Once again, the students studying French in Years 9 and 10 were partnered with their exchange students from Lacordaire in Marseille, to take part in a full week of immersion in the everyday life of an English student, whilst also visiting some of the sights that London and the surrounding area has to offer. The week was a chance for students from both sides of the Channel to put into practice essential language skills in a real, out of the classroom environment.

A visit to the Warner Bros. studios

Prior to the first meeting, after a few weeks of correspondence via email and letters, students got to know one another by asking basic questions and finding out the likes and dislikes of their French counterpart. The week got off to a great start with partnered students all meeting in Café Africa to get the hesitant ‘hellos’ and ‘bonjours’ out of the way. Once the ice had been broken the French students were taken back to their partner's house where they could settle in for the week. Throughout the duration of their stay the exchange students were given the chance to visit Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, the London Aquarium and Big Ben, learning about Britain's intricate history along the way.

During the weekend and evenings, the French students were given the chance to try traditional English meals and were subject to a barrage of badly-worded French questions from eager parents half-remembering French lessons from their time in school. The weekend also proved a time for students to treat their temporary family members with trips to Thorpe Park, the cinema and many other personal favourites of the host family.

The exchange students pose in front of Buckingham Palace

As usual with the exchange, both sides of the party gained valuable insight into the other’s language and enjoyed their time together. All the boys taking part look forward to their time in Marseille next year and would like to thank the many teachers involved that made this experience possible.