French trip offers opportunities for cultural growth

Jason Altshuler, Staff Writer


For some students, years of studying French culminate in an exciting three-week long trip to France. From interesting foods to stunning sights and new friends, the exchange program offers new experiences for each traveler.

According to junior Bailey Dwyer, the trip had three main destinations: Sightseeing in Paris, learning about World War II in Normandy and living with an exchange family in Angers.

“We stayed in Paris in a hostel for about a week, and then we took a bus on our way to Angers and stopped in Normandy,” Dwyer said. “We stayed in a hostel there for two nights, and while we were there we saw a lot of stuff about World War II and we saw the beaches and a museum about it. Then we went to Angers for two weeks where we stayed with our host brothers and sisters.”

According to junior Margaret Hanson, the students were entertained with a variety of activities during the Angers portion of the trip.

“We just went to school with them and saw their classes and then we’d have field trips and just do random stuff like make bread or see a museum or go to a castle,” Hanson said.

According to senior Micheé Mande, the trip helped him bond with new people.

“The hostel we were staying at didn’t have WiFi, so I couldn’t be on my phone 24/7,” Mande said. “We’d just make jokes about it or go back to each other’s rooms and play card games.  Those are some of my favorite memories, when we were just in Paris hanging out, it was those things that we bonded over.”

According to Hanson, the trip also improved students’ ability to speak French.

“I speak French a little bit more easily. It just kind of makes sense,” Hanson said.

While the students were away, they kept a blog.  According to Dwyer, the blog helped update parents and the community on what they were doing.

“For each of the activities we did, like going to the museum and stuff, two students would be assigned to write about that, so we each participated for one of the days,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer said she thought that the experience in France was fun and memorable.

“We got to see stuff you’d never get to see here, and it was a fun thing to get to do with classmates,” Dwyer said.

According to Hanson, the highlights of the trip were the people she encountered.

“Just being with everybody from the high school, and meeting new people that you never would have talked to before,” Hanson said.  “I met a lot of cool people and everything was beautiful.”