Location
  • France
    • Nice
    • Montpellier
    • Lyon
    • Paris
    • Strasbourg
    • Bordeaux
    • Aix-en-Provence
    • Marseille
    • Grenoble
    • Nantes
    • Toulouse
    • Rennes
    • Tours
    • Normandy
    • Grenoble
Length
26 - 52 weeks
Classroom Audience
Pre-School Elementary Middle School High School

Program Details

Job Type
Government
Classroom Audience
Pre-School Elementary Middle School High School
Age Min.
20
Age Max
35

Pricing

Salary / Benefits
Teaching assistants receive a gross monthly salary of 1,011 euros from which deductions for mandatory health insurance and French social security are taken, resulting in a net salary of roughly 815 euros (approximately $860 USD). The stipend provides enough money to live the lifestyle of a typical French student. Teaching Assistants do not receive any additional support for travel to and from France or to support dependents. Personal funds are needed for the initial period of the grant. Teaching Assistants do have access to apply for the CAF, which is a French government subsidy program for the cost of lodging in France.

Assistants are fully covered by the national French healthcare system for the duration of their contract. Additionally, they will benefit from all school vacations that fall within their contract period. This adds up to roughly 7 to 8 weeks of paid vacation over the course of the 7-month contract.
What's Included (Extra)

60% of Teaching Assistants receive very low cost or free lodging within their assigned school.

Oct 30, 2023
Nov 19, 2023
106 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Teach English in France! Are you ready to expand your cultural horizons and share your language and culture with French students? 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. Each year, nearly 1,400 American citizens and permanent residents teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, & la Reunion.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

Assistants are assigned a 12-hour per week teaching schedule that may be divided among up to three establishments. Classes are conducted in English. The teaching assistant may conduct all or part of a class, typically leading conversations in English. Duties may include serving as a resource person in conversation groups, providing small group tutorials, and giving talks related to American studies in English classes.

Program Reviews

4.23 Rating
based on 22 reviews
  • 5 rating 50%
  • 4 rating 40.91%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 9.09%
  • Benefits 3.55
  • Support 3.5
  • Fun 3.75
  • Facilities 4.1
  • Safety 4.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 22 reviews
Default avatar
Carina
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Very enjoyable, but manage your expectations

*I am a current participant in my first year of the program and this review reflects my views as of this first month and a half.*

I'm greatly enjoying my experience with TAPIF! I think it can be a great option for those who want to live abroad, meet new people, practice French, and who feel prepared to be independent. I'm writing this review with the intention of sharing my own experience while also acknowledging where to manage expectations as experiences are very variable, and I've happened to be fortunate in many aspects.

It's important to note that this while TAPIF is a program, it is mainly a job allowing you to live and work in France--it does not have the same infrastructure as a study abroad program might. You will receive guiding information from the program, and depending on your professeur référent, you'll have some help when you get there, but you should be prepared to navigate the difficulties of opening a bank account, finding housing, and other logistics on your own. It's also important to have a decent level of French to navigate these situations!

I'm enjoying my city, Toulon, a lot, as well as the chance to explore other areas nearby. My teachers and advisor have all been kind and helpful, and I've enjoyed teaching at my schools and have just the right amount of responsibility and importance in the classroom. My city and school situation are two aspects that greatly contribute to my overall positive experience, however prospective applicants should be prepared for how variable these things can be. You can be assigned anywhere from a big city to a small, rural village, so keep that in mind if you feel you really want to be in a specific location. In terms of the school, you may find that teachers are not giving you enough work, giving you too much, etc, so it's important to communicate with them from the beginning and speak with your prof ref if you have any issues.

Making friends with the other assistants in my city has been one of the best parts of the program! There are many assistants in my area and everyone has been very friendly and enthusiastic to get together. I'd highly recommend finding/making a group chat for your region/city so you can start communicating with your fellow assistants early on.

SAVE UP BEFORE DOING TAPIF! Possibly your biggest challenge in this program will be living off the salary. You will see the number when you are completing your application, but take the time to really think about living on it month to month (keeping in mind that it will not be enough in big cities), and how feasible it will be depending on how much money you've saved up. You will not be able to work another contractual job (many assistants earn some cash on the side by tutoring or babysitting). Though I've truly enjoyed my time, this is an aspect of the program I think is worth taking into serious consideration before deciding to accept a position.

