French Exchange

It is no secret that immersion is the way to go to maximise the language learning potential. Therefore, it seemed a logical step to include a Language Exchange in our language programme for our students.

In Presentation Castleisland our language teachers, Ms Laurent and Ms Dairo, are passionate about their subjects and have both lived in France and Spain for many years and are well experienced in organising such events.

In 2017 we went on our first French exchange to the Saint Famille school in Amiens in northern France and continued to do so every year until the pandemic. Amiens is situated approximately 90 minutes north of Paris and is also close to the Northern coast, famously known for the World War I Battle of the Somme. Amiens is famous in its own right as being the birthplace of Jules Verne (Author of Around the World in 80 days) and the current French President, Emmanuel Macron.

Typically, the teacher accompanies the group for a week, during which they stay with local families and get to know their “Correspondante” (exchange partner). They attend school (shadowing their partner) a few mornings during the week and the rest of the time is spent visiting local places of interest and participating in group activities.

In the past these activities included a welcome party, geocaching orienteering around the town of Amiens, ice skating, attending an Ice Hockey game, bowling and shopping.

We also include day trips to Paris, accompanied by a local teacher to guide us through the City of Lights to take in the famous sites such as Les Champs Elysees, The Eiffel Tower, l`Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Bohemian quarter of Montmartre and even a trip on the Seine.
Another daytrip we include is a guided bus tour of the World War I Battlegrounds, trenches and museum.

Ms Laurent is on hand all week in Amiens to help with any queries by parents, students or host families.

In return our Irish students play host to their partners in the Spring. We show them the best that Kerry has to offer with daytrips to Killarney and Dingle as well as teaching them some Irish dancing, camogie and the bodhrán.

Overall the experience is extremely enriching as the students improve not only language skills but many other skills that will help them for life after Pres!