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How To Become An International School Teacher in France?

Are you considering becoming an international school teacher in France? It can be a fulfilling and exciting adventure, allowing you to experience a new culture while sharing your knowledge with eager young minds. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of becoming a teacher in France, as well as provide insights into the challenges and rewards that come with this profession.

iPGCE or iQTS – Pathways and Benefits in France

If you are already a qualified teacher in your home country, you may be wondering if your qualifications are recognized in France. There are two popular pathways for international teachers: the iPGCE (International Postgraduate Certificate in Education) and the iQTS (International Qualified Teacher Status). These programs provide a smooth transition into the French education system and offer many benefits, including:

  • Recognition of your teaching qualifications
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Access to job placement services

France has a rich history in education, with a strong emphasis on academic excellence and cultural diversity. By pursuing the iPGCE or iQTS in France, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new educational environment that values innovation and creativity in teaching. The French education system is known for its high standards and rigorous curriculum, providing a unique experience for international teachers looking to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Furthermore, obtaining either the iPGCE or iQTS can open doors to a wide range of teaching opportunities in France and beyond. With the increasing demand for qualified teachers in international schools and bilingual programmes, holding one of these qualifications can significantly enhance your career prospects. Whether you are interested in teaching in a traditional French school or exploring innovative teaching methods in an international setting, the iPGCE and iQTS can equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in diverse educational environments.

Why become a teacher in France?

Teaching in France offers a unique blend of professional and personal growth. Not only will you have the opportunity to work in renowned international schools with state-of-the-art facilities, but you will also immerse yourself in the rich French culture and language. The education system in France is highly respected globally, and as a teacher, you will play a significant role in shaping the next generation of global citizens.

Furthermore, as a teacher in France, you will have the chance to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and historical landmarks during your free time. From the picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux to the stunning beaches of the French Riviera, there is no shortage of breathtaking destinations to visit. You can also indulge in the world-famous French cuisine, from delicate pastries in Paris to hearty cassoulet in Toulouse, satisfying your taste buds with a culinary journey through the regions.

What qualifications do I need to teach in France?

To teach in France, you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, specific requirements may vary depending on the school and the subject you wish to teach. It is crucial to research the specific qualifications required by each school and ensure that your qualifications align with their expectations. Additionally, having a teaching certification or experience in your home country will significantly enhance your chances of securing a teaching position in France.

Furthermore, if you aspire to teach in a French public school, it is essential to be proficient in the French language. Fluency in French is often a prerequisite for teaching positions in public schools to ensure effective communication with students, parents, and colleagues. In addition to language proficiency, a strong understanding of the French education system and curriculum can also be advantageous when applying for teaching roles in France.

Moreover, gaining experience through internships or volunteer work in educational settings can demonstrate your commitment to teaching and enhance your application. Building a strong network within the education sector in France can also provide valuable insights and potential job opportunities. Remember, each teaching position may have specific requirements, so tailoring your qualifications and experiences to meet the needs of the school can increase your chances of success in securing a teaching role in France.

What’s the hiring process for becoming an international teacher in France?

The hiring process for international teachers in France typically involves the following steps:

  1. Application: Submit your resume, cover letter, and any supporting documents required by the school.
  2. Interview: If your application is shortlisted, you will usually be invited for an interview. This can be conducted in person or via video conference.
  3. Teaching demonstration: Some schools may require you to showcase your teaching skills through a demonstration lesson.
  4. Reference checks: Schools may contact your previous employers or colleagues to verify your teaching experience and work ethic.
  5. Contract negotiation: If you are offered a teaching position, you will enter into contract negotiations with the school.

It is important to note that the hiring process for international teachers in France can vary depending on the school and the region. Some schools may have additional steps in their hiring process, such as language proficiency tests or teaching philosophy essays.

Furthermore, the demand for international teachers in France has been steadily increasing in recent years, particularly in subjects such as English, STEM, and foreign languages. This growth is driven by the French government’s initiatives to promote bilingual education and international exchange programmes in schools across the country.

Living as an international teacher in France

Living in France as an international teacher can be a rewarding and enriching experience. The country offers a high standard of living, with excellent healthcare and a strong support system for expatriates. However, it is important to consider the cost of living, which can vary depending on the location. Paris, for example, is known for its higher cost of living compared to other regions in France.

France is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, from its world-famous cuisine to its historical landmarks. As an international teacher living in France, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in this vibrant culture and explore all that the country has to offer. From the picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux to the stunning beaches of the French Riviera, there is no shortage of beauty to discover.

