Tuesday, September 09, 2008

C'est la rentrée

Today I started my new job teaching Business English to first and second year university students. No classes yet, this was just meetings and telling students what to expect. I also got to see my office for the first time - I get my own room with desk, PC, filing cabinets and the previous occupant left and old portable CD player. Woo! Now all I need is a kettle and a chilled drinks cabinet.

Anyway, before you all go "you lucky b*st*rd, you're teaching motivated adults", a quick word about the French higher education system:

There are three types of institution you can go to:

1) The elite "Grands Écoles", which are very selective. You have to spend two years doing Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Écoles before sitting a competitive exam to get in. If you pass, you get in, if not you can join the third year of a degree course.

2) The Institut universitaire de technologie or IUT. They are also selective and offer two-year professional courses. After the two years, students can do an extra year to "top up" their diploma to a degree.

3) If you can't get into either of the first two, there's always university. If you have a Bac, even if it's not in a related discipline, you can still get in; it's not selective but the drop out rate in the first year is so high that the end of year exams are effectively selection. It's very much the poor relation of HE.

Guess which one I work for....

Anyway, I can't really complain as although the students may not always be the the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, it's an improvement on surly teenagers and the holidays are even longer. And I shouldn't get things thrown at me.


engelsk said...

Good luck with the new job!

El Gringo Vasco said...

cool man, hang in there.

Michelle said...


Congratulations on the job.

I am going to add you to my reading list if that's okay. I hope to one day end up in that part of the world, and as my current career entails teaching creative writing and Australian literature I doubt there's much call for those skills over there. I could, however, think about teaching ESL if I work it out carefully.

So, in short,it makes sense to read blogs of those that do.

A wordy intro. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you'll miss that, you will - not getting things thrown at you. I used to have had rubbers (sorry, erasers) thrown at me when I was working at a school in London's East End, and it's one of the few opportunities I had to indulge in a spot of exercise.

I usually managed to avoid them; anyway, they're made of rubber, so they bounce.