FAQs About Teaching Assistant Program in France 2023/2024

Filed in Article, Education by on August 31, 2022 0 Comments

We have received numerous comments from our visitors about Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Teaching Assistant Program in France. I know you are one of the people that like asking this question. Don’t bother yourself anymore because this informative article is been written to give an answer to your questions.

About Teaching Assistance Program In France

The Teaching Assistance Program In France (TAPIF) is a program run by the French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services of The French Embassy that places Americans between 20-35 years of age as assistant English teachers in elementary and secondary schools throughout France.

The program’s goal is to strengthen foreign-language instruction in French schools by establishing a native speaker presence, while also providing young professionals from around the world with initial international teaching experience and first-hand knowledge of the French language and culture.

FAQs About Teaching Assistant Program in France

Do I Need To Speak French?

Yes. Applicants must have intermediate proficiency in French. In order to be eligible to apply to TAPIF, you must have a French proficiency of B1 or higher on the CEFR Scale. You should be comfortable enough in the French language to complete daily tasks, hold conversations of substance, and manage a classroom of French students.

Assistants are required to do a number of tasks all in French, including completing immigration paperwork, opening a bank account, going to a medical visit, and working with French teaching colleagues on a daily basis. Having the required level of proficiency is therefore essential to have a positive and successful experience as a Teaching Assistant in France!

Can I Still Apply If I Don’t Have A B1 French Level Yet?

We cannot take future French courses into account, so you must demonstrate that you have the requisite French language skills AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION.

If you will not have attained the B1 level by the application deadline, we encourage you to keep learning French and apply for the following year’s program.

Where Do I Apply?

Applications will open for the 2023-2024 school year in mid-October 2022.

When Is The Application Deadline?

The application submission deadline for the 2023-2024 school year will be January 15th, 2023.

Who Is The Typical TAPIF Participant?

Most TAPIF program participants have just finished college and do the program during the school year after they graduate (to do this, you need to apply during the fall of your senior year of college).

We welcome applicants between the ages of 20 and 35 who are interested in teaching English in France. A number of TAPIF participants have just finished graduate studies or are young professionals looking for a new challenge. Many applicants are teachers and educators taking this year to immerse themselves in the French language. As long as you meet the program’s eligibility criteria, we encourage you to apply!

Teaching assistants come from all fields of study. While we do have many French majors and minors in the program, we also have many assistants with backgrounds in other fields like education, international relations, political science, history, English, science, etc. Most selected participants have taken at least a few French courses in college or have demonstrated a serious study of French after graduation.

What Is The Acceptance Rate?

For example: for the 2018-2019 program, approximately 2,000 people applied for roughly 1,100 available positions. After ranking applicants based on the program’s application evaluation criteria, the top 1,100 applicants were immediately offered positions in early April.

Approximately 400 other applicants were kept on the waiting list. A large number of accepted applicants withdraw over the course of the summer, meaning that roughly 300 waitlisted candidates were eventually offered positions for the 2018-2019 program. The remaining candidates were not offered positions.

Applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the most qualified candidates receive offers in the spring.

How Are Applications Evaluated?

Applications are evaluated based on a number of criteria that are indicative of a candidate’s potential for successful participation in the program:

  • French-language skills (applicants must demonstrate a proficient level of French equivalent to level B1 on the European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • Teaching experience
  • Experience working with children or young adults
  • Experience living abroad
  • The level of the applicant’s university studies
  • General motivation.

Applications are ranked based on the above criteria and acceptance/placement decisions are made starting with the most qualified applicants.

I Applied To TAPIF In The Past. Can I Apply Again?

Past applicants who were not accepted to the program or who withdrew from the program over the summer are welcome to reapply for a new academic year. Prior applicants, regardless of the result of their application, will be given equal consideration (i.e. no advantage or disadvantage) during the application review process.

