Hello World! Guess who’s back?!
That’s right, I’m resurrecting this blog for my next exciting chapter! Beginning in October, I will be acting as an “assistante d’anglais” or an English teaching assistant in France! I got the position through an exchange program run by the French Embassy and French Government, the very creatively named Teaching Assistant Program in France, popularly known as TAPIF.
To chronicle this exiting new adventure, I’ve made some major updates to the blog, including a name change! But, Anne, you cry, Why oh why did you choose “Present Perfect” as the new name for your blog? Well, I answer, I honestly am so terrible at naming things and all the obvious things about Americans Abroad seemed taken. So, I used the name of a beloved English verb tense, which also seemed to appropriately idealise how I feel about returning to France: At Present, Perfect!!
(Ironically, the French have no Present Perfect tense…….eh, details)
So, where will I be this time?
While I would love to be back in Paris (and you better believe I will visit!), this time around I will be located in an as-of-yet undisclosed town in the Académie of Grenoble, in the east of France.
A quick break down (pun intended!) of French administrative divisions:
- Regions: These are the biggest divisions. France has 27, including overseas territories. Of the 22 mainland regions, the median size is roughly that of Vermont. In June 2014, the French President François Hollande announced a plan for transitions the number of regions from 22 to 14, in an effort to decrease bureaucracy.
- Départements: Each region is broken into several départements, with 96 total. The number of your department is the beginning of your postal code and until recently also was used on your license plate.
- There are a couple more smaller divisions, but the last one that you need to know about is Académies: In most cases, these correspond with the boundaries of the Regions, except in three cases, where the region is split into two smaller académies. While Regions and Départements are in charge of municipal spending on things like infrastructure and public facilities, the Académie is there more or less for the purpose of administering national education policies.
SO: The city that I’m placed in will be in one of 5 départements (Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Isère, Ardèche, or Drôme) within the Grenoble académie, which is part of the Rhône-Alpes region (along with the académie of Lyon). I should receive my work contract and school placement sometime this month….hopefully sooner rather than later! Once I know where I’m placed, I can start figuring out exciting things like visas, housing, plane tickets, and more! Ahhh!