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Un Voyage d'une Vie

Posted By Christopher Portman, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What is it like to be immersed in another culture?

Four members of the ACS Class of 2017 found out this summer as they travelled to Toulouse, France, for a true immersion experience. The students stayed with French families and experienced daily life with them, including attending classes at the Collège Privé Joseph Niel in Muret (a parochial K-9 school near Toulouse). The trip, which is open to ACS students in the summer following Seventh Group, is part of an ongoing relationship that our French teachers Denise Clivaz and Elizabeth Roberts have established with the French school.

The relationship is reciprocal – each October the ACS community hosts students and teachers from the Joseph Niel school and introduces them to life in the U.S. This year’s visit is drawing to a close. Our visitors return to France today after a ten-day experience that included a walking tour of Chicago, a scavenger hunt throughout Downers Grove, a field trip to Naper Settlement, visits to beaches and pumpkin farms and soccer practices, and much, much more. The French students also spent parts of several days at ACS, attending classes with their American buddies. Thank you to the host families for making this experience possible!

Here are some of our students’ reflections from their trip to France in June:

Cette été, j’ai visité Muret, un banlieue de Toulouse.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot.  C’etait amusant quand on est allé au Toulouse.  We visited a cathedral, saw the Airbus Museum, and walked around downtown.  À la maison de mon ami français Estelle, j’ai joué beaucoup avec Estelle et sa petit soeur, qui s’appelle Blandine.  Blandine, Estelle and I picked cherries, jumped rope, played in the garden, and ate lots of French bread!  Pour les diners, la mère d’Estelle a cuisine les fruits de mer, les viandes, les legumes, et beaucoup d’autre choses et c’etait très delicieux.  The whole family ate together.  Avec Estelle, Blandine, moi, et la mère d’Estelle, aussi il y avait Olivier, le frère d’Estelle, et le père d’Estelle.  I had a great time in France, living the life of Estelle and learning new words every day! (Grace)

 Bonjour.  Je m’appelle Henri.  My French trip was an incredible experience and I feel that I learned a great deal about the French culture over the course of the trip.  One of my favorite memories was going to the aviation museum and walking around in downtown Toulouse.  C’est trés amusement!  Another enjoyable experience was when my French host family took me to Carcassonne and we toured the fortress and the grounds. J’aime ça!  Overall, I had an amazing experience and I am really glad that I participated in this student exchange.  I look forward to hosting my French friend soon!  Au Revoir! (Henry)

Going to France as an exchange student was the experience of a lifetime.  It was better than any vacation - I got to be French for the time I was there.  In Toulouse, the city where I stayed, we went on ropes courses, visited French markets, enjoyed French cheeses, and much more!  I ate delicious food.  My favorite was the pain au chocolate, or chocolatine, and I learned new foods like mimolette, the best cheese ever!. I even helped make crème brûlée - we blowtorched the top of it to melt the caramel on the top. On the first night I was in France, we watched the first fütball game of the Euro, a fütball tournament for Europe that was held in France this year. Touring Toulouse, we got to see many notable buildings and ate lunch on benches near the banks of the river flowing under the enormous, or tres grand, bridge.  It was very exciting seeing French classes and playing French games.  On the last day I was in the French school, we had American Day! Every trip has to end, but I made sure to get my French buddy’s phone number. I guess you could say this was un voyage d'une vie, a trip of a lifetime.  (Saurav)

Here’s a video overview of some of the many things that our French friends experienced during their time with us.



Tags:  French exchange; diversity; multiculturalisim 

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