Overall, I had a great time in Martinique, and am very grateful to have been able to come.
However, there were negatives as well as positives. For me, the biggest difficulty I came across was finding a good place to live in Carbet that was within my budget range. Unfortunately, I needed internet to work, otherwise the flat I was originally placed in would have been fine. Getting around was also comparatively difficult at first. Although I was lucky enough to always have a lift to work, exploring the island and meeting up with friends was tricky to begin with. Taxicos are unreliable, and I was at first too scared to hitch hike. As time went on, though, I learnt to get about with hitch hiking and with my new found friends too,before eventually hiring a car.
Another minor issue for me were the very early mornings. Being far from a morning person, I sometimes found it difficult to arrive in class with energy and enthusiasm when I hadn’t had enough sleep. From time to time, I also found some of the pupils could be a little disrespectful, but then dealing with this was a useful experience if I am to become a teacher. My ‘tutrice’ was also very helpful in these situations. Generally, the positives greatly outweighed the negatives. I really loved living on Martinique – it is a beautiful place, with a fantastic culture. I completely fell in love with it, and I found it very interesting to live in an environment so different from what I am used to. Also, I found people were extremely helpful and friendly, and this was especially true of my colleagues. I felt welcome from the start, and, although I missed my family, friends and boyfriend, I never felt homesick.
Working at Lycée Saint James and at Collège Christiane Eda Pierre was also a highpoint. The teaching was sometimes frustrating, generally rewarding, and I learnt a lot from the experience. My tutrice was especially helpful, showing me an effective teaching style which, should I become a teacher, I will hope to replicate. The way we did lessons also meant that I got a lot out of working.
Coming to Martinique was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made. I have scraped around looking for negatives, when actually it was a very positive time! »