Fabulous time had on French Exchange trip

Fifteen intrepid fourth year pupils spent an exciting week in Paris as they made the return trip to visit their French exchange partners at Collège Sévigné in the beautiful 5ème arrondissement.

The group spent the first day on a walking tour of the local area, seeing such sights as the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Gardens and the Pantheon, at the end of which they were able to enjoy a refreshing diabolo in the sunshine outside Notre Dame.

An afternoon workshop at the Institut du Monde Arabe allowed the group to learn about Arabic culture and even have a go at making their own music.

The pupils were spoilt by their host families who took advantage of the warm and sunny weather, not to mention the three-day weekend, to show them the main sights of Paris, such as the Champs Élysées, the Eiffel Tower and that perennial favourite, Eurodisney!

The following week saw the travellers make the journey out to the stunning Palace of Versailles. Although hampered by torrential downpours they still appreciated the stunning architecture and history on offer.

The final two days saw the boys and girls experience life in a French school, which included everything from exuberant Sixth Form Leavers’ celebrations to discussing the concept of happiness in a Philosophy lesson. Our pupils also got to sit in on a variety of lessons with their French partners, including History, English, Maths and French.

After lunch in the school canteen and an emotional farewell – complete with hugs, tears and cake – the group left their exchange partners to head to the airport. Thankfully the journey passed off smoothly and pupils made the most of their last moments in France by purchasing macarons, biscuits and patisseries to take home.

Despite some initial nerves before the trip started, pupils agreed that it had been a worthwhile and exciting experience.

Ethan Howgate said: “It was great to spend time in such a beautiful city” while Laura Murray remarked that she’d enjoyed getting to practise French with people of her own age. Charlie Escott said that “it was interesting getting an insight into what French pupils learn in school” and Nathaniel Huang also liked “seeing how French people actually live”.

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