Pros
  • Free time (work only 12hrs/week) and lots of vacation time to travel and explore
  • Great opportunity to practice French
  • Meeting other assistants
Cons
  • Pay is difficult to live on
  • Sometimes receiving conflicting instructions regarding paperwork
  • Slow bureaucracy (inside and outside of the school system)
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Vida
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Do your research before but so worth it!

I did TAPIF after graduating and it was worth it. I was able to get a letter from the French Embassy to postpone my student loan repayment. I lived in a foyer and received the CAF and a transportation reimbursement. It does take time to get these things but they are retroactive.

Many TAPIF-ers except this to be an extension of their study abroad programs. While it is a way to get back to France, you are responsible for your own housing and setting up your social security and carte vitale. It is a great way to take time to figure out what comes next in life while exposing yourself to new things and taking initiative.

Make sure to be clear on your expectations with your prof ref before you come. If you do not communicate with them, then they do not know what you expect. I lucked out and only worked Mondays and Tuesdays, but some people work 2-hour shifts in the mornings all week or random hours like that. You will have to press your prof ref for things like your Pass Éducation (discount card for teachers) and things like that but that's just basic adulting. You'll have the resources you need but you have to take the initiative.

And you can work under the table jobs, tutoring/babysitting in English pays pretty well and once you find one family interested, it's easy to spread the word out. There's so many facebook groups like "Americans in France" or "English speakers in France" or more specific to the region/city you end up in. The pay is not as high as in the states so that can be a culture shock to some but take what you can get. Some have worked as bar tenders at restaurants for cash only but make sure you don't get money to deposited to your French bank account unless it is from your Academie. Some people have also done remote work/internships in the U.S. while doing TAPIF but be careful with the hours and working laws.

Also lots of opportunities to volunteer from feeding refugees to helping with clothing drives. I know one person who volunteered at a prison. Find meaningful ways to fill the time!

The experience is what you make out of it so do your research and save up some money before coming. Expect the unexpected and be opened to anything! Also the French are not as efficient as what we are used to in the U.S. Be patient and prepared to wait ages to get your carte vitale/social security, but it will all be worth it in the end. Especially, if you want to stay in france after doing TAPIF, it's a great way to take a year to set up your life here.

Pros
  • Pass Education and discounts for under 26 years old
  • French government benefits (CAF, APL, etc)
  • Cost of living is much cheaper than the U.S.
Cons
  • Pay - make sure you save up before going
  • Takes time to get French government benefits but it's retroactive
29 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Saaj
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great first teaching experience!

Having finished my program this past spring (April 2022), I can say I loved my experience in Paris! While it was a big city, it was easy to find a work/life balance that allowed me to travel throughout France while building relationships with my work colleagues. The teachers at my school were warm, welcoming, and patient when helping me transition to my new life abroad. I came into the job with a good knowledge of French and pedagogic basics, so TAPIF was a wonderful place to put that to practice

82 people found this review helpful.
Ari
1/5
No, I don't recommend this program

There are better ways to travel

This is by far the worst job I have ever had. I understand it’s the luck of the draw with schools, teachers and placement, but why does that have to be the case. Living in Paris should 100% mean more compensation than 790€ a month to pay monthly expenses of over 1000€ a month. Living in Paris is not cheap and they should know that.

The only perks comes outside of the classroom which I don’t consider perks at all. You have time to travel yes, but no money to do so. You get a visa, but are not allowed to exceed 30% of your income with a second job.

If you’re as unlucky as I was, you are placed in a school that never requested an assistant to begin with, so not only do they not WANT to deal with you and your paperwork, they don’t know how. I was informed at orientation that our secretaries would handle our social security, come to find out when it’s too late, that my friends and I have not received it and thus no health insurance. So we ended up paying for health insurance we could never use. On top of that, the schools are unforgiving when calling out, even months in advance. So in consequence, you have to go to work with debilitating fevers because you have no health insurance and no money to pay the 20€ out of pocket to see a doctor every week. It is important to know that you will most likely get sick considering working with kids and working in a new country.

