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Outre mer

OUTRE-MER – Guadeloupe

This sheet contains hints, tips and impressions obtained from questionnaires completed by
former assistants in Guadeloupe.
It is intended to give you a flavour of the island. These are personal opinions only, so
please do take them as such and not as a statement from the British Council. The
sections on air travel and accommodation are simply a starting point for your own
research.
The sheet does not contain facts on Guadeloupe such as geography, climate etc as these
can be discovered more comprehensively through independent research. There is also a
list of useful websites at the end for more general information and statistics on
Guadeloupe.

Was there an induction course?

“There was no induction course as such – we had an induction meeting which was useful
to an extent.”

“Yes. It was useful to meet the other assistants and have some help with paperwork.”

“No, there was none”.
“A one day meeting. Mostly listened to the Regional director of English talking about what
was expected of us”.

Air Travel

Corsair
: Paris – Guadeloupe.
“Air France – booked through First World Travel”.
“E-Bookers – cheapest I could find”.
“I flew with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick to Antigua and a Liat flight to Guadeloupe.”
Local Transport


“I hired a car…it is expensive. A lot of assistants bought cheap cars for around 1,500€ but
you have to consider repair costs, insurance, tax costs and having to sell it at the end
before you leave.”

“I bought a car jointly with the Spanish assistant. This involved a fair amount of paperwork
but was much cheaper than renting…”
“You’ll need to make friends with someone who has a car!”
“Between the Caribbean islands is a ferry company called “Express des Iles” which after
three journeys gives you a fourth free. Well worth it to visit St.Lucia, Dominica, Martinique
etc…”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London

“If you join the local university you get discount ferries to French Guiana and Martinique”.
“There is a fast bus between Pointe à Pitre and Basse Terre twice a day, early morning
and lunch-timish. Otherwise it takes ages.”
“If you like to leave the house after 6pm either get a car, a bike or a friend because there is
NOTHING. Same applies to Sundays. Oh, and Saturday afternoons depending on bus
drivers’ personal whims”.

Accommodation

My school provided accommodation within the school itself in exchange for an extra four
hours’ work per week, which I thought was a reasonable deal.”
“Almost everyone found something through a teacher, whether it was another assistant’s
teacher (as in my case) or a teacher’s friend: use them for their resources! They will use
you for yours!”
Les Abymes is sometimes described as the slum of Point-à-Pitre, but I lived there and it
was fine – I personally found it great to live with Guadeloupians in a non-tourist area”.
“Try the 97.1 weekly free ads – comes out every Wednesday”.
“You can go to CROUS…Don’t go to an agency – huge fees”.
“…Found an apartment through AGIT estate agents in Bas du Fort. They were good but
expensive”.
“I suggest getting on to the CAF as soon as possible for assistance with rent. The CAF in
Basse Terre is in the same courtyard as the médiathèque. Go early to avoid queues!”

Private English lessons

“I took on 5 private lessons a week which paid 20 euros a time, so I was never short of
cash!”

“…Dead easy to find private lessons – everyone wants to learn English…the norm is to
charge between 12 and 15 euros an hour”.
“Try and do private lessons- it’s a great way to meet people and make money.”
Free time
“I made friends through giving cours particuliers which is a good way of getting to know
families+ wangling the dinner invitation!”

“I made friends through sports clubs and the natural network of people and contacts that
grow up on small islands. Everyone knew everyone!”

“TRIPS: Marie Galante is definitely worth going to”.
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London
“There are lots of Gwoka (traditional music and dance) drumming and dance classes in
and around the town of Basse Terre.”
“Dominica. It's relatively quick, easy and cheap to get to Dominica, and definitely worth it.
It's a beautiful island and deserves at least four days. It's easiest to stay in Roseau, the
capital, as you can get buses easily from there. There is a lovely old guesthouse called the
Cherry Lodge. The building is quite dilapidated, and doesn’t look anything special from the
outside. It is quite basic, but has a lot of charm, and a beautiful little inside courtyard. Tel:
767 448 23 66. The other place I stayed was the St James Guesthouse. It's more on the
edge of town, although Roseau is not very big, so everything is still in walking distance.
The building is not as attractive, but the owners are very friendly. It’s quite lively and it’s
cheap. Tel: 767 448 717”.

