"It was amazing and a life-changing experience."
Kenya Compton-Harris '16 was one of the 11 students who traveled to France, Normandy and England recently. The trip was organized by French teacher Michelle Mize.
"The students learned a lot about the culture and history of France," Mize said. "Nothing beats getting to experience firsthand the sights and sounds of a language and culture. They learned about the French monarchy and the Sun King. All of the students toured Versailles and the Louvre and were able to witness the majesty of wealth the monarchy had. They also stood in the square where royals and the like were guillotined and there learned about the fall of Louis XVI, the Sun King's grandson."
Spanish & ESL teacher Libby Harbaugh also went on the over-seas adventure.
"My hope is that the students found or learned a new motivation for learning another language," Harbaugh explained. "I keep telling my Spanish students to push through the tough grammar points we learn in class because once they have this foundation, they will be able to really grow in the language. I loved watching the students on the trip push and surprise themselves with what they were able to understand and communicate. A trip like this helps them feel connected to what they are learning both linguistically and culturally."
Andy Roderer '16 had not taken a French class previously and said that did not stop him from having an fun trip.
"I knew a lot of people going so I wanted to go," Roderer said. "I picked up the language a little bit here and there as we went along."
Some of the landmarks the group visited included the Eiffel Tower, the D-Day Museum, and Big Ben.
"Going to London was my favorite part because it reminded me of New York City," Compton-Harris shared. "We saw Buckingham Palace which was awesome and we watched the changing of the guards as well."
"My favorite moment of the trip happened one night in Caen, France, when we had just a quick hour of free time after dinner," Harbaugh noted. "Mrs. Mize and I came across this beautiful Cathedral...it had just rained, the sun was trying to set, and there was a rainbow over the church, and the whole sky was just gorgeous. We crossed the street and climbed a huge hill only to realize we had just happened upon the remains of William the Conqueror´s castle and fort. We walked the edge of the castle, which gave an incredible view of the city from above."
Roderer said he couldn't choose just one landmark as his favorite on the trip.
"Everywhere we went was amazing," Roderer reflected. "I recommended everyone to take a trip like this. It was a great experience."
"The trip was awesome and I loved all the educational opportunities our students had from tasting authentic cuisine to talking in or hearing French while shopping, touring, or just relaxing," Mize added. "England was amazing as well and everyone enjoyed the Jack the Ripper tour and watching the changing of the guard.
Mize continued, "Trips like these will be life changing and many students are inspired now to study abroad or to continue traveling to other parts of the world building their intercultural competence and global awareness."
Posted May 2, 2016