Those of you who have followed my blog since I studied in Normandy know that the only thing I have spoken about since Normandy was coming back to France– that was my goal after graduation. Well, here I am! Now, almost four months in and with five-and-a-half to go, I can’t help but begin to wonder, “What next!?”
Living in the magnificent country of France has above all taught me the importance if living in the moment and enjoying the now. But, it would be naive and irresponsible to not start thinking about July 2014 and beyond. I need to find a new dream. This one is done, even though I don’t want it to be. I’ve been reflecting both alone and with fellow assistants about post-TAPIF plans, and I’ve come to one conclusion I can’t quite shake:
I want to stay in France.
I’m not going to be ready to come back to the United States permanently– I know myself enough to know that, and I think my family and friends do too. In fact, I think I will want more than anything to stay in France. However, Europe, and especially Western Europe, is particularly tricky. With high rates of unemployment swooping the continent, countries are closing its borders. As an American, this TAPIF program was one of the only sure ways I was able to come back and work legally in France with a guaranteed visa. Because of the plummeting economy, this program has become extremely popular over the years. Until 2011, American assistants could renew their contract for a second year…. But not anymore. Yes, I can do this program a second time, but not two years in a row… What do I do for a year in between!? I’ve been trying to contemplate new ideas:
1. I can be a lectrice d’anglais, aka I can teach English in a university. This is actually the option in which I am most interested and could give me a guaranteed visa. However, in most cases you need some Master’s credits, which I don’t have. However, I have been told that sometimes universities will hire candidates without Master’s Degrees if they have relative teaching experience.
2. I can be a Jeune Fille Au Pair. This is actually quite an easy visa to obtain. However, you don’t really make a lot of money, and I’m not sure I have quite the personality to work for a private family; I think I may just be a bit too old.
3. I can come back as a student. However, I don’t want to be a student! After completing five years of studying to become a teacher, the last thing I want to do is go back to school, especially to study something else! But, this would probably be the easiest type of visa to obtain.
I’ve been also considering realities that lie outside of France. As naive as it sounds, it’s always been my dream to live, at least for a little while, in New York City. So, I’ve been slowly starting to research teaching opportunities in the city, as well with network with people I know through blogging, twitter, or real life who live in the area.
Additionally, it is a bit easier to find jobs in Eastern Europe, which is something I would definitely consider. Poland and Czech Republic have opportunities. Finally, I’ve been looking at overseas teaching fairs, overseas US Military Bases, and programs in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
All I know is, I don’t think this globe trotter is quite ready to set up camp in any particular corner of the globe just yet (unless it was my beloved France.)