They were employed by the French Ministry of Education and received a salary which covered their living expenses and allowed them to travel. Their air fares were sponsored by the French Embassy in South Africa.
UKZN’s Professor Bernard De Meyer said: ‘The experience was very beneficial for the students. Not only did they dramatically improve their French language skills, but they were exposed to different life styles while getting a real work experience which will improve their chances of finding employment.’
Masondo taught at College Moulin Blanc and College Marie Curie near Lille. ‘The work opportunity allowed me to learn and experience the French culture and traditions and in return, I taught them about my country, culture and traditions,’ said Masondo.
‘It was an amazing cultural exchange which had a great impact on my view about other cultures,’ she added. ‘Living in France helped me improve my French. I made so many French friends and travelled with them around France and Belgium. I have so many great memories that I will cherish forever.’
Hlwayi taught in the small town of Nyons. ‘Both the schools I was working at had a culture of productiveness which allowed me to grow. I enjoyed experiencing French culture through field trips, movies and interaction with the people,’ he said.
Six more French Honours students at UKZN leave for France next month to undertake similar teaching projects there.