city job hunting, market treasure hunting

The time of year has come to France, when thousands of foreigners enter the country to begin their year abroad as a language teaching assistant. Americans, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Spanish, Italians, and many more have been placed in elementary, middle, and high schools all around the country to serve as a cultural and linguistic link to their respective country and language, and I so wish I were participating in this program again!

But, I was unfortunately not renewed for the job and am therefore continuing to hang out in France, trying to find some form of employment!

Enjoying English! for French 6th graders.

I am now giving private English lessons to 4 clients, who are all very different. It’s nice because I am making a bit of money on the side and getting to practice adjusting my teaching methods for different students at different levels with different needs. I am working with a 10-year-old whose family is moving to the States next year, a girl my age who is preparing for an English airline exam, a boy my age who is getting ready to travel abroad, and a businessman whose company just went international who will need to be able to express himself in English. Each lesson is personalized, so that means I’m preparing a lot on the side, but getting a lot of experience teaching in varied situations.

The job hunt has been unsuccessful so far, with one main problem: I don’t have work papers. Submitting a visa request for a foreign worker is this strange concept that seems much more difficult to the French than I think it actually is. If the right job comes along, they will want to work with me to make it happen, and if I don’t find something before November 7th, I have to go back to the States anyway. (My 90 allotted days in France is going by too fast!)

View of the Hazebrouck cemetery from the top of the belfry

When the boy is free from work on the weekends, we’ve been hitting all of the brocantes, or as I might say, community garage sales, in the area. We started out big with the Braderie de Lille, and have been to nearby cities every weekend since to see if we could find any treasures. Last weekend was the Ville Ouverte, or open city, in Hazebrouck, so the whole city center was transformed into a market and there were lots of free fun things to do, like climbing up to the top of the belfry. We took advantage of the opportunity and walked up the 300+ steps to the top to take in some pretty views.

Me at the top of the belfry

Even in the midst of frustrating job hunting in France, I am definitely still in love with this country and especially this region. There are always neat things that show up when you’re not looking, like my Made in the USSR alarm clock that I found at the Lille market… or maybe eventually a job.


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