Aside from being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, France is also an attractive destination for those who want to teach English abroad. Individuals who choose to teach abroad in France will be able to explore French cuisine and culture, stroll through the romantic streets of Montmartre in Paris, snack on a baguette in Toulouse, or soak up the sun on the beaches of Marseilles outside the classroom too. Thankfully, searching for teaching jobs in France provides individuals with many options to pursue their dream to teach english abroad as well.
Where can international teachers find teaching jobs in France? Begin with teaching programs in Bordeaux, Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier, Toulouse, and of course, Paris. While Paris can be the most challenging and competitive when it comes to teaching in France, it is the most popular city by far. The City of Lights is world renowned for its art, architecture, and gastronomy. But, teachers can expect a higher cost of living there as well.
With a strong focus on business, Lyon is a great city to look for placements that involve teaching English to businessmen and women, or corporations.
Montpellier, a city in the south of France, is quickly growing as well; its demand for English teachers is ever increasing and it’s a good location for teachers in search of a slightly lower cost of living.
Bordeaux, Grenoble, and Toulouse offer international teachers with a great deal of experience opportunities to obtain teachings jobs at universities, teaching English and other subjects, as well as teaching English to toddlers and babies.
Luckily, English classes are offered at institutions all across France, so individuals who want to start teaching in France will easily find an organized language center, a private language institute, private tutoring positions (including those as a live-in English tutor), and many more options to teach in France.
Teaching Jobs in France
Teaching English in France is the most popular placement for international teachers in France. The English language is not a part of school curriculums in France until late high school, so many students look for supplementary ways to augment their learning. Business professionals also regularly seek English for Business lessons to improve their skills for greater career advancement. The need for English communication skills within business is a growing area in Europe in general.
Private language institutes and language schools cater their offerings to both students and business professionals. They are the most likely places to find employment. Language schools will require an undergraduate degree and a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification. Many also require at least some teaching experience. The French government has also started recruiting teachers from the U.S. to help in kindergartens and primary schools.
Private language tutoring is a less restrictive option, but teachers still need to fill out paperwork based on their earnings. It can be a great option for teachers looking to make some extra money while on short term visas, or for students living in France. Private lessons are in high demand, and can earn teachers $20 to $40 USD an hour. Having a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification makes you more credible and helps in finding higher paying gigs. Proficiency in French is also helpful in arranging private tutoring.
The academic year in France follows a similar timeline to the U.S. The typical school year is broken up into five seven week periods of study and four holiday periods totalling two weeks of time off. France is actually divided into three zones which can dictate different school holiday timing.
Salaries & Costs
Teachers looking to make the big bucks in France will be sorely disappointed. Rates vary based on the teaching placement, but teachers in larger cities like Paris can expect a higher salary. The average salary for individuals teaching in France ranges from about $1,300 to $2,500 USD a month for full time teaching positions. This will cover most living expenses if you’re conscientious of managing your budget.
Part-time teaching or private tutoring jobs in France can yield anywhere from about $500 up to $1,000 USD per month for a commitment of around 20 hours. For those with more experience, university teaching positions may be an option (though competitive) that can provide benefits and a higher yearly salary.
Sometimes teaching English in France can require teachers to work only 15 hours a week, and at other times international teachers could be required to teach for over 30 hours, it all depends on the teaching placement and program..
In general, the cost of living for individuals teaching in France can be considered expensive, when compared to teach abroad locations in the rest of the world. However, it is fairly reasonable when compared to other EU countries, like the United Kingdom. Meals are affordable and similarly priced to many areas of the United States.
Accommodation & Visas
Many teaching placements in France will provide room and board or place teachers in a local homestay, while others leave it up to the teacher to secure housing in an apartment.
Work visas can be hard to get for non-EU citizens wanting to teach in France. This is mostly because the employer has to be able to show that no other EU teacher can do the same job. With an constant influx of teachers from other EU nations, this can prove quite challenging in France. Some programs will help you obtain a visa, and the Ministry of Education will support American teachers in obtaining their visa if they are on a government sponsored Teacher Assistant of Working Holiday program. Keep in mind that the under-the-table hiring of teachers on tourist visas that may be common in other countries does not happen in France. However, students interested in teaching on the side are able to teach under a student visa.
Benefits & Challenges
Language. Having a good understanding of French goes a long way. Taking a few classes is recommended if you want to put your best foot forward when looking at teaching placements. This allows for better communication with students and other teachers, and shows a commitment to working in France. While proficiency in French is valued highly, it’s not required for most teaching positions, since being a native English speaker is the main skill teach abroad program providers are looking for in potential teachers.
Competition. Paris is a competitive place for teaching English in France. Increase your odds of getting a teaching placement by looking into smaller rurals areas.
Dress. Make sure to take your professional appearance seriously. Known as the heart of the fashion industry, the way you dress in France can dictate how you are judged.