Overview

Is your dream to live and work in Europe? Teaching English in France is a unique opportunity to make an impact in a classroom while living with a volunteer French host family abroad. Spend a week in intensive French language classes in Paris, then volunteer as a teaching assistant for 3 months while fully immersing yourself in French culture. You’ll live with a local host family and volunteer in an English classroom for 10 hour per week.

This program offers:

  • Teaching assistant positions in schools throughout France
  • Optional one week of in-person French language classes in Paris upon arrival, tailored to your level
  • 10 classroom teaching hours per week
  • Placements throughout the country
  • Accommodation and most meals with French host family included in the program
  • 3-month program with Spring and Fall start dates

Program Dates

Program Dates

March 4, 2018 – May 27, 2018 (Deadline: December 1, 2017)
September 2, 2018 – November 25, 2018 (Deadline: June 1, 2018)

Arriving in France:

  • Those doing the French language course will arrive in Paris on the start date.
  • Those not doing the language course will travel to the airport nearest their teaching placement.

Please note that the 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 speaker
  • Citizen of the EU, UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa, 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)
  • Teaching experience not necessary, but helpful
  • Must be open minded, flexible, and adaptable
  • Must be prepared to make teaching and time with host family a priority

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

What’s Included

Program Fee:

  • Teaching Placement only: $1,750
  • Paris French course + Teaching Placement: $2,470
    All prices are listed in USD

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:

  • Optional 1 week (20 hours) of French language lessons, tailored to your level
  • 3-month 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
  • Local support and supervision
  • 24/7 Emergency Line
  • France Culture Guidebook
  • Greenheart T-shirt

*Program costs do not include the airfare to France, transport from Paris to your placement location (for those doing the course), public transit to/between schools, 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.

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

Participants will live with a French host family throughout the program. This is an amazing opportunity to truly live as the French do!

Here are a few things to know about host families:

  • Host families are carefully screened through background checks, reference checks, interviews and home visits.
  • Host families come in all shapes and sizes! A host family may be a traditional nuclear family. Other times, it could be a single mother with kids, or a retired couple.
  • You’ll be matched with a host family based on your mutual preferences and interests.
  • Host families are typically selected by the schools, and often times they are a teacher or student at the school.
  • In some cases, teachers may be placed with two separate host families during the program.

In rare cases, accommodations may be arranged in a private boarding school dormitory, or an independent apartment, if the typical host family accommodation is not available.

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 families and 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 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.

The 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.

Will my host family speak English?
This will completely depend on your placement. Some families speak very little English, while other have one or two family members that 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

You should plan on completing the online application in one sitting. The sooner you submit your application and deposit, the sooner we can start reviewing your application, set up your interview, and hear about your acceptance. With your application and deposit out of the way, you can start planning your upcoming adventure!

  1. Select the APPLY NOW button. You will be sent your unique link to your online application immediately via email.
  2. Using the unique link emailed to you, fill out the general information application. This includes things like your name, address and chosen start date. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.
  3. Once your Terms and Conditions are completed and signed, you’ll submit your $300 application deposit (non-refundable). A deposit is required in order to interview and to reserve your spot in the program. It is subtracted from your total program fee, not an additional fee. Only if we are unable to accept or place you for some reason, we will refund your deposit. Once the deposit is submitted we can begin preparing you for your adventure abroad.
  4. Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you as well. In this section, you’ll tell us about your medical history, your motivation for joining the program, and your host family preferences.
  5. Schedule your Skype interview! Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a Skype interview with a Greenheart Travel representative. If you do not have a Skype account, please be sure to create an account before the date of your interview.
  6. Submit your required documents at the link provided.
  7. Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit to confirm your spot on the program.
  8. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure!

Required Documents

  • Signed Electronic Terms & Conditions
  • Background Check (Securely run by Greenheart Travel for US Citizens. Non-US Citizens must obtain their own National Level Background Check and submit it to Greenheart Travel prior to acceptance).
  • Resume
  • Scanned Bachelor’s Degree (if applicable)
  • Scanned Passport

Reviewing Your Application
Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks to confirm your acceptance. This can only be done after we have all of your required documents, so please email those documents to us as soon as you have them. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. In some cases if you apply very early, it may take longer to obtain an acceptance decision. We will keep you updated in these situations.