QA French students go to France

Over the Summer holidays nine QAHS and two QACI French students participated in a study tour accompanied by QAHS teachers Mr Fox and Mme Soulard. The study tour involved staying in Rouen, a city in France,  for about four weeks with a homestay family and then travelling to Paris for three days where the group visited various attractions.

With the homestay families, students were immersed in the French culture and everybody found that their competencies in the language skyrocketed. Each student also got the opportunity to attend school with their homestay partner for two weeks. School days involved arriving at school in the dark (at around 7:30am) and the average school day finished at 5pm. In the schools, students were bombarded with information from subjects ranging from Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry, Spanish, and much more, except all in French! The exception being an interesting subject called “History in English” where French students literally had a history lesson in English.

Students also spent two weeks of holidays with their homestay families where they celebrated Christmas with extended family. This was an excellent opportunity to taste the best of French cuisine. Often Christmas dinners would go past midnight! New Years celebrations were also immensely enjoyable. Students partied into the New Year with their homestay student and other French teens.

Soon after New Year’s celebrations had concluded and students had been able to catch up on sleep, they said goodbye to their homestay families and caught the train from Rouen to Paris. On day one, students went ice skating in the “Grand Palais” and also had the opportunity to visit the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysées. On day two, students visited two popular destinations: “La Tour Eiffel,” and “Le Musée du Louvre.” On the last day, students visited the Notre Dame, the Panthéon and got a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower at night.

Here is what some of the students had to say:

“I would highly recommend this trip to anybody studying French. Not only did my French skills skyrocket, but I also made connections and friendships with people which I will never forget. In fact, my homestay dad offered me an internship once I finish the IB over in Rouen!” – Elliot Fekete

 “In France, I faced the unavoidable – a new language – no shortcuts, no translators. Nothing to lose, everything to gain. The challenge was what I most enjoyed.” – Tanisha Hussain

“The trip was an extremely culturally and socially rich experience, being able to immerse myself in the daily life of a French family was interesting as I could compare my lifestyle to theirs.” – Jasper Phelan

“The opportunity to immerse myself in a foreign country, language, and culture, simultaneously allowed me to discover my own home with greater clarity. The more I explored France, the more I explored Australia. Altogether, it was an incredibly rich experience that gave me an appreciation for the subtleties between separate worlds, accompanied by a thirst for travel.” – Tobias Robertson

“This trip provided us with an immersive and invaluable experience! During the trip we experienced French culture and delicacies in a setting like no other. For anyone considering attending this trip in the future I would highly recommend it!” – Alana Allsopp

“Being immersed in the culture with my host family made me feel really connected to the language and the country.”  – Alex Goldsmith

Elliot Fekete
Year 12