English Language Teaching Assistantship in France for 2011-2012 School Year

If you would like to teach English in the public school system in France or the DOM-TOMs as an assistant for the 2011-2012 school year (October 1, 2011 to either April 30, 2012 or June 30, 2012) , use the links below to find out the specific requirements and application process for your country. In general, you must be a native English speaker, have finished two years of university & be less than 30 years old by October 1, 2011, and speak French at an intermediate level.

Assistants work 12 hours a week and are paid 780€ a month (after social security is taken out), with paid vacations in October, December, February, and April. There are two contract lengths (7 or 9 months) and two levels (primary or secondary – though only the primary level has 9 month positions.) For the majority of countries, assistants can be assigned to mainland France + Corsica and the overseas départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyane and La Réunion. Assistants working in Corsica and the overseas départements have a slightly higher salary to compensate for the higher cost of living. Australia and New Zealand also send assistants to New Caledonia, but the school year is between March 15 and October 15 so the application process is different.

You can read through my Guide for English Language Assistants in France for more detailed information and my personal experience as an assistant, as well as download all of the ESL lesson plans I created for my classes. If you have questions about the program, search the Assistants in France forums where many past assistants such as myself (I’m the moderator) help out the new and hopeful assistants.

Most applications become available in October, and the deadlines range from December to March. You should be notified between April and June if you have been accepted.  Most countries require you to go to the French embassy/consulate to get your visa before leaving for France, so make sure you take that into account because it could be very far from where you live. All Australians must go to Sydney and all NZers must go to Wellington, for example.


Links to each country’s French embassy page on the assistant program and the approximate number of positions available:

  • USA : 1,500 (last year 2,300 people applied*)

Application available as of October 11. Deadline is January 1, 2011. As of this year, dual French-American citizens are no longer allowed to apply.

Application will be available soon. Deadline is March 1, 2011.

Application will be available soon.

Application will be available soon. Deadline will be around March 24, 2011.

Application available now. Deadline is December 11, 2010.

Application available now. Deadline is January 22, 2011.

Application available now. Deadline is December 15, 2010.

Application available now. Deadline is January 11, 2011.

Citizens of South AfricaTrinidad & Tobago, and Barbados are also eligible, but I could not find any pages on the assistantship program on the embassy websites. The official CIEP site has applications for these countries, but the deadline dates are not specified.

*Acceptance criteria from the Teaching Assistant Program in France – USA Facebook page:

“Last year we had around 2,300 applications for approximately 1,500 spots. We evaluate applications based on a number of criteria (including French-language skills, experience teaching or working with children or young adults, experience living abroad, level of university studies, etc.) and then rank the applications. The top 1,500 applicants are offered positions in early April. Those applicants who do not make the top 1,500, but still meet the program’s basic eligibility requirements, are placed on a waiting list for spots that open up over the course of the summer due to withdrawals.”

  • Emily

    I worked as an English Asst last year in Antibes. It was a fantastic experience! Just a few comments:
    1. I found your Assistants Guide to be essential to my survival! I think you are just as Type A as I am, so having a step-by-step manual available for what to expect, etc was amazing. Thank you!
    2. It’s interesting that French-American dual citizens are no longer eligible. There was a young man who taught last year whose father is French and his mother is American. His French is great but he grew up in the US so he definitely speaks English like a native. However, I can understand the new rule because dual citizens have the right to work in France without being part of this program, so it makes perfect sense in that regard…
    3. I’m not an expert on this at all, but I got the sense last year that those applicants who were not offered a spot were mostly interested in getting paid to live in France for a few months. I had just finished law school when I applied, so definitely not a typical applicant, but I think I got a placement because of my experience as TA, my love of academia and international experiences. So if applicants make sure their statements focus on an interest in teaching, education, language, working with young people, etc they’ll probably have better chances. Also, according to my friend who was a German Assistant, if you apply for regions others don’t want as much almost sure to get a spot! Bon chance, tout la monde!

    • Thanks Emily! I always like to know exactly what to expect so I can feel more prepared, and I figured there were other assistants just like me.

      I still haven’t got an answer from the embassy on why they no longer allow dual citizens to apply. Dual citizens of other EU countries are still eligible to apply, so it can’t just be the lack of a need for a visa. It doesn’t make any sense to me though – just because you have French nationality thanks to your family doesn’t mean you’re fluent in French already or have lived there or anything.

      • Emily

        Good point on the dual-citizen doesn’t equal bilingual comment. I guess what I meant was, if I were a dual citizen, I probably wouldn’t bother with the assistant program because I wouldn’t need a visa to find work and stay in France long-term. For me the most appealing part of this process was that the State was looking for someone like me to hire, so a job existed for me and the visa process would be a tiny bit less nightmarish. Meanwhile, I think getting a typical job in France on my own would have been next to impossible and then I’d have to face the visa process on my own… However, I can’t speak for everyone. There might be a lot of dual-citizens out there who want to reconnect with their French roots and this program would be the best way they could do that.

    • Bisousbisous7

      Hi Emily, 

      So glad to finally come across a law school graduate who’s going abroad to teach. I just finished law school and have been accepted to a teaching abroad program, but I’m very nervous about doing it because I’m afraid I’ll be unemployable when I return to the States. If you don’t mind, I would love to talk to you about your experience and your motivation for doing the teaching assistant program and to find out how everything is working out for you. My e-mail is bisousbisous (at) yahoo.com.

  • Greg

    I am dual citizen looking to find an opportunity like this. I can’t see why we are not allowed to apply. I speak ok french, have been there a few times because most of my family lives there, and I am just looking for a great experience to become fully immersed in the language. It’s terrible that I can’t even have a full conversation with my grandfather because I am not yet fully fluent. I really hope they reconsider this.

    • I never got a reply from the embassy about the rule change so I really don’t know why they decided to exclude dual citizens. You could just apply as an American citizen and not even mention your French citizenship…

    • I am applying for the 2013 2014 year and this news is devastating. Is there anything else you have heard?

      • No, sorry 🙁 they still seem to be discriminating against dual French-American citizens.

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  • M Grochot

    I am not a native English speaker but I consider myself bilingual. I  was not born in the UK but I live there now and I do not understand why I cannot apply. I find it very annoying as most of the jobs are for native speakers only. The people who advertise these jobs they should bear in mind that most of those ‘native speakers’ are not successful language learners at all!!! as they only speak their own language. they cannot put themselves into the learners’ shoes as they were never language learners themselves. come on people!! give a chance to those who successfully learned English as a foreign language and can speak it as well as their own mother tongue