Become an Occupational Therapist
by David Applefield
I live in Paris and want to become an Occupational Therapist. Do you know where I can find out about volunteer opportunities to get such experience? I would hope to work in a bilingual environment where my limited French would not hinder me too much. Alison
You are really asking several questions at once. Purely on the vocational side, I´d say you could start by inquiring with other OT professionals in France. Ask for a recommendation at the American Hospital in Neuilly. Make appointments to see English-speaking OT people in Paris, and ask them how you can help. The fact that you evoke the term "volunteer" requires me to add a few remarks on the concept of being a stagiaire in France, or intern. Just because you´re willing to work without pay in France, does not necessarily make employment easier. Internships are regulated by law in France. You´ll still need working papers, and do to questions of insurance and the like you´ll not be legally able to "work"; you´ll be able to observe, to learn, to gain training...but according to French law a stagiaire is not working. Regarding French, your best bet would be to learn it.
Good luck. DA