Choicely located at the intersection of the River Lez and the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France, Montpellier is the ideal location for those looking to teach abroad in France in a comfortable climate while soaking up the French (and Spanish-influenced) culture. With a mix of international students, northern African traditions, and the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, Montpellier is a diverse, multicultural city waiting to be explored. Do you want to teach abroad in France with the beach, vineyards, Italy and Spain all close by? Then teaching in Montpellier is for you!
Teaching in Montpellier
The majority of teaching jobs in Montpellier entail teaching English as a foreign language. There are opportunities to teach English in Montpellier within formal schools (primary through high school), as an au-pair teaching children English, or by giving private lessons and tutoring. You can also find teaching opportunities within the business community, working with people who are trying to improve their English for work purposes. Since there is such a large student population, there are also many English teaching jobs in Montpellier working with college students who are trying to improve their language skills.
Both private and public schools accept foreign teachers, and are eager to welcome native English speakers to their classrooms to enrich their students’ curriculum through teaching English. The French are serious about their education, and while many French people may say they are nul with languages, they are also eager to learn English since it is becoming increasingly useful.
Keep in mind, prospective teachers are not required to know French in order to teach abroad in Montpellier. In fact, it might be a benefit to not speak French, so your students can benefit from full immersion. Of course, like any international experience, your time teaching in Montpellier will be enriched if you learn some French, because it will help get you through daily interactions. Some teaching placements in Montpellier will also offer French lessons for teachers, in addition to the opportunity to earn TEFL certification, which will make you a more competitive candidate when it comes to teaching jobs in formal institutions.
The French have a generous vacation system and teachers can count on getting time off, however time off is not necessarily paid. The typical school year runs from late September or early October through May or June. The good news is, paid or not, you can spend your holidays and teaching breaks on the beach or visiting the Mediterranean.
Life in Montpellier
The city’s location in the south of France means you will have great weather year round with mild seasons, and you will be just a train ride away from some of Europe’s most visited locations. Life as a teacher in Montpellier can be challenging; you will encounter the bureaucracy the French are known for, but don’t get discouraged. The lessons you will learn teaching abroad in Montpellier are worth the obstacles; you will be able to learn to navigate the education system and integrate into the French culture, to say the least.
The French can be private people with friend groups going back to when they were growing up, which makes breaking into those groups difficult. However, since Montpellier has a large student population, many of the people there are already from somewhere else. This luckily will facilitate your own integration as a teacher in a foreign place.
Living and teaching in Montpellier you will have the chance to not only work, but to enjoy high quality of life too. Combine the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle with fantastic French food and as many cultural opportunities as you can imagine, and that’s what you can expect from teaching abroad in Montpellier.
On the weekends you can put your books away and hop on a train to visit cities nearby, such as Cannes or Nice. The French Alps aren’t too far away either, so if you like the beach in the summer and the chance to ski or snowboard in the winter, then Montpellier is an ideal destination for you to teach abroad.
Salaries & Costs
Teachers can expect to be paid, but not a lot. The salary for teaching jobs in Montpellier can be enough to live on, although you may need to supplement your income with private tutoring in order to offset the high costs of city living. As a large city on the Mediterranean, Montpellier is an expensive (though not unaffordable) city. You can expect to pay $2 to $3 for a Coke and $15 for a meal out. Your placement provider or employer will be able to help you find housing and assist you in finding insurance while teaching in Montpellier, but you will likely need to cover the cost of your flight and meals.
Accommodation & Visas
Teachers typically live in shared housing with other teachers or in homestays. You will need a visa to teach in France, and should be ready to face the difficult process to procure it. Contact others who have already gone through the process to make sure you have all the documentation necessary, and many copies of said documentation. Your placement provider or employer can help you prepare for this arduous process.
Benefits & Challenges
Do you already have your TEFL or TESOL certification? If so, that’s great! If not, don’t fret! There are many opportunities to earn your TEFL or TESOL certificate and teach abroad in Montpellier; training in France will also help you acclimate to the French culture before diving in to teaching in Montpellier.
When you look back on your career, what do you want to see? Teaching abroad in Montpellier will allow you to look back on your career with pride. Finding a teaching job in Montpellier will take time and patience, but it’s possible. English speakers are most definitely sought after in this metropolitan French city.