The Differences between TAPIF and Studying Abroad

Monday, June 26, 2017

There are obvious differences between living abroad for studies and living abroad for work. Some good, some bad .Here are just a few key differences between TAPIF and Studying Abroad in France. 

#1) You're pretty much on your own: Unlike study abroad, your community isn't handed to you by your program. If you're lucky you might have other language assistants that are your roommates or live near other assistants. As a TAPIFer you truly have to put in a lot of effort in order to create and maintain a sense of community. Tip: Talk to your teachers, neighbors, and see what assistants are in the area and socialize! You have a good amount of time off so make sure that you keep yourself busy by creating a community around you.

#2) Lodging:  For many people  that studied abroad, you were probably set up by your school with a host family or an apartment. With TAPIF this is was the case. Compared to study abroad, you have to find an apartment or host family all by your lovely self. If you're lucky (like myself) your school might provide housing, but know that you are one of the few lucky souls  that don't have to suffer with the hassle of finding an apartment. What a way to start adulthood while abroad in another country, 

#3) Free time: This is probably an obvious one, but it still should be noted. Generally, assistants are working about 12 hours a week in the classroom with an average of 2-3 hours for prep time. Naturally, this means that there is a lot of free time on your hands to do whatever your heart desires. Sure, my course work might have been a bit lighter while abroad but I still had a fixed schedule due to the fact that I was actually studying. Welcome to adulthood  ladies and gentlemen. For the first time in my life I had the power to choose whatever I wanted to do when and where. I had nothing holding me back thanks to the lack of homework. La vie est belle, non?

#4) Maturity and being an international expert: One of the most comforting things about traveling internationally is revisiting cities that you have previously been too. For myself I find it easy to feel at home wherever I go. Thanks to my studies in Paris, I found myself  having a home-away-from-home while in France. Whenever I felt homesick I knew that Paris was only a train ride away whenever I wanted. 
In addition to my knowledge on Paris, I also have gained knowledge and have become comfortable traveling abroad. I have already been a fool once abroad and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. Embracing this knew found attitude and has allowed for me to meet new people and see new places around the world. 


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