When I applied for TAPIF in the fall of 2010, I had some knowledge of the program but no real idea of everything I was getting into! The application for next year, 2013-2014, has just been made available online and can be viewed here and more information about the program can be seen here.
For all of you new, interested applicants, here’s what the timeline of my application process looked like…
- December 2010: Application submitted for the TAPIF 2011-2012 English teaching assistant position.
- April 2011: Acceptance e-mail received, which told me that I was a selected candidate for the program and that I would be working for the Académie de Lille.
- May 2011: E-mail received stating that I would be working in a middle/high school.
- Late July 2011: Arrêté de nomination (official work contract) received in the mail. These papers gave me the name of the school and the exact city I would be working in.
- Late July 2011: Contacted my school to confirm my attendance as a teaching assistant for the school year.
- Late July 2011: Scheduled my visa appointment with the French consulate in Houston.
- Early August 2011: Had my visa appointment in Houston.
- Early August 2011: Bought my plane ticket to France for late September.
- Late August 2011: Received my passport back in the mail from Houston with my visa sticker inside.
- Late August 2011: Received a response email from my school and was put in contact with my head teacher to start to work out details of where I’d be living. (I ended up living in an apartment in the school with the school’s other language assistants.)
- September 22, 2011: Took off on a plane for 8 months of teaching English in France.
So, you’ll see that this process takes a while. The worst moments of waiting are between December and April to find out if you’re accepted or not and between April and late July to find out exactly what city you’ll be working/living in. Some people receive their work contracts earlier than July, but I was not one of those lucky ones! But I did get my papers eventually, and I had everything done just in time to arrive before my first day on October 1, 2011.
The whole process in general takes a lot of waiting, patience, and flexibility (maybe you won’t get your first choice académie or city), but in the end it is totally worth it because you’ll be living in France for 8 months, making money, and getting some interesting work experience out of it all.