F.E.Sillanpää Upper Secondary School in Hämeenkyrö!

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Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Trip to France

Our French group had a pleasant continuation to our autumn holiday: a five-day trip to France! This time the group was really small, 8 students from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades, and our teachers Leena Klemets and Taina Salonen. However, a small group like this guaranteed a very good team spirit and the easiness of staying together.
The feelings before the trip were quite expectant, and for some of us it was hard to realize even during the trip that we actually were in France.

- I didn't feel especially nervous in Finland, but when we landed in Paris, I was a little unsure about what would be ahead of us, thought 1st grade student Janne Suominen.

The preconceptions were unnecessary, because already the climate was a pleasant surprise: while in Finland it had started to snow, in France we had about +20 degrees during the warmest days. However, at the end of the week jackets really were needed.
We spent our nights in local families (one pair in one family) in the small city of Bretigny. This way we could be especially near to the French culture and language: in some families you couldn't get any help of the English language. At the very beginning, using and undestanding French felt really hard, but luckily at the end of the trip a lot of development could be noticed.

- It was really hard to try to speak and understand French on the first day. I felt that I forgot even the easiest and the most familiar words, not to mention the hard ones. Little by little I started to remember more and every day it was easier to understand French and to pronounce it and form sentences, said 1st grade student Suvi-Tuuli Mäkikauppila. In the very end it was more about your courage to use French than your actual ability to speak it. Via effort and mistakes agreement was always found.
We had only the mornings and the evenings to spend with the families because most days were full of interesting and versatile program: on three mornings we went to the local upper secondary school, Lycée Jean-Pierre Timbaut, where we had lessons for three hours in French. After the lessons we went to the centre of Paris by metros and local trains led by our top-quide. On the first day we visited Notre-Dame cathedral, the shopping avenue of Saint Michel, the Eiffel Tower, the shopping avenue Champs-Elysées and the Triumphal arch (Arc de Triomphe). The sights were just as gorgeous as we were expecting, and the large views from the Eiffel Tower vantage point were breathtaking.

Other sights were for example the Castle of Versailles and Louvre art museum, where we could see the gorgeous glass pyramid and the original Mona Lisa-painting.   On the last day we had a tour in Montmarte, where we saw for example the church of Sacré Coeur, the square of artists and two cabarees, Lapin Agile and the more famous Moulin Rouge. We also visited the huge shopping mall, Lafayette, and some of us The Hard Rock cafe, too. Our versatile programme included something for everyone, and I think our expectations were fulfilled positively.

        Versailles’ rooms were really gorgeous and full of luxury!

            One part of the gorgeous garden of Versailles.

       In front of the glassy pyramid entrance of the Louvre art museum.

-  My favorite sight was the Eiffel Tower, I think. My expectations we fulfilled quite well, although I didn't expect Versailles and Louvre to be so enormous, says 1st grade student Annika Kaasalainen.
All in all our trip was a real success and full of unforgettable experiences. In addition of testing our language skills, our trip was a dive into the French culture, and French people received us in a really friendly way.

One evening we had an opportunity to test ordering our meal in French, and everyone managed great. 

- My feelings after the trip were magnificent. I feel our French group has become more united, thought 2nd grade student Juuso Kosola.
Even though we had five amazing days behind us, the trip was also quite heavy in places, so it was really rewarding to get back to Finland, especially after the problems with the airplane and the taxi. We came back home exteremly tired but happy.

- We had a great time in France, but it's always nice to return to Finland, says Suominen at the very end.

                  A bakery in Bretigny.

In front of the “L’arc de Triomphe”.

                                                    The very famous “La tour Eiffel”!

Breathtaking views from the second floor of the Eiffel tower.  

The gorgeous and big Notre-Dame cathedral.  

                                               From our tour in Montmarte.

            There it was, the very famous Moulin Rouge! Unfortunately we couldn’t see it in the evening.

 The church of Sacré Coeur.

We also visited some shopping malls, like this gorgeous one called “Lafayette”.  

Written by Janette 3A

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