Mobile phone suggestions
“Digicel pre-pay. Do not go for really cheap providers as they tend not to have good
network coverage”

“Orange pre-pay, then I changed to Digicel pre-pay. Orange was more reliable but Digicel
was much cheaper.”
“Orange Caraibes, pre-pay as a contract obliges you to pay for a year”

General advice/impressions

“Make the most of it! Not many people get to head to the most beautiful beaches in the
world after a day’s teaching!”
“Keep in good contact with your mentor and raise any problems as soon as they occur”.
“It’s important to have your own ideas with respect to teaching. If you have ideas and
they’re fun, the kids will like you, and you’ll enjoy the teaching”.
“There is a huge amount of unnecessary bureaucracy, it just seems to be part of the
mentality. Be patient. Breathe!”

“One of my favourite places was a really cool restaurant by the waterfront in Pointe-à-Pitre
(handy if you live in the area and there’s no transport). It’s right opposite Hôtel Saint John
Perse
– don’t be surprised if you can’t see it from the road; you have to walk right up to the
fencing and you’ll see it”.
“You must be forceful. I found ‘I’m not leaving until you’ve done it’ works well”.
“Take a photocopy of your UK National Insurance card. I never worked out why this was
needed, and I don't think the other assistants in Basse Terre had to show theirs, but when
I went to get my Carte de séjour they asked to see it”.
“Try to get a driver’s licence before you go, and wear conservative clothes for teaching”.
“Be open to everything and talk to everyone! Respect the country you are in”.
“Make an effort to meet local people…it improves French and is much more rewarding.
Join clubs, gym, sport (water). It helps!”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London “The Médiathèque Caraïbe in Basse Terre town is great. It has lots of interesting books,
journals and newspapers from and about the region. Free internet access and musical and
cultural events from time to time. There was also a film shown there, one Thursday each
month. It was great to be able to see interesting films occasionally, rather than the typical
Hollywood blockbusters showing at the cinema”.
“Don’t plan to go home for Christmas: Arrange with other assistants/friends to go to the
neighbouring islands – they are all different and beautiful”.
Useful Websites



“Travel Advice” section of the Foreign Office website. Go to and then
follow the link to “Travel Advice”. You can then select Guadeloupe from a list of countries.
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London OUTRE-MER – French Guiana

This sheet contains hints, tips and impressions obtained from questionnaires completed by
former assistants to French Guiana.
It is intended to give you a flavour of the département. These are personal opinions only,
so please do take them as such and not as a statement from the British Council. The
sections on air travel and accommodation are simply a starting point for your own
research.
The sheet does not contain facts on French Guiana such as geography, climate etc as
these can be discovered more comprehensively through independent research. There is a
list of useful websites at the end for more general information and statistics on French
Guiana.
We advise you to seek comprehensive medical advice from your GP or practice nurse
about vaccinations and especially malaria drugs. It is wise to choose the drug which is
safest and most appropriate for you, rather than that which is the cheapest. From the
experience of past assistants, we know that the drug Lariam can have very serious and
damaging psychological side-effects.

Was there an induction course?

“Yes. The only useful aspect was meeting the other assistants”
“No”.
“Yes. All the information provided was useful, including holiday dates, how to deal with
sickness, and what the rectorat expected from assistants.”
Air Travel

“Air France, from Toulouse to Cayenne. There is a reduced fare for those under 25 and an
open-ended ticket which lasts a year and can be changed without charge.”
“Air France. There is really no other way of flying to and from Guyane:
“…Go through ebookers.com for cheapest deals”.

Local Transport
“Local transport is near impossible if you don’t have a car. You must have a bike and be
prepared for the intensity of the sun and the rain!”
“Public transport is very limited. Finding someone with a car is highly recommended! A
second hand car costs about 2000€”.
“For exploring South America, direct flights from Cayenne are expensive. It’s better to
cross the border (both into Brazil and Surinam) by taxi/pirogue/bus and then fly from
Macapa/Belem/Paramaribo. Gol airlines are excellent for cheap air travel within Brazil.

Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London “Travel in French Guiana is incredibly expensive. The cheapest way to get about is to
advertise for a car-shareless reliable and you are still often
expected to pay.”

