From Oct. 1st to Oct 10th, 2018, a delegation of 22 students and 2 teachers from Yichuan Senior High School went on a journey to France for the multicultural and academic exchange program. This program was established to help all participating students learn different foreign cultures and continuously improve their academic level by sharing unique experiences. This time we were supposed to fulfil the following three purposes.
Experiencing French school life and local culture
The first destination was Valence, a small and lovely town located near Lyon. We arrived in our first sister school - Cité Scolaire Emile Loubet, which is named after the former French President. We stayed there for four days, during which time, the Chinese students stayed in their French host’s home to learn and experience the real french customs and lifestyle. Meanwhile, we had various french special courses, such as drama class, Chinese class, P.E. class and French class. We learnt that different regional cultures has its own artistic charm, and featured different classroom atmosphere. In addition, a visit to the local history museum was arranged for our students. They have even organized a traditional petanque game and an outdoor orienteering race in a park near the school. Furthermore, four days’ stay with host families provided a golden opportunity to expose our students to traditional french culture and customs, especially help them improve their french learning. They have experienced rich cultural activities with their host families.
Exploring business colleges
The second part of our trip was to visit two famous business colleges, one in Nice, the other in Paris. Unlike most of the universities in China, SKEMA business college is located in a beautiful seaside city, with breath-breaking sunset sights. Although it is not very spacious inside, it is equipped with complete facilities and strong academic atmosphere, which impressed us deeply. What’s more, a Chinese exchange student from Beijing Foreign Studies University shared with us her own experience in SKEMA and encouraged us to fight for our dream. Undoubtedly, some Chinese students resolved to study further in the college some day. Another trip is to EMLyon business school, ranking the top 4 business colleges in France. The college holds the concept that students are required to practice, to create and in the meanwhile to communicate with the world. The hubs and silent room (reading rooms) tells us that thinking is as important as learning while practice and creativity are more appreciated. The two trips to business colleges promote our friendship and cooperation with each other, broadening the students’ horizons of future career and improving their academic exploration.
Conducting cultural surveys
Another very important task for our students to finish in France was the investigative project in order to explore french traditional, ethical, artistic or fashionable elements of their unique lifestyles. The topics of the projects included a variety of french religion, spirits and history of the French Revolution, french style cuisine etc. Therefore, it was natural that we should visit the world-famous tourist attractions such as Eiffel tower and the Louvre museum during our stay in Paris. No doubt what the students have seen there have broadened their horizons and enriched their experience about french society and spirit. On the basis of the students’ full preparations and reference to their host family, we had collected adequate firsthand data rather than merely search for the secondhand data on the Internet. This task has developed, to a great extent, the students’ ability to do investigative research.
As an old Chinese saying goes, ten thousand scrolls are not as valuable as ten thousand miles of journey. This trip is really unforgettable and impressive, enriching our life experience and also promoting our communication and cooperation with those french schools. Additionally, these academic exchanges will benefit our school a lot in many aspects. To conclude, it is very successful and meaningful this year, and we hope our program will get better and better. And long live the friendship between France and China!
By Shanghai Yichuan Senior High School