French Exchange

French is one of my favourite reasons to come to school, and as such, I jumped at the opportunity to visit France and be a functioning member their community, school and way of life. On Friday 29 November Oliver, Navaal and I embarked on a special trip to immerse ourselves in the French language.

The fresh air of the north, the olden day roads and the history or story of France painted on every building you walk by; it was truly magnificent. Much like Rome, France was not built in 8 days; its history and culture are forever plastered on the buildings, language and the people you meet. For me, the most enriching experience was that invisible barrier you cross, going from an isolated member on a continent down south to a global and cultured member of another society, one far grander and older than that of ours. You don’t realise how interconnected our world is until you spend 6 weeks in another country and manage to get by talking their language and indulging in their culture.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the trip to France was more than just a language trip, it was character building one too. One of the biggest skills I was able to practice was my ability to persevere and be persistent. When speaking a foreign language it can be very easy to cocoon yourself and try to speak as minimal French as possibly to not look silly, but as I built up my confidence, I began to talk more, engage in more conversations, speak to friends at the French school, and talk with my host family and correspondent. Every bit of persevering not only gave me more self-confidence but it made me a better person than I was before. Before, I finish I would like to indulge you with a French phrase I learnt while visiting Les Chateaux de Versailles. “Au-dessus de tous.” Literally translated this phrase means “above all,” but what I have come to learn is that it actually means “none other his equal.” There is nothing parallel to the brotherhood, friendships and life we have at this school.

J’espère que vous avez passé une bonne journée


Ned Matin
Year 12 student