Our last day was spent with our exchange partners on a visit to Switzerland. The school had hired a coach for us all, and we travelled through the snow to Lausanne. Here, we visited the Olympic museum. This had displays, films, and interactive computers showing all the information you would need to know about the Olympic Games. After lunch we travelled to Geneva, and had a hour to look around the city centre.
We then travelled to the airport to catch our flight home. We said goodbye to our partners - I can only speak for myself but I was sad to leave them. We were very delayed in Geneva due to the snow, resulting in us not getting home until about 3am!
At the end of a successful exchange, I can say that I have really enjoyed meeting people from a different country, and seeing how they live. On behalf of all the pupils on the exchange, we must thank Mrs Chidlow for organising the trip and giving up her time to come with us. We also must not forget Mr. Leonard, who also came to France with us, and thank him for his input.
Thursday was a very early start, as we had to catch our train to Dijon. Monsieur Arbez had reserved us a carriage on the train, so we were very comfortable! When we arrived in Dijon, we had a guided tour of the city, and were told about all the different sorts of architecture. With temperatures reaching minus numbers, we were all feeling the cold. We were all glad to get into a cafe and warm up with a hot chocolate. We were then given the afternoon to do some shopping, and seeing as we were in Dijon, buy some mustard!
As it was our last day, they organised a meal for us in the evening. It was in the canteen at the police station, where one of the French boy's father worked. It was a really lovely evening.
In the morning, we went to the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie in Besançon, with Monsieur Arbez. This is an primarily an art gallery, with exhibitions from many different time periods, from Egyptian artefacts to Renaissance paintings, and 20th century photography. There were paintings by Picasso and Renoir but to name a few. This museum is widely thought of as the oldest in France. We also visited a Fairtrade Christmas market on the way back to the Lycée.
Our exchange partners did not have lessons this afternoon, so were able to take us for lunch. We also went bowling, and it was really nice for us all to be together in one big group!
It also snowed today, and was really cold!
On Tuesday, we again spent the morning in lessons, before going to the cinema in the afternoon. We watched 'Le Drôle de Noël de Scrooge' which as you may have guessed, was an adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol'. It was in 3D, so we all had to wear 3D glasses! We then went for a hot chocolate, before returning to the lycée to go home with our partners.
We spent Monday in school. In the morning we went to lessons with our partners. I had Maths, German and then double Biology but some of us had slightly different lessons. It was interesting to see what kind of things they were learning about, but they are in the equivalent of Year 12, so are at a higher level than us!
Then in the afternoon, we had a presentation by Cécilia, Esther and Cécile (the partners of Sophie, Seren and myself) about their visit to England. We also discussed the different school systems in five countries - France, America, Germany, Switzerland and England.
We had also prepared presentations about England, and about our area, but we ran out of time and did not have time to do them all.
Finally, we went for a 'pot d'accueil', where the Headmaster of the lycée welcomed us.
Day 3 and 4
We spent the weekend with our exchange families. Everyone did slightly different things, but most of us were taken to a Christmas Market. There was lots of French food for us to try, and I have to say that pancakes with Nutella really are amazing!
In the morning, we caught a bus into the centre of Besançon and were shown around the town by Madame Choffel, a teacher at the Lycée. It's a very pretty town, with lots of historical features. We saw the all main monuments and attractions. It was very cold, and at times, wet!
Afterwards we went back to the school for lunch in the canteen, before visiting the Citadelle. This is a fortress situated in a meander the river Doubs. In the last few years, it has become a World Heritage site, and now contains several museums and a zoo. We visited the museum about the occupation of France by the Nazis in World War Two.
Today was a very interesting day, and now we will spend the weekend with our families.
The second leg of the 2009 French Exchange has begun! We met at 3.45am on Last Day to leave for our flight to Geneva. Everything went smoothly, and we landed in Switzerland just before 10am. We were then taken by mini-bus to Besançon. When we arrived at the school, we went for lunch in the canteen. It was a Christmas Lunch, and we were all impressed by how good the food was. We also met our partners again, before they headed off to lessons.
After lunch it was time for a tour around the Lycée St Jean and a talk which pointed out the differences between French and English schools. Lycée St Jean is a very big, modern school, situated in one large building, so is very different to Oswestry.
We finished the day with Mrs Chidlow and Mr Leonard giving us an idea about what we would be doing that week. We were all exhausted from the early start and were looking forward to an early night.