The Teaching Assistantship Program in France (click here to learn more about TAPIF), sponsored by the French Ministry of Education, hires young English speakers to assist in primary, middle and high school level English classes in France. But wait! You thought I was going to an island in the Indian Ocean? Why would the French Ministry of Education hire me to go there? Aha! Remember colonialism? Reunion Island exists today as an overseas departement (or state) of the Republic of France, among a small handful of other islands around the globe, including Martinique, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, and French Polynesia.
I decided to do an independent project my senior spring at Middlebury on the topic of political rivalries in postcolonial Africa, with a particular interest in the francophone countries. Being able to choose anywhere “in France” to work, I chose Reunion to get a glimpse of what life is like in a colony that chose the route of integration into the French Republic rather than independence like the states of Francophone Africa.
Location of Reunion Island:
I am living on the south shore in Saint Pierre, the second largest city, and working at three schools in and around Saint Louis.