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Teach English in Bordeaux, France

Nestled in the southwestern part of France, Bordeaux is often hailed as the wine capital of the world. With its UNESCO World Heritage status, Bordeaux is a blend of regal architecture, sprawling vineyards, and a rich cultural tapestry. The Garonne River runs through the heart of this city, making it a picturesque hub for both residents and tourists alike. While Bordeaux is globally renowned for its wine, it's also a city that has embraced modernity while reverently preserving its historical essence. Over the years, an increasing number of expatriates have been charmed by its allure, many of whom are English teachers seeking an enriching European experience.

Reasons to Teach English in Bordeaux

  1. World-class Living: Recognized for its art, culture, and of course, wine, living in Bordeaux is like living inside a postcard. The city's aesthetic appeal, from its grand plazas to its quaint cobblestone streets, offers an unparalleled European experience.

  2. Cultural Immersion: Bordeaux provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in authentic French culture. Attend local wine tastings, relish the famed Bordeaux cuisine, and partake in local festivals to truly integrate into the community.

  3. Growing Demand for English: As Bordeaux becomes an increasingly global city, the demand for learning English, especially in the business and tourism sectors, has seen significant growth. This creates numerous opportunities for English teachers.

  4. Proximity to Other European Destinations: Located near the French Atlantic coast, Bordeaux offers easy access to other major European cities. Weekend trips to places like Paris, Barcelona, or even the scenic Pyrenees mountains, are entirely feasible.

  5. Supportive Expat Community: The city boasts a robust expatriate community, with many English teachers who often come together for events, meet-ups, or simply to exchange teaching resources and tips.

  6. Rich Historical and Educational Environment: Bordeaux is home to several esteemed institutions and schools. Teaching here allows one to not just impart language skills but also to learn from a society deeply rooted in history and academia.

Understanding Bordeaux's Education Landscape

The educational framework in Bordeaux, like the rest of France, places a strong emphasis on quality and rigor. The city is home to various public and private institutions, ranging from primary schools to prestigious universities. Over the years, as globalization has touched every corner of the world, the need for English proficiency has grown. Bordeaux, with its thriving international business scene, especially in the wine industry, has seen a surge in the demand for English education. Thus, language schools, private tutoring centers, and even traditional schools are constantly on the lookout for qualified English teachers.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Bordeaux

The requirements to teach English in Bordeaux will be similar to the standard requirements for teaching English in France, however, here are the specific requirements for Bordeaux:

  1. Qualifications: A Bachelor's degree in any field is typically required. However, a degree in education or English can be an advantage.

  2. TEFL/TESOL Certificate: Most institutions prefer candidates with a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certification, indicating they have undergone training to teach English as a foreign language.

  3. Experience: Previous teaching experience can be beneficial, but many schools in Bordeaux are open to hiring fresh graduates, provided they demonstrate enthusiasm and aptitude for teaching.

  4. Language Proficiency: While fluency in French is not a strict requirement, having basic communication skills in French can be an advantage in daily life and classroom management.

  5. Work Visa: Non-EU citizens will require a work visa. Some schools might assist in the visa application process, especially if they are keen on hiring a particular candidate.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Bordeaux

  1. Salary: An English teacher's salary in Bordeaux can range from €1,500 to €2,500 per month, depending on the institution, qualifications, and experience.

  2. Contract Benefits: Some institutions may offer additional benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations, and end-of-contract bonuses.

  3. Private Tutoring: Many teachers supplement their income by offering private English lessons. Rates can vary, but it's common to charge between €15 to €30 per hour.

  4. Living Costs: While Bordeaux is not as expensive as Paris, it's still one of France's major cities. Rent for a single-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €600 to €900 per month. However, daily expenses like food and transportation are reasonable.

  5. Professional Development: Some schools offer professional development opportunities, workshops, and resources to help teachers further hone their skills.

Living and working in Bordeaux provides teachers with not just a stable income but also an opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of French culture and history.

Living in Bordeaux

Bordeaux, often referred to as the "Port of the Moon" because of its crescent-shaped bend along the Garonne River, is a vibrant city that effortlessly marries its rich history with contemporary charm. Living in Bordeaux provides an immersive experience in a unique blend of French art, culture, and of course, world-famous wines.

Historic Charm with a Modern Twist

The city center of Bordeaux is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a testament to its historical significance and architectural splendor. Wander through its streets, and you'll find a mix of majestic 18th-century buildings, sprawling public squares, and narrow medieval alleyways.

World-renowned Wine Culture

Bordeaux is synonymous with wine. The region boasts some of the world's most acclaimed vineyards and châteaux. Living in Bordeaux means you're just a short trip away from the picturesque vineyards of Saint-Émilion, Médoc, and Graves. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, the wine culture here is something you'll cherish.

Culinary Delights

French cuisine needs no introduction, and in Bordeaux, you'll find a tantalizing array of both traditional and modern dishes. Don't miss out on trying the local specialty, 'canelé', a small caramelized pastry filled with vanilla and rum.

Green Spaces

Despite its urban character, Bordeaux is dotted with parks and green spaces. The 'Jardin Public', for instance, is an oasis of calm in the heart of the city, perfect for picnics, jogs, or leisurely strolls.

A Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene

Bordeaux isn't just about history and wine; it's a hub for arts and culture. From contemporary art installations at the CAPC to classical performances at the Grand Théâtre, the city offers a plethora of cultural experiences.


Getting around Bordeaux is a breeze. The city boasts an efficient public transportation system, including trams, buses, and river shuttles. Plus, with its bike-friendly avenues and pedestrian zones, many locals prefer cycling or walking.

Cost of Living

While not as pricey as Paris, Bordeaux is still a major French city. Expect to pay around €600 to €900 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. However, daily expenses like groceries, dining, and entertainment are relatively affordable.

Teacher Stories

Emma from the UK:

"I always dreamt of living in a French city, surrounded by culture and history. Bordeaux offered that and so much more. Teaching English here has given me the privilege to immerse myself fully in French daily life. The wine tastings after school hours aren't too bad either!"

Mark from Australia:

"Bordeaux struck me as a smaller, more laid-back version of Paris. But never did I realize how lively and dynamic this city truly is. My students, ranging from young professionals to retirees, have given me a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of Bordeaux's culture."

Siobhan from Ireland:

"Teaching English in Bordeaux has been a whirlwind. I've learned so much from my students while sharing my own culture with them. We often exchange recipes, and I've become quite the expert in making 'canelés'!"

Jackson from Canada:

"Bordeaux's blend of historic grandeur and modern dynamism made it an exciting place to teach. My students have been eager to learn, and our exchanges often go beyond just language, delving into discussions about culture, wine, and life."

Naledi from South Africa:

"I initially came to Bordeaux for a short-term teaching stint. But the city, with its architectural marvels, world-class wines, and warm people, drew me in. Two years later, I'm still here, teaching, learning, and savoring every moment."

Moving Towards Teaching English In Bordeaux

Teaching English in Bordeaux isn't just a job—it's an experience. The cultural exchanges, the beauty of the city, and the warmth of its people make teaching English here a deeply fulfilling journey.

If you're considering a move, Bordeaux awaits with its rich history, world-famous vineyards, and eager students. It's a decision that promises not just professional growth but also personal enrichment and unforgettable memories. So why wait? Embark on your teaching adventure in Bordeaux and discover the myriad treasures this French gem has to offer.