French exchange

On Saturday 19th of March twelve students from Year 12 met their French exchange partners and host families for the first time at Geneva airport. The experience was nerve wracking as we were all apprehensive to meet the French students. However, after the initial shock of the rapid French conversation and several unsure reactions to the customary greeting of kissing three times on the cheek, we settled in well with our individual families.

Sunday was spent with our host families, and many students were taken to the snow covered Alps where we enjoyed activities from tobogganing to walking with snowshoes! When we returned, I was lucky enough to try the Swiss dish ‘Raclette’ which was really delicious.

Arriving at the Lycée on the Monday morning was a bit of a shock. Other than the huge size, (3000 pupils between the ages of 16 and 18), it was very different for us not to have to wear uniform, and the classes were very formal and the classes were on average 34 in number. I often found that the teachers were the easiest to understand as they spoke very clearly!

On Tuesday, we travelled to the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva on the bus from the Lycée. It was fascinating to hear about the details of how the organisation is run and which organs are based in Geneva. We walked from there along Lake Geneva to the main shopping centre, which was chilly but very beautiful! The following morning was also spent in Geneva where we visited the Red Cross Museum, which was very interesting and the interactive games were both entertaining and informative.

The whole experience was fantastic. The exchange partners were well matched, and we all enjoyed the time spent in Geneva and at the Lycée. Our French improved hugely during the week, and all of the students who took part in the exchange would highly recommend it to future students. We are all looking forward to their visit on 7th May!

Article Written by Issy, Year 12