Find Your Dream TEFL Job

Quick Facts

  • Degree Required

    Bachelor’s Degree

  • Salary

    $1,300-1,900/month

  • Visa

    Work Visa in advance / EU passport holders

  • Age

    21-60

  • Contract

    10-12 months

  • Cost of Living

    $1,750+/month

  • Typical Students

    Business Professionals, Children

  • Interview

    In person

What Kind of Teaching Jobs Are There In France?

There are teaching opportunities at public schools, private schools and private language schools in France. Competition for English speaking jobs in France is high and applicants are expected to have high qualifications, especially for jobs in the education sector.

Teaching English in France at public schools and private schools

French schools have a high standard of education and are known to have high expectations for their teachers too. Students endure tests regularly and parents are known to be quite involved in their children’s schooling – which can be a good or a bad thing for you!

Finding a job

Most teaching positions in France are posted online and interviews are held via video call. Positions at public schools and private schools are very competitive and usually require great qualifications as well as teaching experience. You’ll often be expected to have a Bachelor’s degree (though a Master’s degree is preferred), a teaching license from your home country, one or two years of teaching experience, and a CELTA. Though, there are a few employers that will accept a TEFL certificate instead of a CELTA.

You can also apply to be a language assistant at a public school through a teaching programme. In general, you’ll need to be under a certain age, have at least B1-level French, and fulfil a number of other requirements. The programme will then place you in a French school for several months where you’ll work as an English language assistant.

When to apply

The French school year starts in September and most teaching positions are advertised for over the summer holidays. You can start applying for jobs as early as June or as late as August – though applying earlier will give you a better chance of securing a teaching position. If you miss this window, you can also search for work in October, ready to start teaching in the new term in January.

Teaching hours & Class sizes

School days are longer in France than many other places in the world. Teaching usually starts at 9am and ends at 6pm, Monday to Friday. Though, some public schools have a half day on Wednesday and may hold classes for older students on Saturdays.

There are usually 30+ students per classes in public schools and fewer students per class in private schools.

Salary & Bonuses

Salaries at public and private schools start at $1,900 per month, with higher wages for those with more qualifications and experience. Most schools don’t offer bonuses, but some particularly outstanding private international schools may offer bonuses.

Vacation

Teachers at public and private school in France are fortunate to have long breaks between term times. In fact, on average, the French take between 5 and 10 weeks of holiday per year. However, every school is different and not all employers will offer paid leave – so make sure to check your contract carefully!

Pros

  • Known for a well-run education system and great resources
  • Good starting salary with the opportunity for increased pay

Cons

  • Long teaching days with some extra work expected
  • Competitive job market and high eligibility requirements

Teaching English in France at private language schools

Worldwide, most private language schools tend to be popular with school children. However, in France, language schools are most popular with adults learning Business English and toddlers just beginning to speak their native language.

Finding a job

Like public schools and private schools, most private language school jobs are advertised online on TEFL jobs boards. You can usually apply online, interview via video call and secure a teaching job before entering the country.

When to apply

You can apply for teaching jobs at private language schools year-round. Though, you might find slightly more job openings in the run up to the new school year – in September – as well as before summer schools start – in June.

Teaching hours & Class sizes

Teaching at a private language centre, you can work up to 35 hours per week at the very most. Though in reality, you’re likely to be offered far fewer hours, with teaching hours reducing at quieter times of year. Many TEFL teachers work at two language schools or do private tutoring in their spare time to make extra money.

Salary & Bonuses

Salaries at private English schools are lower than at public and private schools, starting at $1,300 per month after tax – and generally, language schools don’t offer bonuses.

Alternatively, you may be offered $15-24 per hour. This may sound like a generous wage but keep in mind that you won’t be paid for your travel time to different offices or centres. You’ll need to make sure that you can always get enough teaching hours to break even.

Vacation

TEFL teachers at private language schools don’t get paid vacation time. Though, as teaching hours increase and decrease with demand at language schools, you’ll usually have some downtime to enjoy yourself in quieter months. However, don’t expect to be able to pick and choose your holiday dates freely!

