TAPIF Application: Applying to the Teaching Assistant Program in France

The TAPIF Application

Teaching Assistant Program in France

The American application for the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) is usually made available in October with a deadline of January 15 of the following year, though sometimes the deadline is extended to January 31. The application is an online form at www.tapif.org with information available at the French Culture website. (The Canadian application is also now at this website.)

Applicants must create an account and login to the website in order to apply and pay the application fee. All of the supplemental documents must be scanned and uploaded in .jpg or .png format. The two recommendation forms must be filled out electronically as well, so make sure to have the e-mail addresses of your recommenders.

The program has become much more competitive than in previous years. For example, in 2011-12, there were 2,100 applicants for 1,450 positions for American assistants.

Unfortunately, as of 2010 dual French-American citizens are no longer eligible to apply; however, dual EU-American citizens from all other EU countries are still eligible.

Parts of the TAPIF application:


Print and read all of the instructions before beginning your application. This document will guide you through each section of the application and will help you understand the requirements of the program and certain questions on the application.


Fill out your basic background information in this section of the application.


Explain why you would like to be a Teaching Assistant in France and describe your previous experience with teaching young people and living abroad.


This section must be completed by the applicant.


Please read and electronically sign this section.


Please read and electronically sign this section.


Scan and upload the following required items: university transcript, scan of passport, passport-style photo, and physician’s medical report. You may also choose to upload other items like a scan of your U.S. Permanent Resident card if you are not an American citizen, additional transcripts, and proof of housing in France.


You must submit one language evaluation and one letter of recommendation with your application.


Pay the $40 application fee by credit card.


Verify that you have completed all required sections of the application.


Finally! Submit your application.

Teaching Levels

Ages of Students Contract Length Contract Dates
primary up to 11 years old 7 months October 1 – April 30
secondary 11-18 years old 7 months October 1 – April 30

If you choose primary, keep in mind that the kids are really young and probably speak no English, so a fluency in French is a must. Many primary assistants are expected to take entire classes and create the curriculum as well, so you may be more of a teacher than an assistant. Unfortunately, you will be paid the same amount as the other assistants who do less work than you. At the secondary level, you will most likely be asked not to speak any French, and only English, in the classroom.

As of the 2009-10 school year, all IUFM teaching assistant positions have been eliminated. As of the 2012-2013 school year, all 9 month positions have been eliminated.


The académies are grouped together in a certain way so that, for example, you cannot request the three most southern académies. This is how the académies are grouped for the application (this is not how they are grouped for vacation dates). You choose one from each color (Group A is green, Group B is blue, and Group C is red). Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg are the most requested académies and housing is very hard to find in these areas.

Franco-American Agreements

From the application:
“We would like to draw your attention to the existence of several agreements between a certain American states and cities and various French regional school districts. These agreements may offer you the opportunity to pursue a personalized program of professional development while in France. For example, the Teaching Assistant may be able to pursue courses in education at the local university and then apply the credit towards a teaching degree in the United States (in the assistant’s state of study). If you are interested in participating in this opportunity, please select the partnership in the drop-down menu that corresponds to the state where you are a full-time student. While we do our best to accommodate qualified applicants, we cannot guarantee placement in the selected Académie as space in these partnership  orograms varies from year to year.”

Connecticut Toulouse Missouri Lyon
Delaware Créteil Nebraska Besançon
Georgia Nancy-Metz Oklahoma Amiens
Indiana Strasbourg Seattle Nantes
Kentucky Dijon South Carolina Clermont-Ferrand
Louisiana Rennes Utah Grenoble
Maine Nantes Wisconsin Bordeaux & Aix-Marseille


Selection Process for American Program

From Carolyn Collins: “As far as preparing to apply, our selection process is based on a number of criteria including: French-language skills (applicants must demonstrate a proficient level of French equivalent to level B1 on the European language evaluation scale), teaching experience, experience working with children or young adults, experience living abroad, and the level of the applicant’s university studies.” Also keep in mind that proof of enrollment at a French university or proof of accommodation in France will not absolutely guarantee your placement nearby. For couples who are applying, married or not, there is no guarantee that you will be placed together either.

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.”

Once you submit your application, you just have to wait. (Get used to it.) You will NOT know if you’ve been accepted until April.

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Dr. Jennifer Wagner

PhD in Applied Linguistics, ESL/French teacher, author of two French books, and helping others to learn languages online at ielanguages.com.