Wambrechies: A Hidden Gem in the North of France

In an attempt to get back into shape, I’ve taken up the habit of running 10K’s on Sundays with my colleagues. Lille’s Citadel is filled with various paths and routes, especially along the canal. Recently, my colleagues led me further down the Deûle River than I had ever ventured before, to the town of Wambrechies. The thing that (unashamedly) appealed to me the most about … Continue reading Wambrechies: A Hidden Gem in the North of France

The Biggest Differences Between Teaching In France and Teaching in the USA

I started college in 2008– in the peak of the economic recession, and just two years before Scott Walker would be elected as Governor of Wisconsin and proceed to reform teachers’ unions. Throughout my college career, the subject of teaching was politically charged. Each semester I was faced with comments and “advice” from professors, academic advisors, and fellow teachers about the hardships of teaching– I … Continue reading The Biggest Differences Between Teaching In France and Teaching in the USA

Everything You Need to Know About the French Baccalauréat

June is a very stressful time in France, because it’s Baccalauréat time. Although I’ve been living in France since 2013 and spent a year working as an assistante de langue in a French high school, I never really got a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the French education system, and more specifically, the French Baccalauréat exam until I actually started teaching high … Continue reading Everything You Need to Know About the French Baccalauréat

“Take the Sourest Lemon that Life has to offer, and Turn it into Something Resembling Lemonade.”

When I started blogging consistently four years ago, I promised myself that I would not become one of those (well-intended) TAPIF blogs that starts off really strong, and then tapers off somewhere after Christmas. I wanted to create the blog that hadn’t yet existed- an ordinary TAPIFer who gave valuable information about bureaucracy, teaching, traveling, everyday insight into life in France, and was there until … Continue reading “Take the Sourest Lemon that Life has to offer, and Turn it into Something Resembling Lemonade.”

Postcard from the Christmas Market in Arras

During the Christmas season, you always see lists with a title along the lines of “Best Christmas Markets in France“, or “in Europe“, and so on. In regards to the north of France, Lille always seems to make the list. And don’t get me wrong, the Christmas market here in my city is gorgeous- the ferris wheel offers sweeping views of the city (with the totally and completely … Continue reading Postcard from the Christmas Market in Arras

An Itinerary for the “Perfect Weekend in Lille”

Since moving to Lille a year-and-a-half ago, I’ve been blessed with my fair share of visitors! Lille is extremely centrally located in Europe, making it a perfect stop-off point between London, Paris, Amsterdam, and most of Belgium. There was Abby (June 2015), Mom & Dad (July-August 2015), Shelly & Stacy & Jess & Mayumi (August 2015), J0 (September AND December 2015), Laura (October 2015), Claire (October 2015), Laith … Continue reading An Itinerary for the “Perfect Weekend in Lille”

Saint Omer- Boating in the Marais Audomarois

The Marais Audomarois is a biosphere reserve in the north of France. Made up of marshes and wetlands, it covers 22,300 hectares, and is home to many different kinds of waterbirds and endangered species. Today, it is one of two remaining wetland floating gardens in France, and visitors come to explore the area by boat. One hot and sunny July afternoon, a group of us rented … Continue reading Saint Omer- Boating in the Marais Audomarois