Living in France: English Assistants and Expatriates
I moved to France in September 2006 to work as an English Assistant and decided to stay for a while. Originally, I had planned to stay for 8 months and then move to Australia to start my PhD. But I quickly discovered that 8 months would not be enough time and I ended up staying for nearly 5 years. I accomplished a lot over the years and learned many valuable lessons about life in France, so I wanted to share them with others who are thinking about moving to France.
I worked two years as an English teaching assistant in middle & high schools near Annecy and during that time, I kept a detailed account of what life is like for assistants in France so that future assistants would know what to expect. In addition to the guide, I have scanned the many, many documents and papers needed (most available as JPGs) and put together a long list of links that should be helpful to assistants in all aspects of living and teaching English in France. Finally, I have made all of my ESL lesson plans (most in MS Word format) available for download, including the plans I made specifically for the assistants program as well as plans I made for private lessons.
- Assistants in France Guide General Information
- Assistants in France Guide: Part 1 Applying and Acceptance E-Mail
- Assistants in France Guide: Part 2 Work Contract and Visa
- Assistants in France Guide: Part 3 Packing and Paperwork
- Assistants in France Guide: Part 4 Teaching and Travelling
- Assistants in France Guide: Part 5 Before leaving France and how to stay in France
- Assistants in France Documents & Links
- ESL Lesson Plans to Download
- Information for Assistants in the Académie of Grenoble and City of Annecy
A lot of former assistants who have Master's degrees go on to become lecteurs or lectrices at French universities (such as myself!) I have yet to write specific guides for those who teach at universities, but you can refer to a blog post I wrote for information on how to become a lecteur or lectrice.
When my time as an assistant ended, I decided to write more guides for expatriates in France to help with French bureaucracy, especially for non-European Union citizens. The information on these pages may not be 100% accurate since so much depends on your location in France and which civil servant you are dealing with on that particular day, but it should give you an overview of what to expect. As a disclaimer, please keep in mind that this is just my personal experience in France, and yours may or may not be anything like it.
- Cost of Living in France: My Personal Experience (remember: I did not live in Paris!)
- Obtaining a Residency Card (Carte de Séjour) in France
- Getting PACSed (Pacte Civil de Solidarité) or Married in France
- Obtaining a French Driver's License & Driving in France
- Health Insurance (Sécurité Sociale) & Doctors in France
For other glimpses into French language and culture, try the following links:
- Jennie n'est plus en France Blog My personal blog on life in France/Australia and learning French
- French Realia Scans and photos of train tickets, brochures, receipts, menus, signs, etc. taken in France, Switzerland and Belgium
- France Realia Photos of cultural differences between France and the US, with vocabulary words
- French for Expats Culture-specific vocabulary for daily life in France
- Informal French & Slang Learn how to understand what people are really saying
- French Listening Resources Authentic recordings of native speakers on a range of topics, with transcripts and listening exercises
- Authentic French with Commercials & Films Transcripts and listening exercises for commercials, trailers and film clips
Finally, I've uploaded a lot of photos of my travels throughout France. Photos from other trips throughout Europe can also be found on the Travel Photos page.
French Language Tutorial 2nd edition is now available! The updated edition of FLT includes more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information as well as newly recorded (and free) mp3s. The PDF e-book is available for immediate download for $14.95 USD. A paperback coil-bound book can be printed on demand and shipped world-wide by Lulu.com for $29.95 USD + shipping. You will receive the e-book for free with purchase of the paperback. Please visit the Store for more information.