Teachers in France will agree that the job market is very competitive. Secondly, the French education system is one of the best in the world. French schools have high entry standards. If you are looking to teach English abroad in France, your credentials need to be impeccable and you need several years of experience on your resume.
In short, if you want to teach in France one of the best countries to teach English abroad, you must make your moves in a planned and organized manner. Your documentation has to be perfect; your qualifications must match the school’s requirements to the T.
French schools and the famous French bureaucracy will brook no argument nor will they be persuaded otherwise! Given below are some tips on the best way to ensure that your dream to teach in France comes true.
Expat teachers in France are experinced and usually teach English in Europe. Given the difficulties in getting work visas for teachers in France, there is no getting around the fact that your country of origin will determine your success in the job market. This is because schools are unwilling to sponsor a work visa for non-EU residents. This makes it much tougher for the latter to get a break to teach in France a high ranking entry of our best countries to teach English.
But, though tough, it is not impossible to get a job to teach in France if you are a native English speaker from America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia or some other part of the world (non-EU). However, if you are a non-native English speaker, then your chances of getting a job to teach in France are practically non-existent.
Here is a table that gives you the probability of getting an opportunity to teach in France depending on your citizenship.
In short, if you are an English-speaking European, then you make it to the top of the list of potential candidates who are likely to get a chance to teach in France.
Opportunities to teach in France are available in the private K-12 schools, private language institutes and universities. If you are an American, you can also explore the Teach Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). There are also government-to-government exchange programs with Canada and other countries. This is a route often used by expat teachers in France to get a job in the country.
Here is a pro-tip. Do not get hung up on getting a job in Paris. You will just make your task that much more difficult. France is a beautiful country with lots of lovely towns and cities. Do explore jobs in places like Toulouse, Marseille, Nantes, Lyon, Bordeaux, Nice, Strasbourg and Montpellier. They are great places to live.
The cost of living is also lower in these cities as compared to Paris. This is important as teachers in France do not earn very high salaries. You can always visit and explore Paris during the school holidays!
If you are looking for opportunities to teach in France’s private schools, be prepared to face tough competition. If you are an EU resident, it makes sense to come to France and to personally network and circulate your CV. Apply to the private schools only if you meet all their criteria. With so much of competition, the schools really have no reason to compromise or lower their entry requirements.
If you do not have the qualifications demanded by private schools, your best shot to teach in France might be to try out the private language schools. They are a bit more flexible as far as academic credentials are concerned.
Yet another opportunity for teachers in France lies with the corporate sector. Several companies hire English tutors in order to upgrade the language skills of their workforce. Again, networking plays an important role in getting access to such opportunities.
For Americans looking to teach in France, TAPIF is a good place to start. The Teaching Assistant Program in France offers you the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages. The program is open to citizens and permanent residents of the USA.
Nearly 1500 Americans are selected under the program every year. You will teach English in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of France such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion.
The academic year in France begins in September. Most private schools begin their recruitment process by June-July. If you plan to teach in France, it makes sense to do your research and get your resume ready by the month of May.
The first step is to find out the opportunities available in the coming academic sessions. Several international and private schools, including language schools, advertise openings on the internet. You can also make cold calls or send mails to schools asking about their requirements in the coming academic year.
Once you have a short-list of possible opportunities to teach in France, it is time to move to the next stage of the job search. EU residents have the advantage of being able to enter France and look for work without any legal formalities. Make the trip to France and visit the schools on your short list.
There is a financial cost involved but you will get first mover advantage. In addition, schools are likely to take a closer look at your application if you are right there on the ground and are able to personally follow up on any developments.
However, making a trip to explore opportunities to teach in France may not be financially viable for non-EU residents. The travel costs will be quite high. In addition, France is an expensive country. Expenditure on travel, boarding and lodgings may make an exploratory trip to France unaffordable. However, if a school is interested in your resume, they are generally open to having interviews via video conferencing apps.
You can also explore on-line job sites and recruitment agencies. Do check out various exchange and working holiday programs run by education institutes and the government.
Private language schools and companies hire language professionals throughout the year. So, if you have missed out on getting a job to teach in France for the coming academic session, you can send your application to language schools and business houses. If you are a non-EU resident, do check out if they are willing to sponsor you for a work visa.
If you do not have the right qualifications, it is extremely tough to teach in France. Most private schools require a four-year degree certificate as well as work experience. A TEFL or CELTA certification is also necessary. Your application will get to the second stage of scrutiny only if you have the relevant work experience. Most universities and corporate houses usually appoint candidates with a Master’s degree for their language courses.
However, if you have several years of work experience and a Bachelor’s degree, do send in your resume. If they are impressed by your body of work, they just might decide to overlook the lack of a higher degree. The smaller language schools may hire you even if you do not have a degree but do have TEFL or CELTA certification. However, be ready to make compromises visa-a-vis the salary and work environment.
Here is a quick guide to institutes/places you should apply to with your qualifications
There are no legal formalities for EU residents working as teachers in France. But non-EU residents have to go through a long and cumbersome process for a teacher’s work visa. It is important that the school sponsors your work visa. Be warned that most schools are unwilling to do so. French schools also do not hire teachers without the right work documents. You cannot work as a teacher in France on a tourist visa, with under the table payment!
