Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

American. Teaching English. Student Visa?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> France
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
acrainbow



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: American. Teaching English. Student Visa? Reply with quote

I have been searching this board for some of these questions I have, and I am getting mixed responses.

I am an American, a soon-to-be college grad with 3 years of tutoring experience and one year of experience as a professor's assistant.

I would really like to teach English in France this upcoming year, and I would love to become proficient in French through the process. My current plan is to take a CELTA course in Paris and hope to find work afterward. I am not picky about WHERE I work, as long as I can be hired.

Then I ran into the problem of needing a visa before being hired, and decided (from advice from this board and other places) that I can enroll in a French language course for a student visa. Since I would like to learn French anyway, this seems like a good idea to me. I know I would be restricted to 20 hours of work per week, but that sounds like the most I will be able to find teaching English at a private language school anyway. I have found a course that will warrant me my student visa for the year for 12 weeks of classes.

My question is, why are there so many conflicting reactions to the CELTA on this board? Is it "useless" as some say, or "the gold standard" as others say? I am also hearing conflicting opinions about whether work opportunities are abundant or very hard to come by. Also, are there any Americans with experience using a student visa with the priority of working? How dangerous is this?


Thaaaanks ahead of time for any input! I need to get this sorted out in the next few days!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9128
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I'm not in France, but I've got extensive experience in the region over the past decade and I know people who do teach in France, so I'll chip in my two cent's worth as no-one else has responded so far. Hopefully others actually in-country will chime in soon.

Jobs are not abundant.
There are teachers around with qualifications, experience, and local contacts.
Therefore, there is competition for what positions are out there.
Standard job contracts are usually from Sept/Oct through June, with very little going in the summer holiday season. This is far from an ideal time to try to find regular work (I don't know when you are thinking of coming over).

CELTA is immediately recognisable as meeting the entry-level standard by most reputable employers. Having a CELTA makes life easier in the sense that it's got name recognition.

There are generic certs out there that also meet the standard. If you go for a generic, be sure to highlight on your CV the key elements: at least 120 hours on-site, and including a supervised teaching practicuum with real students.

Your student visa for 12 weeks of classes raises a red flag. 90 days (roughly 12 weeks) is the maximum you can legally remain in the Schengen zone without actual work/living permits (google Schengen zone if you're not already familiar iwth the laws). Do you mean that they are going to give you a student visa for an entire academic year and you only have to attend classes for 12 weeks? If so, that's great, but I think you will want to be absolutely sure on this point so that you know where you stand legally without any doubt.

If you have a legitimate student visa that legitimately allows you to live and work for however long you plan to be in France, you are in no legal danger. If you have a 12-week visa for study only and you overstay your 90 days or work when you are not explicitly allowed to do so, then you are at risk. If you are technically working illegally, you will have no legal protection from exploitative schools or landlords, and at any time you have contact with authorities, there is a risk of deportation (I know of a few American EFL teachers who have actually been caught, deported, and banned from the Schengen zone for up to five years, though obviously this is the worst-case scenario and is rare).

I think you want to be sure you will be legally in the country if you are going to stay longer than 90 days. I think you will also want to assume that a job will not be easy to get, and that you will probably have to cobble together a couple of jobs to make ends meet. You could get lucky, but it's best to plan for the minimum, so that you are sure you have enough resources to fall back on in case.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
acrainbow



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your reply!! Any information helps. I am aware from general research that jobs are not easy to come by. I am mostly concerned about being legally allowed to work.

The course I have found was actually recommended somewhere in the depths of this forum. I have been in contact with Campus Langues (www.campuslangues.com) in Paris, and they have explained to me that if I preregister with them for courses, that their acceptance letter will be sufficient to get a student visa for one year. They have said that in order to maintain this status I have to register for their 12 week course. The reason I bring these details up is because it seems almost "too good to be true" in a sense. However, if this is the case, this is what I would like to do.