Accommodation

“Look on the Blada website for advertisements and also look at the 97.3 newspaper which
you can get for free in most cornershops.”
“Studios cost about 400€ per month. Colocation in a house is roughly 300€. Two months
deposit has to be paid up front, plus the first months rent”.
“Accommodation in Cayenne is extremely difficult to find and expensive when you don’t
know many people. A test of resilience!”

If your school is unable to help with accommodation, try:
Résidence Universitaire de Kourou
Quartier Branly BP705
97387 Kourou Cedex
or
Résidence Universitaire de Cayenne
Chemin de Source de Baduel
97300 Cayenne.
Private English lessons

“I did have several private students whom I charged 15€ per hour.”
“Any native English speaker will be inundated with requests for private lessons”.
“…Word of mouth, but you can also give your contact details to the language school on
Rue Lalouette who will pass them on to enquirers“.

Free Time suggestions:

“I joined a capoiera club (Energia Pura Guyane) which was a great way of meeting
people”.
‘The Saramanca village’ – Chez Disou “shark kebabs and reggae.”
Trip to Iles du Salut.
“Spent most of my time at karaoke or in hammocks drinking aperitifs. Put on lots of
weight!”
“I did Créole lessons at the formation continue at the University. I met and made friends
with people from my local gym…I did carnival processions with my carnival group
Osband”.
“Go to the tourist office as there is no shortage of great activities (rugby, kayak, bicycle,
jungle…)”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London
Mobile phone suggestions
“Orange (Antilles). I would recommend buying a sim card as soon as you arrive in Guiana
and using pre-paid since it is very easy to top-up credit and when you leave there is no
need to cancel contracts…”


General advice/impressions

“Be ready and open to every challenge, throw yourself into your time abroad and make it
an all-round experience, not just a way to improve your language skills!”
“Assistants in Guiana will have the most enriching experience as long as they are flexible
and understand that they are effectively in a developing country where you have to be
autonomous and define to a large extent your role as an assistant”.
“One of the most successful things I did this year was a correspondence project with a
Year 4 class in England. We started by exchanging letters and photos, Christmas and
Easter cards and eventually made a short video to send to the UK. I visited the class in the
UK and the kids had a thousand questions to ask about their pen-friends!”
“It is essential to go open-minded, be flexible and not be disheartened at the start as
every assistant I know experienced lows and glitches at the start. However, make sure
you get stuck into as many clubs or activities as you can (that interest you) as time will fly
and they are invaluable to build up friends”.
“Don't believe the hype regarding personal danger but do be careful especially after dark”.
“Paradoxes of French bureaucracy. You need one form to get another but you need that
one to get the first one. The bureaucracy in Guiana is far worse than in France, so be
prepared”.
Useful websites:
– local news and info (great for petites annonces).


“Travel Advice” section of the Foreign Office website. Go to and then
follow the link to “Travel Advice”. You can then select French Guiana from a list of
countries.
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London OUTRE-MER - Martinique

This sheet contains hints, tips and impressions obtained from questionnaires completed by
former assistants to Martinique.
It is intended to give you a flavour of the département. These are personal opinions only,
so please do take them as such and not as a statement from the British Council. The
sections on air travel and accommodation are simply a starting point for your own
research.
The sheet does not contain facts on Martinique such as geography, climate etc as these
can be discovered more comprehensively through independent research. There is a list of
useful websites at the end for more general information and statistics on Martinique.
Was there an induction course?

“Yes, there was a 3 day “stage” which involved a mixture of information and entertainment. We were advised about many things. From medical insurance to
accommodation…mainly conducted in French.”
“We had a one week stage on arrival. We found out lots of useful info and got to know all
the other assistants”.

No. “We had one meeting with the rectorat several weeks into the first term, which was not
useful in terms of the job but we had the opportunity to meet all the other assistants”.

Air Travel

“I travelled by Air France – very expensive. Corsair and Nouvelle Frontières are cheaper
but I didn’t know that when I booked my tickets.”
“Air France has a very small baggage allowance - Virgin’s is twice the amount!”
“I travelled by Virgin from London to St Lucia. Then you get a boat to Martinique.”

