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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Eline Winters, St. Franciscus, Curaçao, Mobility for Internship, KPZ


Together with 4 other girls, we choose to go to Curacao for the internship. The KPZ arranged the internship, the only things we had to managed: our tickets, the accommodation and some documents.
We booked our tickets at D-reizen, it’s a dutch company. A niece from one of the girls arranged that for us. We all searched for an accommodation and we had some contact with owners from different accommodations, but after a month we found the perfect accommodation for the five of us. The documents we had to arrange were an passport, a VOG (Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag, a dutch certificate that proves that your past behavior is not an obstacle for fulfilling a certain role or function in society).


Curacao is a Dutch carribean island. It belongs to the ABC-islands from the Dutch Antilles. It’s a constituent island of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curacao has a population of more than 150.000 inhabitants on a surface area of around 444 square kilomtres. It’s capital is Willemstad. The language they speak the most on Curacao is Papiamento and Dutch. The island has an tropical savannah climate with an average temperature of around 30 Celsius degrees.


I did my internship at the Sint Franciscollege in Willemstad. I was placed in the fourth grade, and one of the other girls was also placed at this school and also in the fourth grade. In my class a had 33 pupils, so it was a big group.

I found it a difficult internship, because at my school the children spoke together only Papiamento. Some children could speak Dutch, but not very well and they didn’t speak it often. My mentor spoke Dutch very well, but in class they spoke about 80%-90% of the day Papiamento. You can understand that teaching for me was very difficult, so I didn’t gave very much lessons. That was a pity.

At my school they use methods, for math they use an method from Curacao (because the valuta they use here is guldens, so this also has to come back in the math method). For language lessons they use an Dutch method (but they also got Papiamento lessons). The Dutch methods are forwarded from the Netherlands. Very often these methods are out of date and they don’t have enough books for every pupil, so they have to share. Also the workbooks are copied, they don’t use the original workbooks.

The teaching is very different from the Dutch teaching. They do a lot of classroom teaching and the teachers  yell a lot to the children (condescending). Also my mentor never walked around when the children were working on the command.

For me it was particular to see all the differences between the teaching in the Netherlands and on Curacao. Because Curacao is after all an constituent island of the Netherlands, so you would think it would be similar to each other. Despite of all the differences in teaching, the Sint Franciscus was a nice and instructive school to do my internship. I had nice contact with the other teachers and they didn’t do very difficult about illness or teaching other subjects (like drama). So it was definitely worth it!

What does this internship offer you?
This internship offered me different things. I think this internship would offer you more knowledge about the education around the world, but especially Curacao. And it's strange that there are so many differences between the education in the Netherlands and Curacao, because Curacao is still a part of the Netherlands. You will respect differences between children more, and than particulary the differences between descent and the different skincolors.

What do you need if you chose for this internship?
You need to have a lot empathy. Most of the children can't speak dutch very well, so you need to have empathy for that and you need to adjust to that. So if you want to go to curacao, you need empathy and you need to have the ability to adapt. 


If you want to know more about my finance, you can send me an email:

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