Teach English in France

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  • Overview

    Gain teaching experience while living with a French host family!

    • 1, 2, or 3-month volunteer teaching assistant positions in schools throughout France
    • 10 classroom teaching hours per week
    • Placements throughout the country
    • Accommodation and most meals with French host family included in the program
    • Spring, Fall and Winter start dates

    Have questions for a program manager? Email us at travelapplications@greenheart.org

  • Program Dates

    May 2024
    Arrival date
    Program Length End Date
    May 11 4 weeks June 9
    May 11 8 weeks July 6*

    *These periods will contain school holidays (days off) – Check the dates on https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F31952?lang=en

    September 2024 Program Length End Date
    September 7 4 weeks October 5 2024
    September 7 8 weeks November 2 2024
    September 7 12 weeks November 2024



    Please note that completing the application process can take several weeks and admission is on a rolling basis, so it’s best to apply early!

    This is a volunteer program, and these positions do not include a monthly salary or stipend. Learn about European visa regulations for North Americans and why it’s worth it to pay to teach in France.

  • Eligibility

    Before applying, be sure that you meet the eligibility requirements below:

    • Native English or Spanish speaker
    • Citizen of the EU, UK, Ireland, South Africa, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia
    • Between the ages of 19-55
    • Have basic French language skills
    • Be in great mental* and physical health
    • No criminal record (with the exception of traffic or other minor violations)
    • Must be open minded, flexible, and adaptable
    • Must be prepared to make teaching a priority

    *What does it mean to be in good mental health?  

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful. Sending someone with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges they were previously facing. Additionally, mental health resources are different in every country. The perception of mental health conditions as well as mental health care, support, and understanding are very different in France than in the USA. In order to ensure the safety of our travelers, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept those who have struggled with mental disorders within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental disorder. Each person will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Mood disorders
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Eating disorders
    • Cognitive and developmental disorders

    If the traveler reports a mental disorder on their application, we may ask for a doctor’s note as part of the application. While Greenheart will work hard with our partners to place you, due to cultural norms in the host country, there is no guarantee that even with a doctor’s note, you will be placed.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to make any exceptions to these requirements.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    Program Fee:

    1 month: $1,890

    2 months: $2,220

    3 month: $2,560

    For North Americans, paid teaching jobs in the European Union are extremely rare. This program is a chance to get that teaching experience!

    What’s Included in the Program Fee:

    • Volunteer teaching assistant position in France
    • Pre-departure support and orientation
    • Accommodation with a French host family
    • 2-3 meals per day provided by host family and/or school
    • International medical and accident insurance for the duration of your program
    • Local support and supervision
    • 24/7 Emergency Line
    • Greenheart T-shirt

    *Program costs do not include the airfare to France, public transit to/between schools, federal background check costs, or free time/travel spending.

    Wondering why you have to pay to teach English in France?
    Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization, and the program fee for this teaching project covers the costs of organizing your placement and support on the program. Your program fee helps cover the pre-departure and in-country support staff. These fees also aid in providing an orientation, logistical support, and insurance. Read more here.

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here is a breakdown.

  • Placements

    Schools are located all throughout France, usually in small to medium sized towns. Normandy, Brittany, Leon, Bordeaux are common regions for participants to be placed, but you may be placed anywhere in the country. We have found that these placements provide the most impactful immersion experiences to learn about real French life, and participants have wonderful experiences being placed throughout the country.

    We cannot guarantee any type of school and we cannot accept location placement requests. Applicants must be flexible and open minded about where they are placed, and willing to be placed anywhere in France and at any age level.

    The distance from your home to the school will vary. Some may be within walking distance or a short public transit commute. Please note that if you have to take public transit to your school, that cost will be your responsibility.

    Many teachers will be placed in 2 different schools in the same area, and will divide their time between the schools.

    Teaching Responsibilities and Expectations

    This program should be viewed as an independent immersion program. It’s likely that you will be the only foreign teacher in your school and town. These types of placements are often the most life changing, as they allow for a deeper cultural and language immersion experience.

    You will be working alongside a French co-teacher, assisting with English conversation skills. The program is designed for people who don’t have teaching experience. You will not be expected to lead a class on your own, but you will be asked to prepare and lead lessons or discussions with your students.

    You will teach 10 hours per week. This will typically be evenly distributed throughout the week, meaning you’ll work about 3-4 hours per day. Note that this may be spaced out based on your class schedule, so you may be at your school more than 18 hours per week.

  • Accommodation

    Teachers on this program have housing with your own private room and meals provided by a screened and vetted French host family.

    Host families on this program are volunteer – they’re receive no stipend or payment to host you. They do so because they’re excited to welcome you into their home and learn about your culture!


  • Optional TEFL Course

    While no certification is required for this program, an education in ESL teaching methods is extremely helpful in your classroom experience!

    Therefore, we are excited to offer a special discount on the Online TEFL Certification Course. This will allow our teachers to get formal ESL training alongside the hands on experience of their teaching program. Alumni of the online course receive lifetime job placement assistance, opening up great opportunities for future teaching positions around the world.

    Adding the 170-hour online course is perfect if you want:

    • To teach abroad in a school in the future
    • To save time – the 20 practicum hours required by the course are fulfilled by your teaching program
    • A flexible course designed to fit around your schedule

    As a Greenheart Alum, you’ll get $100 off your course!

    Read more about the course here!

