TAPIF, or the Teaching Assistant Program in France, offers 1,100 American citizens and permanent residents between the ages of 20-35 to work in France as well as its overseas departments as a teaching assistant (sort of like a teacher’s aid) for 7 months (October-April). The program is sponsored through the French Ministry of Education, the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP) and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
The goal of TAPIF is to strengthen English-language instruction in the French educational system through the presence of a native speaker, as well as to provide American Francophiles and future teachers of French in the United States with excellent teaching experience and first-hand knowledge of French language and culture.
Assistants are assigned anywhere between 1 and 3 schools in addition to a 12-hour work week; all taught classes are to be in English. Assistants are assigned to either elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools (I am going to be teaching high school). We receive health insurance, a modest monthly stipend, and 8 weeks of PAID vacation (I LOVE France). We as assistants are required to provide our own housing (though some schools provide it for their assistants).
Prospective applicants for TAPIF must be American citizens/permanent residents, need to have at least two years of higher education, and must have completed the majority of their studies in the United States. Prospective applicants also need to be at a proficient level of French B1 (the levels in order are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, & C2), which is attested through the personal statement (cover letter) written by the applicant in French. Finally, prospective applicants need to have experience abroad, experience with teaching, and two stellar letters of recommendation.
As you can see, TAPIF is an excellent opportunity to live abroad, speak French, and perfect teaching skills. I am so excited to be apart of the 2013-2014 program!