Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Graduating Senior Receives Teaching Assistantship for 2012-2013

  • The Arc de Triomphe, at the center of the place Charles de Gaulle in Paris, provides a view toward the western edge of Par...
    The Arc de Triomphe, at the center of the place Charles de Gaulle in Paris, provides a view toward the western edge of Paris and the Versailles region, where Molly O'Hara will be teaching.

Molly O’Hara will spend the academic year teaching in France

The Teaching Assistantship Program in France is one of various cultural exchange programs administered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Each year, nearly 1,500 American citizens and permanent residents teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion.

The process begins in the fall when prospective candidates submit applications and request a region of interest to them. Applications are then evaluated based on French-language skills, teaching experience, experience working with children or young adults, experience living abroad, and the level and focus of the applicant’s university studies. Program acceptance and placement decisions within the French Ministry of Education are done based on merit and ranking of the most qualified applicants. 

O’Hara has learned that she will be teaching elementary school in the Academy of Versailles, outside of Paris.

“Teaching Assistant Program in France awards offer an excellent opportunity for cultural exchange,” said Aaron Prevots, associate professor of French at Southwestern. Prevots said teaching assistants work closely with both students and teachers and gain valuable global citizenship skills.

Students selected for the Teaching Assistants Program in France typically work in their schools for 20 to 30 hours a week over the 7-month salary period, which leaves plenty of time to pursue independent research projects, internships or community service projects.

O’Hara is following in the footsteps of 2006 Southwestern graduate Kelley Mansfield, who taught in Aix-en-Provence, 2007 Southwestern graduate Jacqueline Jeffcoat, who taught in Grenoble, and 2008 Southwestern graduate Aurora Aguirre, who taught in Nancy.