If you’re required to complete an internship in France as part of your degree program (or if you’re doing an internship here while enrolled in a school outside of France), you’ll probably required to write a ‘rapport de stage’, or internship report, to get credit for your work experience.

The Rapport de Stage is a time-honored tradition, much like the famed dissertation, and it’s mandatory for most internships completed in France.

Why?

Because strict labor laws in France prohibit employers from using stagiaires, or interns, to replace salaried employees, and the rapport de stage summarizes the student’s experience in the company and proves the “educational” nature of the internship.

Similarly, the Rapport de Stage is a way for you to get credit and a grade through your university for the work you performed. With the rapport de stage, your tutor (who oversees your internship experience within the school) is able to evaluate the quality of the internship and of your own work, assess what you’ve learned, and possibly use your good experience (or lack thereof) to recommend the company to other interns in the future.

And like for other classes, if you don’t get a good grade – 10 or higher on the scale of 20 – you may be required to repeat your internship, or compensate for it with better grades in other classes.

Because so little of your stage / internship grade rests on your actual work experience, and so much depends on your ability to write a good rapport de stage, it’s imperative that you take copious notes during your internship on your responsibilities and learning experiences.

Who Reads the Rapport de Stage?

The rapport de stage isn’t just a document to prove that you learned something during your internship. It’s also a document that may help the company develop its own internship program and make modifications to the types of internships offered to students.

Your rapport de stage is read by your tutor in your university program and your “responsable de stage” – or boss – at the company where you complete your internship. Because the company will receive a copy (from you), it may also be read by other people you worked with and people in the human resources department.

Therefore, it’s important to note your experiences and difficulties accurately, but also to explain any challenges you may have had diplomatically. The company will present you with a certificate stating you completed your internship (enabling you to get credit) before receiving your rapport de stage, so you won’t necessarily lose credit for the internship if you bash them in your paper. But keep in mind that your school’s relationship with the company may be damaged if you are excessively critical.

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