Eighth grade French trip changes location from Paris to Nice

Eighth-grade student Emmaline Rickert taking a walk in Monaco during the French trip on March 30. The eighth-grade French language trip used to take place in Paris, but after the Paris attacks in 2016 it was relocated to Nice starting this year (photo by Emily Forgash).

For the first time since the trip was instituted in the eighth grade curriculum, the grade eight French trip took place in Nice instead of Paris.

In past years, some eighth-grade students who take French have gone on a five day trip to Paris, France. The trip’s destination was changed for a number of reasons. One reason was because of the Paris attacks in November 2015. French teacher Madame Kidd explained, “It was in part the Paris attacks, but also the US embassy and the government thought that all of France was unsafe last year, but that was last year.” Due to security concerns, last year’s language trip to Paris was cancelled at the last minute. However, the eighth grade trip to Normandy, France, went ahead as planned six weeks later.

Students are selected for the trip through writing a letter, in which they explain why they wish to go on the trip. The teacher then decides who should go. Students speak French throughout the trip and do many assorted activities that relate to the culture of the area. There are similar trips that go to Valencia, Spain, and Beijing, China, for the Spanish and Chinese students.

Nice was selected as the destination not because Paris is still unsafe, but because Nice is now the better option. Nice is a favorable alternative because it is a smaller city, much unlike London. Madame Kidd explained, “Nice is great because students here are so used to the big city, and Nice is quite small. It is also right on the sea which is a nice change, and there is so much to do there.”

Students going on the trip this year are optimistic about the trip, and the teachers have planned some activities that include a cooking class in French, riding bicycles around Nice, and a possibility of taking a nighttime open top bus tour. Eighth-grade trip participant Lucy Jurevics said, “It’s one thing to learn and improve a language in a classroom, but it’s completely different to be completely emerged in the language. No matter how many orals you do or how many listening comprehension quizzes you take, you will certainly improve more from real world experience.”

Madame Kidd also said that it is nice to see when things click for the kids in her classes, and though they might really hate the listening activities in class, this is a completely different experience. The idea that real world experience can do so much for language learners can be seen within all of the language trips to France, Spain, and China.

Eighth-grade French students may be going to a different destination, but the goal still remains the same: to learn about France and making it more realistic to learn.

About Anna Duffy ('21)

Staff Writer (2015-2016 and 2016-2017)

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