The fresh smell of mowed grass, sound of howls of foxes and vibrant color of fields and flowers are some of the best things here in La Giraudiere during summer. Being a part of Charente, an area with longest daylight time in France, Brossac offers a refreshing ambience with stark contrast with the hustle and bustle in the city. With average temperature of 30o C, there are just endless spots that you can discover here every day.
Working while Exercising
So how is my rural French internship day typically like so far? Well after my self-isolation period was over even before when I noticed – since it felt like normal days here with all residents living in separate gite – what I carried out was mostly outdoor works such as land mowing, bush pruning and wall repairing to keep La Giraudiere in shape. Although for some it sounds exhausting, to be honest it was also stress-relieving especially if you have been working distantly from quite a while. The job made me use my “dormant” muscles that you get the best of both worlds: exercising, enjoying the summer vibe while at the same time doing your volunteer work.
There are still other works which you can help with should you decide to join the program! Worry not if you prefer indoor activities because there are also things to do with the administration and clerical desks. You can choose whichever suits you that will brighten your summer French experience!
During this restricting pandemic situation, many students like me think it will be difficult to find an on-site internship. Are there still companies or institutions that offer internship programme in the midst of this COVID-19 situation?
While there are still a plenty of distantly-held, there are features which can be experienced only when you move to a new location and live there firsthand. For me, tasting a new culture is what I await the most when it comes to an internship abroad as it would surely broaden my perspective and help me eventually become a lifelong learner.
Cultural exchange in France
And so I decided to look on the internet for intern or volunteer positions in places other than my home country and Finland where I am currently studying, and came across this project called La Giraudiere. It is a perfect match for what I expected as this program takes place in France which in fact is one of the most diverse European countries. Moreover, La Giraudiere itself aims that during their weeks that can range from 3 weeks to 2 months, not only are the participants immersed in the French culture but also cultural exchange can be promoted among the group of volunteers and interns.
I cannot wait for this exciting adventure. At the moment there is only me, since the project manager is very strict about the ongoing pandemic situation. La Giraudiere indeed puts this into consideration and so should volunteers or interns wishing to come. Vaccinated applicants are preferable but if that is not possible, for example because the countries they are residing in cannot afford it yet, they can bring recent negative PCR test result. More details of this health measures can be foundhere.
Internship with safe measures
The location of La Giraudiere is a kilometer away from the village Brossac which is the nearest commune. The nearest city is Angouleme some 55 kilometers away after which there is Bordeaux the nearest major city is about 85 km. In other words we participants are isolating ourselves from the crowd as we stay and volunteer here.
In addition to that, there are four gîtes or self-contained apartments at La Giraudiere so whoever has just arrived from overseas can self-isolate for the recommended number of days, which is exaclty what I am doing. We have an adaptive project manager called Paul here who can adjust the day the work schedule that even during the self-isolation period you are able to contribute by for instance writing something on the blog like this. Plus I am learning how to get it listed in google and much more which I did not know about.
Therefore, if you want to have an exciting but also safe internship or volunteer project, La Giraudiere is a perfect choice. You can work, learn and enjoy the beauty of rural France at the same time, and for sure it is better than any other lifelong learning internship institution that I know of.
Lifelong Learning Written by Bill whilst volunteer at La Giraudiere 31/05/2021
As of the 15th May the doors at La Giraudiere will be opening uup and inviting volunteers and interns to come and help with the project once again.
Travel Advice foreign Nationals coming to France
Throughout the world, countries are opening up their borders very progressively and the situation may change rapidly. The authorities of some countries require passengers to fill in travel forms, quarantine on arrival, a recent negative COVID-19 test or medical certificates .The travel conditions are constantly changing depending on where you are coming from. So keep checking with your travel agent, airline or local airport. To help further her is a link to the French Governmlent Advice for Travellers
Covid whats needed at La Giraudiere
With regards to what is required here at La Giraudiere. Volunteers and interns over the age of 50 must have received at least their first Covid vaccination also they must have taken the COVID-19 detection test within the last 72 hours and received a negative result.
For volunteers and interns under 50 years old then you must have taken the COVID-19 detection test within the last 72 hours and received a negative result. Depending upon the circumstances when you are in France you may be required to take further tests during your stay.
Presently Travel to and from foreign countries is strongly discouraged in France, and in some cases prohibited. Travel restrictions are also in place within France regions and departments. If you are arriving from a country within the European space, you can enter France. You must comply with health regulations to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You are not required to self-isolate. The countries which comprise the European space are all the European Union Member States, as well as Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.
Arrivals from Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United Kingdom. If you are arriving from one of those seven countries, you can enter France. You must comply with health regulations to enter France (PCR test and sworn declaration). You must self-isolate for seven days after your arrival.
With vaccination now progressing quickly across most of the world these travel restrictions will be changing and best to keep checking for updates. It is hoped that by mid May most Travel restrictions will be relaxed at La Giraudiere we are working to open doors mid May but keep checking back.
La Giruadière is re-opening but requires proof from volunteers and interns.
Following the present vaccine program and the controls which have been put in place for international travel Paul as made the decision to open doors again starting from May 2021. You can read full information upon the respective websites; for volunteering visit Volunteering In France and to apply for an internship visit Internship In France
As regards International travel – Read the Press release from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (30 January 2021) visit website You should also see updates at this location and I will try to update this blog on a regular basis as regards corona-virus news and travel.
Vaccinated against Corona Virus Covid and it’s different variants
No matter what travel requirements are required by the French ministry as part of your acceptance to take part in any programs, or projects, at La Giraudiere then you will be required to present proof that you have been vaccinated against Corona Virus Covid-19 and it’s different variants and that your were tested 72 hours prior to arriving at La Giraudiere