Visiting Student Researcher – Gabrielle Verheye from the University of Girona

Ms. Gabrielle Verheye

Ms. Gabrielle Verheye is a visiting student researcher at UniSey from 9th February to 8th May 2020.

Erasmus Mundus, European Master in Tourism Management student from University of Girona, Spain, conducting research project at the University of Seychelles, focusing on Sustainable Creative Tourism Development in the Seychelles.

International Student Experience

“My name is Gabrielle, I’m a french citizen and I came to UniSey in February 2020 to conduct research for my master thesis, focusing on creative tourism on Mahé island. This research aimed to understand how tourists and visitors interact in various activities, such as festivals, shows and guided tours, and the role that those interactions played in the understanding and promotion of the cultural heritage, including creole language and traditions. I am a student of the EMTM Master programme, who has a partnership with Unisey. During this placement, I had the opportunity to join the research unit and gain knowledge from my mentor, Penda Choppy.

While I was in the Seychelles, I have been pleased to stay with a local family in Baie Lazare, which quickly became my favourite area in Mahé island, as it is very calm and full of nature. I had the chance to try local food such as shatini, kari poul and eat a lot of fresh fruits. I have been very touched by my hosts’ kindness, and deeply enjoyed the possibility to learn more about creole culture. As the Seychelles are renowned for luxury travel and pristine beaches, I was equally touched by the social aspect of tourism and how well I have been treated during my stay.

The view in Baie Lazare

As there were three daughters in the family I was staying at, I have been able to learn some creole words with them through books and our discussions, such as : Mon kontan!

Reading a book together

As a part of my placement, I attended the Mother Language Day and met local musicians such as Patrick Victor. I also visited the Domaine de Val des Prés (craft village), and interviewed some sega dancers and artists playing moutya, in order to get a better understanding of their perceptions of the role that tourism plays in cultural heritage and sustainability.

Learning about Sanson and different forms of poems

While my placement has been shortened due to the covid19 outbreak, I am very glad that I came to Unisey and grateful for everyone who made this opportunity possible.”