  • FAQs

    Can I travel during the program?
    Yes, you are welcome to travel on the weekends as long as it doesn’t interfere with your school schedule. The program should be viewed as a teaching and cultural immersion program first. We ask that teachers are respectful of their schools and host families. Host families should not be used as a “bed & breakfast”. Families are voluntarily opening up their homes to our teachers. Participate and engage with your family. Cook dinner together and accept any invitations to outings!

    As in any country, many schools are located outside of major cities and surround areas. Teachers should be prepared for the possibility of being a couple of hours outside of a major city, and know that travel could require several modes of transportation. For this reason, teachers should not expect to be able to travel into the city during the school week or just for the evening.

    Can I do this program over the summer?
    Because this program involves teaching in French schools, program dates are limited to the regular school year semesters when school is in session. We also ask that applicants commit to the entire program length. If your availability is limited only to the summer, or you can only spare a month or two, check out our Teach English in a Homestay in France program. With host family accommodations, flexible start dates, and various program length options, this program is a fantastic alternative.

    Can I choose where I am placed?
    Placement matches are made based on a variety of factors, including the shared interests, needs and desires of the schools, host families, and teachers. Schools all throughout the country need teachers. This means that while there are some placements in major cities and the surrounding suburbs, there are also placements in many other locations. We cannot honor specific placement location requests. Applicants must be willing and able to be flexible about their placement location.

    Can I apply with my friend or significant other?
    Yes, you can certainly apply for the program together. However, we cannot place friends or couples together. There will be only one teacher per school, and host families and schools cannot accommodate more than one person. Friends or couples applying together must be willing to live and work separately. We will do our best to place you relatively close to each other, but cannot make any guarantees.

    Why isn’t there a salary or stipend for this program?
    There are a couple of reasons for this. It is very difficult for US and Canadian citizens to obtain work visas in the EU. It’s extremely difficult and expensive (lots of red tape) for an employer to sponsor a US citizen for a work visa, so schools in the European Union are not typically willing to do so.

    Instead of a salary, many of your expenses in-country are covered: international medical and accident insurance, accommodations, and meals.

    How much extra spending money should I plan to bring?
    While most of your living expenses are covered on this program, you’ll still want to bring money for going out, traveling on weekends, and incidentals. Teachers in the past have recommended bringing anywhere from $850 – $3000 extra for the duration of the program. The lower end of the scale would be for those who do most of their activities with the host family or the school, and who don’t do much travel during the program. The higher end would be for those who are doing bigger trips frequently throughout the program. It’s always best to plan to spend more than you think you will – this way you don’t have to turn down any once in a lifetime opportunities that could come up!

    Do I need a special visa for this program?
    Nope! You’ll enter on the standard tourist visa, which allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days. You will not need to apply for your visa beforehand.

    Can I extend my program for longer than 3 months?
    Unfortunately, at the moment we are unable to extend the program any longer than three months, due to the 90 day restriction on the tourist visa.

    Once the program is over, is it possible to stay longer in France or travel around Europe?
    Your 90 day tourist visa for France allows you to travel freely around the “Schengen Area” for up to 90 days. The Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

    This means that you can only be in the Schengen Area for a total of 90 days within a 180 day period. During each 180-day period, you will have 90 days of visa-free travel within the Schengen area. When you leave the Schengen area after 90 days, you must wait another 90 days before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa.

    If you are doing the 3-month program, your program comes right up on that 90 day mark, so you technically cannot stay in France or any other Schengen area country once your initial 90 days are up, or travel in these countries before the program begins. However, you could travel to a non-Schengen area country in the region if you’re hoping to stay in Europe longer. Non-Schengen area countries include: Ireland, United Kingdom, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus.

    If you’re doing the 1 or 2-month program, you’ll have plenty of time to travel the Schengen Area before or after your placement!

    Will my host family or coworkers speak English?
    This will completely depend on your placement. Some families and teachers speak very little English, while other have one or two family members or co-teachers who are fluent in English. You’ll be amazed how much you can still communicate without a shared language!

    Will my students speak any English?
    Again, this will vary by your placement. The English level will vary based on your students’ age and education track. Most students start studying English at an early age, but as in any foreign language classroom in the world, some students will be more advanced than others.

    I don’t have any teaching experience. Will that be a problem?
    Not at all. While the focus of this program is the teaching experience in the classroom, the program is designed knowing that its teachers are not trained or experienced teachers. Many of the students will have a foundation of the English language, and you will not be expected to design your own lesson plans or lead classes on your own. You’ll always be working alongside a French teacher, and you’ll mostly be acting as a tutor and assisting with English exercises, pronunciation, and conversation skills. If you have a background of other special skills or expertise, your school may also ask you to assist with those subjects.

    Will there be other teachers placed in the same town/ at the same school?
    There will not be more than one teacher per school. We are trying to impact and provide this service for as many schools as possible. While the program is still small, this means that teachers will be the only teachers at their assigned schools. If you are in a larger town or city, it is possible that there may be other teachers in the same area. Depending on your placement, transportation will be easy for some, and more challenging for others. You’ll meet all of the other new teachers during orientation, and then you can plan trips to meet up on the weekends.

    Is there a dress code in the schools?
    This will vary by school. To err on the safe side, it’s best to bring some conservative and business casual options. Some schools will be more casual than others, and you’ll get a sense of what is the norm for your specific school once you begin your teaching work.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Submit your Application Fee (Approximately 5 minutes): A $300 payment is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account..

    5. Video Interview (Approximately 10-15 Minutes): Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application fee, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    8.Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to France!

    Required Documents

    • Signed Electronic Terms & Conditions
    • Federal background check
    • Resume
    • Scanned Bachelor’s Degree (if applicable)
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Scanned Passport
  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program manager? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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