Outgoing: Félix at the University of Szczecin, Poland
Félix Tran, a Master student from ESPE (Institute for Education of the University of Bordeaux), is currently attending the University of Szczecin, Poland, within the framework of a bilingual Intercultural Master.
Having already completed his first Master Degree in Information Literacy in the field of education, Félix is now continuing his studies in order to improve his English and to complete his research paper.
What inspired you to become a "globetrotter"?
Thanks to the University of Bordeaux, I have already completed four international mobility experiences. The first time was a semester spent in Quebec, Matane, during the 2nd year of my Bachelor degree in 2013/2014. Then in 2016, I did my second traineeship for the Master in Information Literacy in Montreal. This was a 3 week exchange program on Information and communication science at the University of Montreal (EBSI). In 2017, to complete my first Master degree, I went to Cork, Ireland, for a traineeship at North Monastery Secondary School. Finally, my most recent experience was in April 2018 when I went to Morocco for a traineeship at the French Secondary School of Kenitra (AEFE) during the 2nd year of my first Master degree.
My goal is to work abroad, hopefully one day for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry on the topic of education abroad. This is the main reason for my “globetrotter” status! These international mobility experiences are great for learning about different cultures and points of view with regard to education and pedagogical projects.
In addition to my studies, I also love to travel in my free time. I am very often on the move with my friends on trips that create magical memories as we discover (or rediscover) countries, cities, and places together!
What did you learn from these international experiences?
In Canada, it was very interesting to see how important networking is considered. I even had classes on the subject of “business networking”. These classes taught us how to develop relations, keep professional contacts, and share professional experiences. I really appreciated the fact that we had many practical “hand-on” classes (unlike in France where the classes are often very theoretical) – this will be very useful later on in my working life.
In Ireland, my experience was teaching at a boys’ secondary school. To my surprise (and relief!), these excited, turbulent boys showed great respect for the teachers when in the classroom as well as with the school administration staff.
In Morocco, I worked for a French Secondary School that belongs to the Agency for French Education Abroad Network (AEFE). It was my first time working for French Education abroad and I discovered that the French education system is quite powerful and famous on a global scale. Due to the excellent reputation of the system, expectations concerning the level of French teachers are very high!
What is your favorite memory from each stay?
My favourite memory from Canada was when I was invited to give a French student’s perspective on being abroad during the morning live at Radio Canada. Despite feeling quite intimated at the prospect of talking for the first time ever on a national radio, I really enjoyed it! This is a perfect example of the kind of spontaneous and exciting moments I love when abroad.
My second favourite memory from Canada was a road trip from North Gaspésie to Toronto with all my friends. It was really great because this experience created a strong bond between us which persists today. Now, I have many friends across France and the world and we continue to travel regularly together in order to keep in touch.
In Ireland, my favourite memory was my first class that I taught alone in English. It was a French class, but I presented in English and gave the Irish pupils some tips and tricks on how to learn French. It was really interesting to share a discussion with Irish children on what they think about French culture and France.
My favourite memory from Morocco was when I met the Director of the French Culture Institute. It was great to talk about French culture with someone in such an influential position. I appreciated learning how exhibitions were prepared and how a network between embassies, schools and Culture Institutes is important when developing cultural projects throughout the country.
What are your objectives for the next mobility experience in Poland?
In addition to learning about the Polish culture, I hope to discover another point of view regarding education. My goal is to meet many, many Polish and international people, to work on my research paper (“Politeness in France and Abroad”) and to experience the way of life in Poland as much as possible.
Any last words?
I think it’s a very beneficial experience to live abroad. For me, each international mobility experience has been unique and brought me not only good memories, but also new friends from France and beyond.
Going abroad during your studies is a real opportunity to grow in your understanding of different cultures, your ability to be open-minded and, of course, to practice a foreign language. I would advise students reflecting on going abroad to contact the International Office of their University. They will help you find and plan your own study abroad project and will offer support not only before but also during and after your travels.
My ultimate advice to fellow students: if there’s a chance to go abroad during your studies, take it as soon as you can!