Reflecting on Six Months in France & More Indecisiveness

The beginning of March marks my sixth month as a Language assistant in France. And while I knew what I was getting into, this program does have its ups and downs. As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I was placed in two collèges (Middle Schools) both in tiny villages about forty minutes from Strasbourg. And while I love my students, I do have to say, I was a tad bit dissapointed that I was not placed in a lycée (High School), as that is where 100% of my previous experience in teaching is. I know high schoolers. Middle schoolers are a whole ‘nother ball game, and that took adjusting.  I also found I had to adjust to the difference in expectations of me between schools. See, one of my schools has me actually planning activities and lessons on my own (albeit usually on activities they asked me to have them practice/learn about), while my other school just wanted me to run certain activities they planned into their lessons themselves. (Realistically this looks like them handing me a paper with directions in the beginning of class and quickly explaining what they want me to do. Not much freedom there.)

The actual living in France started out a bit rough, as I had horrible luck finding somewhere to live and spent my entire first month and a half in France completely stressed because of this. I ended up in a foyer des jeunes, which is basically an overpriced dorm room, which was not ideal, but it is somewhere to live. After that things started to improve. I got the swing of things at school. I travelled to Munich, Prague, Florence, and explored the Alsace region. Living by myself I was not able to practice my French as much as I wanted, but at least I was in France, in the beautiful city of Strasbourg. It’s funny, though. When I first got here in mid-September it seemed like I had all the time in the world to do everything I wanted. Now, though, its March 11th, and I have only two months until my year here is over. Now I have to figure out what comes next, and that is harder than I ever thought it’d be. I have so many options of things that maybe possibly could make me happy, but I don’t know what is right.

If I get approved to renew my contract, I could spend another eight months here. The pros of this are that I’m already familiar with the program, could continue to travel and speak French.

If by some miracle I get a lectrice position I could spend 1-2 more years here.  The pros of this are pretty much the same as above, except I’d get a higher salary.

If I apply for jobs teaching French back home, I could get an apartment, spend time with my friends and family there, pay off some of my student loans, and maybe save up money for a grad program here. But if I choose this option will I realistically be able to come back? Or will I have too many ties keeping me down?

But which is right? I sure don’t know. Any thoughts, readers?

5 comments

  1. I agree: time is passing by much too quickly this year! Nice that you would like to renew your contract; I did that, and am now in my second year. Just curious if you want to stay in the same region (Alsace) or change to another?

    As for the lectrice position, do you have a year of postgrad studies? Even though there are exceptions for admitting those who don’t have it, pretty much every school requires it; I had the unfortunate experience of not being accepted last year because I didn’t have that one year of study, but I hope to get something this year *fingers crossed!

    Perhaps you might have thought of teaching abroad elsewhere? Such as in other countries in Europe or in Asia? Just some thoughts! Good luck with everything!

    Like

    • I decided to stay in Alsace (and my schools if i can) since I do like the city and I was afraid if I requested elsewhere I’d end up in Timbuktu or Paris haha. Yeah, it’s a slim chance since I only have my bacheolor’s but I have a teaching certificate, so I hoped that might count for something? Hopefully you get one this year! Yeah, I’ve thought about teaching in Korea or Japan (especially if they don’t let me renew, since EPIK has a February intake), but I’m not too familiar with other opportunities in Europe besides France, haha.
      Thanks and good luck to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Girl, I feel you. For now, it’s great that you are casting a wide net to have as many options as possible! I applied for and received a contract renewal, but ended up turning it down, and don’t regret it at all. It seems overwhelming right now because so much is in up in the air, but sometimes all we can do is wait and see what opportunities the universe gives us.

    Like

  3. Miss Erin, here is my two cents for you to consider. Along the way through life, the people I have been most envious of are the one’s who are able to find happiness wherever life takes them. Worrying just adds an unnecessary weight to your shoulders. So be happy for today and trust that tomorrow will bring more of the same no matter where you find yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Accept the assistant renewal if you get it but apply for lectrice positions on the side. The job is much better and the salary is easier to live on. You’re only 22 so make the most of it, your teaching certificate should count as an M1 which will Help you. Get a certified document from ENIC-NARIC to prove that. I remember feeling in your shoes. Don’t feel guilty about wanting to stay in France but remember that France isn’t the be all end all. :). Hope it helps, bisous

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s