Karim Ben Cheikh is an expert at the Analysis, Planning and Strategy Centre (CAPS). From 13 to 19 September 2015, he accompanied a delegation of 14 Tunisian members of parliament visiting French institutions. He tells us of this marathon of a week, during which he also had a paper on “migrations” to finish! A look back on a visit that was also an opportunity for him to remember his childhood in Tunisia.
In my eyes, international corporate volunteering is a crucial step in a career in exports. This experience will be valued by future employers and will reassure the candidate of their ability to adapt to environments very different from French society.
I’m a German exchange diplomat in France. Three days after assuming my functions at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was already abroad on a trip to Vienna, and I found myself addressing an internationally audience: “France supports the German initiative...” What had happened?
It was ten years ago; I had a different job at the French Foreign Ministry. At the time, I was in charge of the Web Unit. It operated a bit like a start-up, almost independently, with elbow grease as its renewable energy source. We had a deadline on 1 January: an improved version of the Ministry’s website, with a new design and revised content. No budget and no outsourcing, so we would have no time off at Christmas. The team consisted of a dozen people, dipped in the fountain of youth at an average temperature of 28 years old; add to that a healthy dose of talent, determination and good humour… On 26 December 2004, aboard our little ship, it was all hands on deck.
26 December 2004. There had been an earthquake measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale off the coast of Sumatra, then a devastating tsunami had struck Indonesia, the coast of Sri Lanka, southern India and the west coast of Thailand with unprecedented force.
On returning to France and searching for a place where my children could continue to learn Arabic, I was faced with the problems one might expect in such a situation, regarding distance, class times, and quality of teaching.