International study tours are an integral part of QACI’s Language Acquisition Program and aim to teach international-mindedness through immersion in language and culture. Through language studies students develop enhanced knowledge and empathy of the world beyond local and national borders and graduate with viable multilingual experience that extends their options for life-long learning.
Of course, the best learning happens when students are having fun, and the following reflection by two of our language students will enlighten you to some of the experiences they enjoyed in France.
Bonjour tout le monde,
You may have noticed that some of the QACI students are sounding a bit Parisian and sometimes speaking French unintentionally … you may be wondering why?
Well, this because, over the Easter holidays fourteen students and two teachers flew for over twenty hours to France! While some were perhaps binge watching Netflix, these students were well on their way to immersing themselves in the culture and smells of France!
On our arrival we spent five nights in the wonderful city of Paris where we thoroughly enjoyed being tourists, as we ventured to the Bateaux Mouche, along the Seine River, Le Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle, Monet’s garden and house museum, Musee Rodin, Musee de l’homme, a performance of Les Choristes at Folies Bergeres and of course Palace de Versaille, the Louvre and la Tour Eiffel.
After our tourist time in Paris where we could get away with ‘parle vous anglais,’ we took the TGV and spent 9 nights in Oyonnax, situated in the Ain department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France, meeting our host families. Where yes, we had to speak French – that doesn’t just mean saying “oui, merci and d’accord!”
We enjoyed some wonderful day trips to Nantua, Lyon and Geneva as well as a weekend with our host families and attending their school and daily activities with them. The experience of staying with host families gave us a true understanding of the French way of life, their culture, as well as their schooling system.
While some of us were less capable of riding the Metro than others and some of us developed an unhealthy addiction to bread or struggled with their hatred for cheese in the country where our host families force fed this to us constantly, we can say that we bonded for our love of Nutella crepes! We can also say that our French vocabulary, pronunciation and listening skills have increased but mainly we can say that we gained an appreciation of the language and culture and realised the importance of learning a second language. It’s quite confronting being somewhere and realising that the people around you literally have no understanding of what you are talking about!
As a group, we’d like thank Madame Renee and Mr Matthias, for accompanying us on the trip and keeping us in line! Madame Daines, for all her hard work and organisation even though she left us for Spain! Ms Beasly, for her superb itinerary, and to everyone else involved in making this incredible experience possible. We can all agree that we experienced the trip of a lifetime and honestly cannot wait to continue exploring the language and culture in the QACI class room!
-India Johnson and Aspen Roggeveen