Visit eligibility and frequently asked questions here.
Assistants teach 12 hours per week in one, two, or three schools. Classes are conducted in English. Teaching assistants conduct all or part of a class, typically leading conversations in English. Duties include serving as a resource person in conversation groups, providing small group tutorials, and giving talks related to American studies. Assignments vary depending on the school’s needs and the assistant’s abilities.
Contracts are available at either the elementary or secondary school level:
Elementary School (École Primaire)
Children aged 8-11 years old. Assistants lead oral activities with small groups, or works alongside the teacher with the entire class present.
Secondary School (Collège / Lycée)
Students aged 11-18 years old. Assistants serve as a resource person in conversation groups, provides small group tutorials, facilitates English-language clubs, or works alongside the teacher with the entire class present.
Teaching English as a Second Language
Some assistants choose to pursue a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification to prepare for their roles in the classroom. While not required, these certification courses sometimes prove very useful for assistants without significant prior experience teaching English, or for assistants who plan to pursue English teaching as a career. Several organizations offer discounted certification courses for future, current, and former TAPIF assistants such as CIEE TEFL and International TEFL Academy.
All hired teaching assistants are required to follow the FEI+ training module in order to prepare for their work in the classroom.
TAPIF offers positions across all 30 regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, Martinique, and la Réunion. Applicants may indicate up to 3 regions of preference on their application. Accepted applicants are notified in April and receive placement in their Académie (school district). Participants will not know the exact city or schools where they are placed until the summer before they travel to France.
More information about each Académie and corresponding region can be found on page 3 of our Application Instructions document.
All teaching contracts last 7 months, from October 1st through April 30th.
Short-term contracts, summer contracts, and alternative start dates are NOT available. Following their contract end date many participants choose to exit the Schengen Zone before the date on their visa and may return to France to spend a total of 3 additional months in France/Europe as tourists the summer.
Renewing or Reapplying
Americans may participate a maximum of 3 times in the TAPIF program. If you are applying for an assistantship for a consecutive year, you will need to apply to renew your contract through France Éducation international. Renewal is contingent upon a positive review from the host institution, whether or not the assistant wishes to remain at their institution or be transferred to another school or Académie, among other factors.
If you are applying in non-consecutive years (ex. You were an assistant in 2017-2018 and now you are applying again for 2024-2025) you must apply through the general TAPIF application at tapif.org. In this situation, we review applications with the same criteria as first-time assistants, however we systematically place former assistants who are accepted on the waiting list. If you submitted an application in or after 2016, you may log into the tapif.org system using your previous credentials and simply update your previous application. Your letters of reference remain valid for up to 3 years. Please read more about how to use a past application here.
Financing and Support
Stipend: €1,010.67 per month Gross, approximately €810 per month Net (slight variations possible due to region-dependent local deductions).
Due to the higher cost of living in the overseas departments, assistants in those regions are paid an additional 30% to 35%. The stipend provides enough money to live the lifestyle of a typical undergraduate student in most regions of France (but NOT Paris due to the very high cost of living in the capital region). No additional support is provided for travel to France or for dependents. Assistants are responsible for making their own living arrangements, however about 50% of assistants who are placed at the secondary school level are offered the possibility of being boarded by the school for little to no cost.
Personal funds are needed for the initial period of the contract, to book a flexible flight and to secure housing. We recommend that participants save around $3,000 to pay for their first few months in France.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy provides support for language assistants before, during, and after their experience in France, helping to ensure a smooth transition in and out of the program, facilitating community-building among participants, and providing resources for future professional and academic planning. The vibrant and supportive TAPIF alumni network has enabled countless opportunities and collaborations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Assistants receive health insurance through the French national healthcare system known as the Sécurité sociale. The “Sécu” covers 70% of medical costs, 35-65% of prescriptions, and 80% of hospitalization fees in France. The plan does NOT cover the costs of travel outside of France, returning to the U.S. for medical treatment, or repatriation of remains.
Assistants are strongly encouraged to purchase travel health insurance or an international student/youth card that will cover medical expenses for emergencies that happen outside of France. This additional coverage also helps assistants pay for out-of-pocket medical costs during the initial period of the grant (first 2-3 months), during which time they must complete the Sécu enrollment paperwork (co-pays and immediate reimbursements for medical services do not take effect until the enrollment paperwork is complete). Assistant coverage technically begins on October 1st, but assistants must pay out-of-pocket until they receive their permanent social security number, at which time they can be retroactively reimbursed. Additional individual coverage is not required, but is still highly recommended.
Most assistants also qualify for the CAF and can therefore be reimbursed a large percentage of their housing costs if not housed within their school.
Assistants are responsible for making their own living arrangements. Some schools are able to help assistants secure housing, over housing in their boarding school, or make arrangements for the first few weeks in France, but this is NOT guaranteed.
France Éducation international, the Embassy, and the school districts in France do offer a number of resources and suggestions during the summer on how and where search for housing.