This past summer, a select group of Prep French students was fortunate enough to experience the magical culture and geography of France. The trip was put on by the Prep Global Studies program and was open to 8th-11th graders in the French department. It included a ten-day exploration of some of the crown jewels of the country, from the coastal regions of Normandy and the Loire Valley countryside to the world-renowned city of Paris and town of Rouen. The experience was intended to be a cultural and linguistic immersion that would improve students’ proficiency in the French language while also giving them insight into the culture of the country. 

For many students, however, the impact of the trip did not stop there. According to Veronica Habashy ’22, the trip was an unforgettable bonding experience. She elaborated, “Traveling to the other side of the world definitely made all of us closer and it was fun to learn more of the language and culture together.” Some of the activities that the students participated in were exploring a variety of France’s most impressive chateaux and landmarks, such as the Chȃteau of Versailles, which they biked around. “My favorite part of the trip was definitely our bike ride through Versailles. It was really cool to be able to be in the very center of such a perfect, beautiful place and move through it kind of slowly, at our own pace, since up to that point we were kind of scrambling to see everything and get to all the stops on time,” Veronica continued.

In addition, students got the opportunity to visit museums and places of historical interest, such as the Musée D’Orsay, a world-class art museum featuring masterpieces by artists such as Degas and Monet, the Notre Dame cathedral, and the D-Day Memorial, which commemorated the soldiers lost in one of the decisive battles of World War II. Walking around neighborhoods in Paris, such as le Quartier Latin, enabled the students to soak in the wonders of the city and reach new levels of awareness about French culture. The trip was so packed with exciting activities that it was difficult for many students to pick a favorite. Alex Mirzabeigi ’22 shared a variety of trip highlights, saying that his favorites were “ seeing a bunch of landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and the Palace of Versailles”. He also mentioned that the group “saw a lot of castles, ate snails and frogs, and had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower”. He wasn’t alone in his abundance of enthusiasm. According to Mr. Wagstaff, a French teacher and chaperone on the trip, “The students, without exception, [were] attentive, engaged, thoughtful and well-behaved, as well as patient and good-humored about the long days filled lots of walking…[which] made an immeasurable contribution to this trip being such a fun and easy experience…”

The trip was both educational and meaningful for the students who attended it. The student body looks forward to future trip opportunities that Prep has to offer!