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Case Studies

Bon Voyage! A French outlook at volunteering with RIO

By 1st April 2016 No Comments

C’EST magnifique! Well..That’s how two French teachers feel about their recent work placement experiences at the Real Ideas Organisation based at the historic Devonport Guildhall.

RIO is a social enterprise working in the heart of Devonport and looking to solve social problems in the area by working with individuals, local businesses, and other city organisations.

Marie-Pierre Le Mentec, 39 years of age, and a history and geography teacher in Paris, said: “I have enjoyed my two week marketing assignment at RIO, and especially enjoyed working on a project to translate wall panels information from English into French.”

Her school at the Jacques Prevert a’ Versailles is in a deprived part of Paris, and ‘I feel my Tellus College experience over the last three weeks will benefit my pupils says Miss Le-Mentec.

“It’s been great, and I’ve worked on projects, translated literature into French, and learned more about marketing activities, and I certainly feel more confident about my English speaking abilities.”

28-year-old Benjamin Souriav- Wysrkowski, agreed: “I’m a sales and marketing teacher in Paris and I think my time at RIO was about sharing best practices and I’ve learned some new marketing techniques also.”

“What makes a good teacher is listening to our pupils, interacting with students, and I feel I understand the British culture much better from my time in Plymouth.”

The Erasmus+ programme funds students like Marie-Pierre and Benjamin to gain valuable work experience opportunities in Plymouth and Portsmouth, in addition to enhancing their English language skills.

Diana Green, administrator at RIO, said: “We have a very good partnership with Tellus College and really enjoyed having Marie and Benjamin working with us at RIO. The work they did to translate some of our marketing material into French was wonderful and we’re hoping one particular piece they wrote – giving a Parisian perspective of what it’s like living in Plymouth, could be used in Plymouth’s visitor marketing and maybe even make it into some cross channel magazines!”

RIO was set up in 2007, and grown rapidly with a staff of over 40, with a proud record in creating new business enterprises, supporting local communities in Plymouth and across the UK.

Over 2,000 international students come to Plymouth and Portsmouth every year to enhance their employability prospects, and improve their English language skills.

Written by Kevin Kellway, Dorcas Media

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