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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Iris van Dijk, Sister Borgia elementary school, Saint Martin, Mobility for internship, KPZ

Contact of the school

Sister Borgia Primary School


P.O.Box 294
Philipsburg, St.Maarten

Dutch West Indies

P:+ 1 (721) 5423440   

Description of the school

It is a relatively small school situated in the heart of Philipsburg, on the island of St.Maarten, Netherlands Antilles since 1978.

The school consists of 8 class rooms , they called groups 1 thru 8. Their education is divided into two cycles, with 4 groups per cycle.The age bracket ranges from 4- 12 years. 

They stress both the academic, the spiritual and the social emotional formation of all students. The language of instruction at the school is the Dutch Language.

The English language is taught as a subject. Due to their uniqueness in size, their students are known on a first name basis and they enjoy a closeness that would be lost at a large school population.

History of the school

Ms. Charlotte Johanna Wilhelmina Linskens was born on November 1, 1912 in Holland. Her convent name was Sister Borgia. Sr. Borgia arrived on St. Maarten in August of 1964 and became principal of the St. Joseph School. 

Sr. Borgia became directress of the Pastoor Niewenhuis MAVO. She was known to be an excellent teacher. She was always interested in all her students and gave all her students a fair chance. 
In those days not everyone had a telephone. So when she said she was going to call on the parents, the ‘call’ was made on her bicycle. 

Sr. Borgia was also an outspoken person. She loved to work and nothing was too much for her. She never complained of the pains she was suffering, and she always had a comforting word for people who needed it. She had a lovely way of cheering people up around her. 

She always gave her best to the students. Before reluctantly returning to Holland, she was head of the “Pedagogisch Didaktisch Bureau”. In 1988 our school was renamed Sr. Borgia Elementary School in commemoration of the Reverend Sister Borgia.
Sr. Borgia died on October 21, 1990 in Holland.  


Every first of November, her birth date, the school, celebrates Sr. Borgia Day. 

Description of the island

St. Martin's Dutch side is known for its festive nightlife, beaches, jewelry, drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors, and casinos. The island's French side is known for its nude beaches, clothes, shopping (including outdoor markets), and French and Indian Caribbean cuisine. English is the most commonly spoken language along with a local dialect. The official languages are French for Saint-Martin, and both Dutch and English for Sint Maarten. Other common languages include various French-based creoles (spoken by immigrants from other French Caribbean islands), Spanish (spoken by immigrants from the Dominican Republic and various South American countries), and Papiamento (spoken by immigrants from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao).

Tourists often use accommodations such as hotels, guesthouses,villas, and timeshares.

Rental cars are the primary mode of transportation for visitors staying on island. Traffic on the island has become a major problem. Long traffic jams between Marigot, Philipsburg and the airport are common.

Because the island is located along the intertropical convergence zone, it is occasionally menaced by tropical storm activity in the late summer and early fall.

Things you need to see:

- MAHO beach: The island is served by many major airlines that daily bring in large jet aircraft, including Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s carrying tourists from across the world. The short main runway at Princess Juliana International Airport, and its position between a large hill and a beach, causes some spectacular approaches. Aviation photographers flock to the airport to capture pictures of large jets just a few metres above sunbathers on Maho Beach.

- Marigot: Capital of the French Side. The border momument is a very polupar spot.

- Paradise Pic: The highest spot of Saint-Martin with a beautiful view of the island.

- Fort Amsterdam (Philipsburg) & Fort Louis (Marigot)

- The others islands of the caribbean. Neighbouring islands include Saint Barthélemy (French), Anguilla (British), Saba (Dutch), Sint Eustatius "Statia" (Dutch), Saint Kitts and Nevis (independent, formerly British). With the exception of Nevis, all of these islands are easily visible on a clear day from St. Martin.

Financial report

Every month:

- $510 rent

- $150 for groceries


Extra cost:

- $15 going out on friday

- $20 poolparty every last saturday of the month

- $500 if you want to rent a car for a month

- $90 visiting Anguilla

- $140 swimming with dolphins.

- $100 visiting St. Barth

Ticket to Saint-Martin

$935 including an extra suitcase

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