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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Lynn Busscher, Sint Elisabeth 2, Suriname, Mobility for internship, KPZ

Sint Elisabeth 2

Monseigneur Wulfinghstraat 7

Paramaribo, Suriname

+597 472265

25 februari is the day I am going to Suriname. I'm going there for my internship (3 months). In januari it was the first time I contacted the school I was going to: Sint Elisabeth 2. The contact was very hard in the begining. The headteacher didn't respond to the phone. School days are from 8 am to 12.45 and I had to call between this time, taking into account that there is a 4 hour time difference. I wanted the email address of the headmaster, so I could send her some information. The first few times I spoke with the vice-principal, who gave the wrong email address. In the end, I got the right email and I could finally send her an email. The first week I was in Suriname I would like to come along and meet the group I was going to do my internship at.

We found our house through Mitchell Alvares. We have lived in a bright pink, beautiful Prinsess -like house for 3 months.

The internship
The headmaster hasn’t been the headmaster of this school for a long time. Still, she knows a lot about the school and she really wants the best for everyone. 
I was allowed to have my internship in the third grade, group 5. The teacher was quite young but she was a good and very kind teacher. The children were lovely and i could do and teach everything i wanted. I noticed that I was way too soft for the Surinamese way of teaching, I needed to be more stern to keep the children’s attention. I learned at this internship to be very strict and clear and consistent! 
After the Easter holidays I had to go to another class. I indicated that preschoolers had my preference. I was allowed to go to the preschoolers internship. It was a very crowded classroom, it was obvious that the teacher needed some help. I enjoyed the first weeks at the toddlers. After a few weeks I found out it was really heavy work with the toddlers. The children are not very kind to each other and towards the teacher. There was a lot of fighting and al lot of nagging (the whole day). I was not used to it and I found that I liked the toddlers less than I had hoped. 
However, I had a fun time at the school and I learned a lot. Things I never would do, but also certainly things that I'm going to take with me to the Netherlands.

In Suriname you will find many different cultures. There are a lot of ethnic groups: Hindoes, Creoles, Javaneses, Indians an Marrons. All groups live at and with each other and it’s going very well. All cultures have found their own spot. In the city are churches, but also mosques. There are many Chinese shops, where you can buy (sometimes cheap) groceries and other things. Also the tourists are very well received and they are very friendly towards interns. Though the only downside is that if you are white you could expect a lot of hooting and whistling from the Surinamese people if you’re on a bike or so.
In Suriname it is actually always hot. In the time we were there it haven’t been below 25 degrees, and this is the same in the evening. There are a lot of clouds, but without the clouts its almost too hot. Also, even if there are clouds you need to put on sun protection because you burn a lot fasten than you think. There is a tropical rainforest in Suriname. You can make several trips to the rain forest. Here you can find many different trees and exotic animals.

If you want to learn a bit of the history of Suriname you nee to go to Fort Zeelandia in Paramaribo. You can visit it every day till 2 o’clock, on Sunday you can do the trip with a guide, he can and will tell you everything you want to know about the history of the fort. 
Also, we did a trip to Gunzi. In Gunzi you can see how the people used to live in Suriname. Gurzi itself is still a very primitive village. The people wash their clothes, they do their dishes, and wash themselves is the same river. They live in small wooden shacks and live off the food that grows on their own piece of land. Sometimes it is a 4 hour walk to this land. They do this every single day.

Life in Suriname is not very expensive, also the taxi costs nothing fortunately, you need this very often. At the Tulip, this is a Dutch -like supermarket,   the products a bit more expensive, but you have a lot of choices.

Flight         800 euros

Apartment 900 euros (for 3 months)

Bicycle      90 euros (for 3 months)

Trips         400 euros

Live          300 (for 1 month)

Last questions

What has your internship to offer?
 I think my internship can offer you a nice time during your time in Suriname. They treat you like an intern, but also like a real teacher. They will ask what you think about some things, if you want to help with some things. Also some off the other teachers will contact you and they want to chat with you. Personally I liked the gymteacher the most. She is so enthusiastic about every thing and she will contact you all the time she sees you. She's a very good teacher and very nice to the children, I liked her very much. 
If you want to give lessons, you have to ask it by yourself, because they won't ask it. I also think the preschoolers aren't a very good class to do your internship. My teacher does it for a very long time, so she want to do as much as possible herself, so you have to create new lessons if you want to give a lesson. New sort of lessons are very hard for them, because they are not used to it.

About what skills does the student needs to have when he/she choose your intership? 
A uniform from their school they really like, but it isn't required. 
Do not be shy! When you are shy, you really have to choose an other country I personally think..
You need some nice things to make your lessons nice and interesting. They're not used to special things in the lessons, so they will like it very much! And bring stickers :)
And just be yourself! 


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