Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A TAPIF timeline: my journey to France!

I know before I started TAPIF, I used to spend hours scouring the internet for any piece of information I could find. Because of this, I wanted to put together a quick timeline for you all just so know what the process was like for me and the different steps there were before I got to France. Of course, this timeline varies between assistants, but you can still get a rough idea of what it's like.

Acceptance email: My acceptance email was sent to me on the 23rd May 2012 a lot later than Americans who had already found out in early to mid-April. In the email, I found out what academie I was placed in and what level I was teaching. In my case, it was the Academie de Lille and high school level. In this email they'll tell you what to do next and if you need to formally accept the position.

Sent documents to France: In order for you academie to issue your work contract (arrêté de nomination) and have it approved, you need to send them some documents. The faster you do this, the better. A few days after my acceptance email, I sent 4 pink CERFA forms and a photocopy of my passport and birth certificate. This was sent to the Rectorat de Lille, but it depends on where you're placed.

The waiting game: From the end of May up until early July, I heard absolutely nothing. I waited by the mailbox for my arrêté de nomination to come and anxiously checked my emails. I used this time to book my visa appointment far enough in advance that I would have likely received the arrêté de nomination by then. I also gathered all the documents I would need for the visa application/appointment.

Email detailing exact school placement: I received an email on July 6th 2012 that told me the schools I had been placed at. It tells you where exactly you'll be in your academie, if you have more than one school and how many hours you'll be teaching at each. It also gives an email, so you can try and get into contact with someone at your school and track down your 'responsable' (if they haven't already contacted you).

Emailed my main school: If you are placed in more than one school, you'll have a 'main' one that takes care of all the administrative stuff for you. It's usually at this school where the teacher looking after you (the 'responsable') will work. I sent them an email and received a reply shortly after telling me who my 'responsable' was and their email address. Something to be aware of is that by this point most teachers are on summer holidays, so you may hear nothing from them until late August- early September. 

Emailed my responsable: Sent an email introducing myself and asked her different questions about housing, arrival etc. Ask them anything you would like to know.

Arrêté de nomination arrived: I finally received my arrêté de nomination in the mail on August 6th 2012 along with other important information.

Attended my visa appointment: With all the documents I needed, I went to the French consulate in Sydney on August 20th 2012, where they shuffled and checked all my documents. I had everything they needed, so they took my passport and said that I should get my visa in around 10 days.

Received passport and visa: Only 5 days later I received my passport with my new visa sticker inside. This is the last administrative thing you need to take care of before you leave for France.

Left for France: On September 18 2012, I left Australia and gave myself 2 weeks before the start of the program to settle in France and go apartment hunting.

STARTED TAPIF: October 1st 2012!

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