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Cost of Living in Paris Compared to Teachers Salary?
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philomenafay



Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:11 am    Post subject: Cost of Living in Paris Compared to Teachers Salary? Reply with quote

Hi:

This is my first post here, and am hoping to learn a little about the cost of living in Paris and how well (or badly?) EFL teachers do as far as salaries and cost of living goes.

I'm currently teaching in Bangkok, Thailand but looking to move to Paris in the next couple of months to teach EFL. I have a BA and a TEFL certification as well as experience teaching kindergarten, and a few months experience teaching Thais. I also have corporate training experience in the US.

What are my options in Paris as far as teaching goes? Is it pretty much language schools, and what's the average salary they pay every month?

How expensive are apartments? Is it possible to get a 1-bedroom reasonably priced in Paris, or would I have to look at studios, and how far from the city center would I have to be to be able to afford an okay apartment (and by okay, I mean en suite bathroom, furnished, small kitche, preferably with cable TV)?

In Bangkok, the average salary for a TEFL teacher is around 30,000 baht (about $750 US a month) but when a 1-bedroom apartment, in an area near the skytrain so it's easier to get around, runs 15,000 to 20,000 baht, it doesn't leave much money to live on. People say Bangkok is cheap. It's only cheap if you live pretty much like a Thai (eat street food, live in a tiny basic studio apartment with Thai shower - ie: the bathroom is just a tiny room, and when you take a shower the water floods all over the bathroom, all over the sink, all over the toilet etc. and then drains down a hole in the floor, etc).

If you want to have any kind of Western lifestyle, then Bangkok is just as expensive as the US or Europe, and your salary is only 1/5th of what you would make there. I've tried to do both Thai and Western things, but it's still been costing me 40,000 baht a month (ie: $250 a month more than I'm making) just to have ANY decent kind of life. Plus the pollution in Bangkok is killing me!!!

So, I'm wondering if Paris would be any better?? I like to hang out in cafes drinking coffee, going to museums, theatre and movies - oh and I'm a writer in my spare time. I like to take mini-vacations two or three times a year, and I like to live in an apartment that is in a nice building preferably relatively close to the city center - don't mind a studio though if it's nice enough. Is any of this remotely possible on an EFL teachers salary or am I just living in cloud cuckoo land?

Oh, and how are the French to teach? Thais are an absolute joy to teach, and I love teaching more than anything else I've ever done. Hopefully, it would be the same in France?

Oh and by the way, I'm a British citizen not American, so it should be easy enough for me to be able to legally work in France, right?

Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks!!
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not pop over to Phnom Penh? You need about eigh hundred a month to live decently. Some get by on four to five hundred, but a thousand is ideal. It used to be known as the Paris of the East so you might feel at home!

all best
khmerhit Very Happy
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suzula_1



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teachers in Paris average about 20 euros an hour in language schools on a part-time basis. A nice studio apartment in a central neighborhood will cost between 850 and 1000 euros a month. Check out www.fusac.org for jobs and rentals.
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Ericainfrance



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 1
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in Tours,France in Wall Street Institute and they pay here just between 9 and 11 euros an hour depending on how long you've been with them, etc.
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rogan



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 416
Location: at home, in France

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:22 am    Post subject: salary in France Reply with quote

Current vacancies in France are offering between 8 Euros and 15 Euros per hour.

ref Inlingua et al.
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lostinparis



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 77
Location: within range of a flying baguette

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont agree with suzula's estimation of 20 euros an hour as the average wage for language schools in paris.

i interviewed at five different schools within the past few months and found the range to be between 9.25 - 17.00 euros an hour. The dismal 9.25 was for Berlitz, English teaching by telephone was around 12, small private language schools were around 12-14, and most of the business English schools pay around 14 - 16. The one job I interviewed for at 17 euros an hour was for a private language group started for bratty kids from super wealthy families living in the 16th. I politely declined.