“Corsair would probably be the best company to fly to Martinique if you have more than
30Kgs of baggage as their student baggage allowance goes up to 50KGs
). Air Caraibes is around the same price range as Corsair for the ticket
but you will have to pay much more for your excess baggage.”
“Air Caraïbes : via Paris is cheaper.

Student/youth fares: “Eurostar – under-26 discount and tarif jeune on Air France”.
Local Transport
“Public transport is practically non-existent in Martinique.”
“I bought a car for 800€. You have to get insurance but then anyone can drive it so it’s
easier to share.”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London
“You can buy cheaper bus tickets at the kiosks than on the buses.”
“There is a ferry (Express Des Iles) which sails between the island of St Lucia, Martinique,
Dominica, Guadeloupe, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante. You can get an abonnement
which gives you a cheaper price, and every 3 trips you do you get a 4th one free to
whichever island you choose.”

“…LIAT airlines was the fastest way to visit neighbouring islands, its takes 15 mins to fly to
St Lucia and the prices are reasonable if you book in advance. Prices will quickly shoot up
nearer to the date of departure.”
“To go to Cuba – don’t take Cubana!!! It’s more expensive than the other airlines and
much more dangerous. Air Jamaica fly there via St. Lucia and there are no safety issues.
Boats from Trinidad to Venezuela are under £10. Obviously you have to get to Trinidad
first. St. Kitts is a really lovely place to spend a week”.
“Liat () do a Super Explorer pass for about £150 which gives unlimited
travel to all the islands it services (which is most) if you fly within a three week period. You
have to confirm your flight times when you book and there are no refunds, and no
exchanges but it’s a great deal. It is however, impossible to buy in Martinique. There is a
Liat office in Guadeloupe so you could try them. If not, from Martinique call Liat’s main
office in St. Lucia which is next to the Square (Derek Walcott sq. I think) in Castries. On
the other islands Liat tell you that you can buy it from Martinique but even the biggest
travel agents in Fort-de-France don’t know about it. It is said it can be bought at the
airport. I highly recommend it because it’s an amazing way to see the islands but you’ve
got to really want it to go through the hassle.
“Taxico taxis are cheap (town to town)”.
“Buses run in Fort- de- France but only leave once full”.
“There is no cheap method of transport in Martinique. If you are living or working in either
Schoelcher or Fort De France you can buy discount bus tickets for multiple journeys but
they’re still quite expensive.”

Accommodation

“The accommodation was within the school complex and was very cheap, just 100 euros a
month.”
“I found my accommodation through CLAJ (a young person’s accommodation agency).
“The 97.2 newspaper is great for housing”.
“House contracts demand two months’ rent”.
“I managed to find temporary – month-by-month – accommodation after a few days but I
moved six times in eight months which was quite stressful”.
“Try asking anyone and everyone if you’re in a small town – relatives of friends seem to be
very useful”.
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London “I found mine through an agency, which proved to be a very good thing as I had an
excellent flat on a marina. Though this was also more expensive as I had to pay agency
fees.”

Private English lessons

“I charged 17 euros an hour for the private lessons and for the oral class I charged 30
euros for an hour and a half.”
“I did quite a bit of tutoring, thanks to word of mouth at my school, and ended up tutoring a
couple of pupils”.

“I was approached by students.”


Free Time suggestions

“I joined a taekwondo club and started teaching there. It’s really important to join a club or
take some classes or you’ll easily feel very isolated. You could take Creole lessons or
learn Bélée (traditional dance).”
“I made friends with people who worked in the building where I lived. Also met people on
the university campus and from a local dance class. Just be friendly!”
“Visit Dominica. You will not be disappointed.”
“For people living in Fort-de-France, I would advise joining SEMAC, and you can then
take part in lots of cultural activities, e.g. painting, drumming, dance and drama”.
“I made friends by taking local language classes in Créole”.
“If you live in Fort-de-France, join SQUAT, the gym opposite Carrefour Dillon. If you do,
please tell the salsa teacher that the black English girl says hi!”
“Surfing at Madinina surf club/Bliss, rue du surf, Tartane”.
“Soundsystems – go with local people! Good clubs are L’Amphore, La Cheyenne, Karaoke
club”.
“Lots of bars in Fort-de-France”.

“Maison de la Culture – local crafts and events organised”.
“If you have funds I would recommend visiting the Trinidad Carnival”.

Mobile phone suggestions
“Digitel Antilles. A fantastic network. The pre-pay service was excellent – they double
your first top-up and on average give you 5€ free after each top-up. Calls to the UK cost
20c/minute.”
“I used Digicel and found it to be less of a rip-off than Orange. You can use it around the
whole Caribbean and can ring friends in Digicel in other islands at the local rate. I used
pre-pay top cards at first but found it was more economical to go post-paid (as I used my
phone very frequently to call abroad) and got good student deal.”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London
“Orange Caraibes top-up phone. You can get cheap text bundles, text messages to and
from the UK and you can top-up online. I would advise new assistants to take an
unblocked phone with them because getting a phone unblocked to accept a different SIM
card in Martinique is expensive. “

General advice/impressions
“Don’t panic and stress. Problems might arise from time to time but keeping cool is the
only way to resolve them.”
“People are naturally inquisitive when they hear your English accent. I was always being
given people’s numbers, in the street, the supermarket, Delifrance, the Ferry. Often people
want to practise their English or have conversation lessons. You may become friendly with
other teachers at the school or just because you see the same person every morning on
the bus or something. It is quite normal to say hi to people and strike up conversation in
Martinique.”
“I would say that politeness and cheerfulness go a long way in the schools. It might help
to talk a little about yourself and explain the situation you are in (e.g. just graduated or
studying at university etc). Some of the teachers assumed I had teaching qualifications
and was coming back to the UK to teach. When they realised this wasn’t the case they
offered me some useful advice.”
“Be assertive!! In Martinique the attitude is very laid-back, you will often have to really push
to get what you want. Always stay polite and keep your cool but be strong and insist if you
have to.”
“To ensure good working relationships in school be as friendly and polite as you can at all
times and make sure you at least say ‘Bonjour’ to EVERYONE each time you see them.”
“Martinique is very expensive for things like food so be prepared for that”
“Going to St. Lucia once a month or every 6 weeks will reap ridiculous savings on food
shopping and the boat is only 55 euros for students”.
“As a woman, living in the Caribbean can be challenging, you need to learn how to control
difficult situations and always appear confident!”
“BRED is the best place to open a bank account. The banks on the whole are very snooty
and will refuse foreigners on the spot who aren’t emigrating. BRED are really friendly and
make everything easy. Mr. Henri and the lady on the front desk are lovely!”

“For internet access, assistants can go to the multimedia centre which is attached to the
Bibliothèque Schoeler, and on weekdays, except Wednesdays, you can use the internet
for free. There’s also a really good internet café on the corner of Rue de Pietons in Fort-
de-France, next to the Orange/France Telecom shop. The couple who own it are really
friendly and it’s half price for students. You can also make international phone calls there”.
“The rectorat was notoriously unreliable and did not seem to care if we found ourselves in
financial difficulty. I don’t know what I would have done without my student loan and the
first payment took so long to process – I would advise taking €2000 (or more) just in case”.
“I’ve become ultra-resilient and took some knocks along the way but always took
maximum advantage of living on the island and had a fantastic time”.
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London “Bureaucratic red tape - overcome by patience and sense of humour”.
“Make the most of it. I had a fantastic time and am still homesick for it 6 months on. I hope
you have as good a time as I did”.
“Martincians are extremely friendly people and I made a lot of friends.”

Useful Websites

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/destinations/caribbean/martinique/see


for a local magazine which gives listings for upcoming
events)
“Travel Advice” section of the Foreign Office website. Go to and then
follow the link to “Travel Advice”. You can then select Martinique from a list of countries.
An interesting blog written by a 2007-08 English language assistant, based in Trinité,

Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London OUTRE-MER – La Réunion

This sheet contains hints, tips and impressions obtained from questionnaires completed by
former assistants to Réunion.
It is intended to give you a flavour of the département. These are personal opinions only,
so please do take them as such and not as a statement from the British Council. The
sections on air travel and accommodation are simply a starting point for your own
research.
The sheet does not contain facts on Réunion such as geography, climate etc as these can
be discovered more comprehensively through independent research. There is a list of
useful websites at the end for more general information and statistics on Réunion.
Was there an induction course?
“We had one full training day and 2 half days. They give you some useful documents to
use in class.”
“It was good to have the opportunity to meet all the other language assistants and the
presentations from students about Reunion Island were really fun and interesting”
“Yes it lasted a day with following half-day stages. The information given was useful but
you quickly realise that it is up to each assistant to judge the standards of their classes.”
“No.”
Air Travel

