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English teachers in Paris Message Board › WORKING IN ELT IN PARIS


Sean L.
user 6134483
Group Organizer
Berlin, DE
Post #: 98
Disclaimer: the following may well be out-of-date, incomplete or plain wrong.

You'll need a European passport or some sort of young-persons work visa to get any sort of work at all.

Some language schools say that a qualification is also a pre-requisite but if you have experience in teaching or business then it's less important.

For people looking to work with adults some sort of specialist knowledge is also handy - logistics, law, finance, medical or fashion for example.

Most people get work through language schools such as Wall St, Telelangue, IFCL, Berlitz etc. They may offer you a contract, or you can also set up as an "auto-entrepreneur" and invoice them for the hours that you have worked.

In the former case, the contract will usualy be a CDI (contrat à durée indéterminée - permanent contract) or a CDD (contrat à durée déterminée - fixed-term contract), with the former obviously generally being more desirable. I think there's also a CDII which may be the least interesting of the lot. The language school will often offer you some benefits such as luncheon vouchers, travels costs, a mutuelle (health-care top-up plan) etc. They will usually guarantee you a number of hours per week, so you get paid for, say, 20 hours even if they haven't made you work all those hours. However in return you are expected to be available most of the week at short notice so it's pretty difficult to work elsewhere. People sometimes try to negotiate Wednesdays off, for example, so that they can work as English-speaking nannies because kids don't go to school on Wednesdays. Rates are 18-24 Euros per hour for general English training when you start, unless you have particularly marketable experience.

Setting up as an "auto-entrepreneur" is quite simple on-line and means that you just invoice people for work done - so you can work for multiple schools and also with the clients directly (of course you don't benefit from any perks). It's also relatively light on paper-work and you don't pay too much tax or social charges - but you are capped at 32,000 Euros per year turnover. Mind you this is not so much of a problem as the rates can be as little at 25 Euros per hour, going up to 35 €ph for general English. Of course if you have specialised industry experience then you may be able to demand much more - maybe up to 90 €ph in rare cases.

Working at universities is possible too ("vacataire" contracts), although there are conditions attached. And of course there's always private lessons at someone's home or in a café for between 25 and 30 Euros per hours cash-in-hand although I supppose that it's technically illegal.

More details can be gleaned by joining which costs about 44 Euro a year. Claire at is also a great source of advice for a similar price.

These organisations are also the best way to find work (they each each send out excellent joblists) as well as the free magazine FUSAC (available in all expat bars and on-line). Then there's word-of-mouth, prospecting and of course this discussion board.

Bethany Cagnol, an American, is the president of Tesol and her interesting blog is here:

Good luck! Cheers, Sean
Dana S.
user 40336002
Paris, FR
Post #: 1
Hello Sean

I keep asking this question everywhere (as I'm sure, hoards of others do), but as far as you know there are no schools/institutions that will provide a visa to an experienced English teacher from the USA? I've been trying to check out my options for working in France and at the moment it seems the only way in is to go enroll in a university to earn the right to work part time. I'm trying to collect more info from any/all sources I can.


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