The end of the year always means the opening of applications for TAPIF – the Teaching Assistant Program in France, which offers young people under 35 the opportunity to live and work in France, teaching English in a French public school, for 12 hours per week, from October through April.

I was a teaching assistant twice, first, during my study abroad year of 2007-2008, when I taught in two Paris elementary schools, and second, when I came back to France in 2009 and taught in Drancy, a small city just north of Paris which served as a deportation camp for Jews during the second world war. Teaching in Drancy with TAPIF is where I met my husband, and he’s still a teacher in the same town (different school).

For many young people, TAPIF is an exciting opportunity to live somewhere in France, have a part time job, and learn French, but the job isn’t without its drawbacks. For one thing, the pay is €780 after taxes, and it hasn’t increased since at least 2007. It wasn’t really enough to live on back then. And 12 hours per week means 12 hours of teaching time, not counting prep work and time spent in the school. It’s basically a glorified internship.

But, it’s a lot harder to find teaching opportunities in France than in some other countries, and around 1500 Americans teach with TAPIF every year. So I wanted to give you a few tips about TAPIF if you want to apply:

  • The application fee for TAPIF is $80, and applications are due around January 15. You’ll receive your acceptance in April, your visa paperwork over the summer, and you’ll start October 1. You won’t have to pay for your visa.
  • You can no longer do TAPIF as a student and you must have minimal proficiency in French.
  • If you’ve aged out of TAPIF but you have the right to work in France, you can apply locally with the rectorat of Education Nationale. There are always spots open at the beginning of the year.
  • No teaching experience, certification, or degree is required.
  • If accepted, you will get a “travailleur temporaire” visa which will enable you to live and work in France for the duration of your contract, without accepting other work.
  • If you want to renew your visa, you will have to find another company willing and able to sponsor you as an employee at the end of your TAPIF contract. You can switch from the TT visa to another work visa type.
  • If you are eligible to do TAPIF a second time, you will have to reapply through the US site and return at the end of your contract, to apply for a new visa. There is too much of a gap between the end of one contract and the start of the new academic year to renew the visa in France.
  • You cannot switch from a TAPIF visa to a student visa.

You can apply for the 2022-2023 school year through January 15, 2022 here: https://tapif.org/

Here are this week’s announcements: