París Exchange

23rd October 15

Going to France for two weeks, to live near the capital city, is a great challenge: It’s necessary to overcome the language barrier, to get used to a way of life which is completely different from here (although France is a neighboring country). To get accustomed to a change of routine, of companions, of perspectives, and even of climate. It’s necessary to find deep within yourself a way of learning to live with a new family.

But in exchange, what a wonder it is to gradually understand a language spoken with different accents, to communicate with young people from other origins, whether Moroccan, Turkish, Hindi, Portuguese and Russian, to follow a class in physical sciences or the on the Greek language in French, to discover a modern canteen where the food is actually not bad at all, to serve yourself a hot cup of coffee from a machine, to warm your hands during recreation period, to dress as you like and wear a hat, heels or even a tracksuit if we wish, to take advantage of free time between classes in order to make progress with your homework, to study or take a break on a bench in the courtyard. But listen! All this doesn’t mean that we don’t have to stand up when a teacher enters the classroom, or that we can have a word with an adult forgetting formalities, or escape from school for an afternoon for having behaved badly.

As for the excursions! The Seine, the Louvre, the Latin Quarter, passing through Rivoli Street and its shops, the Eiffel Tower with its endless stairways and breathtaking views, white chocolate crepes, the Trocadero, the Champs Elysees, the RER or subway, etc. … And what about the photo shoots: thousands of selfies and The Great Iron Lady, admired by everyone from every angle!

A school exchange is to share with others and also to discover yourself, and when this happens in Paris, it is even more magical.