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To France I Must - A Determined American with a Family
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d moon



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: France ESL Reply with quote

If you can get 'round the nationality issues France is a wonderful place to teach ESL but you need to be creative. I do between 20-30h per week and pay varies between 20-35€ after charges (but of course there are also impôts each year). I made a hell of alot more in Shanghai with less stress but I never developed the same kind of relationships as I do here. This leads to other jobs, especially in translation and PR, because everything in Paris works on networks. And despite the doom and gloom business is booming here.

Of course I'm fairly fortunate, 20 of my weekly hours are 15 minutes from my home and when I cross the pérephirique it's for day long sessions of at least 6 hours.

That said, you really have to hustle and I'm hoping that long-term some of my connections are going to lead to the holy grail of a CDI in a PR or advertising agency.

As far as ESL, the Far East is where it's at. I'm constantly tempted to return because of the quality of life that a
competent teacher can have.

Lucky you, you're already established in Japan. I'd recommend staying there.

And yes I'm an American passport holder.

By the way, you need to be able to explain complex grammar points in French. In fact in alot of my classes I speak more French than English. A nice little bonus for me because I'm practically an interpreter now.

France is a very complex and heirarchical society and if you can move smoothely between our anglo-saxone perspective and the French one you are in business.

Forget about the CAPES, even if François Hollande is promising 60,000 new teaching posts those are reserved for French citizens.

And I'll repeat once more, I'd much rather be in Japan, well actually Hong Kong, but that's neither here nor there.

Stay determined!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9390
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And yes I'm an American passport holder


So, please tell how you have been able to get around this near-insurmountable problem. That's the most relevant bit of information of all.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Quebec!


Of course, he doesn't have the right to live or work in Quebec, any more than he does in France. But I agree--Quebec can have a very European feel, particularly Montreal and Quebec City, two of may favorite North American cities.
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Xie Lin



Joined: 21 Oct 2011
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
And yes I'm an American passport holder


So, please tell how you have been able to get around this near-insurmountable problem. That's the most relevant bit of information of all.


I, too, am very interested in how d moon has managed the visa issues. Care to tell us?
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d moon



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: It's called a carte de résident Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
And yes I'm an American passport holder


So, please tell how you have been able to get around this near-insurmountable problem. That's the most relevant bit of information of all.


They've clamped down on them under the Sarkozy administration but I got mine before he was elected and I imagine under Hollande things will be a bit easier. They are renewable every ten years.

And believe me it was a big headache (many early mornings at the Prefecture because there was always some document missing) and a big surprise when I received one.

Which brings me to my final point. For an American wanting to work in France it's really not worth it. I would love to be elsewhere but unfortunately this is home (I'd much rather be in Tokyo, Bangkok, Hanoi, Shanghai, et oui Shenyang). I mean come on, 6000 kuai and you've got a beautiful 3 bedroom apartment on the 30th floor in zhongshan park, Shanghai whereas in Paris that might get you a 20m room in a flat share in some shitty quartier (and the wages are better in Shanghai).

And like I said previously you have to be a lot more creative in generating income. I haven't had a holiday since returning about a year ago but once you get your network in place possibilities open up. And yes there is alot of work, especially if you speak English and Mandarin because that's where the market is now.

Bonne chance!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9390
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They've clamped down on them under the Sarkozy administration but I got mine before he was elected and I imagine under Hollande things will be a bit easier. They are renewable every ten years.

And believe me it was a big headache (many early mornings at the Prefecture because there was always some document missing) and a big surprise when I received one.


The problem now will be the Schengen zone laws (began Jan 2009). An American arriving in the zone now has only 90 days to get paperwork organised - if over the time limit, he/she will have to leave for 90 days before returning to try again, legally speaking.

I'd say it's no longer just a matter of being patient and persistent. It's likely impossible to do it in the legal time period anymore.
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d moon



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Why so much doom and gloom Reply with quote

If he really wants to be here, even if I cant understand why, there are ways. Yes, there is an incredible amount of admin BS to put up with but it is possible. I just don't understand why anyone would want to come to Paris, it's a fucking shithole, unless you have solid business and finance experience behind you.

Sorry but that's the truth.

Paris is a wonderful place to visit but living and working here is a completely different kettle of fish. I don't have any anglophone friends here and let me tell you the French are suffering.... bad. I consider myself lucky compared to most in my entourage.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9390
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long did it take you to actually finally achieve the paperwork? That's the most salient point, given the 2009 changes in the law.
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riverboat



Joined: 22 May 2009
Posts: 114
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comments d moon. I agree that Paris is generally a better place to visit than to live - but it's not hard to see why people are drawn here, given how romanticised it is in books, films etc.

