Two international students take you on a culinary adventure!

Two of our international students, Axelle and Anne, carried out an internship at the Crous offices in La Rochelle. Their project was to create a recipe booklet for students featuring culinary delights from around the world!

 

Proust’s little madeleines… international style

carnet gustatif

Being homesick, the stress of being away from home, missing loved ones and familiar routines... the life of an expatriate student is not always easy, even if at the end of the experience the positive side wins over.

The turmoil that the world has experienced since the arrival of COVID-19 has made life even more difficult for those students who came to study in France. While some had the opportunity to return home, others did not and had to deal with anxiety and loneliness.

Fortunately, in the face of adversity, some people choose optimism and resourcefulness! And when things aren't going well, what could be better than a good meal to warm the heart? So much better than face time, social networks and the internet... delicious food! That familiar taste from childhood, from a personal experience, that reminder of home!

With this in mind, two international students from Excelia, carrying out internships with the Crous de Poitiers, under the guidance of Karine Peltier, created a gourmet travel booklet for students.

 

 

The COVID-19 health crisis generated a lot of anxiety and loneliness among students, and particularly among international students. Preparing and eating food from their home country was a way to provide them with some comfort and positive energy. This is how the idea of creating a book of recipes from all over the world, to be provided BY students FOR students, was born.

Karine Peltier, General Manager of the Crous - La Rochelle/Niort sites

 

The lockdown period accentuated the distance between us and our families, and many of us felt homesick. The gourmet travel booklet was a way to share ideas, to discover new cultures and new flavours, to learn a little more about other countries in the world (through anecdotes), in addition to providing some comfort for students, reassuring them that the Crous is always there for them.

Axelle Moutou, a Mauritian student on the Bachelor in Tourism & Hospitality Management at Excelia

 

An autonomous vocational immersion

Karine Peltier, General Manager of the Crous La Rochelle/Niort sites, ever concerned about the wellbeing of her students and aware that the health crisis had led to financial hardship and difficulties in finding internships, chose to take on two Excelia students for a paid internship: Axelle Moutou and Anne Djoba, who had recently arrived from Mauritius and Gabon respectively.

 

The core function of the Crous is to improve the living and studying conditions for students through university accommodation and catering, social aid, grants, the welcoming of international students, culture, and student jobs.
Every year, we host interns in our facilities, which enables us to contribute to the education of students, to raise awareness of the Crous, and to carry out various projects.
Karine Peltier, General Manager of the Crous - La Rochelle/Niort sites

 

This three-month internship helped these two students to validate their first year of study.

Their tasks included:

  • Designing and implementing a bilingual recipe booklet, aimed at future international students in Crous university residences on the La Rochelle and Niort study sites, for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year

  • Making use of available resources and contacting potential service providers (for designing, editing, illustrating, translating, etc.)

  • Drawing up the project and work schedule

  • Undertaking and analysing a survey of students to find out their needs

  • Outlining the content

  • Creating the prototype and first draft, preparing the budget

  • Developing and implementing the product design

  • Finalising the project and delivering it within the timescale

 

 

Axelle MoutouAnne Djoba

 

Anne and Axelle, themselves far from their home countries and families, had the task of producing this gourmet travel book, from design to printing, including writing and translating… it will be available to students in September!

 

 

 

 

 

We planned several different stages: survey, brainstorming, product vision, design, format, name, budget, etc. and called on several service providers including a graphic designer and a printing company to help produce the booklet.
We chose 20 recipes from the different categories of appetizers, savoury dishes, desserts, and drinks. Each recipe comes from one of 20 different countries so that the students can discover as much as possible about different flavours of the world. As for the design, we let our creativity run wild and decided to depict each country, with small illustrations representing the country in question, as a way of getting the students to ‘travel’, if only for a few minutes. The format is quite practical, small and spiral bound, so that it’s practical for the kitchen.
Axelle Moutou, a Mauritian student on the Bachelor in Tourism & Hospitality Management at Excelia

 

We had a range of tasks. Firstly the content i.e. writing recipes and anecdotes, translating everything into English, deciding on the illustrations, etc. Then we looked at the layout which involved deciding on the format, and working on a digital version, how it would appear on social media, etc. Finally, we had to determine the budget.
For the development of this project we followed a step-by-step process. We synchronised our ideas to have a clearer vision of the project, before we started writing the content: recipes and anecdotes for both the French and English versions. After that we focussed on the design, with illustrations and the cover pages, the index, the content pages themselves, and the digital layout. Finally, we involved a graphic designer and a printing company for the physical production of the booklet.
Anne Djoba, a Gabonese student on the Bachelor in Communications at Excelia

 

Although supported by Karine Peltier and her assistant Isabelle Barre, the two students produced the booklet independently and managed to overcome every obstacle. This professional experience gave them the opportunity to test their ability to adapt. A most successful venture!

 

Food as a time machine!

Like Proust’s little madeleines that reawakened memories of his childhood, we all have a smell or a taste that instantly transports us back to the past. A moment on the taste buds and suddenly the emotion we felt at the time reappears in a flash, as strong and clear as the first day. The kitchen brings back delicious, pleasant memories: our family, our country, our culture… home sweet home!

This booklet will certainly help many to overcome the difficult moments of expatriation.

 

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