I'm an American high school student (currently junior). My friend and I have both found paid internships over the summer by contacting local software companies, and they went well. I thus assume it's not that uncommon, at least in the US. Now, I'm planning on graduating high school a semester early, since I'll have enough credits etc and I've discussed it with my counselor. My dream is to go live in a francophone country for six months or so before college to become fluent and have fun etc. The idea is I would find an internship the same way I had here in the States and live off whatever small wage they would pay me. I am very experienced (for my level of education), am fluent in several (programming) languages, know how to use git etc... I'm not concerned I wouldn't be able to handle the work. But I'm concerned it wouldn't be possible to find a paid internship under these unorthodox circumstances. So, French, Belgian, etc. devs: is this plan at all feasible? I would turn 18 less than three months after graduation, so I could always wait and start then if it matters. Further, my mom is a Polish citizen, so I'm pretty sure I could secure EU citizenship... so ignore the problem of obtaining a work visa for the sake of the argument.

Sorry if this is outside the scope of workplace.SE, I figured this is the best place to put it. If it needs to be moved please let me know.

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    I think you might find it difficult because the cost of using someone from OS isn't a minor one, nor can you expect them to possibly work for you full time after their studies. You may well get the best advice asking at the French dept at your school, they may know of something that is a good fit for you. Exchange program or something similar. – Kilisi Mar 23 '16 at 3:59

I'll speak only for France.

Here, internships are very structured. It's nigh-on impossible to find one without the proper papers from your school. While some firms(usually the big ones) will be happy to have an american intern, they'll be looking for someone with sellable experience. At your age, it's probably too early for that.

Anyways, you can try your luck, but aim for big firms with an international surface, and be sure to have youe school in the process. And be prepared to have quite a number of rejections. You need only one success, after all.

And as you are in the software industry, be warned that in France, 80% of the jobs are within consulting firms, called SSII or ESN. The big boys of the market should be your primary targets : Here is the top 10 in 2014

There are very few places in software vendors, and even less in other firms : I've seen several interns paid by the SSII working for other firms(especially banks). They are your best chance. But they usually recruit 22-years old interns nearing graduation, not 18-years old.

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