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Top 21 Tips for Finding Jobs Teaching English in France

Finding an English teaching job in France for foreigners can be a competitive process, but there are several strategies and tips you can use to increase your chances of success. 

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With the exceptions of assistantship programs operated by the French government or the British Council, those looking to teach English in France will find the vast majority of teaching and tutoring opportunities in person locally on the ground in France. Most language schools interview prospective teachers face-to-face in France. While part-time and free-lancing opportunities can for teaching English in France be found year-round, we still highly recommend that you plan on being in France during the end of summer (late August–early October) and in January. Some summer camps and schools also recruit during the winter and spring for summer opportunities.

English Teaching Jobs in France for Foreigners: Tips & Strategies

Finding employment as an English teacher in France can be a challenge, but by following a few key strategies, you can increase your chances of success. Here are 21 tips to consider:

1. Have a TEFL Certification

The first thing you will need is a professional TEFL certification to be considered for an English teaching job in France. Don't bother showing up without it, you will have a sad trip home a few weeks later when no school will hire you without it.

Read more:

2. Go to France

Here's another ESL Jobs in France Tip for you. The vast majority of language schools interview and hire new English teachers locally in France. Each year, thousands of foreign English teachers across France leave their jobs, creating a strong demand for new teachers.

The prospect of going to France to interview without having a job lined up before you leave home may seem daunting, but every year virtually every International TEFL Academy graduate who goes to France to interview during major hiring seasons gets hired. Why? Because the jobs are there, you need to take initiative, be prepared and go to France to get hired as an English teacher.

ITA Grad Kristen Bryk teaches English in Paris, France

3. Be Financially Prepared

Arrive in France with enough financial resources to support yourself for 4-6 weeks (not including airfare). Even if you begin teaching right away, most schools will not pay you upfront, so you will need to support yourself until you start receiving paychecks. Costs will vary depending on where you plan on living, but if you will be paying for your accommodations, we recommend that you arrive with access to cash and/or credit of at least $3,600 or €2,600.

Read more: How Much Do English Teachers Make in France?


4. Consider the TAPIF Program

The French Government's TAPIF Program represents the most opportunities for Americans to teach English in France. This program recruits Americans to teach as assistant language teachers in France for the duration of the school year (approximately October 1 - April 30). This program receives applications in advance (typically due on January 15) and accepted participants are provided with a work visa, a stipend for living expenses and health insurance.

Read more: TAPIF Program


5. Know Your Visa Options

Work visas are hard to come by for Americans and other non-EU citizens looking to teach English in France and unlike in some other countries it is not common for schools to hire non-EU teachers on tourist visas "under the table." However, it is possible for Americans to work and teach English legally in France on a student visa. 

If you have a schedule of classes with approved language schools in France, Spain or Italy you will be able to obtain up to a 12-month student visa that enables you to teach English legally in one of these nations (your visa last during the length of your class registration). 

Read more: How to apply for a Student Visa to legally teach English in France.


6. Leverage Your UK & EU Citizenship (If Applicable)

Citizens of the UK (pending finalization of Brexit), Ireland and other EU countries do not need a work permit or visa to teach English in France.  TEFL in Paris, France

7. Explore Your Eligibility for a Working Holiday Visa (If Applicable)

Citizens of Canada, Australia and New Zealand may also find it hard to get work visas but may be able to teach on a student visa and those between the ages of 18-30 may also apply for a working holiday visa that enables them to live, travel and work in France for 12 months. Those interested in such a visa should contact the French consulate in their home nation.


8. Plan for Your Accommodation

If you do not have accommodations lined up such as family or friends, plan on spending your first month in a hostel or some other budget-friendly accommodations. Use resources such as Lonely Planet guides to find such venues.


9. Leverage Your Social Circle

If you have friends or relatives in France, have them scout out local schools before your arrival. Also, have them inquire with friends and colleagues to see if they might be interested in private lessons – this will enable you to start making money and getting experience as soon as you arrive.


10. Get a Local Phone

As soon as you arrive, get a local phone with a local number and make sure to include the number on your resume and in all correspondence.


11. Translate Your Resume in French

Have your resume/c.v. and cover letter translated into French. Also, make business cards for yourself as soon as possible that list you as TEFL-certified.


12. Use Relevant Resources

Use resources like ESL Base France to locate schools in the area where you seek to work (students and graduates of International TEFL Academy courses will receive contact information for hundreds of schools in France and thousands of schools around the world as part of their lifetime job search guidance).


13. Checkout the "Page Jaunes" Index

To find schools to contact for interviews, use every resource at your disposal, including the French Yellow Pages at Call and research schools online to make sure they are still operational before visiting them personally.


14. Contact Local Schools

The best way to get an interview is to visit and call schools personally – do not simply sit in an Internet café and email resumes as this will not prove effective.


15. Market yourself as a Private Tutor

Start marketing yourself as a private tutor immediately and aggressively. There is a huge demand for private lessons and tutoring. You can also offer English lessons privately in people’s homes starting at Euro 15-20 a session. France is one country where knowledge of the local language is a huge asset, particularly when it comes to freelancing and arranging private lessons.

TEFL France

16. Explore Part-time Options

Many language schools, corporate trainers and businesses looking to hire in-house English teachers will employ English teachers on a contract, part-time and/or short-term basis, so don't count on getting a full-time offer right off the bat and be willing to take advantage of part-time opportunities right away.       


17. Post on Bulletin Boards

We recommend posting notices on bulletin boards in and around major universities as well as cafes and other highly trafficked areas. You may also consider posting ads in local publications as well, and word of mouth can be key, so make business cards and ask friends and acquaintances if they know anybody in search of private English lessons. 


18. Seek Local Teaching Community

Search out the local teaching community; find out where they hang out, talk to them and build relationships. Word-of-mouth and personal referrals can be excellent way to find local ESL job opportunities in France.


19. Adopt Correct Teaching Attire

Dress professionally and conservatively when meeting prospective employers; remove facial piercings (if possible).  Always arrive on time or early for interviews.    


20. Consider Teaching Business English

Business English is a big deal for teaching English in the French market so teachers with corporate or business experience will want to market it.


21. Consider Summer Camps

For those looking for summer opportunities, there are a variety of English language summer camps in France.  Most will hire local English teachers between the ages of 20 and 30, but some camps in France do recruit counselors and English teachers directly from the U.S. during winter and spring for the following summer. All International TEFL Academy students and graduates TEFL graduates all receive an extensive summer camp directory to assist them in finding summer opportunities in France and elsewhere.


Going further: I'm an American teaching in France: What are my options?


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