If you submitted an application in the past five years (for the 2016-2017 school year or later), we want to make it easy for you to reapply by having access to your previous application. Here is what you should do:

  • Create a new dossier for 2023-2024 on tapif.org by clicking Sign-Up. You can use an email address you have used in the past, but you’ll need to create a new password and verify this. If you created or submitted an application for the 2019-2020 school year or later, your application will automatically transfer if you use the same email address to create your account on the 2023-2024 application platform as you did for your last application.
  • If you submitted an application prior to the 2019-2020 school year, email the Program Manager at jaffe@frenchculture.org with the subject line PREVIOUS APPLICANT. In the email, please list 1) your full name, 2) the year you submitted the previous TAPIF application, 3) the email address you used on the previous application, and 4) the email you used for the new 2023-2024 application.

We will then transfer your dossier to the 2023-2024 school year and email you shortly with new log-in information. You will be able to log-in to see your old completed application. You can modify it, or submit it as is. You will still be required to pay the application fee.

Note for previous applicants who applied prior to the 2019-2020 school year: You must have SUBMITTED your application in the past in order for us to access this information. If you started an application but did not submit it, we are not able to use that application for this school year.

What Is The TAPIF Application Like?

The online application to TAPIF is similar to a typical online application. You will be asked to provide basic information about yourself, your academic background, your experience with the French language, your experience teaching or working with young people, and your experience living or working abroad.

You will also need to provide a statement of purpose about why you want to be a Teaching Assistant in France. This statement is to be written IN FRENCH (approximately 500 words in length) and must NOT be proofread or corrected by anyone with a knowledge of the French language.

You will also need to provide the following documents:

  • A scan of your passport. Your passport must be valid through at least October 31st of the year in which you would end your teaching contract with the program. For example, if you want to apply to the 2023-2024 program, your passport would need to remain valid through October 30, 2024. If you do not have a passport, if your passport has expired, or if it will expire before that October date, you should start the passport application/renewal process immediately in order to have it before the TAPIF application deadline. Applications missing the passport scan will be considered incomplete.
  • If you are a permanent resident of the U.S.: A scan of your U.S. green card in addition to the scan of your currently-valid passport from your country of citizenship.
  • A scan of your official university transcript. Print-outs of unofficial online transcripts are NOT acceptable. Plan ahead in order to obtain a hard-copy official transcript from your university registrar before the application deadline.
  • You will also need one language evaluation from a university French professor or a language evaluator from the Alliance Française, and one recommendation from a different person who knows you in an academic or professional capacity. These recommenders will be registered in your online application, and each person will be asked to complete an online recommendation form that will be electronically attached to your application. Paper letters of recommendation will NOT be accepted. (If you do not have access to a university French professor or Alliance Française language evaluator to complete the “language evaluation” recommendation, then you may take a standardized French language test and submit those scores instead. For more information, see the “French Skills” section above.)
How Can I Prepare To Apply?

Gather the documents listed above.

You should also keep working on your French-language skills and try to gain as much experience as possible teaching or working with young people. These two elements of the application can be the deciding factors as to whether an applicant gets accepted to the program or not.

When Will I Hear Back With A Decision?

Decisions are typically sent out by e-mail with in the month of April. However, due to the current health context as well as administrative delays beyond the control of the program, this timeline is currently subject to some change.

If there will be a significant delay in acceptance results, candidates will be notified by the U. S. program manager via email.

You will be notified whether your candidacy has been selected or declined.

Will I Need A Visa?

Yes. Teaching assistants must obtain a long-stay work visa IN PERSON from the VFS center of their choosing in the U.S. Costs of travel to the assistant’s regional VFS office are NOT covered by the program.

Please note that work visas for assistants usually take 1-3 weeks to be issued. Exact processing times depend on the VFS center and the consular jurisdiction, however, so please consult the website for your regional French consulate’s visa service for more information.

Assistants should plan on being in the U.S. during the entire month of August and up through late September to allow enough time to complete the necessary visa procedures.

Can Couples Do This Program?

Couples are welcome to apply to the program, however, each person must apply individually and each person’s application will be evaluated separately based on the standard TAPIF criteria. Each person must qualify individually before we will take the applicants’ status as a couple into account.