That said , I know people of various nationalities who have alternately loved or hated living in Paris, and had opposing views on the balance of good and bad things about living here (the worst thing nearly always being living space, or lack thereof). I do think it tends to be a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it place to live.

Kinda agree about the hustling thing too, but I got a CDI after one year without too much hustling - combination of lucky timing and track record. My job is pretty cushty in terms of hours and effort, 5 weeks holiday, plus I really like my colleagues and the school directors are decent. That said, I think I'd still be pretty badly off money-wise if I had to pay for my own studio/room, even with my CDI. I'm lucky too to have ended up living with a significant other.

Anyway, this is all a little off topic, but even though I think your view is a little extreme it does provide a valid antidote to the "dream" of living in Paris (not sure about the rest of France) compared to the reality.

Quote:
I don't have any anglophone friends here and let me tell you the French are suffering.... bad. I consider myself lucky compared to most in my entourage.


What do you mean by this? Don't quite get what you're implying...
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d moon



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: What I mean Reply with quote

I mean there are alot of French who are really struggling right now.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9390
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm STILL curious how many months it took d moon to acquire legal paperwork.

Clearly he/she went through the process, from his/her posts above, before Schengen zone laws took effect in Jan of 2009, and again I'll seriously doubt that any amount of patience and persistence would ensure success today.

This is highly relevant to the OP in this post and others, so concrete information would be appreciated by many, I'm sure.
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Theory



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xie Lin wrote:
Sashadroogie wrote:
Quebec!


Of course, he doesn't have the right to live or work in Quebec, any more than he does in France. But I agree--Quebec can have a very European feel, particularly Montreal and Quebec City, two of may favorite North American cities.


Sasha, yes I have considered Quebec, especially Montreal. Xie Lin is right that I don't have the right to work in Quebec, but I think it would be easier (but perhaps only a little) and probably cheaper to try and get a job and work permit in Quebec than France. So I will definitely continue to consider this as an option in the future.

I too am curious and would love more details about how long d moon took to get his papers and how much luck played in that endeavor.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1212

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP: When you say you want to live in France, did you have anywhere in mind? Living in Paris is different than living in Bordeaux, for example; and you'd have a different experience again if you were in the countryside. Perhaps another way of approaching your long-term aims would be to focus on one part of the country first - get to know it, people and customs there, build up some of that local knowledge that Spiral (imo rightly) suggests could help for visa sponsorship possibilities. France is a lot, lot bigger than just Paris!

And just for the record, I'd agree with a lot of what others have said about Paris. I lived there (a long time ago) and it was a struggle compared to visiting it on holiday. Even visiting it on holiday a few months ago I'd have to say that the endless traffic, dog crap and hugely inflated prices put me off. No amount of grandiose buildings really made up for that. On the other hand, provincial cities such as Bordeaux or Reims have a completely different vibe.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9390
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Perhaps another way of approaching your long-term aims would be to focus on one part of the country first - get to know it, people and customs there, build up some of that local knowledge that Spiral (imo rightly) suggests


Yes - but that's difficult, when, as a US citizen, the OP is limited to 90 days per visit, followed by 90 days out. It MIGHT be possible to build enough of a rep somewhere within 3 months for an employer to consider tackling the very considerable legal barriers against hiring EFL teachers from outside the EU - but I think it's a very long (and expensive) shot.
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d moon



Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Over a year Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I'm STILL curious how many months it took d moon to acquire legal paperwork.

Clearly he/she went through the process, from his/her posts above, before Schengen zone laws took effect in Jan of 2009, and again I'll seriously doubt that any amount of patience and persistence would ensure success today.

This is highly relevant to the OP in this post and others, so concrete information would be appreciated by many, I'm sure.


I've been quite busy so haven't really taken the time to reply. Desolé.

So yes, paper work. Like I believe I said previously I was processed well before the new laws kicked in and had a relatively easy ride compared to some.

When I say easy that means I have a right to live here because of family connections and it took well over a year, probably about a year and a half of three-monthly visits to the Prefecture before I received a carte de resident.

As I understand they don't issue these as often now, at least not without about 5 years of proven tax records and an income that is somewhat higher than the SMIC.

I was on a bit of a downer about Paris last week so don't let me put you off. It has nothing to do with the city, but the grind. I think we all have our love hate moments with the place but fortunately the former rather outweigh the latter.

Work is abundant (if you know what you're doing), most of the students are an absolute delight and Parisians are some of the most solid people you'll ever meet. The scowls you see on the street quickly warm into welcoming smiles once you develop more intimate relations and for all its ups and downs, there's no place I 'd rather be.
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