The School Teaching Assistant France program is a great way to explore the teaching profession while gaining insight into French culture. You’ll live with a welcoming host family in the Paris region and volunteer at a local school for 15 to 20 hours per week. In exchange for a private bedroom and meals, you'll tutor your host family between three and five hours per week. French language skills are not required!
Fall 2017 Program
|Start Date||Apply By|
|End of September||Friday, August 18|
|Early November||Friday, September 1|
Spring 2018 Program
|Start Date||Apply By|
|Mid-January||Friday, November 17|
|Early March||Monday, January 8|
|Early April||Friday, February 2|
Program duration depends on arrival date and participant availability.
Specific start-date flexible. There are three, two-week seasonal breaks throughout the school year plus closure for Christmas and New Year's Eve. The specific dates of breaks change each year. InterExchange will inform applicants of school-break dates as soon as the information is available, so applicants may modify their specific program dates to work around school closures.
With no obligation to move forward, you can get the ball rolling by signing up today. We’ll reach out to help you plan your adventure when you're ready!
Placements range from pre-schools to high schools, and you may assist one or more local English teachers across multiple grade levels. As an assistant, you’ll organize activities on your own and take the lead at times, focusing on conversational English. Specific teaching experience is not required, but participants must be mature, professional, punctual and organized. InterExchange will provide sample lesson plans and teaching tips to help you feel confident in the classroom.
School placements are typically confirmed at least one month prior to the program start date. Once confirmed, we will provide all of the next steps on when to book your flight, where to purchase travel health insurance, and how to prepare to be a teaching assistant and live abroad.
Host Family Placement
You’ll stay with a pre-screened host family in the Paris region, who are enthusiastic about the concept of cultural exchange. Families live in close proximity to the school, but in some cases you may need to take public transportation back and forth. Most are middle class and have children in either elementary or middle school.
In exchange for a private bedroom and all your meals, families generally expect participants to provide limited English tutoring for the duration of your stay (about 3-5 hours per week). This can be informal, but it’s nice to prepare a few lessons in advance.
Host family placements may not be issued at the same time as school placements, but will be confirmed before the program begins. We will notify you as soon as a placement has been found so you can connect with the family over email and/or video chat to make sure that you are both happy with the match.
Participants generally arrive the Saturday or Sunday before their program start-date. Your host family will pick you up from the airport or train station. They'll bring you to their home and will help to get you oriented to your new environment. You'll also work with your family to set up a tutoring schedule and will discuss how to get around the neighborhood, where to go, and what to see!
InterExchange provides pre-departure support and guidance and will connect you with other participants in France via our Facebook group.
You’ll also have in-country support from our international partner in France. They screen all the host families and schools and provide 24-7 emergency assistance, should you need it.
In addition to the long list of attractions and activities in Paris, there are several great places to explore nearby, such as Provins (a quaint medieval city), Rouen, and Versailles. While this is a serious volunteer commitment and your school expects you to show up when scheduled, you’re welcome to explore on your weekends and on days when your school is closed for holidays. Train travel in Europe is inexpensive and the easiest way to get around France. We'll give you some suggestions on things to do and see before you depart!
Costs to Consider
Please be prepared to cover airfare to and from the U.S.
You must have insurance that covers repatriation and emergency medical evacuation.
- Personal Spending Money
For independent travel/trips, any optional extra classes, social time with friends, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa?
U.S. citizens do not need visas to enter the Schengen area and are permitted to stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. You will simply enter the Schengen area (which includes France) with your valid U.S. passport. For more information on the Schengen area, please visit the U.S. Department of State's website.
Do I need to know French?
No. You will not need to know French, nor will you be required to take French classes abroad (although you are welcome to if you want of course!) Most of our host families speak pretty good English so it's usually not a problem for our tutors to communicate with their host family.
Do I need a TEFL Certificate?
No, a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate is not required for this program, but getting certified is helpful, especially if you don't have any classroom teaching experience. International TEFL Academy offers an internationally recognized online TEFL course. Mention InterExchange to get $50 off tuition!
Can I be placed with a friend or partner?
We can sometimes place friends relatively close to one another, but not with the same host family.
Can I earn money while on the program?
This is a voluntary position and it's not possible to work on the side.
If I'm not accepted into the program will I receive a refund?
Yes, if you are not accepted or in the unlikely event that we are unable to place you, we will refund your $250 deposit. We will keep you posted throughout the placement process.
Why do I have to pay for a volunteer teaching program?
The fee covers the cost of placing you in the program, as well as pre-departure and in-country support. As a non-profit, mission-driven organization, InterExchange reinvests fees into programs and our Foundation to promote cross-cultural awareness.
Do you offer grants to cover some or all of the program cost?
No, but we do offer a Community Impact Grant to individuals seeking to devise or improve upon a project that positively benefits their host community. We also offer a Working Abroad Alumni Grant for InterExchange participants eager to share their volunteer or work abroad experience with their local U.S. community once they return.
What our participants are saying
The program walked me through every step leading up to my departure—the application and finding a family. After I arrived, they assured me that I could come to them if I needed help and continued to check in to make sure I was settling in well. Julia
Don't hesitate to participate in this program. You will experience an adventure of a lifetime that you will keep with your for the rest of your life. Heather