For our first day on the Côte d’Azur we travelled from where we were staying in Antibes to Cannes by a train which runs parallel to the coast. When we arrived we made our way to an Italian restaurant where we met the English teacher at the correspondent school and as we ate our pasta and pizza we compared our school day to hers. After lunch we wandered around Cannes, enjoying the sun, the beautiful old town and looking at the incredible yachts in the marina. On our way down to the beach, however, we instead stumbled upon a premiere for “The English” – a film starring Emily Blunt. So, like many others, we gathered around the red carpet in order to catch a glimpse of her, when she eventually emerged onto the red carpet after much expectation she posed for cameras and waved to the crowd. After the unanticipated excitement of seeing Emily Blunt, we headed to the beach where we paddled in the water before lying on the sand and listening to music.
Sophie K, Year 12
After a self-guided walking tour of Nice including strolling along the seafront ‘La Promenade des Anglais’, on Monday evening, we went to meet the partner students that were going to take us around their school the next day, and whose houses we were invited to the next day, at the bowling alley. At first, we were all extremely nervous, sticking together in a big Channing huddle, but, thankfully as it turned out, they were all very nice, making us feel less nervous, and helping us with our French when we got it wrong (their brilliant English helped as well!). We were all put into teams, and got bowling, making friends quickly, with everyone cheering each other on. Afterwards, we got pizza and sat with our partners, talking about school, future plans and favourite celebrities in an (admittedly strange) mash-up of French and English, before exchanging contact details and saying our goodbyes. We all left with new friends, excited for what the next day would bring!
Iris P, Year 11
We had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the daily life and the very long school day of a high schooler in France at the Lycée Stanislas. We were warmly welcomed and toured around the school and experienced the different lessons, such as R.S. (known as ‘Pastoral’), French Literature and PhyChem (Physics and Chemistry combined) that the French students did, as well as practise our French skills. We also gave a presentation in French to some of our French peers on the different aspects of London, in addition to eating with them at lunchtime. After school, we went to dinner with our French host student and enjoyed a lovely meal with their family. This helped us improve our French skills by listening and participating in conversations in French, refining our French skills and learning new vocabulary.
Zoe Q, Year 11
Admittedly I was a bit fazed when presented with a steaming plate of escargots in garlic butter for dinner, but in the words of the Channing motto, Conabor! They turned out to be unexpectedly nice, very much like the rest of the evening I spent with my host family. I was paired with a boy called Stanislas, who was very friendly and patient with my French. His parents and siblings were equally hospitable. Over the aperitif (cheese twists and Coke) we discussed the dramas of French and British politics. After dinner, I played chess with Stanislas’s younger brother, and a board game based on the London underground. The family were very keen to know all the attractions and best sights to see in London, so hopefully I was able to teach them a little bit as well! Rosie P, Year 12
The dinner with our host student was a very interesting and informative experience. I was paired with a boy called Lancelot who was very nice as was his family. During the dinner, I was shocked to see that they had prepared 5 courses for dinner! The food was delicious though and they introduced me to traditional Niçoise foods such as Socca (a chickpea-based fried dough) and Choux ( a pastry filled with cream or fruit jam). Besides the food, his family was extremely friendly and kind and helped me learn lots of new vocabulary. Following the meal, I played games with Lancelot and his sister Constance and listened to him play the violin. As a whole, the evening was a lovely night and it was great to visit his family during our trip.
Emilie G, Year 11
We were given the opportunity to participate in a French cooking class as we learned about traditional French cuisine and how to prepare it. The whole lesson was given in French to help us improve our vocabulary and use inference skills to interpret what we needed to do. The teacher helped us prepare either a chicken or fish meal where the meat was placed with finely cut vegetables into pastry and cooked. This was then what we ate for lunch and was very delicious! I was genuinely surprised at our culinary skills as the meal was a great success.
Alice C, Year 11
Grasse is the capital of the french perfume industry and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to go inside the perfume factory to see the process of making each unique scent. The guide spoke to us only in French, so as well as learning lots of new facts we came away with a whole new vocabulary! We also had the opportunity to explore on our own; Grasse is a beautiful mediaeval town, and after walking around the steep streets we went to a local food shop to buy a picnic which we ate in the park under the hot Autumn sun.
Rosie P, Year 12
On our final evening in Nice, we went to the cinema and watched a film in French. As this trip was following our school day at Nice, we were able to invite our French pen pals or any friends that we had made during the day at the high school. We went to the cinema to watch a film called ‘Le Nouveau Jouet’ about a boy whose father is the richest man in France. The boy decides that of all the toys available in the vast department store, he would like to purchase the security guard, Sammi. The film is a comedy. However, it focuses on many other issues such as mass unemployment and financial difficulties. We watched the whole film in French without English subtitles. I believe that this really helped to not only test our French abilities but also to allow us to see more common French sayings and improve upon our understanding of tenses in French.
Emilie G, Year 12