Overall, this company places you in France but does nothing to help you process in assimilating nor compensates for the costs. The only benefits come from when you are not working, which should not be considered benefits if the job didn’t provide it. There are many legit companies that will send you abroad, pay for your ticket to get there and accommodations long enough for you to get assimilated. All of that, which a reasonable, livable salary.

There were times that I didn’t have money for food. I will be writing to me school to stop endorsing this program.

What would you improve about this program?
It needs to pay a livable salary if you will not allow more hours or a second job.
158 people found this review helpful.
Kyle
1/5
No, I don't recommend this program

TAPIF is an irresponsible organization

For those looking to teach for TAPIF, I would advise you to look elsewhere. The reasons for this are as follows:
1. The monthly stipend is not sufficient. Given the low amount of pay, it is nearly impossible to enjoy living in France. I had many financial difficulties, and I think that it is irresponsible for TAPIF to suggest at every step of the process that the stipend is sufficient for living. To suggest that students tutor on the side to make ends meet is also irresponsible, given that such activity is illegal.
2. The organization is extremely disorganized. Not only are assistants given very little training, but they are given very little advice in terms of how to deal with the day-to-day hassles of living in France. I was given contradictory information, told that I had free housing (when in fact the opposite was true) and not supported in the least by the program in terms of my desire to develop as a teacher.
3. The suggestion that assistants apply for CAF is misleading. In truth, the CAF system is extremely disorganized and unreliable. Assistants should not be told that they will get the money allotted to them. Furthermore, assistants should not be told to leave open their bank accounts after the program is over. I am currently dealing with a huge headache given the fact that my bank account is overdrawn and the CAF money TAPIF told me would be transferred is never going to come.

There are many other minor complaints that I have about this program, but these are the glaring issues. I think, overall, that the program presents a false reality at every step of the process. Be wary.

152 people found this review helpful.
Response from Teaching Assistant Program in France

The organization takes feedback from Teaching Assistants seriously. We have passed this feedback along to the CIEP, the agency in France that oversees all 4,500 Teaching Assistants each year.

The CIEP has contacted the school in which Mr. Dunn was placed to ensure that the miscommunication regarding housing options does not occur again. The stipend is set by the French government and communicated to all applicants and assistants throughout the process.

We will take into consideration this feedback regarding the CAF in future communications and guidebooks for Teaching Assistants. The program has no authority over the CAF, a French government housing subsidy for which some Teaching Assistants are eligible. The program does not guarantee the CAF subsidy.

We appreciate feedback and take it seriously to better inform program improvements.

Default avatar
Anna
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Glad I Did It

The Teaching Assistant Program in France allows you to live and work in France as an English Language Assistant for 7 months (October-April). The program helps you procure a visa and but once you arrive in France, the program is basically done with you, aside from a making sure you are able to take the necessary steps to validate your visa. If you're looking for advice, or need your hand-held that's not happening. While I had tutoring experience, I wasn't quite prepared for how difficult teaching can be, especially being stationed in a vocational school where the students were understandably more interested in their work placements than learning English. Still, most of the staff where I worked were kind, welcoming and interested in American life and I was very happy with the accommodation I rented at the school (although most of the people I asked agreed, the rent was unusually high). As an African American assigned to a small town in Northern France, I was surprised by the amount of diversity I encountered. I never felt uncomfortable.

I wish we had received a better orientation, something that would explain the French school system to us and offered us some pedagogy and advice about classroom management. Two hours worth of workshops do not prepare you to stand up in a classroom full of French high school students, and your high school and college French classes may not have given you the adequate vocabulary to give a student a good talking to! Still, I had a great experience overall. I had my favorite groups and teachers to work with, and the other language assistants at the school where I worked were awesome. Although we weren't all from the same country, and didn't all speak English, I really made two lifelong friends. They were my main support system and we operated as both friends and family while abroad. I knew they always had my back. France offers ample school vacations and I was able to use that time to travel to several different countries. The school even allowed me extra time off when my family came to visit. I learned an amazing amount, met people from countless other countries, solo traveled out of the States for the first time and really broadened my horizons. Would definitely recommend.

