Collectivité’s ‘Successful Departure’ information forum draws students | THE DAILY HERALD


Students and their parents gather information at the Crédit Mutuel stand during the Collectivité’s “Successful Departure” information forum held Monday. (Robert Luckock photo)

MARIGOT–Students took advantage of the Collectivité’s “Successful Departure” information forum on Monday, at the Chamber of Commerce, designed to prepare them for the next phase of their studies in France or other territories.

Organised jointly by the Collectivité and the Pélicarus Association the forum got off to a slow start at 2:00pm, but more students and parents came and went throughout the afternoon. Various information stands were set up in the conference hall.

Students are typically seeking information on university life, how to access health care abroad, access to transportation (public or private), taking out insurance, bank loans, finding apartments or shared lodgings, availability of activities and leisure pursuits, student clubs and organisations, museums, libraries, shopping, restaurants, and generally staying safe etc.

Pélicarus Association, similar to St. Maarten United Connection USC and S4 on the Dutch side, helps students going abroad with housing and also runs a Big Brother programme split into two sections.

The founders of Pélicarus are St. Martin students who were studying in different parts of the world before getting together via Skype to form the association. There is no president as such, but the founders choose to call themselves directors in a collegiate system. A meeting is held twice a month.

“Basically, this event is organised to give out information to students who have just passed their Baccalaureat and are going on to further studies in France,” explained Rudya Lake, one of the seven co- founders of Pélicarus. “We’ve been organising with the Collectivité for the past two years. What’s key to helping the students here is the students who are already studying in France and their input is very helpful. We have a few of them here today. They are on holiday and willing to help out.”

“My stand is to inform them about Pélicarus. Our association was formed in 2014 to help students studying in France. We are based in Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Montpelier. Those are the cities where we have the most concentration of students from St. Martin. We also organise workshops, cultural events and outings to help students blend in to life in France.”

Source: The Daily Herald