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Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

How to Teach English in Paris
By:Stacey Richardson

Paris is one of the most desirable locations for an English teacher to work for its prime location, rich cultural history and relatively decent level of pay. The only drawback is that potential employers favor residents from France and the European Union when filling vacancies because they do not require work permits. Securing a job can be challenging, but with the right qualifications, dedication and a lot of luck, those from outside the E.U. may land jobs as English teachers in Paris.

Get a higher education. France is one of the many countries in the European Union who require English teachers to have a university degree. Having a TEFL or TESOL certificate in addition to a degree will improve your chances of landing a job, even more so if you have a specialization in teaching business English or young children. Many schools in Paris will require Trinity or CELTA training, which is provided by the Trinity College of London and Cambridge University, respectively.

Volunteer at a local ESL school to gain valuable hands-on experience. While it's not impossible to land a job immediately after graduation, chances are you will be competing for jobs with teachers who have years of experience behind them. Before you plan your trip to Paris, volunteer at a local English school or privately tutor ESL students from your home to build up your resume and experience.

Make sure you have a basic (at minimum) understanding of French. While most employers will converse with you in English, showing initiative in assimilating with the local culture will earn you points during an interview---not to mention make your life in Paris much easier! Don't forget to have your CV translated into French and include a great photo of yourself---it's not taboo in Europe to feature a headshot on the first page of your resume.

Plan your trip to France---the prime time to apply for teaching jobs is in June and July when the academic year has ended and spaces become available. Compile a list of all of the international schools located in Paris and submit your CV to them, including a cover letter explaining when you will be in Paris and available for interviews. Make a list of where all of your potential interviews will be located and research the cost of living to budget your expenses. Find accommodation that is cheap and close to public transport to keep your traveling costs down while you look for work.

Buy your tickets. Visitors from America can only stay in France for 90 days as a tourist, so odds are you will return home in three months or less---hopefully with an offer of employment from a school.

Visit online forums and speak to English teachers already based in Paris for tips on how to land a job.

Having an E.U. passport will greatly improve your job prospects, so find out if any of your family members hold European passports and see if you are eligible to apply for one of your own.

It is extremely difficult to find work in France if you are not from the European Union, so whatever you do, don't book a one-way ticket.

Some schools may offer to pay you "under the table," but steer clear as you will have no contract or work permit to rely on and you will often be overworked and highly underpaid.

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