Pros

  • Freedom to work as many hours as you want
  • Varied work – potentially different locations and students of different levels

Cons

  • Possible long commutes between various centres and offices
  • Changeable teaching hours and salary
Teach English in France

Other types of teaching work in France

Lots of TEFL teachers start out teaching English at summer camps. These positions are not necessarily easier to secure than any other teaching job in France – they may well have the same requirements as other teaching jobs. However, teaching at a summer camp is a good option if you’d like to test out teaching in France before signing up to something long-term.

Teaching programmes are another way to get into teaching English in France. Lots of TEFL teachers use the TAPIF programme to get a job as a language assistant at a public school. Americans aged 18-35 can apply for the French American Chamber of Commerce’s trainee programme. And volunteer teacher positions and internships are another good way to get some teaching experience in France.

Finally, if you have lots of experience and great qualifications, you can apply to be an English teacher at a university!

Am I eligible to teach in France?

To teach English in France, you’ll typically be expected to have at least a Bachelor’s degree (of any subject) and a TEFL certificate. However, for many positions, applicants need a Bachelor’s degree, a CELTA, a teaching license and teaching experience. And some schools and universities even request applicants with a Master’s degree.

It is technically possible to teach English in France without a degree, but you will need to be extremely experienced and it helps to be an EU citizen.

How can I get a visa?

If you’re an EU citizen, you can legally work in France without a working visa. If you’re from elsewhere, you’ll need a job offer from an employer willing to sponsor your working visa. Although this is possible, it can be very difficult to find a company that will sponsor you, as lots of institutes choose to hire EU citizens who don’t need working visas. The visa process may well take up to six months in total.

Lots of non-EU citizens legally teach English in France part-time on a student visa. To obtain a student visa for France, you’ll usually need to sign up for French classes at a school recognised by the French consulate/embassy and apply for the student visa from within your home country. Of course, this means you’ll need to attend regular French lessons while you’re in France, but this is a great way to test out life in the country as well as learn the local language!

Americans aged 20-35 can apply to teach English through the TAPIF programme, which assigns candidates to work part-time in schools for a monthly stipend. And citizens from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan and Uruguay can apply for a working holiday visa (Permis Vacances Travail) in France. In most cases, you’ll need to be between the ages of 18 and 30 (31 for Australians and 35 for Canadians) and the visa is valid for one year (four months for Russians). Keep in mind, you’ll need to apply in advance and it can take a number of weeks or months the receive the visa.

Other non-EU citizens choose to teach under the table on a tourist visa, but bear in mind, this is actually illegal and can have consequences!

Where can I teach English in France?

Paris is the number one choice for teachers who care about style being home to famous fashion boutiques and Paris Fashion Week. The city is also fantastic for those who enjoy the high life, including luxurious bars, classy restaurants and quality entertainment. Marseille is ideal for those who enjoy life by the water, a major port city known for its abundance of colourful yachts and boats, Calanque de Morgiou – one of the best beaches in the country, and a swathe of new, interesting museums. Lyon is the perfect place for culture lovers, boasting a UNESCO World Heritage Site old town, a number of art galleries with extensive collections, and a handful of Michelin Star restaurants. Other great locations for teaching English in France are: Bordeaux, Le Havre and Toulouse.

What are the challenges of teaching English in France?

One of the main challenges of working in France is the lengthy visa process for non-EU citizens. Securing a working visa requires lots of patience and perseverance, with the process taking up to six months. It’s also more difficult for non-EU citizens to find teaching work in France as employers tend to choose applicants that don’t need a working visa – though it’s certainly not impossible!

Another challenge of living in France is learning the local etiquette. The French have very specific ideas about good manners and will expect you to follow suit. This may present itself in many ways, from frequently using common polite French phrases to giving double kisses to every member of staff in the office.

Cost of living in France

On the whole, France is one of the more expensive TEFL destinations to live in. The average cost of living comes in at less than the Netherlands or South Korea but more expensive than Hong Kong or Finland.

In Paris, a monthly gym membership costs about $50 per month, a cinema ticket is $13, a meal at a restaurant is $30 or more, a beer is $6, and a coffee is $4. Prices are slightly cheaper outside of the capital, though the main difference in cost is the price of accommodation.

As a TEFL teacher, you can expect to be offered a salary that matches the local cost of living in the city you work, but generally not enough to come away with savings. Though, most teachers move to France for the lifestyle rather than the money – which is arguably worth the cost!

