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Visa help needed

I'm Canadian and may be going to england for a work exchange for 6 months. I will continue to be paid by my Canadian employer and receive no payment from my english exchange employer. Since I plan on working for 6 months I will be in the country for longer then 6 months since I would like to travel afterward. My questions are 1) Do I need some kind of working visa even though I won't be getting paid by my english employer 2) If I leave England for a long weekend (to go to say, France) does that reset my 6 month maximum stay or not (ie. I stay in Engand for 3 months, go to France for a long weekend, then return to England for 4 months...can I do this to avoid getting a 6months + visa)? Thanks for the info (if no one knows the answers to these you know where I can find them...i looked on the UK visa req. website but it didn't really help). Thanks again.
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