live and work abroad in France. When it comes to jobs in Aix-en-Provence, il y en a pour tous les goûts (there is something for everyone).
Teach English as a foreign language in Aix is a popular position for those looking to work and live abroad. To teach abroad, you won’t need a degree in English or education, but you will need some kind of TEFL or TESOL certification. Fluency in French isn’t a prerequisite, but a basic grasp of the language, a few key phrases, and a willingness to improve will go a long way in Aix. Teachers in Aix will begin the school year in September and generally work until June, with breaks in the fall, winter holidays, and spring.
Au Pair. Working as an Au Pair in Aix-en-Provence will provide individuals with the unique opportunity to immerse in the French language and culture in an intimate way. Au pairs in Aix will live with host families and help with childcare and light housework, and receive a weekly or monthly stipend in return. As an au pair, you will be more than just an employee, you will become a member of the family. Basic competency in French is necessary for this type of job in Aix-en-Provence, but you will have the opportunity to take French language courses and hopefully become fluent at the same time. To become an au pair in France, in the majority of cases, you’ll need to have previous experience in childcare on your resume.
Hospitality & Tourism Management. France is one of the most visited countries in the world, and Aix itself is a popular vacation spot for both local French and world travelers alike, which creates plenty of opportunities to work in hospitality management. Most individuals in this industry will work anywhere from 30 to 35 hours a week in any number of hospitality-related jobs, from bartending, waiting tables, and washing dishes to concierge and front desk work. With this type of job in Aix-en-Provence, you will have more control and flexibility with your work schedule, because you can choose to work anywhere from one to 12 months usually. Basic to intermediate French is a necessary requirement for most hospitality jobs in Aix-en-Provence, however. While fluency isn’t necessary, the more proficient you are the greater your job opportunities will be.
Life in Aix-en-Provence
Life in Aix is sweet and simple. The warmth of the sun reflects off the golden walls between the winding cobble stoned streets of the centre ville as laughter and life echoes through every alleyway. Not much can go wrong in Aix-en-Provence, except when Le Mistral hits; the Mistral is a strong, cold, wind blowing through the Provence region all the way from the alps. It tends to shake things up in Aix when it hits, blowing only for odd numbers of days and rumored to inspire a sense of restlessness on par with a full moon, but once it passes brings Provence its infamous beautiful weather and good health.
A typical day working in Aix-en-Provence will begin with an espresso and a croissant before your commute to work. You will actually look forward to your lunch break in Aix, because a two-hour lunch is the norm, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy every bit of your meal, whether you go out to a café with some coworkers or take a nice picnic to the park.
After a long day at work, a quick stop at the local market gives you everything you’ll need to make an authentic French dinner, can you say coq au vin? The next morning, it all begins again. That is the true beauty of life in Aix-en-Provence.
Accommodation & Visas
The cost of living in Aix-en-Provence tends to be a little higher because it’s a popular tourist destination, but shouldn’t coûter les yeux de la tête (cost your eyes). In fact, most employers will help you find affordable accommodation if they do not offer it to you themselves. Working as an au pair in Aix-en-Provence will guarantee you room and board with your host family. On the other hand, hospitality jobs in Aix-en-Provence will generally entail room and board as well, either in the hotel where you’re employed or in a shared apartment. Other foreign workers will likely need to find their own accommodations, but can always ask their employers for assistance or suggestions. Living with a host family is a wonderful option for anyone working in Aix-en-Provence, not just au pairs, as it is the best way to immerse yourself in French culture and improve your language skills exponentially.
Those who obtain jobs in Aix-en-Provence will need to apply for a long-stay work visa, which will require a work contract from a local employer that is approved by the local employment office, or Direction Départementale du Travail et de l’Emploi. Once approved, your work visa will be forwarded to a French consulate in your home country, where you will continue the visa process according to the guidelines for your particular nationality.
Benefits & Challenges
Small Town. Adjusting to the size and pace of Aix may prove to be challenging for some. But, although Aix is a small town, it has a big heart and will give you the opportunity to make more meaningful connections with coworkers, neighbors, and your favorite boulangère (baker) every day.
Marketable. Your life and work experience in Aix-en-Provence will be marketable in more than one way! Pun very much intended. Not only will you have an impressive addition to your résumé, but you’ll never find a fresh, open air market, quite like the ones in Aix. Jobs in Aix-en-Provence will give you the international work experience you need, and the convenience you desire along the way.