(GIS) – As part of an annual educational exchange programme, the SALCC French Club (FROG) of the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies (DASGS) went on a weeklong visit to Martinique.
Fourteen second-year students of French benefited from the experience which has become a fixture on the calendar of events of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC).
This year, SALCC was hosted by the Lycée Bellevue and Lycée Schoelcher in Fort-de-France, where students were paired with their respective pen pals. The students were also welcomed by the families of their Martiniquan pen pals. It was a total cultural immersion that included tours, shopping and numerous other academic activities, as well as the experience of everyday living in a family context. It was a welcomed experience as many students had never traveled out of Saint Lucia before.
The students were also able to gain an authentic cultural experience visiting different sites such as a guided tour of Fort-de-France (including the Mayor’s office of Aimé Césaire), the ruins of Saint Pierre in the north, and the Depaz Castle and plantation, to name a few. They were also treated to an extraordinary circus performance at the Tropiques Atrium Cultural Centre.
The high point of the visit, which is also one of the main objectives of the programme, was a tour of the “Université des Antilles” in Schoelcher, where a number of former SALCC students are now pursuing their studies. It is to be noted that Saint Lucian students are making their mark at the Université des Antilles and some of them have benefited from scholarships to further their studies in France. The visit was certainly an incentive to our students to make the “Université des Antilles” an option for their future studies.
The benefits of the trip include enriching the lives of students, opening their minds to various possibilities, and providing students with much-needed linguistic immersion.
The SALCC French Club thanks the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, the Lycée Bellevue, the Lycée Schoelcher, the Martiniquan families, the French Embassy to the OECS member states, the Office of the National Correspondent for the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Cox and Co. Ltd., LUCELEC, SLASPA, and the Université des Antilles.
The trip was held from Feb. 21 to 27.