Remember though, that these figure are your salaire brut - and will not be the amount you actually take home. You also have to subtract another 20+ percent for social services and all those other things the French government takes out of your check. So for example, on the 14.50 I get paid, I actually earn about 11.30 euros. Most schools will also pay half your carte orange (monthly metro ticket) and some throw in added goodies like a mutelle (which covers medical costs that the regular sÚcuritÚ sociale does not) or tickets restaurants (coupons good towards food or meals purchased in restaurants or stores)... these all help, of course, but they certainly don't pay your rent.

Remember too that on top of the 20+ percent, you also have to pay taxes!!! (haven't done this yet myself, but am not looking forward to it.... french friends tell me it is another 20 percent?)

Private lessons certainly help. Going rates are about 20 euros an hour (maybe this is what suzula was talking about?) But this is not stable - students cancel and I often find myself running around Paris from lesson to lesson only to be worn out at the end of the day...

As to philomenafays question on living standards.... a furnished one bedroom in the city center will easily cost you upwards of 1000 euros. French friends I know pay less, but they have been living in the same apartment for several years, took it unfurnished, and speak French. If you don't speak any French, it will be very difficult (though not impossible) for you to find a good deal because you will be competing with locals who speak French, already have the necessary papers and are familiar with how the apartment hunting game works. You can easily spend 50% or more of your salary on an apartment... not such a change from Bangkok.....
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daily chai



Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 150
Location: Brussels

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LostinParis, do you ask for advance pay with privates? In Taiwan and Korea the demand is high--people literally stopped me in apartment hallways to ask me if I'd teach their kids. In these countries I always ask for a one month advance (and get it). People who cancel with less than 6 hours to go (i.e. I've already left the house or am at work by then) don't get a refund. Between 24 hours and 6 hours I give a 50% refund. When I get a request for a lesson in a "new" neighborhood I tell the parent/whomever is paying that I want another private lesson in the locale afterward or I won't be able to take on the class. If it's kids, that always works. Parents seem to ask around in their church or apartment complex. Lastly, I limit the number of students to 4 in a class because otherwise I can't give enough individual attention. I also limit the time for kids to an hour and for adults to 1.5 hours, to help everyone stay focused. Those limits also help make new follow-on classes if needed.

Hmm, maybe I should post this in the general discussion forum too. A lot of new teachers here have questions on privates.
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go2guy



Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 74
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are "ecoles superieures" in Paris, aren't there? I'm sure there are several worth applying to. This is where there is decent money to made in France. I grossed over 40E/hour at a couple of the schools where I worked in Lyon. True, language schools paid less in that market as well -- usually in that 20-25E range. If you are properly qualified (diplomas & passport) and have experience why not set your sights higher than the Inlinguas and Wall Streets of this world! Unless you are some kind of Paris-lover, why not also consider other cities in France? I think you can find much more reasonable accommodation and not have to fight through the jungle every day. Good luck!
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daily chai



Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 150
Location: Brussels

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen.
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Littlebird



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 82
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:29 am    Post subject: Cost of Living in Paris Compared to Teachers Salary? Reply with quote

Don't take this the wrong way I am not criticising or judging but how do any of you except for the odd high earner make enough to live on ? You all quote rates of around 15 euros per hour and then say but you can only get part time work and then apparently there is 20% social and ON TOP ? 20% tax ? When does the tax kick in ? Do you make up your salaries with private work, do you pay tax on this ? What if there isn't any private work ? In the UK no-one or very few people want or can afford to pay for their children to have private French lessons, is it so different over there ? Don't you have to have a superieur knowledge of grammar to teach ? CELTA don't teach you grammar ?

I want to come out there but can't help thinking I will end up in debt ! Do you all have massive savings or do you live with someone who is supporting you ?

No offence intended.
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lostinparis



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 77
Location: within range of a flying baguette

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no offense taken.

i made ends meet because.....

i lived in an apartment the size of a closet, which the French government subsidized because I am at a very low income level. (they pay about half of my 535 euro rent). It's called the CAF. You can check it out at www.caf.fr

I'm a cheapie:
I often cook at home and don't go out to eat.
I purchase very few things - only what i need (and go the library to read books, and buy movie tickets at matinee prices)
My friends come over and talk and drink tea/coffee/etc instead of us going out to a swanky place.

Two of my schools each paid for half my metro ticket.