I definitely have no intention of working illegally!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9128
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds as though you need someone with direct information/experience about this specific course. If what they are saying is correct, it does sound as though you would be legal. You might ask them directly how a 12-week course can make you eligible for a full year visa - their response would be enlightening, I'd think.
Do let us know what comes up!
And hopefully someone will be along here with direct knowledge of this programme soon.......
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
acrainbow



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your input! I have been emailing the school and they seem very straight-forward about their process. Hoping for more information in the upcoming weeks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9128
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do keep us posted - others will be interested - and good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sweaty Ted



Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 54
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject: Teaching in France Reply with quote

Hello! I taught EFL in Paris from 2000 to 2003. I have an EU passport (Ireland), but I was born and raised in the USA. As for Americans teaching in Paris, there are several. I know that the challenges may seem daunting if you are a non-EU passport holder; however, if you enroll as a student at an accredited institution in France, you can get a work visa for 20 hours per week. Also, find out at your university's French dept. how you can become an assistant. This would involve a one-year contract that would require you to teach English as an aide in one of the French secondary schools.
If you need information on EU passports, I can offer you this: any person with at least one parent or grandparent born in Ireland, Italy, Poland or Greece is considered to be a citizen of one of those nations by birth. This means that you can avail of the privileges of a citizen, namely acquiring a passport, the most visible sign of your citizenship.
Now, I loved living in Paris, but it wasn't always easy. Paris is expensive. EFL teaching pays enough to get by, but not much more. One major problem is that much of the work is hourly and tends to dry up in the summer, so you need to save for those dry spells.
Don't listen to all the naysayers who claim that it's impossible for an American to teach in France. It can be done, but with a lot of research and effort. Remember, though, that teaching EFL in France can be a great experience, but it would be very hard to make a career out of it unless you are married to someone earning a substantially higher salary or you have another source of income from rentals or investments.
I wish you luck. Feel free to contact me if need be.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sherrymole



Joined: 18 Apr 2004
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Teaching in France Reply with quote

Sweaty Ted wrote:
If you need information on EU passports, I can offer you this: any person with at least one parent or grandparent born in Ireland, Italy, Poland or Greece is considered to be a citizen of one of those nations by birth. This means that you can avail of the privileges of a citizen, namely acquiring a passport, the most visible sign of your citizenship.

FYI: Getting your citizenship for Ireland (not sure about the other countries mentioned) requires gathering original, long-form birth, marriage (if applicable) and death certificates (if applicable) for you (well, no death cert for you!), your parent(s), and your grandparent(s).

Once you get all of these documents and complete the application, if your application is approved, you will be added to the Foreign Births Registry. Then, you can apply for an Irish passport. From the time you first send in the documents until the whole process is completed can take at least one year.

More details here: http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=267
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
acrainbow



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to both of you for the information!

Ted, thank you for the encouragement. I don't think I qualify for an EU passport. My grandparents are British, I wish that helped. But otherwise, I'm pretty much long-time American.

I agree with the Paris being expensive sentiment... I am hoping to get out of the Paris area after my certification course is finished.

Currently my plan is:
Complete the 4 week CELTA course in June and 12 week language course, finishing in time to get a contract that starts in September (told this is the peak hiring time) somewhere other than Paris. I'll continue to enroll in a language course to keep my visa valid. If I can't find jobs in other places, I will just have to really work hard through the year to stay afloat there.

I don't intend to make this a career. I just want to do it for a year, experience French language and culture, and become certified. If I decide I love France too much after the year is over (not really my plan, though), I would just apply for graduate school at that point.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 113
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with getting out of Paris is that even though living costs reduce, so do work opportunities. France is an extremely centralised country, and the vast majority of companies are based in Paris - especially companies with an international dimension, i.e. those that need to train their staff in English.

There *are* opportunities outisde Paris, but I believe they are much fewer and further between, and much more competitive. You might consider looking at university vacataire work, but you usually need a "main" employer already in order to take advantage of those - though maybe the rules are different for student visas.

