Every year, the Language Assistants exchange programme allows about 2,800 French students mainly from universities and Polytechnic Institutes (Institut Universitaire de Technologie) to go and teach French abroad.
Language assistants are selected through matching meetings held by the Centre International d'Etudes Pédagogiques and its partners (French embassies or foreign authorities) then assigned to schools (or universities in some cases) for 7 to 9 months. Salaries and medical cover may vary depending on the country.
The main goal of the programme is to increase the students' mobility and to allow participants, whether they be specialists of the destination country or not, to improve their linguistic and cultural knowledge, and at the same time to develop their professional skills through teaching their own language.
The role of the language assistant is to assist the language teachers by bringing an authentic language source into the classroom. As a representative of the French language and culture, the assistant contributes to the development of the school's international awareness.
The recruitment campaign usually starts mid-October and ends in January, except for certain countries. During that time, each candidate must fill out the on-line application form. Each application has then to be validated by the person in charge of the assistantship at the candidate's university or IUT.
For more information about the French Language Assistants programme, please go to www.ciep.fr/assistants-francais-a-letranger (in French).