Between two years of study or after graduation, more and more students take a gap year. Year that can be done abroad, in the form of an academic exchange, internship or civic service, whether or not you remain a student during this period.

Taking a gap year during your studies is a tempting option. During this period, a student can temporarily suspend training in order to live an associative or professional experience, to do civic service, to learn a language… in France and abroad.

The year of caesura differs from an exchange year since you are not required to study during this period. You therefore extend your training by one year on your return. But good news, for those who want to take the opportunity to fly to other horizons, it is quite possible to take a break abroad. The conditions depend on your status.

Study abroad during your gap year

If you take a break during your studies, via your university or your school, then this is supervised. You retain student status throughout the year. To go abroad, you must make a standard request by contacting the international relations office of your establishment to obtain its approval for the chosen destination. Be careful to do this fairly early (six months or a year in advance) because the caesura must begin at the same time as the beginning of a university semester.

So you can make a caesura for take courses at an institution abroad. This can allow you to discover another area. At the University of Paris Nanterre, for example, the “EDUC” caesura allows university students to leave for one or two semestersto study a discipline different from that of their degree, in four partner universities (in Germany, Sardinia, the Czech Republic or Hungary).

At ESC Clermont, the gap year between the second and third years also aims to complete a semester or a year abroad at a partner university to obtain “a double competence or a certificate in other fields”.

Have professional experience abroad with student status

Apart from study mobility, it is also possible to do an internship abroad, but not more than six months per academic year. Students can also submit a entrepreneurial project, go to work Where volunteer abroadmake a VIE (international corporate volunteering)

In all cases, you will have to present a detailed project to your faculty : form to be completed, CV, letter of motivation, letter of commitment from the host organization, specify the course and the university envisaged, present proof of acceptance of the “student-entrepreneur” status in the event of a project entrepreneurial…

You should also know that universities can refuse the hyphenation if it is not sufficiently prepared or if the host country is considered dangerous for the safety of the student.

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A gap abroad without student status

But you can also do a gap year without being enrolled in a French institution. This departure abroad will then necessarily be more professional than academic. There are thus several devices to achieve this type of mobility.

The OFAJ (Franco-German office for youth), for example, offers an extra-curricular internship, PRAXES. “As a training organization, he accompanies you legally (bilingual internship agreement) and pedagogically to carry out an internship outside school or university curricula from one to six months”, specifies the office.

The local missions can also issue internship agreements up to thirteen weeks thanks to the Erasmus + OUAT scheme (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Malta), if you are under 26 years old. The internship is unpaid but transportation and accommodation are covered.

Finally, the international civic service also allows young people between the ages of 16 and 25, with no qualification requirement, to carry out a six to twelve month commitment mission abroad against compensation of around 600 euros.

This sabbatical year will therefore be at your expense and without student status, you will not be able to keep CROUS scholarships. You should also know that no place is reserved for you at the start of the next school year, as is the case during a supervised gap year. So plan your re-registration early enough.

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