Are you interested in a job teaching English in France? You might be surprised to learn that it's surprisingly easy to find a position.
Unlike other countries where advanced qualifications are required, the French are more likely to hire native English-speaking teachers based on other credentials. While it's wise to approach the job with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate in hand, advanced degrees and credentials are not necessary. If you have a Bachelor's Degree in almost any subject and a working knowledge of French, you're already well on your way to a job.
You will be required to have a work visa for teaching English in France. It is possible to work part-time hours in France while traveling on a student visa, but this should not be considered as a main way of supporting yourself. If you're serious about the career and plan to do it for any extended amount of time, it's best to get a work visa.
Getting your visa will require finding a company that is willing to hire you and sponsor you throughout the process. While it's possible to make a connection with a specific employer and find a position directly, you're much better off locating an agency that can help place you. France has many resources for would-be English teachers looking for available positions.
The Cultural Service of the French Embassy provides placement for English teachers and teaching assistants. Most positions are in lower-level educational facilities or in teacher's training colleges. You may also find a job through the French Council Exchanges. Do some online research and put the names of these organizations into search engines to learn more.
Teaching English in France is also possible at a more casual level. If you're not interested in getting involved with a school, college, or corporation, consider teaching private lessons. Private teachers who travel to people's homes to teach English can expect to earn about 15-20 Euros per session. You most likely won't make a living doing this, but it can be a great way to supplement your income if you're planning on staying in France.
A unique development in the field of teaching English in France involves teaching over the telephone. Although this method is catching on in many countries, it is particularly popular in France, and it offers teachers the opportunity to do their jobs without having to leave their home countries. Some might argue that living in France is the best part of becoming an English teacher. However, if your life doesn't permit travel but you're still interested in a TEFL career, telephone teaching is another option to explore.
If you're interested in the French culture and have a working knowledge of the language, teaching English in France can be a great way to support yourself while experiencing a different culture. If you've chosen this field, be prepared to do your research before embarking on your adventure. It'll take some work, but it's very possible to make this your lifelong career.
By Michelle Simmons