If you would like to teach English in the public school system in France or the DOM-TOMs as an assistant for the 2012-2013 school year (October 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013), 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, 2012, and speak French at an intermediate (B1) level. The teaching assistantship program in France is open to citizens of other countries as well, to teach German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, etc. in French public schools. Refer to the official CIEP website for all countries and languages involved in the program.
Assistants work 12 hours a week and are paid about 780€ a month net, with paid vacations in October, December, February, and April. As of this year, there is only one contract length (7 months) but you can still choose between two levels: primary (elementary school) or secondary (middle school, high school, or both). For the majority of countries, assistants can be assigned to mainland France + Corsica and the overseas départements of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Réunion. Assistants working in the overseas départements have a slightly higher salary to compensate for the higher cost of living; however, assistants working in Paris or other cities with high costs of living in mainland France do NOT have a higher salary. Australia and New Zealand also send assistants to New Caledonia, but the school year is between March and October 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.
All applications for Anglophone countries are now available, 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 and you will have to pay for your own transportation. All Australians must go to Sydney and all NZers must go to Wellington, for example. The visa is free, however. Assistants are responsible for buying their own plane tickets to France and finding their own housing (though some schools may be able to help with this.) Non-EU citizens are also required to undergo a medical visit upon arrival in France. Since assistants have low incomes, they are eligible to receive money from the state (CAF) to help pay rent, though the amount depends on age, current rent, previous income, etc. Assistants are allowed to have a second job as long as they get permission from their school and it does not pay more than 30% of the assistant salary.
Links to each country’s French embassy page on the assistant program and the approximate number of positions available:
- USA : 1,450 (last year 2,100 people applied)
Deadline is January 15, 2012, and there is an application fee of $40. Dual French-American citizens are no longer allowed to apply; however, all other dual EU-American citizens may apply. Also check out the TAPIF USA page on Facebook if you have questions that are not answered on the French Culture site linked above.
- Canada : 300
Deadline is March 1, 2012. Canadians must be enrolled in university at the time of application.
- United Kingdom : 1,200
Deadline is December 1, 2011.
- Ireland : 60
Deadline is March 2, 2012.
- Australia : 65
Deadline is December 12, 2011. There are also 4 positions in New Caledonia, but the deadline for teaching March-October 2012 has already passed. Application deadline for New Caledonia is usually in September.
- New Zealand : 40
Application is available now. Deadline is March 12, 2012. There are also positions in New Caledonia, but the deadline for teaching March-October 2012 has already passed. Application deadline for New Caledonia is usually in August.
- India : 50
Deadline is December 15, 2011.
Deadline is beginning of January 2012.
Citizens of South Africa, Trinidad & 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.