TAPIF Guide | Things to Know before Applying | TAPIF Application | Acceptance Letter | Regional Placements | Getting your Visa | Packing for France | Arriving in France | Teaching English Tips and Lessons | Traveling during Vacations | Income Tax and Closing Accounts | Renewing and Staying in France | Documents and Links
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This guide refers to the American application process of the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), so if you are not American, your country will have different procedures, deadlines, and contact people. Please use the official TAPIF Facebook page to ask questions.
I started writing this guide in May 2006 when I learned that I’d be teaching English at the secondary level in the académie of Grenoble (city of Annecy) for 7 months through the French Embassy of the United States. This is a chronological journal of my experience beginning with the application process. If you are interested in teaching English in France, please visit the French Culture Website for the current application for American citizens. The application is available in October and the deadline is in January, with over 1,000 positions available each year.
In order to qualify for this program, you must:
You will spend 7 months in France (or the overseas départements) teaching English 12 hours a week and you will receive a salary of about 790 € a month (after health insurance is taken out) if you are placed in mainland France or Corsica, about 1,000 € if you are placed in Martinique, Guadeloupe, or French Guiana, and about 1,200 € if you are placed in La Réunion. The higher salaries for the DOM-TOMs are to offset the high cost of living, but note that assistants in Paris do not receive a higher salary.
I would recommend doing this program while you are still a student in college, especially if you are under 25, because there are so many discounts for young people in Europe. But if you do wait until you graduate, you can try to defer your student loans until you get back. You will need to talk to the financial aid office at your university about this, but you may qualify for an Economic Hardship Deferment if you can prove that you make less than a certain amount.
This program is also open to native speakers of English from several countries – however, the number of positions for each country varies greatly. The qualifications and requirements may be different for each country as well, so check with your local French Embassy. Below are links to the assistant specific pages for the other Anglophone countries as well as the approximate number of positions available.
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.
If France is not your desired destination, check out the blog posts Official Programs to Teach English in Europe and Teach English in Latin America: Paid and Volunteer Programs.
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