Torrance, CA (May 9, 2019:) Over Spring Break, nineteen students from Bishop's French classes took an educational trip to France to immerse themselves in French culture, explore French landmarks, and participate in authentic French experiences. These students, accompanied by faculty chaperones, spent three days in Paris and three days in Bordeaux.
After flying into Charles de Gaulle airport, the students and leaders met up with their tour guide, Bernard, who led a walking tour around the streets of Paris. The students were able to enjoy éclairs, chou à la crème, fondant au chocolat in one of the many Parisian cafes, explore classic French stores like Monoprix, and take in the scenic architecture of the Parisian buildings. The next day, students walked through Louis XIV’s magnificent Palace at Versailles and its accompanying gardens. The group then traveled to Montmartre, one of Paris' famous art districts, to participate in an painting lesson of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. That night, the students, traveling like local Parisians, took the Metro to the homes of local families who welcomed them for authentic French dinners. On the final day in Paris, students headed to famous landmarks including the Arc de Triomphe, Musee de L’Armee, and Les Invalides. The students also explored the Louvre and ascended to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
After having a wonderful time in Paris, the group traveled to Bordeaux on the TGV, France’s high-speed train and took a walking tour of Bordeaux, where they were able to take in the breathtaking landscape of the beautiful city. On the students’ second day in Bordeaux, they traveled to Arcachon to learn about oyster farming and participate in an oyster-tasting, and that afternoon, the students climbed Europe’s tallest sand dune, La Dune du Pilat. On the final day of the trip, students met up with their French pen pals for a tour of their school in the city of Mont-de-Marsan. Students explored Mont-de-Marsan with their pen pals, visited a bullfighting arena, and ultimately returned to Bordeaux to enjoy the city for one final night.
Our students were able to fully immerse themselves in French culture eating authentic French food, utilizing and expanding their knowledge of the French language, and seeing many of the famous landmarks they had previously learned about in their French classes. Senior Caitlin Frichtel, who enjoyed the opportunity to travel to France with her classmates and experience the French culture firsthand noted, “This trip was the experience of a lifetime and I will cherish these memories forever." Her experience seems to be representative of all of the students who participated in the trip, had an incredible time, and will always remember such an exhilarating and memorable travel experience abroad!