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La section européenne : une opportunité pour la mobilité, le commerce et la communication
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The initialisation and the achievement of such a mobility program is usually deterred by the students’ lack of maturity and their poor English skills. These teenagers have difficulties to adapt abroad. Our former mobility programs let appear some hurdles: -they couldn’t take part in selling and social activities, -they could hardly communicate with the staff and the customers, -they refused to speak, -they had trouble with the host family. Our students had problems in understanding and speaking English. Since we decided to make the upper sixth form students do their final training period in England, we have noticed a growing improvement and a better success of the program. The students agree with it at the end of their training period. Twelve female students from the sixth upper form in selling in the European section took part in the last mobility program; they were considered as mature enough, motivated and had been constantly trained . The European section is composed of fifteen female students; they all have been trained for the mobility program for three years (fourth, fifth and sixth upper forms). We had to ask for an endorsement for three of them who had health troubles which required regular medical appointments in France. The other twelve students underwent their work placement in a well-defined environment (two towns in East Sussex in the UK) from March 6th to April 2nd 2016. They were at ease in finding their way thanks to the cultural and language trainings. Two Breakaway employees supervised them during the month. Each of the trainees underwent their training period by themselves in a shop, but they stayed in pairs with the host family. The internship was from March 7th to April 1st 2016. This last training period gave double benefits: an integral professional and language knowledge, the possibility to practice and speak English just before taking their exam. Now it’s no longer difficult to train them at selling and the communication with the clients is easier as they’re either tourists or retired people with a relaxed attitude. The conditions to make the program a success were clearly defined to the parents and the applicants: a strong motivation, a serious and regular training, good behavior. Most of the members showed their ability: some shy students surprised and achieved our aspirations for them, with their autonomy. The benchmark was attained by the majority of the applicants. One of the trainees had difficulties to integrate since she had asked to be alone in her host family. Regular communication with our partner Breakaway convinced her to stay and achieve her final objective that is: complete her training. This experience remains a success for all the students; indeed, we had asked the students for their preferences in respect to the kind of shops and made sure that they could do their training period according to that. Five students worked in women’s clothing shop, an accessories shop, a pet shop, a news agency and a department store. Seven students worked in Charity shops because they required a more structural working environment. This year, the European section students have a lower level at school but all are highly motivated. The aim remains of course, to speak English while selling. The ability to talk to the customers in a shop is still the main point. The English assistant and the English teacher made the students participate in conversation courses. The English Selling courses were based on building confidence and doing sketches. Every year, our young aspirants of the mobility program require a modified program in order to find the best place in the UK to offer to them. They need a close supervision both in work placement and in the host family. Due to their young age, we have got to keep an eye on their behaviour. Our English partner must supervise them individually and permanently. The idea to place them in town, not too far from Dieppe, is the better choice. Our partner Breakaway is responsible for finding an internship for young students and they understand the importance of close supervision of students who are still minors. This permanent program, the contents of which are modified every year, proposes an easy geographic location and more reassuring supervision. This aspect of the mobility program which focuses on the individuality of the applicants, indicates a better structure every year. Now we can avoid problems such as quitting the training period and focus on the European objectives which lead to good results such as: -a cultural opening onto Europe -an English sales practice -a better adaptability -a personal enrichment.
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