Lower V:  an exchange visit to remember

Enjoying France.

The website of the European Day of Languages, celebrated on 26th September each year, has some fascinating facts on offer.  Among them:

  • There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe – roughly 3% of the world’s total.
  • Bilingualism brings with it many benefits: it makes the learning of additional languages easier, enhances the thinking process and fosters contacts with other peoples and their cultures.

On this European Day of Languages 2019 one of our pupils reports on her exchange visit with one of the pupils of Ste Marie de Neuilly during the summer. As we look forward to our next group exchange visit with Ste Marie, a school which occupies the site of our school in Paris from 1862 – 1911, we hear a story which encourages all of us to embrace other cultures and enjoy the friendships which result. Simran in Lower V reports on her visit,

‘Taking part in a French exchange is the best way to immerse yourself in the language, culture and traditions of France. My experience was fantastic as I had the opportunity to stay with a wonderful French family for nine days during the summer holidays. They made me feel as if I was a part of their family and took me on wonderful visits, including to the Palace of Versailles and to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims. Over the course of my exchange I grew in confidence when speaking and understanding French. Being a vegetarian, I was a bit sceptical as to how things would work out as I did not want to inconvenience the host family, but it all worked out after all. Fortunately I did not see any snails or frogs’ legs!

I would definitely recommend everyone to try an exchange visit; it may seem daunting at first, but it is a lot of fun and the days go by very quickly! I am looking forward to hosting my exchange partner in October so that she can enjoy the experience as much as I did.’

As a school which, from 1634 until 1911, was in France and has now been in Ealing for over 100 years, we heartily recommend the advantages – and sheer enjoyment – that exchange visits foster.