Additionally, as a teacher in France, you will have the chance to work in a diverse and dynamic educational system. French schools are known for their strong emphasis on academic excellence and creativity, providing teachers with a stimulating environment to inspire and educate their students. By embracing the French approach to education, you can enhance your own teaching skills and broaden your cultural horizons.

Cultural Insights for International Teachers in France

France has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and as an international teacher, it is essential to embrace and understand the local culture. Here are some insights to help you navigate the cultural landscape:

  • Language: While it is not mandatory to be fluent in French, learning the basics of the language will help you communicate with students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with French etiquette, such as greeting people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek and addressing people by their last name.
  • Work-Life Balance: In France, work-life balance is highly valued. Take time to enjoy leisure activities and explore the country’s many attractions.

France is renowned for its exquisite cuisine, so be sure to indulge in the local delicacies. From croissants and baguettes to escargot and coq au vin, French food offers a wide range of flavours to tantalise your taste buds. Don’t forget to pair your meals with a glass of fine French wine, as the country is famous for its vineyards and winemaking traditions.

When interacting with students and colleagues, it is important to be aware of the hierarchical structure in French society. Respect for authority and seniority is crucial, so addressing senior staff members with the appropriate level of deference is key. Additionally, engaging in intellectual discussions and showing an appreciation for the arts can help you build rapport with the French, who take pride in their cultural heritage and intellectual pursuits.

Cost of Living in France

The cost of living in France can vary depending on the region and your lifestyle choices. Here are some approximate monthly expenses to consider:

France is known for its diverse regions, each offering a unique lifestyle and cost of living. In Paris, for example, the cost of accommodation tends to be higher compared to smaller cities or rural areas. The bustling capital city attracts many expats and tourists, driving up rental prices significantly. On the other hand, regions like Brittany or Provence may offer more affordable housing options, allowing for a different experience of French living.

  • Rent: The cost of accommodation can range from €600 to €2000 per month, depending on the location and the size of the property.
  • Groceries: On average, a monthly grocery bill for one person can range from €150 to €300.
  • Transportation: Public transport in major cities is convenient and affordable, with a monthly pass costing around €70.
  • Entertainment: Enjoying the vibrant cultural scene in France can range from €50 to €300 per month, depending on your preferences.

Exploring the French countryside can also be a delightful and cost-effective way to experience the country’s rich culture and history. From charming villages to stunning vineyards, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover beyond the urban centres. This can offer a different perspective on daily expenses, as living costs in rural areas may differ from those in metropolitan areas.

It is worth noting that these figures are estimates and can vary depending on individual circumstances.

Popular International Schools in France

France is home to many prestigious international schools that offer a high-quality education. Some popular international schools in France include:

  • The British School of Paris
  • The American School of Paris
  • International School of Nice
  • International School of Lyon

These schools provide a nurturing environment for both students and teachers, with excellent facilities and a strong emphasis on academic excellence.

Challenges for International Teachers and How to Overcome Them in France

While teaching in France can be immensely rewarding, it is not without its challenges. Here are some common challenges faced by international teachers and tips to overcome them:

  • Language Barrier: Learning the French language can help overcome communication barriers and foster strong relationships with students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Cultural Adjustment: Embrace the local culture, be open-minded, and seek support from fellow expatriate teachers who have experienced similar challenges.
  • Education System Differences: Familiarize yourself with the French education system to adapt your teaching methods and strategies accordingly.
  • Work-Life Balance: Establish a healthy work-life balance by setting boundaries and making time for self-care activities.

By approaching these challenges with a positive mindset and a willingness to adapt, you can thrive as an international teacher in France.


Becoming an international school teacher in France can open doors to new opportunities and experiences. By following the steps outlined in this article and being prepared for the challenges that may arise, you can embark on a fulfilling teaching career in one of the most culturally rich countries in the world. So pack your passion for education, embrace the French way of life, and get ready for an adventure like no other!

Take the Next Step with IPGCE

Ready to transform your teaching career and embrace the French way of life? Join the UK’s #1 Teacher Training Course, the International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (iPGCE), and overcome the common barriers to international teaching. With the iPGCE, you can enhance your qualifications, increase your chances of interview callbacks, and unlock new career progression opportunities. Connect with a global network of educators, gain a deeper understanding of international curricula, and enjoy the flexibility of online study options tailored for working teachers. Don’t let inadequate credentials or isolation hold you back. Join the IPGCE program today and start your journey towards a fulfilling international teaching career in France.

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