Would you like to do your TEFL course in France?
Teach English in France
If you are looking for long paid holidays then France is for you. There is a strong teachers union in France and they look after their teachers with 1 year contracts or life long contracts offered, unlike Spain or Italy that give 9 month contracts by schools. Qualifications do help, but are not obligatory, especially if you have experience. Non European Union teachers will have problems finding work in schools, working “under the table” is almost impossible here, especially when there are so many willing and legal recruits just across the channel.
You can expect to earn 25 Euros an hour after tax (almost 10% pa). Full time contracts are very rare, but exist, paying around 1800 Euros a month net for 25 teaching hours a week, averaged over the year. Most schools will offer a “permanent contract” called a C.D.I., which does not usually guarantee the number of hours over every month, but over a year – this means that for example, a 900 hour yearly contract will be fine in peak periods, but in February, July and August you will have almost no hours and no cash, but still have bills to pay! Private lessons charge twenty to forty euro’s an hour. To find work it is best to email the schools directly and then wait for replies.
There’s a major rented accommodation shortage in Paris, meaning rents from around 400 euro’s for a room in a shared flat (usually with other foreigners), 650 euro’s a month for a small studio flat, and 900 for a one-bedroom/ tiny two bedroom flat. Check out FUSAC (a small-ads magazine, free at any expat hangout or online), and “Particulier a Particulier” a French accommodation magazine with cheaper offers, but don’t expect too much when you’re in competition with hundreds of locals. Deposits are usually two months’ rent, and you may be asked for wage slips and/or a job contract.
LIVING COSTS in the cities: Supermarkets are pretty cheap, and the quality usually quite high. The metro is excellent and a one month travel pass for the basic two zones is about 50 euros a month, including buses and metro. Eating out is relatively cheap, a decent meal with wine can be found from fifteen euros up. Shop prices in general seem reasonable for Europe. Going out is expensive though: a pint of beer is about 6 euros for example, a coke or coffee about 3, spirits around 6 euros. There are lots of happy hours dotted around, and of course, cheaper local bars. In smaller towns the prices can be half the price!!!
French schools are pretty strict and teachers are relatively well respected. Most of your students will be in one to one / small groups, so discipline is rarely a problem. French people do like to talk, and generally make great students, they also love tests. Their timekeeping though, is poor!
For the climate expect a basic temperate climate, with some chilly winters and sticky summer months: heating and air conditioning are not really brilliant here. Parisians are a notoriously unfriendly bunch: downright rude waiters and shop workers are the norm for expats and locals alike – don’t take it personally, even though it can wear you down a little. It’s quite hard to meet people here, it’s not so common for locals to chat with strangers – there are expat bars though, for salvation! Public transport is excellent, but crowded. Crime is low, but pickpockets are a very good at their jobs here. T.V. is generally awful, almost entirely dubbed into French: good for your language skills.
Workers rights are fiercely protected, which results in good holidays, hours and conditions, and certainly worth the price of the odd strike – there’s even a branch of the CGT (the main union) specialised in protecting the rights of workers in private education (you included). Despite their own self-image, the French can be rather dull, conventional people, but none the worse for that: they are truly decent people, who value solidarity, family, education, good food and holidays, which can’t be bad.
Whatever people may say, French people are more than willing to help you as long as you are prepared to try to speak in French (except for Government agencies that is..)
Contracts of more than 20 hours per week are incredibly hard to come by so you need to be prepared to undertake another form of employment to make ends meet.
French people are in fact extremely generous and thoughtful people. Speaking French with an English accent is absolutely admired by those you meet. As for Government agencies, my advice is that if you are not totally confident in your abilities to make your point in French, take a native speaker with you.
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