This means we would not automatically accept a significant other who is not qualified for the program simply because the other member of the couple is very qualified. If both people are accepted to the program on their individual merits, only then will we take couple’s status into account (when making placement decisions).

The program application includes a question about civil status/applying as a couple, so this would let us know that you are applying together. If both members of the couple are accepted, we would do our best to place you together in the same region. We recommend requesting some of the less popular regions in order to give yourselves the best chance of being placed together.

As placement decisions are done on merit (and the most qualified applicants get placed first), it can be very tough for two people to both receive placements in very popular (and therefore very competitive) Académies like Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon, Grenoble, etc. Your chances of being placed in the same region are higher if you both select Académies that receive fewer overall requests, like Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Reims, and Rouen.

If both people are accepted into the program and placed in the same region, then it is up to the school district to make the specific town and school assignments. The Académies usually do their best to keep couples together.

If one member of a couple applies to TAPIF and the other does not (or if both people apply and only one is accepted), then the accepted person is responsible for researching visa requirements for bringing the other person to France.

Americans are allowed to travel in France for up to 90 days as tourists (without a visa), however after this amount of time, the non-assistant must have a visa. Many accompanying significant others go to France as students by enrolling in an academic program in France for the year – student visas are much easier to obtain than other long-stay visas, and this way, the person can go to France and take some classes for the length of the other person’s assistant contract.

Can I Bring A Child Or Dependent With Me To France On My Assistant Visa?

No. The assistant visa does not provide any coverage for dependents, nor does it provide a pathway to obtaining a visa for dependents. You will need to research your options independently if you wish to bring a dependent with you to France while working as an English Language Assistant. Neither the U. S. Program Manager nor France Éducation International is in a position to provide any guidance on this topic.

Will There Be A Specific Dress Code At My School?

You will be expected to dress in a manner that is appropriate to the context of an elementary, middle, or high school. Business casual attire is perfectly acceptable. Please also note that France’s laws regarding la laïcité prohibit the wearing of explicitly religious symbols in schools. This includes any sort of religious head or facial covering.

How Much Money Will I Need For Start-Up Expenses?

Assistants are responsible for purchasing their own plane tickets to and from France. Assistants are also responsible for the costs of travel to and from their regional French consulate in the U.S. for the visa application process.

Most assistants leave for France with at least $2,000 in savings to help cover the initial startup costs during the first couple of months they are in France (assistants who want extra spending money or who want to travel during weekends and school breaks usually bring more than $2,000). You would not receive your first paycheck until the end of October at the earliest, so you would need some money to live on between your arrival and at least the end of October.

Depending on your housing situation, you may need enough money to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent on an apartment. You should work on the assumption that you will have to find your own housing in France. This way, if you are provided with housing by your school, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and will have some extra money saved up.

Is There A Program Fee?

There is a non-refundable $80 application fee to apply to the program. After that, there is no fee for participating in the program.

However, assistants are responsible for purchasing their plane tickets to and from France and must cover any costs associated with traveling to their regional VFS center in the U.S. for the visa application process (there is no visa application fee, but assistants will be required to pay a $37 processing fee to VFS during their visa appointment). Assistants should also plan to bring at least $2,000 with them to France to cover start-up expenses since the first month’s salary is not paid until the end of October.

Does The Program Pay For My Plane Tickets?

The program does NOT cover airfare to and from France, nor does it cover the costs of travel to the regional VFS visa processing office for the mandatory in-person visa appointment. Please budget accordingly.

Can Assistants Have Second Jobs In France?

Assistants are generally not allowed to have second official jobs within the bounds of their visa. Rules are subject to change by the school district and regional labor authority. Assistants are advised to check directly with their school contact person in France to find out if second jobs are allowed (and if so, what rules apply). Many assistants earn extra money by tutoring, babysitting, or becoming an au pair.

What’s your take on this? We believe this article was helpful, if yes, don’t hesitate to share this information with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other Social Platforms.

Leave a Reply