Moravian Academy has enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Saint Sigisbert School in Nancy, France since 2004, when we participated in our first short exchange program with them. We currently have both short and long French exchange programs between our two schools.
Mademoiselle Wert, myself and a group of sixteen Moravian Academy Upper School French students ventured to France for Spring Break. During their time in France, they visited four spectacular cities: Paris, Nancy, Reims, and Strasbourg.
The first days of the trip were spent in Paris, where the students visited some of the most famous sites in the world including the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame, the Musée d’Orsay, and of course the Eiffel Tower. The students spent the remaining week in Nancy, a beautiful city located in northeastern France, in the Lorraine region. While there, the Moravian Academy students lived with their pen pals, with whom they attended some classes. This exposed the Moravian Academy students to the similarities and differences of the school systems of the United and States and France.
Because the theme of this year’s trip was cuisine, students were able to visit a cooking school, enjoy a tasting at a confectionary, and learn how champagne is made.
The students profited from an amazing opportunity to not only excel in the French language but also to embrace and experience the French lifestyle and culture. By living with their pen pals in Nancy, the students adapted to the daily life in France, and during their stay in Paris, they got to see some of the most celebrated and remarkable places in the world.
It was difficult to say au revoir to our friends, but we would see them a mere month later when they arrived in the United States on April 20th. During their ten-day stay, our French friends visited Lafayette College, historic Bethlehem, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and New York and participated in a variety of activities with their pen pals’ families. They also had the opportunity to visit both Upper School and Middle School classes.
The exchange is truly an amazing opportunity to not only expand our language skills and visit cultural sites. Life-long friendships are formed, and greater cultural understanding is a natural result.