“Air Austral were very good. If you ask for a student ticket (under 25’s) you can take 40
kgs of luggage, which saves lots of money on excess baggage.”
“Air France ), but Air Austral/Corsair better.”
“I flew out with Air France but in fact flying with easyjet to Paris Charles de Gaulle and then
Air Austral to Reunion was cheaper and easier.”
“I flew with BA/Air Mauritius(’t have
to rush across Paris to catch a connecting flight and great as I had a day stopover in
Mauritius on the way home. However, it was definitely not the cheapest option and with BA
luggage allowance is low and excess is really expensive. On the way home I had to pay
nearly £100!!”

“Go to Paris and fly from there. This saves a lot compared to flying London-Mauritius-
Reunion”.
“If you want to go home at Christmas you must book early- the flights get very full”.

“Corsair is definitely the best way to go… it is always the cheapest but most importantly it
allows 50 kilos of luggage for students which you will need after being so long in Réunion”.


Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London Local Transport

“I bought a car there which was a necessity for me as I lived up in the hills and the buses
stopped running after 7pm. I did have a few problems with mine and I got ripped off when
repairs were done so it’s best if you take a local person with you. Once you have bought a
car in La Réunion you have to go to the Prefecture and pay about 100€ for the carte grise
which is the legal ownership paper.”
“I found the St-Denis student bus pass a must (they accepted my ISIC as proof of my
student status) it was 20 euros for 3months.
“To go to Mauritius cheaply I recommend the Mauritius Pride ship.
SCOAM, 4, Avenue du 14 Juillet 1789, 97420 Le Port, Reunion Island,
Tel :( 262) 42 19 45”
“If you are a student you get half price on all the buses, “le service bus jaune”. They stop
really early but are good for getting to work in the mornings as the service starts early. The
taxi collective” is a communal taxi service which is good, but not if you’re in a hurry
because the driver will only leave when the taxi is full – otherwise it isn’t cheap for the
passengers!”
“Buying carnets of bus tickets at the main bus station saves you money”.
“Taxis are very expensive”.
“The best place to rent a car for those under 23 is Lou Maheva in St Gilles. Very friendly
and helpful”.

Accommodation

“I found a house through the CPE at my school. Ask around first rather than looking
through agencies.”
“Ask your contacts if they know anyone looking for a lodger or any student
accommodation.”
“I stayed in a pension de famille recommended by the IUFM, which was a short bus ride
from where I worked. It was great living with locals and other French people as it meant I
had to speak only French at home, and I got to eat Creole food every night, (so good!) but
‘co-locations’ also work really well, plus you get a lot more independence and rent isn’t that
expensive in relation to your salary.”
“Look in the Saturday and Thursday paper which have all the adverts for flats. Try to stay
away from estate agents as the commission is one months rent and you often have to put
two months rent down as a deposit”.
“I found my house by looking in the Réunion tourist guide for tourist accommodation”.
“Accommodation is most expensive in the St Gilles and coastal areas”.
“It's best to live on the west side as that's where all the nightlife and beaches are”.
“has the latest accommodation listings before they come out in the
papers. You need to be quick as housing is taken very quickly”.
“I recommend you find accommodation as close to your school as possible as transport
strikes were frequent!”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London Private English lessons
“I gave 6 hours of private lessons a week, charging 15€/hour – this is considered cheap.”
“You will find that as there are so few English speakers on the island you will get a lot of
offers, and you do have to be careful that you don’t over-stretch yourself or agree to
something that you don’t feel you can manage. But it’s also a good way of meeting
people.”
“You can advertise on your school notice board”.
“If you tell people you are looking, for example teachers, people will get back to you with
offers as Réunion is quite a small place”.