That said, you could try Lyon, Toulouse, Marseilles and Lille since they are the biggest cities, and see how you get on. I have a friend who just got a job in Toulouse, but she was an experienced English teacher and speaks French - I believe that a couple of the interviews she had were in French, since many DOSs outside of Paris aren't necessarily English speakers. Do you speak any French already? While it's not really necessary in Paris, in the provinces it becomes much more of an asset.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
acrainbow



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, to those reading this forum in the future with the same questions I had....

After a lot of hard work and stress and paperwork and creativity, I have managed to get through a student visa appointment and will be going to Paris for the year Smile Getting my CELTA certification and then taking a French class and hoping to teach English. So it CAN happen if you try hard and work for it!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
free31



Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Location: To be Toulouse

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done!

One other positive thing - all that paperwork will stand you in good stead for your arrival in France - known as 'the country of paperwork' - and for good reason!

Would be interested on hearing how the CELTA in Paris goes, it's something I may consider doing in the future.

I shall be moving to Toulouse very shortly (have lived elsewhere in France for 13 years) and am currently looking for work there. I would echo a lot of the comments made earlier. Firstly, it is far easier to find work when you are here - although I'm only two hours drive from Toulouse, I have learnt that not having a Toulouse address on my CV puts me to the bottom of the pile!

Secondly, the interview I had last week with Inlignua was entirely in French, the other one I have just had was in English, but French is needed to a reasonable standard to be able to converse with the parents (childrens' club) re progress/issues etc.

Let me know if I can help with any info re work/life in Toulouse. Good luck with the CELTA!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vashdown2



Joined: 14 Feb 2007
Posts: 122
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,



I have lived on and off in Paris from the time I was 20 years old and spent my Junior Year Abroad.. that was 17 years ago. Im an American as well.

Here are some options for you:

What most people do, is sign up for FRENCH CLASSES... and get a 1 year student visa which then allows you to work 20 hours a week at a language school. or, just get paid in the black, with private students. The Sorbonne runs a famous program for learning French, but its expesnive. Even an inscription to a little known French school for over 6 months of classes will entitely you for a student visa. But remember! You also have to show the Govt that you have xxx amount of Euros to support yourself each month in the bank already.

If you are nice young woman, you can find a job as a part time Nanny, and you will usually get accomodation from the family in exchange for maybe 15-20 hours work per week. Then you can teach ESL on the side to make more money.

There ia also the French Assistantship program, run through the French Embassy in Wash DC that recrits maybe 500 or 1000 college grads to live all over France, not just Paris. It gives you a work permit. And little salary maybe 800 euros a month.

As far as the langauge school offering the CELTA-- I am not sure that would work for getting a student visa in France. I remember thinking of something like that, and the French want you to be here studying French! Not English.

It is not an easy road.

I am American as well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
d moon



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Why would you want to pay to work? Reply with quote

Hello,

I wish you well in your endeavours but why on earth would you pay money to a school so you could work for another school for peanuts? By the way I know a recruiter for one of these 'backpack rates' schools and she is literally inundated with CVs on a daily basis, (many from people with MAs, PGCEs and the like along with years of experience).

The higher paying jobs are really only found from networking and that requires a significant amount of time. The wheels of time turn sloooowly, as do the wheels of administration as I think you've already discovered with your student visa. Get ready for a lot more creativity!

CELTAs count for zip in France. I'm sorry but it's true. Being able to explain complex grammar in French counts for rather more. There are many other countries where it is valued so you might want to try one of them later.

Come and enjoy the country, learn French, spend money (I hope you have a lot). You will have a fabulous time!

But working in ESL? Ouch!

Also be prepared to fight with the millions of other students who can't find a place to live.

http://etudiant.aujourdhui.fr/etudiant/info/rentree-plus-d-un-million-d-etudiants-en-mal-de-logement.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> France All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC