Studying abroad is expensive, and even if you’ve saved up money and taken out a student loan, it can be difficult to balance your budget for your studies with a budget for all the traveling you want to do while you’re in France.
It would be great to get a job to have a bit of extra pocket money.
On the other hand, you don’t want your job to take away from all of the cultural opportunities you have. You don’t want to have to say no to theater tickets or to a day trip somewhere because of your job.
If you’re just want to make enough money to go out to dinner a few times or have some extra spending money on your weekend trips, here are 5 ways to earn money in France on your own schedule:
1. Join the Teaching Assistant Program in France as a “local recruit.”
The Teaching Assistant Program in France, or TAPIF, is a well-known program sponsored by France’s Ministry of Education. Public schools hire several thousand native English speakers (or native speakers of other languages) each year to teach English in classrooms all over France. While teachers recruited 6 months in advance and required to confirm they’ll accept the job they are offered, the reality of the drawn-out bureaucratic process is that many teachers drop out before arriving in France, leaving English departments strapped for replacements.
This means that at the beginning of every school year, departments are desperately seeking native English speakers to replace some of the teachers they’ve lost. Bring your résumé (written in French) to the Paris rectorat and ask to be considered for a teaching job. Note that this is possible only if you are staying for a full academic year.
Hours: 12 hours per week as determined with the principal of the school. Depending on the school’s schedule, can amount to much more than 12 hours spent actually *at* the school. 2 week vacation roughly every 6-7 weeks. (Toussaint, Christmas, February, April)
Pay: €800/month take-home pay for 12 hours per week (€960/month gross pay). Paid vacations. Works out to about €22/hour for time spent teaching.
2. Babysit for a bilingual family.
France is home to several hundred thousand American, British, Irish, Australian, and other Anglophone expatriates, all of whom are trying to raise bilingual children. For families who send their children to public school, it’s important for the kids to get lots of outside practice speaking English, and parents often rely on native English speaking babysitters to take care of their kids after school and on Wednesdays, giving them the extra language practice they need.
Starting in June, there’s an abundance of babysitting ads on sites like Craigslist, and once you arrive, you can check out FUSAC magazine and the bulletin boards at the American Church in Paris for additional offers.
Hours: For most jobs, the schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, generally 4:30-7:00; Wednesday all day.
Pay: Since there are lots of English speakers in France, there isn’t necessarily premium pay for Anglophone babysitters, with pay ranging from 8-12€/hour gross. Many families use a service like Cheque Emploi Service, which requires them to pay social charges for you in exchange for getting a tax credit.
3. Tutor middle school and high school students in English.
English may not be a valued subject in most public schools, but prestigious institutions of higher education require excellent English for admission. Students who attend the magnet middle and high schools that feed into France’s best colleges – the Ecole Nationale de l’Administration, Sciences Po, the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and all business schools – must have fluent English in order to pass the exams. Not to mention all of the college-age children of those hundreds of thousands of Anglophone expats who want to attend a college in their parents’ home country.
To start, post ads online, and if you can spare the €25 for an ad at the American Church in Paris, post on their bulletin board. Print some flyers with your phone number and put them up around two of the best high schools in Paris – Louis-le-Grand and Henri IV, both in the 5th arrondissement.
Hours: Afternoons and weekends, but you set the schedule.
Pay: Normally around 20€/hour, but you can set your own price.
4. Tutor bilingual high school students for the SATs.
Americans living in France who want their kids to go to college back in the U.S. often lack options for SAT tutoring, and you can use the same business model for finding kids to tutor for the SATs. If you got a good score, and especially if you go to a relatively well-known or highly-ranked school, post some flyers around high schools and in some known Anglophone hangouts to find a few clients.
Hours: Afternoons and weekends, but you set the schedule.
Pay: You can probably command a bit more for SAT tutoring than for simple language tutoring. The higher your SAT score and the better your school, the more you can charge. Around 30-50€/hour.
5. Become an Autoentrepreneur.
Do you play a musical instrument? Write code? Translate? If you have any sort of skill that people could hire you for, you can sign up to be an autoentrepreneur and work for other entrepreneurs and businesses. You’ll have to do some advertising to get the word out about your services, using online postings or ads in FUSAC or at the American Church, but you can make some decent money depending on your skills.
If you teach an instrument, post flyers around elementary schools (you’ll have to have good French and know the proper musical vocabulary to do this). If you translate, or design web sites, or are a social media expert, google some companies on societe.fr in your field and contact them to see if they can use you.
In France, you’re not allowed to deduct expenses if you have autoentrepreneur status, as you get a standard deduction of 34% of your income. But you’re still required to file a US tax return, and that means that you should track your income and expenses using personal finance software to make sure you don’t owe U.S. tax.
Hours: You set the schedule.
Pay: Market rate for your skills.