This page provides information mainly for Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders who want to teach English in France. We have done what we can to make it clear and correct, but please do not hold us responsible for any errors.
A lot of Americans teach online wherever they are in the world, teaching while they are travelling around. You should do some research here as to how to do it legally.
Always check with your local French consulate or embassy (this is an example) for the latest information, as the rules are often updated.
If you need a visa then you must apply for it at least 2 months in advance, while still in your own country. Visas cannot be applied for once you are here in France.
Can Americans teach English in France legally?
Yes, by studying here. Arriving in France having purchased a French (or other) course means you have a student visa. This visa allows you to teach English legally while studying. There are 3 main options, and here they are in order of cheapest to most expensive at the time of writing:
- OPTION 1) The best priced French course in Toulouse by far is here and starts every September. So you should do one of our summer courses to get qualified first! Annual fees are under 400 euros but application procedure is complex and the app form doesn’t appear on line until early January. Contact us for more information
- OPTION 2) There also a huge array of courses – even some in English – that you can do book with Campus France . Most of these start in September too, and prices are around 2000 euros for the year for non EU students. So again, do one of our summer courses to get qualified first.
- OPTION 3) Intensive French courses at the Alliance Francaise is much pricier at about 500euros a month but there are start dates all year round. Application is also much easier and you get 10% discount if you are booked on a TEFL Toulouse course. Here is the procedure, which you should begin several months in advance:
- You apply for our course, and contact The Alliance Francaise Toulouse to find out when you can start theirs (asap after ours ends).
- Once we have accepted you on the TEFL course, you purchase 6 months of their courses. They will bill you for the first 3 of their courses and when they get the funds they send you a registration certificate showing that you are booked in for 6 months. You use the receipt to apply for a student working visa.
- You pay them the outstanding 3 months once you are here in person.
- Their courses will be in the mornings, and so you will be free to teach in the afternoons and evenings privately and on a contract. The Alliance Française also offer a range of activities (cooking, wine tasting, local visits…) as well as accommodation during your French course.
- Once you are in France on a long term student visa, you might be able to renew it without needing to go home by arranging more studies. Want more information? Just email the Alliance Francaise as above or us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, Americans can also stay in France if they get married or “Pac-sed” (non religious marriage) to a local, or if they have plenty of money in the bank!
American doing a TEFL class in France on a tourist visa
You might also find that TEFL Toulouse class + return travel to Toulouse + 450 or so euros a month for accommodation works out much cheaper than getting TEFL qualified in the US! Always research accommodation fees when looking in to TEFL courses. Some courses in London and NYC charge 1000 a week for a accommodation!
Why not get TEFL certified here in Toulouse for your first month, enjoy France for 2 more months, maybe teaching informally? Wasn’t that part of your dream anyway? Why not travel about (we can give you endless advice about where to go and where to stay) after your course , and find that perfect spot you would like to return to one day to teach English? Buses and trains are cheap in France! Jonathan the course director used to work as a tour guide for France (and Spain) for Americans, and will happily provide you with an amazing “off the beaten track” in France or Spain itinerary for the 2 months after your TEFL course!
For Canadians who are under 35, this visa allows you to work on a contract and can be extended after a a year without going back to Canada! Have a look at the Consulate General of France for more information about this visa.
Australians have to be under 30 to be eligible for the working holiday visa, and unlike Canadians, their visas cannot be renewed in France. But Aussies can still come for a year to study and work on a contract! See Campus France for more info.
New Zealanders seem to be very welcome in France and work on a contract! We have had a lot of you over the years on our course. The French Embassy site has more information about this visa.
Got more questions?