Trip to France arranged for summer 2011

Every two years, a few of the French teachers and students take a trip to France over the summer. This year is one in which a trip will be taken. The trip is organized by a company called Vistas in education, and they will be doing the Sojourn South trip. Students will visit Paris, southern France, and will likely stay in Nice. They will visit places such as the Papal Palace in Avignon, the Pont du Gard aqueduct, the city of Nimes, and the towns of Cannes and Aix-en Provence, among others.

The trip also entails a stay with an actual French family. This part of the trip is the part most parents and students worry about.

“I am really nervous about the home stay, but am also excited to learn about a different culture. My parents feel the same way,” junior Sungha Nielsen said.

The students also worry about their mastery of the French language.

“The differences that impact the students are not the same for [everyone].  Some will be scared to use their French and the language will be the biggest change,” teacher Madame Breddin said.

This is a very unique experience for the students and may be the only time in the students’ lives that they will actually be able to live like the French. Each family that the students are staying with have at least one teenage son or daughter living in them. When the students begin their stay with their host family, the kids are usually in school so students get a chance to visit French schools.

The trip will include lots of sightseeing and trips around France, and students will get the opportunity to travel on the famous  TGV train, which travels at about 175 miles per hour.

The trip will take place in May and June and will be anywhere between 15 to 22 days long. The Vistas in Education program will be providing everything from the flights that these students are taking to the families that they will be living with.

Pre-travel preparations are also important. Students take time to learn about the places they will be going to, and each student is responsible for his or her own passport.

Nielson said she is excited for the trip. “[I’m eager] just to have the experience of being in a different culture, and the excitement of new things. And, who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love with France, and I’ll pursue my future career in a somewhat related field.”

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