Free Time suggestions

“I joined a choir run by students/teachers at the IUFM and went to a hip-hop class run by
a teacher I knew from church. There are plenty of sporting activities, surf, canyoning,
rafting, para-jumping (which I tried), snorkelling, diving… the list is endless. Most of the
best nightlife (bars/clubs) is in St Gilles/L’Hermitage or in St Pierre, though Cyclone Café
in St Denis is really popular, especially with students.”
“I volunteered on the bookshop ship the Doulos as a translator. I found a great church in
the west and was able to spend my weekends there and at the beach. I got to know the
young people and felt very welcomed.”
“The university offer courses - get a move on if you want to be able to attend the
application process closed really early.”
“Scuba diving can be done in St Gilles or St Leu. Réunion Plongée in St. Leu is cheap and
gives you 30 minutes for a first dive which is more than the other organisations”.
“Look out for concerts on the beach and in venues such as La Ravine de St Leu, Le
Théâtre de Plein Air in St Gilles and Le Bato Fou in St Pierre. St Gilles has one of the best
open-air night-clubs called ‘Coco Beach’ on L’Hermitage beach. For New Year it has the
best parties on the island!”
“Bring hiking boots for walking. Even if hiking is not your thing, it has to be done as the
scenery is amazing. Also, make the most of walking from September to the end of
November and in March and April because in the other months it rains a lot in the
mountains and the views are not as good”.

Mobile phone suggestions
“SFR. Pay-as-you-go is much less hassle but be warned – if you want to buy a handset
you will need an address in France to register with.”

“Orange Réunion pre-pay- good”
“I had a pre-pay phone with SFR. It seems that most contracts in Reunion are for 12
months or longer, so this would not be suitable for most assistants.”

“It was really easy to buy a sim-card (make sure your phone is unlocked).”
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London “SFR – pre-pay cards worked well, and were easy to top up. However I couldn’t top up
once I got to mainland France, even though I still had network coverage. “
General advice/impressions

“Go with an open mind and don’t get disheartened by the first couple of weeks which can
be really stressful and frustrating. Once you have settled in, found accommodation and
have got to know the schools and the area, everything is a lot better and for me it was the
best year of my life so far!”
“Don’t worry too much about teaching- most teachers will realise that you might not have
any experience. However prepare at least one introductory lesson…”
“You will settle in so much better if you immerse yourself in island living straightaway. Get
out and see things, talk to lots of people, don’t ever turn down an invitation”
“I would advise assistants to be as friendly, enthusiastic and organised as possible and to
not let yourself get caught in the middle of ‘office politics’!”
“Reunion really does have it all! It’s such an amazing mix of cultures, landscapes and
people that you can’t fail to have an amazing time. It’s true that it can be expensive and at
times you do feel a bit boxed in, but you don’t have to go very far before you see
somewhere beautiful to make it all seem worthwhile…and Mauritius is only 40 minutes
away!”

“Réunion is VERY expensive – especially food!”
“Smile at everyone, it’s the best barrier breaker around!”
“Getting documents such as carte de séjour and opening bank accounts can be
discouraging in the first few weeks. Ask advice from teachers, and bring all the documents
that the British Council tells you to as you will need them. Don’t be discouraged as it can
be very difficult. Open a bank account with the BRED as they are specialized for teachers
and are used to assistants opening an account for a short period. Often other banks will
not allow you to do so”.
“Contact [schools] ASAP… Once you are settled in you won’t want to leave”.
“Be open minded, go with the flow. Island mentality is very different from the UK and even
France.”

“Enjoy it all! Accept every invitation. Expect strikes. Oh, and always wear sun cream!”

Useful Websites

www.clicanoo.com, www.guetali.fr: “specific websites for La Réunion which sometimes
have adverts for accommodation as well as local news, weather etc.”
www.la-reunion-tourisme.com: in English and in French – general info, events, photos.
“Travel Advice” section of the Foreign Office website. Go to and then
follow the link to “Travel Advice”. You can then select Reunion from a list of countries.
Notes and Quotes from Outre Mer
Document compiled by British Council London

Source: http://www.britishcouncil.org/language-assistants-ela-outre-mer-notes-1011.pdf

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The Journal of Neuroscience, July 15, 2000, 20 (14):5476–5482 Increased Excitability of Aged Rabbit CA1 Neurons after Trace Eyeblink Conditioning James R. Moyer Jr, John M. Power, Lucien T. Thompson, and John F. Disterhoft Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and the Institute for Neurosciences, Northwestern University Medical School,Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008 Cellular properties

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