Lower IV visit France

Exchange programme with Ste Marie de Neuilly

An opportunity to experience French culture and improve language skills is offered by our exchange programme with our sister school, Ste Marie de Neuilly in Paris.  Lower IV pupils embarked on this visit which took place from 29th January to 1st February. Rachel Hiney and Caterina Lincoln, Lower IVA, report on their experience:

‘On the first day, Wednesday, we met at St Augustine’s Priory and took the coach to St Pancras Station. We travelled in great comfort on the Eurostar to Paris, where we arrived at around 10.30am at the Gare du Nord. We then took the tube to arrive at the school, St Marie-de-Neuilly. We were greeted very warmly by the school and then we spent the afternoon with our French penpals’ families. Some of us walked around Paris, or went up the Eiffel Tower, or went shopping at the Champs d’Elysées, or stayed home and played games with the families.

    

The second day, Thursday, we met at the school and then went to Versailles on the French tube. In Versailles we visited the castle where Marie Antoinette lived and then had a tour of the gardens with a stop at a little restaurant where we had a warm hot chocolate and crêpes. Before returning to the school we stopped at some little shops and did a bit of souvenir shopping. We then went back to St Marie and spent the rest of the day with the families.

    

  

On the third day, Friday, we went souvenir shopping in the morning and we passed by a typical French market. Before eating lunch we saw the Eiffel Tower and took pictures of it, we then ate lunch in a park overlooked by the Eiffel Tower. After having eaten our packed lunches the families had provided us with, we went on a Bateau Mouche to have a tour of Paris from the point of view of the River Seine on the boat. After our tour, we went back to St Marie to enjoy our last evening with the families. Before going to the school we stopped by at a supermarket and everyone bought some delicious French foods.

    

    

On the last day, Saturday, we spent the morning with the families doing a bit of last minute souvenir shopping or sightseeing. We then met at the school to have crêpes and drinks. After the crêpe party we had to leave so we said goodbyes and thank yous. To come back we took the Eurostar and then the tube.

    

Before the visit I was a bit scared to stay in a family I did not know and that spoke French, however they were very welcoming and made me feel at home. It felt like I was in my own family and I did not have to worry about anything. The food was very good, and the atmosphere was friendly.’

This is a wonderful experience for the girls and we are looking forward to the forthcoming return visit by pupils from Ste Marie.