How to Earn a Paid Vacation in France

After receiving a wonderful response to my post on How to Travel for Free in Europe, here I am writing this post on a similar yet totally different topic. This post will help people to move to France for 7 months while receiving a salary of 800 euros but you see the word EARN in the title, so yeah it’s not gonna be a cakewalk. It’s not gonna be super fast so if you are looking for a shortcut, this cut is not really very short. However, yes it is 100% genuine so if you’re patient enough and you are willing to work hard to travel, to live the dream you think is quite far to achieve, then it might not be that far either.

This year around 150 students earned this paid vacation from all over India and thousand others from different countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Australia etc. and almost all of us have reached France to commence our experience but what is this experience all about? Why are we getting paid? let me help you answer such questions but first see me posing with my working visa, haha.

India gate, Delhi. I know you don’t see my visa and it’s better that way. lol!

The program is known as Assistant de langue (Language Assistant) or TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) primarily in the US. In India, it is called Assistant d’anglais (English assistant program). Under this program, more than 150 Indian students are recruited to work as English-language assistant teachers in French public schools. The program enables these students from Indian universities or Alliances Françaises to become familiar with the French language and civilization, while bringing the authenticity of their language and the richness of their culture to the institutions where they are employed.

The selected candidates are recruited by France Éducation Internationale on a work contract of 7 months starting in October every year till April. The work duration is 12 hours per week and you get four vacations of two weeks each, I told you it’s a paid vacation. One can also renew their contract for another year.

Before I explain further about the program and its eligibility criteria, I wanna talk about why I want to encourage everyone and not just people who already speak French or are learning the language as having moderate French skill is one of the major criteria of the program.

There are several reasons for sharing it with general public rather than with language students and Indian francophones only as I am sure people, especially young adults, will find it interesting and would consider to work on the eligibility criteria to be able to join the program.

The two main reasons I have- to share it with everyone is that after I joined the program, I received quite a few messages from new applicants who were seeking information and guidance about the program and its application process. All of them wanted to apply for the program however, a lot of them will not be able to apply this year and they are gonna wait for next year’s application. Why? because they do not fulfill the criteria completely even though they fulfill the French language eligibility criteria. Plus, sometimes people don’t get the required IELTS band for the program and so they wait for another year to reapply with the needed score. I took my IELTS exam with some friends and acquaintances in Delhi and unfortunately they could not get the desired band. They may try this year (2020) again and it is pretty normal as getting this opportunity to work in a public school in France while getting paid is truly amazing.

I have a plethora of acquaintances and some juniors who are literature graduate but they never learnt French language but do you know how long would it take for them to get B1 level French certificate which is required for the program. Well, let me tell you how long it took me to get my DELF B1 certificate even though I had no intention to apply for this program in 2017.

I still remember my first French class at Alliance Française was on 09 Jan 2016 and the last day at Alliance Française was 26 June 2017 with a DELF B1 certificate having scored 79.5/100. The criteria is just DELF B1 (DELF : French language diploma ; B1 : third level after A1 and A2) which means a score of 50/100 will work. Now I let you decide how long someone with a goal to achieve B1 would take to acquire this certificate. I took 1.5 years without any rush to get a DELF B1 and I got a good score too. good score right? By the way, I never studied French in school so 09 Jan 2016 was the very first day for me.

Even though, I can put my first attestation proving that I started in Jan 2016, I am gonna assume that people are going to trust me but if it is not the case, this website has a contact page and my Insta handle as well, haha! Lol you all have my age too. who cares! After having completed DELF B1 in June 2017, I took a break from French for a year and joined back AFD (French institute in Delhi) in Sept 2018. In Jan 2019, I moved to Rennes, France for studies.

In short, many applicants who are already learning French wait for a year or two to get selected in the program and to join the program for non French learners, it might take 2 years or maybe 3 years in a rare case. Furthermore, I am pretty positive that the number of recruitment will keep increasing every year just like it did this year. Finally, many among you may have this question – would it be worth it? ABSOLUTELY! see some of it yourself.

Kids at Marie Curie, Murs Erigne, France. One of the school where I teach.

Now moving back to the program details, you must already got an idea about two major criteria but here is a list:

  1. Candidate should be an Indian citizen or citizen of the country from which the candidate is applying.
  2. Should have the student status. (Don’t overlook this one)
  3. Should not have benefited from the program of “English-speaking Assistants” in the past.
  4. Should have a degree (or enrolled in the 3rd year of the Bachelor’s degree).
  5. Should be under 35 years of age at the time of the application.
  6. Should have obtained the British Council / IDP IELTS Certificate of Proficiency with a grade above 7.5
  7. Should have a good level of French: French B1 (DFP, DELF, TCF, TEF, etc.) or B.A. French from an Indian university.
How To Apply?

In India, this program is run by the Institut Français en Inde. The French Institute in India (IFI – Institut français en Inde) is the education, science and culture cooperation service of the Embassy of France in India. To visit the IFI website, Click here.

The application process starts in October (every year) and one can apply until 02nd December. However, the selection process is itself long and the coordinators take 4-5 months to announce the results for the selected candidates after the submission of their application form in December. So even though the process is a bit longer, trust me it is worth it for inordinate reasons that I am not even capable of mentioning but here are some reasons from IFI’s website on WHY CHOOSE ASSISTANT D’ANGLAIS.

Here are some other useful links :

I offer free language classes to people who cannot afford it. You must have a BPL card to get these free classes. To know more about free language classes, Click here.

To learn French language in India, you can contact Alliance Française network in India. To visit their website, Click here.

You can also visit the Instagram page of Assistant de langue.

Even though this post was more targeted to the non francophones Indian, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via mail or via Instagram for any query that anyone may have regarding application process.

Tchao! see you soon on my next post or in comments? maybe!


Published by The Indian Supertramp

Hey there, I'm Shubham. I am from Delhi and am passionate about traveling the world, meeting new people and getting lost in nature as much as possible. I was on the road for 17 days between May 31 and June 16, after completing my semester at the University of Rennes. Now, after three months in quarantine and the situation outside where people are avoiding travel as much as possible, I'm back to breathe the world with all the precautions, of course. It is a wonderful experience so far that I would like to share and continue to explore and take more risks (I mean travel risks such as couchsurfing, hitchhiking etc, please take all precautions for Covid). I hope this platform gives you inspiration (and practical advice) to go on a pursuit of your own adventures. I have experienced that chasing adventures and having new experiences is a unique education that you don't get in school or college, so come out of that shell, break the 9-5 cliché and make your life worth remembering.

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