During January and February, The Creative Collective was host to 4 French students on work experience all the way from Avignon. The Lycee Professionelle Vincent De Paul provides opportunities for their students to visit the country of their choice – depending on the second language they may have chosen – to improve their spoken language skills and to gain experience of the work place. Whilst in Kent, the young people stay at Kipps Youth Hostel in Canterbury and are placed with companies in the area.
Yousra, Marion, Natacha and Anais very quickly familiarised themselves with Ashford and the work we do at the gallery and provided valuable support by doing much needed research about all things arts and creativity. In our many very interesting conversations, it was clear that they are all passionate about politics, their country, multi-cultural society and women’s causes and issues. We asked them to tell us a little about themselves so here are their stories:
Yousra is 18, she was born in Morrocco and studying for a BTEC. Like the others, she has chosen English as a second language. In her spare time Yousra likes to listen to music, spend time with friends and watch TV series. Yousra wants to be an interpreter and work for a commercial firm, and hopes to live in Canada or Australia. Yousra says: ‘life in France is expensive. The people are sad and politics are not very constructive. But our education system is good because we study lots of subjects’.
Marion is 17 years old and was born in Paris. She has also opted for English as a second language. In her spare time, Marion likes drawing and horse riding. She will be going to university to study graphic design and hopes to work for an advertising company. Marion says: ‘French people are negative and life in France is very expensive. Those who finish university, have a hard time finding work’.
Natacha (and yes it is spelled like that in French) is 18 years old and was born in Strasbourg. She wants to be an English and Spanish interpreter because she loves the two countries and the cultures. She would like to live in Australia. She says: ‘Life in France is expensive and politicians are soft. Although the education system is good, there is a lot of bullying in schools’.
Anais is 21 years old and was born in Rochefort-du-Gard in Avignon. She is also studying for a BTEC and planning to go to university and become a veterinarian because she loves animals and wants to take care of them. Anais is an athlete and likes to shot put, throw the hammer and walk. She would like to travel to Asia and Latin America – Argentina in particular. ‘French politics are a mess, the French president is hopeless’ says Anais.
It has been a pleasure working with the students who will be living us tomorrow. A month already? They have produced really valuable work. They spend a few hours interviewing some of the artists and art students in the gallery so we’ll be posting the interviews in a later blog.
We would like to wish them well in their journey and hope they will stay in touch and tell us what they’re up to for years to come.