When I go on vacation, my boyfriend (who has a real money-earning job) pays for both of us. (because otherwise I can't go)

The truth is, is that you will probably end up in debt initially (at least if you live in Paris), as it is difficult to make significantly more than you earn. Privates are always available in Paris but are often unreliable in terms of income because if you teach high school students or younger, they are often on holiday and won't need lessons those weeks. Also, people usually want you to come to their house, so you waste a lot of time running from apartment to apartment.

As for grammar, schools will ask about your grammar ability, but more along the lines of "how would you teach the present perfect?" rather than giving you a test or anything like that. That said, very few schools even inquired about my grammar and took it as a given that I knew what I was talking about.

This year I was a bit luckier and got my teaching post at the universitywhich pays significantly more. The problem is that you will teach for 6 months and see no money. They pay you about 2 - 3 months after each semester ends.

Anyway, I didn't realize how tight the financial situation would be when I first moved to Paris and was thus miserable my first year there. My second year was better, but I don't foresee being able to support myself as an English teacher there forever. After another year, Ill be moving back to the States to start a graduate program in a totally non-related field. EFL in Europe just doesn't pay enough, unfortunately.
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goalies



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The situation here is exactly as lostinparis says. I am in France and totally agrees; I should leave the country soon for another where English teachers are paid decently.
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Littlebird



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 82
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 12:05 pm    Post subject: Cost of Living in Paris Compared to Teachers Salary? Reply with quote

Ah at last someone tells it as it really is !! You have to have a fella !! I thought so. Mmm I probably would not get a bloke and end really broke ! I can live cheaply but what you describe sounds bad. Isn't it possible to get another job eg bar work or would this be impossible as you might have to be in two places at once.

I'm really worried about the grammar. I know what the present is and what the perfect is but what is the present perfect ? How can we know grammar unless we have studied it ? I am good at French grammar but don't know English grammar, I would be totally stumped if someone asked me to explain finer points. Perhaps I should get a grammar book.

Could you please give egs of the grammar you teach so that I can make an informed decision about the grammar issue. Any reference books would also be a help.

Thanks a bundle
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There lots of grammar books, so it is hard to chosse just a few. Is there a library near you? It migh have an EFL section in which case there will be grammar books on the shelves. A ver good one is called The Grammar Hammer, i forget the author. good luck. Hope you find a fella! Very Happy
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lostinparis



Joined: 04 Feb 2004
Posts: 77
Location: within range of a flying baguette

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ah at last someone tells it as it really is !! You have to have a fella !!


As an independent, educated woman with my own apartment, my own job, my own bills, my own social circle, and my own life... who scraped by on next to nothing so I could live in Paris for the last two years, I am slightly miffed that you read somewhere in my post that it is necessary to have a man to exist in France. It isn't.

I do not live with my boyfriend. I simply said that he has been paying the lion's share of vacations, mostly because I don't want to spend the little money i've managed to save. The first year I was in Paris, I blew my small savings on trips to Tunisia and India (my own money, thank you very much) so I had no vacation budget this year.

I am an independent person who pays for ALL my own expenses (except vacations Wink ) with my own salary.

Quote:
Isn't it possible to get another job eg bar work or would this be impossible as you might have to be in two places at once.

Most other work is minimum wage - nearly half of what I make as an EFL teacher. Besides, I was working at FOUR schools: I didn't have time for minimum wage jobs, much less private lessons (many of which I had to turn down for lack of time).

Quote:
I'm really worried about the grammar. I know what the present is and what the perfect is but what is the present perfect ? How can we know grammar unless we have studied it ? I am good at French grammar but don't know English grammar, I would be totally stumped if someone asked me to explain finer points. Perhaps I should get a grammar book.


Regarding grammar: the finer points are what you are being paid to teach. Students are going to ask you some tough questions and will expect you to know the answers. After all, you're supposed to be the expert!

Cambridge has an excellent three part series. If I remember correctly, the books are called "Essential grammar in use" (beginning students) "English grammar in use" (for intermediate level students) and "Advanced grammar." The books are widely available and not too expensive. They should give you some idea of what teachers are supposed to know.
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