about me

Who is Haley in France?

A self-declared francophile. A travel fanatic. A lover of languages and cultures. And, a Texan.

When starting as a student at Baylor University, I never would have thought that one day I would be calling France my second home. Four years later, I had spent a fantastic semester abroad in Caen and was receiving my degree in French. Two months after graduation, I had moved to France to start a year abroad working as an English Teaching Assistant (with TAPIF) in a high school near Lille. After spending the following summer back home in Dallas, I knew there was still more waiting here for me. I came back to live with my lover and to get my Masters degree to become a certified English teacher in France. So, here I am: Haley, the American who is now calling France her second home.

This blog is my attempt at documenting all of my France-related life happenings, whether being stateside or in the country itself, visiting with a long-stay visa or a 90-day passport, exploring alone or traveling with others, but almost always completely taken with my surroundings.

Contact me: missdermody(at)gmail(dot)com

13 thoughts on “about me

  1. margaux corion June 28, 2011 / 4:15 PM

    Hello !! My name is Margaux I live in Lille ( actually I’ll return to france in one week after one year in London as an aupair ) . I saw that you’ll come to lille in october 2011 and I wanted to know if you found a place to stay yet ?? I will probably rent a flat in september and I would love to have a foreigner flatmate as i was arround people from whole the world during one year and i absolutely loved it !
    It wouldnt be very expensive per month( more or less 200€ /month ) in a flat with two bedrooms and approximatively 50m2 In Roubaix very close to tube stations which can drive you almost everywhere arround Lille .

    Tell me if you are interested here is my e-mail adress : margaux.c@hotmail.fr

    • haleyinfrance July 4, 2011 / 10:26 AM

      Hi Margaux!
      I’m glad you’ve seen my blog! I am still not sure of exactly which high school I will be teaching at, and since my posting could be anywhere from downtown Lille to 100km from downtown, I’m not sure where I will be living yet! Thanks for the offer though, and maybe I will see you in France!

  2. Katrina August 18, 2011 / 8:51 PM

    I’m a fellow teaching assistant and I love what I’ve seen of your blog so far! I’ll basically be on the opposite end of France (Bourg-St.-Andeol), but I hope Lille treats you well!

    • haleyinfrance August 19, 2011 / 8:56 PM

      Hi Katrina! Thanks so much! I have checked yours out as well. Can’t wait to see what your experience is like too. Have fun in the sunny south :)

  3. leonbromell April 4, 2012 / 9:49 PM


    my name’s leon, i was just placed in lille with the tapif and some googling lead me to your blog. first of all, great blog, i found it very entertaining (i read a few of the posts) and to be honest i was kind of feeling on the fence about lille (mostly because of the weather haha) but this has gotten me really excited to do it. i’m just wondering if we could maybe get in touch by email so that i can ask you about your experience and about some practical matters. please let me know, my email is mr.bromell@gmail.com. thanks!

    • haleyinfrance April 5, 2012 / 1:49 AM

      Hey Leon – congratulations! If there is one single reason to feel on the fence about Lille, yeah, it’s the weather. But seriously, the location and culture make up for it. You’re an hour from Paris/Brussels/London on the TGV, Lille is a huge student city, and the food is great. I’ll shoot you an email today to help you out with any questions!

  4. Cate McCraw April 16, 2012 / 5:13 PM

    Hi Haley,

    I was recently accepted to TAPIF in Lille, and I found your blog while Googling for more information. I’ve loved what I’ve read of your posts so far, and I was hoping it might be possible to speak with you about your experience. I’m extremely excited, but I’m still trying to figure out some logistics … primarily financials. Would it be possible for me to send you a few questions via email? It would be great to speak with someone who’s still abroad.

    Thanks so much!

    • haleyinfrance April 22, 2012 / 4:17 AM

      Hi Cate! I sent you a quick email with the email you used to post the comment. Feel free to respond whenever you’d like and I am happy to help out with any questions!

  5. Rebecca May 7, 2012 / 12:38 AM

    Hi Haley (and Cate!),

    My name is Rebecca and I also just accepted TAPIF in Lille for the coming year. I was also wondering if I could ask you a few questions (again…also mostly about financial logistics. My parents are convinced I can’t survive on the 780/month). I was really excited to be accepted to Lille, and after reading your blog I’m becoming more and more anxious to be in France already!


  6. californiaoverseas August 31, 2012 / 11:58 PM

    Hi Haley!

    Came across your blog while I was searching for insight to assistants’ experiences with the TAPIF. I’ll be applying myself this fall, eeek. Good luck – hope you land your renewal (or another job) in France this year!

    All the best,

    • haleyinfrance September 2, 2012 / 7:20 AM

      Hey Angie! Glad I could be of help! Good luck with the application process, I am sure you’ll get it. Thanks for the well wishes; I’ll be following your adventure as well!

  7. Lee November 26, 2012 / 7:31 AM

    Hey, I too stumbled across your blog randomly. I applied last year, but didn’t get in and I’m applying again this year. I didn’t major in French or take any courses even though I can speak it, but this seems to be hurting me the most. Do you have any recommendations on how to make my application stronger? Thanks!

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