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Immersion professionnelle en Europe
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Furthering our strategy of international development and having experienced two previous mobility projects for ten pupils who did their eight-week internship in Irish laboratories in 2013 and 2014, we have renewed this experience with 10 other students. This year, eight pupils in twelth grade of laboratory quality control and two pupils studying sales applied for this mobility programme. Since 2010, we have started a European section in our professional training so that pupils have professional lessons in English as well as English language courses. Providing them with internships in an English speaking country makes sense with regard to those lectures and the choices we have made to open our school to European mobility. The short-term objectives for our pupils are to develop their capacity to adjust themselves to new working conditions, to increase their autonomy and their knowledge of Anglo-Saxon culture. The long-term objectives are to facilitate their occupational integration and improve their employability or to enable them to enroll in higher education in a foreign English speaking country. Our pupils often had a bad start when they first arrived in our school. They have chosen the vocational track because the training includes internships which introduce them to the world of work. Those internships abroad represent a way to give them self-confidence and to make them realise how important it is to become fluent in English in the context of globalisation. This year the students were delighted with their experience. Two girls did their internship in Banbury, England whereas the rest of the students had their work placement in Ireland. They had to become self-reliant and autonomous quite rapidly in order to face difficulties. Most of our pupils studying to become laboratory technicians have completed their vocational internship in analytical environmental laboratories such as soil or water testing laboratories, medical analysis laboratories or food control laboratories. Those internships give them the opportunity to discover other procedures and equipment or to diversify their work experience because in France they most often do their internship in food industry laboratories, medical or cosmetic laboratories. The pupils, studying to become salespersons, did their internship in food supermarkets such as SuperValu in Bandon. The students have thus become accustomed to the distribution industry, the different kinds of outlets and health rules for food products and quality labels. For all of them, this English immersion increased their listening skills and oral comprehension and improved their speaking skills. Il also enhanced their résumé. There is also a strong cultural objective since those students have shared the daily life of an Anglo-Saxon family and visited historical sites that they will have reported about on their personal eportfolio. The mobility lasted eight weeks from September 28th to November 20th, 2015 for the eight students in laboratory control quality and four weeks, from October 26th to November 20th for the two students in sales. Since the mobilities are very expensive, especially in the United Kingdom, we need several sources of funding besides the European Union which remains the main one of course. We have asked and obtained an individual grant to assist mobility from the General Education and Research Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. A financial contribution from the participant's parents was required, and we have set up some actions to help financing the mobility programme such as the sale of school pictures.

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