Earlier this week, we caught up with Mael and Sandrine, two French students who have been volunteering at our retail shops in West Norwood. With Emmaus having been founded in France in the late 1940s, and having 117 Emmaus communities located there, we regularly have French students looking to come to London to improve their English and business knowledge at our social enterprises located here.
Both study at La Rochelle Business School, with Mael coming from a small village near Paris, and Sandrine from Ile de Re, a small island close to La Rochelle. Sandrine and Mael have been supporting all aspects of the business here in Lambeth, and they took some time out of their day to tell us more about themselves and their experiences while in London.
Firstly, Mael a confident, humorous international business student tells me about what he likes and dislikes about London:-
‘’What I miss the most about home is seeing family and friends regularly, and I like the feeling of being in a big city where everyone is friendly even though you are not from there. I find car owners here quite arrogant on the roads, but I very much enjoy the good transport links around London. My favourite food over here has been the fish & chips on a Friday evening. I have also enjoyed the London social scene at the weekends. This placement has definitely helped me to improve my English, and has enabled me to become more mature and independent. I have also learnt a lot about how an Emmaus social enterprise works overall in the UK.
The well-presented and very polite Sandrine sets out her impression of English life to date:-
‘’ I love the London city life and how busy it can be at times, although a downside is you have to go to Brighton to see a beach! I like that there are so many different activities, and so you never get bored. With everyone driving on the other side of the road compared with France, I have had to be very attentive when crossing the road! I also enjoy having fish & chips, since I have come to England. The most memorable place I have been to is Tower Bridge, and the area around it, full of interesting history. In my spare time I read many books and watch different programmes on Netflix. My customer service skills have definitely improved since volunteering here, and I like the fact that most of the products are environmentally friendly. “
We would like to thank Mael and Sandrine for all their efforts whilst at Emmaus Lambeth. It has been much appreciated, and we hope that is simply au revoir and not just goodbye!
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