This summer, students in the French program will engage in the most effective means of learning the French language by actually going to France. On June 14, students will board a flight and cross the Atlantic.
26 students will spend 16 days abroad, travelling across France and gathering cultural and historical experiences.
“I am very excited and somewhat nervous for this trip,” junior Michael Wu said. “It is the first time I have really tested by language skills.”
Some students have already been to France, but are looking forward to returning.
“I went to France over Spring Break two years ago,” said junior Corbet Kaniff. “But this trip will be much different due to the family stay, which I am super-duper excited for.”
The first week will be with a French family. Students often report this to be the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the experience.
After the family stay, the world travellers trek to the historic Normandy Coast to visit the important battlefields of World War II, and pay respect to fallen soldiers by exploring the D-Day beaches of Arromanches and the American Cemetery. Then the group will make their way to St. Malo, a fortified city converted into a prison during the French Revolution. They will climb the cobbled streets of the Mont St. Michel. They will also see the Tapestry of Bayeux, which narrates William the Conqueror’s victory over England in 1066.
Next on the trip’s itinerary is the Loire Valley, called the “Garden of France” due to its gorgeous landscape. The region in central France is famous for its sprawling vineyards. The Château de Chenonceau is also on the itinerary, one of the most elegant castles in all of France.
The next destination is Paris, and on the way they will visit Chartes, one of the best examples of Gothic Cathedral architecture in Europe. The town around the church was devastated by American bombing campaigns in World War II, and the only reason that the church is still intact today is because an American Army officer challenged his orders from superiors to destroy it.
Spending the last three days in Paris will allow the students the ability to explore their personal curiosities and practice their French in the capital city.
The final days in Paris will include sightseeing and enjoying the city, with its bridges, cafés and museums. At night, everyone will have dinner atop the iconic Eiffel Tower and reflect upon the experience they have had.
The next day, they will catch a flight back to the United States, leaving France behind them, but keeping memories forever.
The students will not be alone on their trip. History teacher William Taylor and his wife Mrs. Ocken-Taylor, an English teacher at Arden Middle School will be the chaperons.
“I am really looking forward to their company,” junior Michael Wu said. “They both know a lot about the country.”
“Mr. Taylor will bring tons of historical knowledge to the trip, I’m especially looking forward to visiting Normandy with him because World War II is his passion,” junior Trey Athey said.
The students and chaperons alike should bring home excellent souvenirs, but also lifelong memories of their incredible adventures in France.
“Bon voyage, America,” junior Christian Noack said. “We are going to France.”