French Government scholarship holders speak about their experience in France

Matthew Sharp, Master’s degree in Public Policy and Development at the Paris School of Economics

Matthew Sharp awarded a SAFeThink scholarship in May 2013 and completed his Master’s Public Policy and Development at the Paris School of Economics in 2014. After working as a visiting researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Matthew joined the World Bank in Jakarta (Indonesia) in February 2015 where he is working as an Urban Development Analyst:

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I am extremely grateful to the French Embassy in South Africa and the South African Institute of International Affairs for awarding me a SAFeThink scholarship. I was accepted into the second year of a Research Masters programme in Economics (Public Policy and Development) at the Paris School of Economics, a conglomerate of leading French economics departments, and spent a year in France from September 2013. I completed 7 months of interesting coursework and wrote my thesis on agglomeration economies in South Africa. The programme, completely taught in English, was excellent with dedicated (and often quite famous) local and international professors, plenty of research support and a bright bunch of French and international students. I got a room at the beautiful Cité Universitaire in the south of Paris, just opposite the École Normale Supérieure Jourdan campus where I was studying, and I tried to squeeze in as much Parisian arts and culture as possible. Directly after my Masters, I completed a stint as a Visiting Researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs doing independent research on the regulation and promotion of foreign direct investment in South Africa. Since February 2015, I have been working as an Urban Development Analyst at the World Bank in Jakarta.

Zintle Miza, Master’s degree in Digital Marketing and Communication at the ESC Rennes School of Business

Zintle Miza is a graduate of Walter Sisulu University where she specialized in Public Relations Management. She was awarded a French Government scholarship in 2014 and is doing her Master’s in Digital Marketing and Communication at the ESC Rennes School of Business :

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I have already finished two semesters so far, one of which comprised a module in Greece. I am currently doing my internship in Cape Town and working on my thesis (‘How Small and Medium enterprises are using Big Data to get unprecedented view about consumers and new market opportunities: The case of South African S&M’s”), which I have to present by October. Studying in France has been an overwhelming opportunity for me which did not only transcend educationally but also on my personal growth. France is a nice place to get high level education and learn more about different cultures and languages which will challenge you personally, if I must say. Acclimating with a language barrier was eye-opening and inspired me to take more risks. I have really enjoyed my time in France, more particularly being part of certain projects that pushed me to interact and work with different people from all over the world. To all the new scholarship holders I say “Congratulations” and all you need to have is a positive attitude because it is going to be challenging and it will be the growth that you didn’t expect but needed in your life. Je vous souhaite le meilleur!”

Hlawulani Mkhabela, Master’s degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Sciences Po Paris

Hlawulani Mkhabela was awarded a SAFeThink bursary in May 2013 and completed her Master’s degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Sciences Po Paris in June 2015. After completing an internship at the Center for International Cooperation, a think tank linked to New York University, she was offered a position as a lecturer at ENSAM Paris:

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I have enjoyed every moment of my time in the US and in France, and I recommend France to anybody who wants to explore a warm place and a rich culture while getting a very high level of education.


Wendy Trott, Master’s degree in International Development at Sciences Po Paris

Wendy Trott is a graduate from the University of Georgia (United States). She was awarded a SAFeThink scholarship in 2013 and completed her Master’s degree in International Development at Sciences Po Paris in June 2015:

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I have now taken up a job at the Africa office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) where I am working on a Randomized Control Trial evaluating the impact of signaling tools on employment outcomes for unemployed youth in South Africa. My time at Sciences Po was irreplaceable and something I will never forget. It equipped me not only with the tools to successfully begin my career in development, but also with perspective and contacts which have been so valuable. Living in France was a wonderful experience on both a personal and professional level, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to improve my French speaking skills, which are extremely useful when working in the African development space. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this programme and look forward to putting everything I’ve learnt into practice to try to give back.”

As part of her Master’s degree at Sciences Po, Wendy was selected for the prestigious Machel-Mandela Internship Programme for young graduates, offered by Brenthurst Foundation: http://www.thebrenthurstfoundation.org/our-team-wendy.htm.

Andrea Floudiotis, Master’s degree in Development Practice at Sciences Po Paris

Andrea Floudiotis is a graduate from the University of Pretoria. He was awarded a SAFeThink scholarship in May 2013 and completed his Master’s in Development Practice at Sciences Po Paris in June 2015. Andrea is currently working as a consultant for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Paris:

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"The only thing more exciting than Paris herself is the collection of people she attracts. Studying amongst such a rich diversity of people - classmates, professors, and everyone in between - was the most valuable experience for me. You will have ups and downs, but if you let it, the experience will prove to be a wonderful pivotal change in your life."

Masilo Mafube, International Master of Management, Audencia School of Management

Masilo Mafube, a graduate from the National University of Lesotho, is studying in Nantes at the Audencia School of Management towards an International Master of Management.

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I only have three month left before I receive my Masters - it feels like time just went by without any notice. My time in France has been a life changing one and an eye-opening experience that I will treasure for years to come. The initial months here have been the most challenging but with courage and enthusiasm I was able to adapt to the culture and language quickly and now I feel like I am part of it all. I have grown not only academically but also as a person and gained a lot of social and people skills. The French people love their culture and are open-minded, which helps a lot when you are a foreigner because you get to understand them quicker. Just as I have enjoyed my time in France, I have no doubts that anyone, especially new scholarship beneficiaries, will also enjoy themselves and enrich their lives here. I would like to thank the Embassy of France in South Africa and Lesotho for this great opportunity."

The following students were also awarded scholarships between 2013 and 2014:

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Sinayo Sirenya has a Bachelor’s degree from Rhodes University and an Honours from UP, and is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in International Economic Law at the University Toulouse 1 – Capitole.

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Francois Barnard studied at Stellenbosch University, and is currently doing a Master’s in Sustainable Development at HEC Paris.

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Adriaan Broodryk is a graduate from CPUT, and is currently doing a Master’s degree in Responsible Innovation at the Ecole de Design de Nantes Atlantique, a private institution for technical education dedicated to the teaching of design.

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Teresa Alho, a journalism graduate from Rhodes University, is studying for a Master of Business Administration in Luxury and Fashion Management at the Paris School of Business.

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Palesa Mjali, a graduate from the University of Cape Town, is also studying at Audencia School of Management in Nantes towards an MBA in Responsible Management.

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Bongumenzi Mncwango, a DUT graduate, is studying towards a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at the Ecole des Mines in Nantes.

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Matthew Olckers, a UCT graduate, and Andre Breedt, a UP graduate, are both studying towards Master’s degrees in Economics at the University of Paris I/ Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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Janet Chunderduri, an Embassy scholarship recipient in 2013, has just graduated second in her class with a Master’s degree in Environmental Fluid Mechanics from the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble. Felicitations Janet!

Find out more about the Embassy’s Master scholarship programmes:
http://www.ambafrance-rsa.org/-French-Embassy-scholarship-

Our next call for applications will open in November 2015.

publie le 13/10/2015

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