French Study Tour and Exchange

French Study Tour and Exchange

The end of 2023 saw the exciting resumption of our overseas study tours after the pandemic, beginning with just over six weeks in France. We took the opportunity to combine our existing reciprocal exchange with our sister schools in Paris and Lyon with two weeks of travelling around to different cities. Read on for an account of our French adventures and stay tuned for more exciting reports from our upcoming study tours to Italy and Indonesia.

Ms Jane Mahar
Coordinator of Languages, Overseas Study Tours and Student Exchanges. 

“Our journey began at the Adelaide Airport where we flew to Singapore on November 22nd 2023. On our 9-hour layover in Singapore the group went on a free tour around the Merlion and Gardens by the Bay.  After some very tired shopping and trying our hardest not to fall asleep on the floor, we travelled to Paris. Day 1 consisted of walking through the Luxembourg Gardens, visiting the Champs Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe which inexplicably was closed. Day 2 was a day trip to Villers-Bretonneux to the visit the Victoria School, the  two war memorials and the Sir John Monash Centre. It was a very long bus ride back to our hotel filled with happy chatter, music, and naps. Day 3 was arguably the most exciting day of the trip. We visited the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. There were many amazing paintings but our main focus was the Mona Lisa which we got a group selfie with her in the background. On the Eiffel Tower I conquered my fear of heights by standing on the glass floor on the first level. It twinkled twice while we were up there and was a magical experience. Day 4 was our trip to the Palace of Versailles. We stood in the miraculous Hall of Mirrors where the Treaty of Versailles was signed. It was bigger than we could have ever imagined. Days 5-7 were spent in Avignon. It was a quaint town with a bright community encased within city walls. However, the true wonders of southern France did not lie within Avignon’s walls. Day 6 we did a tour of Avignon and the Papal Palace. Day 7 we went on a journey to the Pont du Gard and Nimes. Day 8 was an exciting train ride to Paris or Lyon, buzzing with hopes of what was to come, knowing our host families were only hours away.” Zara McPharlin (Year 10 Student, 2023)

“From November 30th we each stayed with a French family for the next four weeks. We learnt lots about school and daily life, as well as different sorts of foods and Christmas traditions. Six of us lived in Lyon while the other girls stayed in Paris. We spent three weeks going to a French school and the last week travelling the country with our host families over the Christmas break. For the last week in France we visited Tours where we spent the New Year and visited some of the famous châteaux in the Loire Valley. We then returned to Lyon before spending our final days in Strasbourg. In this time, we visited many castles and churches. They were all very beautiful and breathtaking. When we returned to the Paris airport, we said goodbye to two of the girls who went on their own adventures with their families. The flight to Singapore felt long and exhausting but we were glad to be on our way home. After we arrived in Singapore, we were trusted by the teachers to explore the Singapore Airport which is famous for its attractions. In this time we saw the indoor waterfall in Jewel, which unfortunately was shut. As we had already explored Singapore on the trip over, we spent our time shopping and relaxing. The trip from Singapore to Australia was filled with relief and excitement. The thought of seeing our families and sleeping in our own beds kept most of us up and we didn’t sleep a wink. Reuniting with our families was the best feeling and we will never forget the amazing opportunity we were given. Mackenzie Freer (Year 10 Student, 2023)