Country Information on Mauritius
Is Mauritius still hard for you to pinpoint on the map? Hard to get a good picture of life in Mauritius? Here - and on the following pages - you can find some information that will help you decide whether an internship on this paradise island in the Indian Ocean is right for you.
Mauritius – An Island with Many Names
Due to the advent of seafaring, Mauritius was “discovered” and visited long ago by many countries. Historical records confirm that Mauritius was equally explored in the 16th century by several European nations. From the Dutch sailors, the island got its name in reference to their Prince Maurice Van Nassau. The Portuguese, who also went ashore, had prefered the name Ilha do Cirne, meaning 'Iceland of the Swan'. However, the Dutch prevailed in naming the island. It was they who tried to develop an agricultural colony on Mauritius and improved the sugarcane cultivation. Large profits were made and the island became a Dutch colony in 1710.
Five years later French settlers reached the island of La Reunion and simultaneously took control of Mauritius. The island developed under the unique name Île de France and for 100 years was ruled under the French flag. During the Napoleonic wars the rule changed again, this time in favor of the British. With this change came a new name yet again, the British Mauritius. Even today's capital, Port Louis, dates from this period. It was named after none other than King Louis XV. Under British rule, Mauritius realized its potential and developed a thriving economy and numerous social reforms.
With the independence from Britain in 1968 and overcoming unrest thereafter, Mauritius has become a picturesque beautiful holiday island with cultural diversity and a lot of charm. The various languages and religious diversity keep the memory of the colonial times alive. The large investments from South Africa and Western Europe have contributed to the boost in the economy, creating today’s healthy middle class and stable political system. Currently, 1.3 million Mauritians reside on the sunny island along with a significant number of tourists and expats with work permits.
- Continent: Africa
- Location: Indan Ocean
- Capital: Port Louis
- Size: ca. 2.000 km²
- Population: ca. 1,3 Mio.
- Currency: Rupee
- Offical language: English, French