Here are the steps involved in getting a work visa:
Teachers are paid relatively well, You can expect to earn around $30,000 - $35000 per year depending upon the assignment. Teachers in France get paid more than the likes of greece and spain, but less than the UK, Switzerland and Germany.
No you do not need to know French to teach English in France. Because you will be teaching English there is not a need to know french, however to help with your stay in France, it would be best to learn some basic French to help...They do say its the language of love too so why not!
Yes, of course you can teach English in France. However you do need to have to hit certain criteria to teach in France. These are:
A TEFL certificate will also help but it is not needed
Since it is very difficult to get a work visa, non-EU residents opt for other ways in order to teach in France. You will find that several teachers in France came to the country on a student visa. A student visa gives you permission to take on paid work of up to 964 hours in a single year. You will require a valid residency permit and provide assurances that the work does not interfere with the completion of your course.
Given below is the procedure to get a student visa:
Once your application is approved, the visa will be stamped on your passport.
Teaching is not a lucrative profession in France. Teachers in France make between $800-$2000 per month. If you are teaching in an international school, you may expect additional perks along with the basic salary. However, in most private schools, perks are unheard of and teachers in France get just their take home pay at the end of the month. Expat teachers in other countries do get perks like housing allowance and travel reimbursement.
But do not expect this in the French education system. With the competition for a position in their schools so intense, the French have little incentive to attract expats with additional perks and bonuses!
However, one of the advantages of working in France is that you do get between 6-10 weeks of vacation time. This gives you enough time to explore the country!
French schools normally function from 8 am to 4 pm. Saturdays are usually half days. Several private schools give the students a day off on Wednesday. This is to encourage children to take up extra activities like sports or music. One of the enjoyable aspects of teaching in France is the 2-hour long lunch breaks. Classrooms have a strength of 23-25 students.
Can you save money working as a teacher in France? Unfortunately, the answer is in the negative. France is an expensive country to live in. The Worldwide Cost of Living Survey (2020) ranked Paris as the fifth most expensive city in the world. Other French cities where the cost of living can be formidable include Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Bordeaux. Metz, Versailles and Montpellier are among the cheaper cities.
If you are located in Paris during your stint as a teacher in France, be prepared to spend a substantial percentage of your income (44%) on rent. In most other French cities, including Marseille and Nice, your rent would account for 20-25 percent of your monthly income. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city is as high as $750.
You can reduce your housing bill slightly if you move outside the city center. You may be able to rent an apartment outside the city center for $550-$600. Most French apartment complexes have an additional maintenance charge. The more upmarket the complex, the higher the charge. On an average, the maintenance charges will be around $30 dollar per square feet. The utility bill for electricity, water, cooling, heating and garbage collection will be an additional $150
One of the pleasures of living in Paris is the wonderful shopping scene! It is not all about fashion and clothes. Even something as mundane as shopping for grocery and food can be an exciting experience. The French prefer to shop at speciality and small neighbourhood grocery stores. Once you move to France, you will probably slip into the French habit of buying your daily bread from a particular bakery and the meat from your favourite butcher shop. The weekly markets are a delight and you can wander around the aisles picking up the freshest of produce.
It would be a pity to live in France and not sample the delicious French cuisine. From the lively cafes on the sidewalks to the gourmet restaurants, France offers a gastronomical journey that is quite unmatched by any other country in the world. From the simple baguette fresh from the oven to the slow cooked confit de canard, from the range of wines to the varieties of gateaux, French food is quite simply delicious.
Unfortunately, eating out frequently may not be possible on salaries paid to teachers in France. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant can cost you $15. A three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant for two people can set you back by $55.
France has excellent public transport. If you are in Paris, you will not need a car. The metro system covers the entire city. A monthly pass on the public transport system is around $60. If you buy a car, the maintenance, including fuel costs and parking fees, would work out to around $175 per month.
Given the high cost of living, expat teachers in France can at most hope to break even. There is very little scope or potential for savings.
The Eiffel and Louvre in Paris, the elegant French Riviera in Nice, the charming markets and quaint cafés in Marseille – France will seduce you with its charm and culture!
One of the highlights of your stint in France will undoubtedly be your exploration of French food. From light-as-air souffles to spectacular crepe flambe, the use of fresh ingredients, innovative flavors, beautiful presentation and flamboyant technique make every meal a delightful treat.
Take a journey through the French vineyards in the wine producing regions of Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. The beauty of the countryside, the stunning chateaux and the experience of wine tastings will leave you intoxicated for a few days!
Teachers in France have the privilege of working in one of the best education systems in the world. In addition, you get the chance to explore this exciting and much-visited country. The only downside is that given the high cost of living, the potential for savings is negligible. However, there is no denying that France is one of the most sought-after work abroad destination for professional and qualified teachers.
In short, if you want to teach in France, you must make your moves in a planned and organized manner. Your documentation has to be perfect; your qualifications must match the school’s requirements to the T. French schools and the famous French bureaucracy will brook no argument nor will they be persuaded otherwise! Given below are some tips on the best way to ensure that your dream to teach in France comes true.