About France

France enjoys a variety of scenery and sights, from quaint countryside spots to giant ski resorts and quiet seaside towns to glittering cosmopolitan cities. Although there are diverse cultures and customs, the French rules of etiquette seem to be nationwide. Socialising is also key to life in France with a glass of wine or two usually coming as part of the package. The majority of must-see landmarks can be found in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Palace of Versailles and Notre-Dame Cathedral.

French culture

Historically, French culture comes from a mix of ancient tribes and people, namely the Celts, Franks and Gallo-Romans. These days, Parisian culture is known for its modernity and style, especially when it comes to fashion, art and cuisine. However, outside of the capital, French culture is much more traditional. Important values include pride and equality, and the French are known to be passionate, both in anger and romance!

Catholicism is the most practised religion in the country, and French is the dominant language spoken – though there are several other dialects used around the country, especially near the French borders. Incredible art from various eras can be found across the country, particularly Gothic, Neoclassic, Rococo and Romanesque styles. And the French care about their fashion – with Chanel, Dior and Hermes calling Paris home – though they aren’t particularly showy dressers and tend to prefer neat, sophisticated outfits.

French cuisine

The French are serious about top-quality cuisine and freshly-made food. Any Francophile will have tried just-baked croissants, famous frogs’ legs, divine crepes, and snails served with garlic. French cuisine also includes lots of smelly (but delicious) cheese and great local wine – which seems to be poured into recipes almost as much as it’s drank!

A few popular French dishes include coq au vin – literally translating to rooster with wine, cassoulet – a classic French casserole that includes white beans and a variety of meat, and boeuf bourguignon – also known as burgundy beef, this is a beef stew that uses red wine. As you can see, lots of French dishes centre around meat, but there are plenty of delicious vegetarian and pescatarian meals too, such as ratatouille – a hearty vegetable stew, and salade niçoise – a salad with anchovies, boiled eggs, olives and tomatoes.

Almost as important as delicious French food is the culture and traditions behind the cuisine. Visiting the boulangerie (bakery) to purchase fresh bread is a daily routine for many French locals, wishing others a good meal – bon appétit! – is a frequent occurrence, and complicated preparation is key to many delicious homemade dishes.

Teach in France
Culture in France

Accommodation in France

The standard of accommodation in France is generally high, with modern fittings and furnishings in both big cities and small towns. Accommodation is rarely provided with English teaching jobs in France, though you might receive help from your employer to arrange rent with your landlord.

The cost of accommodation in France can be high, especially in Paris. In fact, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the capital can cost almost double the amount of one in Lyon. A one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Paris can cost $1,000-1,550 per month, whereas an apartment outside of the centre can cost $800-1,100 per month. On the other hand, an apartment in the centre of Lyon costs roughly $650-900 per month and an apartment outside of the centre costs $500-750.

Setting up can be particularly costly, with some landlords asking for three-month’s rent as a deposit. You may also have to provide references and proof of employment from your school.

Weather in France

Located in Western Europe, France is surrounded by Germany, Spain and Switzerland – to name a few, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, the Channel, the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The country enjoys typical European weather with milder weather in the west and warmer weather in the east. However, with several different land borders, sea borders and mountain ranges to its name, France can have quite changeable weather.

Paris is at its coldest in December and January – dropping to a low average of 3°C, and at its warmest in July and August – with an average high temperature of 25°C. Rainfall is fairly steady throughout the year, varying between 16mm and 26mm per month with the least rain in September.

Marseille has a much more Mediterranean climate than the capital, enjoying a hot summer with plenty of sunshine and occasional rain. At the height of summer, you can expect the average temperature to be 24°C with peaks of 29°C. And in winter, you can expect an average temperature of 7°C with lows of 3°C. Rain is heaviest in October with up to 70mm of rain over the course of the month, and the least amount of rainfall is in July with only 10mm falling. Nearby Toulon is both the sunniest and windiest city in the country.

Lyon has a more continental climate than Marseille or Paris with somewhat unpredictable rainfall. Summer bring comfortable temperatures and relatively low humidity with an average temperature of 22°C in July. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 3°C. April and December are the rainiest months of the year receiving 60mm of rain per month, and January and February are the driest months receiving as little at 20mm of rain per month.

Please note: The information in this guide is accurate as of the time of writing. However, the laws and requirements to teach abroad can often change. Make sure to check the latest advice from the local authority of the country you plan to work in.

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