Since the beginning of the school year, 10 juniors (1) in Première L, ES and S at Jean Macé high school have been involved in an exchange programme with Albuquerque Academy, a private high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA ( Albuquerque is the city where Breaking Bad was shot).
After a very long journey 10 American students arrived on March 13th, 2017 in the evening at the train station in Lorient. They were accompanied by 2 teachers, Ben Dolan and Marnie Bethel. They were exhausted but very glad, a bit anxious, to meet their host families.
The day after their arrival the group was invited to the city hall (2) for a cocktail party with the deputy mayor. After that, we went back to school to have a normal school day, indeed the Americans followed their host ‘s timetable (3) during their whole stay. Our Wednesday was full of adventures because we took the train to go to Vannes to visit the medieval city. The Americans discovered a typical French market and they ate French specialities such as « nougat » or « baguettes ». YUMMY ! We also took part in a treasure hunt in the streets of Vannes. The next day we went climbing (4) in the gym, it was great fun, the American students loved it ! In the afternoon they attended a guided tour of the school prepared by the 1LVA students.
The American students spent the weekend with their French host families. They went sightseeing (5) in Brittany.
During the second week, they attended a Breton lesson, they really enjoyed learning a few Breton words. They also attended a drama lesson. We visited the fishing harbour in Lorient where the Americans discovered fishes they had never seen before (they found the monkfish (6) so ugly!). After that we took a boat in order to go to Port-Louis to visit the West Indian Company Museum.
During their stay the American students learnt about the French culture and the French food of course… They tasted local products such as « crêpes » , sea food, « raclette », bread, cheese,… They were crazy about French bread but didn’t like oysters (7) that much.
This immersion also enabled them to discover the French school system which is different from theirs, they start school at 8 a.m. and finish school at 3:30 pm every day .
For them it was a complete change of scenery (8) because they live in the desert, they aren’t used to seeing so much water and so much greenery (9). Moreover this exchange allowed them to speak French and improve their language skills.
For the French students this exchange was an enriching and valuable experience too because it allowed them to interact with foreign students and they created long-lasting relationships.
On Saturday 25th, after 12 days in Brittany, it was time for the American students to go back to New Mexico. They left with French food in their luggage and great memories in their heads….
Thank you all for the very warm welcome you gave them !
(1)juniors = élèves de première
(2)city hall = mairie
(3)timetable = emploi du temps
(4)go climbing = faire de l’escalade
(5)go sightseeing = faire du tourisme
(6)monkfish = lotte
(7)oysters = huitres
(8)change of scenery = dépaysement
(9)greenery = verdure