For those of you who think you too may want to be an assistant in France, the 2014-15 application just opened two days ago. Apply! I’m not quite one month in yet, but as of right now, I would recommend the program, especially for those considering careers in education, something international, or language. You won’t get rich, I mean you only work 12 hours a week, but you are paid enough to live on. I wrote a post towards the beginning of the blog about choosing your preference of regions, which I have since updated (as of today). As for some other advice, when choosing your recommendations, I would choose the teacher/person who knows you best in a context related to French and/or education to write the letter. Choose a French teacher you’ve had recently to evaluate your language skills. It doesn’t seem much value is put on how well you speak French, so it’s best to ask the person who knows you better for the letter. Good luck to all those applying to TAPIF!
If you’re wondering what other assistant programs there are (I know I was), here’s a few others I know of: If you’re looking to be an assistant and make more money plus you speak a little Japanese and want to live in Japan, look into the JET program. I’ve known some people who have done it and they liked it. Fulbrights also pay more money and they have some great programs in many different countries, but are very hard to get. If you get a Fulbright in France, you will be placed in a ZEP (zone d’éducation prioritaire) region. The Fulbright program in France is linked to TAPIF, so if you don’t make it to the finals, your application will be recommended by the Fulbright commission to TAPIF. You can only apply to one country through the Fulbright, and since many countries only have assistant programs through Fulbright, it can be a unique opportunity to try to get the Fulbright for somewhere other than France and apply to France through TAPIF separately.
And by the way, yes, I’m moving. Not anything major, just to another apartment. -Why? You’re not quite even one month in!- All I can say is, I’m doing this for me. Am I miserable where I am right now? No. Is it as bad as how I felt with my host family in Nantes? Not at all. Yet, I don’t feel like it’s the right situation for me for different reasons. I have no idea if I’ll actually be happier at the new apartment, but I’m taking my chances and hoping it works out. This time, I won’t have roommates. There aren’t many options left for colocations at this point in the year. It’s not far from where I’m currently living and a little closer to my school. Very importantly, I can apply for CAF making it less expensive than what I’m paying now. On that note, if you’re interested in a place and you’re not allowed to apply for CAF there, I’d recommend being a bit weary of that owner because assistants should be allowed to apply for CAF. Anyhow, the point is that at the beginning of November, I’m moving. I really hope it’s the right decision. I’d said before if I was unhappy with where I was living, I’d move, and I am. Wish me luck!