What would you improve about this program?
More supports from the program immediately after arrival such as an explanation of the French school system, for example grade levels and grading.
138 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Gabriella
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Independence Through TAPIF

TAPIF was a real lesson in independence in another country, for me. Although the word "program" is in the name, TAPIF provides more of a loose outline for what is provided, and what happens as a result, is very much up to you. For instance, you are assigned a specific school, or perhaps multiple schools, however work hours and conditions are something you need to discuss with teachers and administrators. Often times, teachers are so thankful to have you at their school and will want to make full use of you in their classrooms. It can be a very rewarding experience to work with kids ranging in ages from primary, middle, and high school ages, and gives many teaching assistants a good idea of how they feel about teaching.

As teaching assistants, you are paid about $1,039 per month, which is not much, however many make it stretch by nannying and doing other part-time jobs in the communities where they live. There is also a lot of free time to travel, as there are about two weeks of vacation every six weeks, and assistants work only 12 hours per week.

If you are interested in having a more immersive and rich experience with day-to-day life in France, TAPIF can allow you to meet and form relationships with the teachers you work with, the students you teach in the classroom, as well as with TAPIF assistants from around the world, and other community members. As always, the experience is what you make it, so don't be afraid to use your time there to explore and form as many relationships as possible!

What would you improve about this program?
Many TAPIF American teaching assistants do not understand that this is not the type of program that provides a lot of "hand holding". This is by no means a bad thing, but I believe this could be better communicated to its applicants to avoid misunderstandings.
139 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Rachel
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Challenging, but worthwhile

I participated in the TAPIF program during the 2014-2015 school year in two middle schools located in very rural southern France communities.

As someone with previous teaching experience (in Peace Corps and AmeriCorps), I definitely walked into TAPIF thinking that I knew what was in store for me. Turns out, I was totally wrong! The things that I thought I would have difficulty with (language, making friends, etc) were the easiest - and the most difficult was the actual job. It was difficult in the sense that there is a set curriculum for English at every level of the French education system, so there was already a plan for what I would do, what I would teach to what grades, etc. All my previous teaching positions had required a much larger amount of creativity from me, as I created the curricula, all the content, and implementation. I serious lacked this with TAPIF.

But with that being said, you only work 12 hours a week. Your job is so minimal that you have so much time to make the most of your year abroad. I took yoga classes, traveled, read so many books, go to concerts.. As long as you're willing to roll with the punches and make lemonade out of a few lemons (if you happen to stumble across them!), you'll cherish this year in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

What would you improve about this program?
There should be more coordination between the regional language director (the person who places you in your schools, hosts the trainings, and is your general contact for any questions / concerns during the year) and the school in which you work. The schools often lacked or misunderstood the fundamentals of what the English Teaching Assistant position was supposed to be. For example, as a teaching assistant at the elementary level, I was never supposed to be alone in the classroom - but often found myself that way when teachers would utilize that time to make copies or plan for a later class. Problems like these were easily resolved once I spoke with the regional language director, but could easily be resolved if participating school teachers underwent a sort of training seminar before a ETA was placed in their school.

Another thing I would change - extend the position to the entire school year! I missed out on a couple really awesome events at the end of the school year that I would have loved to go to because the program only runs October through April.
140 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story

Questions & Answers

To apply through TAPIF, you must be an American citizen or permanent resident. However, the program hires Assistants from 60 countries to teach 15 languages every year. See if your country is eligible here: http://www.ciep.fr/assistants-etrangers-france/pays-concern…

All applicants are required to have at least a B1 proficiency level in French in order to be considered. TAPIF is the North American cohort of the CIEP's Assistants de langue en France. To apply through TAPIF, you need to be an American citizen or permanent resident. That being said, the broader CIEP Assistants de langue en France program recruits Teaching Assistants from 60 countries. See more at...

I disagree with Justine. Many of the teaching assistants nanny, babysit, or tutor to supplement their income. As long as it does not prevent you from doing your job—ie. teaching as an English language assistant in a French school—you can certainly do so. Au pair jobs are not permitted, as this would interfere.

Hi Alannah-Lingo, I was just accepted into the program for the upcoming school year, so I hoped you could answer a housing-related question for me. I see that you mentioned that you lived in housing that was offered through your school. I'm fortunate enough that I have been offered the same housing arrangement through mine. Since I'll be away from home for quite a while, my sister and a couple of...