• TAPIF

    TAPIF Takeaways

    As I finished my last week of work, I felt it was an appropriate time to reflect on the past seven months working here. Despite the difficulty getting settled in the beginning (thank you, French administration), I have had a pretty amazing year.  I feel so lucky to have met so many amazing people!  Although I am very happy to see my family soon, I’m really sad to be leaving this community.  Lille has certainly become my home away from home. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my school assignment.  I really can’t envision a better group of colleagues to have welcomed me.  When I saw I was assigned…

  • TAPIF

    TAPIF – Pros and Cons

    When I accepted a position with TAPIF, I knew that there would be some drawbacks.  I read some blogs from past assistants to get a better idea of what it would be like.  So far, this has been an amazing experience and I am so glad to be here.  That being said, there’s a lot I wish I had known or better understood beforehand.  Here’s my personal Pro/Con list of the program from my experience thus far. TAPIF Benefits Opportunity to Live in France It is really difficult for Americans to acquire a Visa in France.  This job provides the opportunity to live in France for 7 months and be paid!…

  • TAPIF

    Life as a Language Assistant

    Let me describe a typical day in the life of a Language Assistant in the TAPIF program.  This is part of an excerpt from my journal: Today is Wednesday.  As of Sunday at 8:30pm, I had ZERO classes scheduled for the week!  I had to reach out to my prof référent to be like “uhhh… what should I do?”  He emailed everyone reminding them to fill in my schedule, but made sure I knew not to worry about coming in Monday because it was already late. Anywho, I’m scheduled for an 8am Tuesday.  My coworker drives me to work that day as she lives near me.  We barely arrive on time so she tells…

  • TAPIF

    Beginning Work at my School in Wattrelos

    I am currently about three weeks into working at my school in Wattrelos, France.  I can almost say Wattrelos with confidence now (seriously so difficult haha)!  After moving into my apartment and getting settled, I scheduled a visit to the school with my Prof référent.  This way, I got to meet my contact in person finally, see the school grounds, meet the other professors I’d be working with, and see what the commute would be like. Getting to my school from Lille was completely new to me.  All I knew was that there was a bus somewhere in Roubaix…  When I got off the metro to find the bus, I asked the…

  • France,  TAPIF

    Finding a Residence in Lille

    I wrote in my last post how my friend very graciously allowed me to stay with him in his Paris apartment for ten (yes ten!) whole days before I moved to a residence in Lille.  Honestly, I’m shocked he is still speaking to me!  I’m not sure if I could even live with myself after sharing a bedroom like that!  Anyways, I gave myself a 24-hour period upon arrival to not stress out about the fact that I still didn’t know where I was going to live.  Immediately following that 24-hour period, I entered near-meltdown-mode! Shakka patiently helped me draft a 2-3 sentence message that I could send to potential leasors.…

  • TAPIF

    Long-Stay Visa

    I’m in the process of getting my second Long-Stay Visa for France… this time for work rather than study.  😛  I feel so official!!  I wanted to write a little bit about how much of a mess I am.  For some reason, since the moment I received the email that I was accepted into the TAPIF program, I have had a hard time fully comprehending that this is REALLY happening. First, I received a long informative email from the coordinator of the program.  I saw the email, got excited about it, and then proceeded to forget to actually read it.  After nearly a month, I realized that in big bold letters the…

  • TAPIF

    I’m headed to Wattrelos!

    This week I received my school assignment!! I will be an Assistante de Langue for Cité scolaire Emile Zola in Wattrelos, France! The school is located much closer to the city of Lille than I was expecting, as the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region is relatively large.  I’m so stoked!  An English teacher from my school emailed me providing some basic information.  It sounds like the English team is very enthusiastic, which will be great to be a part of!  Cité scolaire Émile Zola is both a junior school and a high school, which also has a vocational teaching section.  I suppose this means I only have to commute to one location!  Yay me! This is my school’s…

  • TAPIF,  Travel

    Say yes to adventure.

    My ultimate dream has become reality. Or at least temporarily!  I have been blessed with the opportunity to move to France for roughly 8 months on a work Visa!  I was accepted to the Teacher Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) through the French Embassy in the US.  I’ll be a teacher’s assistant teaching English somewhere in the Académie de Lille.  I initially applied to TAPIF after I graduated from James Madison University (double-degree!) in December 2014 – for the opportunity to teach the following Fall of 2015.  The program applications are due each year by January 15th prior to the October 1st start date.  You don’t know if you are accepted until April!  Talk…