Our trip to France started when we departed R.B.A.I. at an early quarter past seven to drive down to Dublin Airport. In just over two hours we were already walking through the doors into the airport
The excitement truly began when the plane lifted off the ground and left Dublin Airport en route to Geneva Airport, Switzerland.
After landing, we had a peaceful coach journey to Collège du Bas, Chablais (the school our French pen-pals attended) where we were greeted by our host families. I was staying with Marie who had previously stayed in my house while in Northern Ireland. I had a sigh of relief when I discovered Marie's mum was able to speak English and had lived in Newcastle for one year (but that didn't stop me from practising my French)!
That evening, I had a traditional meal of melted reblochon cheese on brown bread and spent the evening playing games with Marie and her sister, Clothilde.
On our first day in France we were treated to a welcome breakfast at school followed by classes until lunch and then a trip to an idyllic French village caller Nernier. We participated in three activities: painting the lake, learning about the history of the lake, and playing a clue-finding game. It was great fun!
Later that evening, my host family and I ate at an Italian restaurant and played at the local park until nighttime.
On the next day we walked around the Lac de Montriond and learned about how the lake was formed from glaciers long ago into the lake it is now. We had a picnic on the grass and played games with our French friends.
Later on in the day we had a dinner at school with food prepared by the hosting parents. We talked through the evening with the other families and got to know each other better.
On the following day my family and I visited The Eagles of Lake Geneva, a bird park in a village called Sciez. We stayed there all day until the evening when we got together with the other host families at Laser Game. We played 2 different games in groups of 2 (I came in an awful 19th place in both games)!
After the Laser Game, Marie and I were invited round to another pen-pal, Margaux's, house to swim in her swimming pool. When we had finished, we went to a local music festival in the village of Chens-sur-Léman called Fête de la Musique that happens every 21 June. We had a great night and there was even some Irish music played!
On our final day I was taken to the local market where we were able to try apricots, cheese, cherries and two different types of ham. I was very sad to say goodbye to my family as I had had such a good time in France. We departed for Geneva Airport at one o'clock and arrived back at R.B.A.I. for nine o'clock.
Overall, I had an amazing time in France and would love to visit again. I would recommend the French exchange trip to anyone as it is the only way you can truly experience what it is like to live in France, something you can't get from staying at a hotel!
Charles Hamilton 10P
Mercredi le 13 juin vingt élèves et deux professeurs sont partis pour Douvaine dans les Alpes. Nous sommes arrivés au Collège du Bas-Chablais vers 17 heures et nous avons rencontré les familles.
Jeudi matin, nous sommes allés à l'école. J'avais l'anglais, la technologie et l’italien. L’après-midi nous avons visité une petite ville qui s’appelle Nernier. C’est très joli. Nous avons fait une chasse au trésor. Vendredi nous avons passé la journée au Lac de Montriond et nous avons joué au frisbee. Le soir nous avons goûté des spécialités savoyardes avec les familles à l’école. C’était délicieux.
Le week-end je suis allé à Yvoire et à Genève avec ma correspondante Lucie et sa famille et aussi à un festival de musique irlandaise – c’était mon activité préférée.
Ma visite à Douvaine était géniale. Je me suis bien amusé et bien sûr j’ai fait des progrès en français. Merci à Mrs McGonigle et à Mrs Matchett pour un échange inoubliable.
Thomas Vincent 10P
Ma correspondante pour l'échange français était Jade Broissiat. Je suis resté avec elle à Anières, en Suisse, avec son père et son chien, du 13 au 17 juin. Ce que j’ai aimé le plus était le samedi parce que je suis allé à Genève avec des amis de Jade ; Julia, Magdalene et Marilyn, puis nous avons fait un jeu de Laser, et ensuite je suis allé à un festival de musique irlandaise avec d’autres élèves irlandais, comme David,Thomas, Josh et Charles. J'ai vraiment apprécié le séjour en France, et je serais ravi de le faire à nouveau.
Peter Wallace Year 10