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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Alinda Wessels, Albert Schweitzerschool, Curaçao, Mobility for Internship, KPZ

Before going abroad 

Contact Dr Albert Schweitzerschool: 

Saliña z/n. Curacao

Phone number: (+5999) 465-4811

E-mail: infoasfo@vpco.org / lriley@vpco.org

About the school

Dr Albert Schweitzer School is a Protestant school. It is a big school with 25 classes. Every class has 25 till 30 students and there is one teacher for every group. The school has got 730 students and they are still growing because every year there are applying over 200 new students. The main language is Netherlands but they are also speaking a lot of Papiamentu.

Still at home

When we were still at home, we had a preparation day at the KPZ with other students from other schools. During this day we got a lot of information about our internship. We get to know which school we have our internship and we have got some useful information about living in Curacao. Also we get to know that we don’t need a visa. Only when you stay longer than 90 days.

Review of your stay abroad in academic terms

We arrived the 24th of February in Hato, Curacao. We started our internship the 7th of March. Friday the 26th of February we visited our school to meet the teachers and children. When we arrived at Dr Albert Schweitzer school at 10:00 a.m. We walked into the schoolyard and met the principle. A Dutch woman who is a really kind. She walked to our classes and introduced us into the class. My class was group 4.  It was a group of 31 children. The first week i was observing the children before i could give lessons. It immediately struck me that the teacher spoke in the imperative. After one week I could start teaching. I was allowed to know what lessons I wanted to give every day. I started to give a lot of math and Dutch lessons to this class. I was able to practice to be more stringent and consistent.

Review of your stay abroad in cultural terms

The most common religion is Catholic. We visited a church on national woman day. But the language of the service was Papiamentu. A really nice woman wanted to help us and came to us to translate the service. It was a really nice experience. The service is different from the service in the Netherlands. Here they sing and dance, it is really fascinated.

The people here are very kind and want to help you with everything. They always see the bright side of life. They don’t experience stress. They are so relaxed. Only in traffic they are really stressed. They hump for everything and ride with full speed. There are no rules in traffic.

At school, there were some differences. When the bell rings, the children go standing in line waiting for the teacher to give comment. When they arrived they pray. They pray three times a day. The lessons are in Dutch. You can notice the differences in the Netherlands and here, in the Netherlands the teacher and child are on one line, here the teacher is the boss.

Review of your stay abroad in social terms

The people in Curacao are very kind and hospitable. I’ve got the feeling the island is happy every day no matter what. Our proprietor called us his family. He said that he and his girlfriend are our second mom and dad. When we are in trouble or we want to know something, we can always call them.

When you walking the street, you meet a lot of people. Rich people on their way to work but also poor people, who are begging for money. But most of the time the people are very nice. They greet you when you walk beside. They want to help you with everything. At the supermarket there are some boys who can pack your groceries and bring it to your car for a little money.

The sun is always shining and the beaches are really nice and clean. The water is bright blue and you always see the ground. There are many beautiful fishes in the water. 

Useful tips

When you want to rental a car, you need to ask your proprietor for a car. Most of the time your proprietor got really nice cars and when something happens, you know for sure your problem will be helped.

The second tip I’ve got: there are a lot of vacations here, so you’ve got a lot of free time. Discover the island and do things you never would do. I’ve done cliff jumping here (Playa Forti), make sure your time is word it.

You don’t need to get money when you’re still at home, when you left the airport there is a ATM. You pay with Nafl. Antillean guilders. The rate of exchange is +/- 1 Nafl = €0,52.

When you have a traffic accident, you need to call a number. You don’t have to put your car aside. You must leave your car standing as the accident is happened.

And the last tip I’ve got: take a trip to Klein Curacao, this bounty beach is absolutely my favourite beach. You need to be here once. You can snorkel here and swim with turtles.


Retour plane ticket: €699

Residence: 850 Nafl.

Car rental: 220 Nafl. (I shared a car with 4 other girls)

Grocery: +/- 100 Nafl. every week

What has this internship to offer you? 

This internship was really an experience, but the communication was really bad. Its a big school with 300 children. 
You can indicate your preference for yourself which group you want to give your lessons. At the school there's a supervisor that u can ask if you have questions about your internship. You have to be lucky in which group you can give your lessons, because i gave lessons in group 4 and i could give lessons everyday. 

What needs a PABO student to be able to run this internship?

a PABO student needs to have a good proffesional attitude And might have to adapt well to the culture. 
They should be aware that it may catch out you must raids in another class.

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