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Personal development internship in Senegal, Angélique de Meric, X 2017

The personal development internship (DFHM internship) is compulsory for all first year students for a period of six months, either in the armed forces or a civilian organization, in France or abroad. This year, 45 students are doing their internship abroad. Here is Angélique's experience who is currently in Senegal, at the Mariama Ba School.

Video made by Angélique, who is in Dakar with three other Polytechnicien students: Candice Moal, Yassine Hamdi and Camille Plessis.

Angélique de Meric de Bellefon  is currently in Senegal, at the Mariama Ba School, created in 1977 under the aegis of the President Leopold Sédar Senghor and established, since 1984, in the Gorée Island. It is a very selective school for girls. Angélique arrived on October 9th and will stay there until April. Her main tasks are to help the students in computer science and in scientific subjects, to take part in the school projects and to accompany the students during school outings.  

“The welcome was exceptional, the Senegalese hospitality is very pleasant and I am already included in this huge family that is the school. Young girls call me big sister and they all want to teach me Wolof, the Senegalese language.

I work with several people of diverse services: the educational team, the supervisors, the kitchen staff, the inhabitants of the island and all the girls from all the classes who come of the entire Senegal and who all have different stories to tell me. I have to work other forms of intelligence than the mathematical learning: I have to remember the names and the faces of 250 students as well as the teachers and all the staff! I also practice several languages at the same time: English, German (a German girl is also doing an internship at the school) but also Wolof. I am already able to have some little discussions, especially about food!

My missions are really diverse and very interesting: the first day, I gave a math lesson assisted by a teacher to understand the pedagogy and to have a first contact with girls. Since, I teach in autonomy math, physics, and chemistry in classes of different levels. I also give computer science classes and soon I will have to supervise practical works in physics and chemistry. However, there is a serious lack of material and devices. Fortunately, before coming here, my high school gave me several scholar books and the Laboratory of the prestigious Louis Le Grand high school gave me many electronic devises. The teachers and the students were so happy to receive them!”