In October twenty-five TY and 5th Year students, along with teachers Ms. Crushell and Mr. Sheehy, enjoyed a trip to Romilly-sur-Seine in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. The French group visited Beara in March, and on our return visit Irish students were hosted by their exchange partner families.
On the first day the group visited the Mercier Vineyards, taking a train through some of the 18km of underground cellars and learning about the process of champagne making. Next stop was the capital of the region, Reims, famous for its magnificent cathedral. After a walking tour of the centre, students explored the shopping district.
On Tuesday, the group visited the nearby town of Troyes. The medieval old town features narrow, cobbled streets lined with colourful half-timbered houses, dating back to the 16th century. While there, pupils visited the Museum of Modern Art and discovered the sights by carrying out a treasure hunt with the exchange partners.
The following day the group set off to Paris with French partners and took in the highlights of the city by boat on the Seine, which included the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. In the afternoon, after a tour of the area surrounding Place Vendôme, students explored the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe.
Students spent Thursday morning at Lycée Joliot-Curie immersed in French school life, followed by lunch in the school canteen. The afternoon destination was La Petite Biscuiterie, a local artisan biscuit factory, where pupils saw how the biscuits are made and tasted some shortbread.
On the final day the group was treated to a French breakfast of croissants and hot chocolate in the school canteen, followed by a visit to the Town Hall where they were welcomed by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
A wonderful week was had by all. The exchange was a fantastic opportunity for students to improve their French language and to experience French culture first hand. Many thanks to all involved, who made the trip such a success.