The Australia Exchange with the Secondes last year lasted five weeks, during which they explored the country with their exchange partners. The La Tour students had an amazing time there, surrounded by their friends and their partners who made them discover a lot of places filled with different types of incredible fauna and flora. They went on this trip to have a good time together, but mostly to progress in English and to discover their Australian correspondents’ lifestyle. During this trip organized by the school, there are two different parts: school (with academics and activities) and holidays (much more fun).
All of the French students spent three weeks at school, which for some of them was enough to meet new people and to feel at ease on the campus. The girls’ school, called “The Ascham School” has a few tennis courts, pools and gyms, which is perfect to enjoy! Therefore the activities they practiced most were tennis, swimming, water-polo (very famous there), hockey, handball etc. Surfing is also a big thing in Australia: that is what the French students mostly did over the summer or any moment they had some free time.
In addition, they visited many places but they did so much more too. First of all, they went to an aboriginal dance show at the Opera House. When asked for his opinion, one of the students who went to New Zealand, Cyrus, said it was “amazing”. They also drove through Harbor Bridge as well as the Darling Harbor. Other activities included visiting the Taronga Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, the aquarium and a lot more. During the sunny days, the students spent a lot of time at Bondi beach and Manly Beach. What Andrea S, a La Tour student, on the trip last year remembers most is the skywalk tour of the Sydney Tower: “That monument has an incredible view”, but also the museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. There was a lot to discover and enjoy during these five weeks!
Now, to address the idea of Fauna in Australia, the La Tour students agree that kangaroos are a very big thing there. They saw some big ones at the zoo but even had the chance to go to Pebbly Beach where Wallabies (tiny kangaroos) live in the wild and are used to human contact! In addition, some of the students noticed the most incredible thing about flora is that Australia has an incredible number of magnificent flowers that are emblems to the country and each state.
Andrea S, who I interviewed, had an exchange partner named Eleanor. She said she was “an adorable person” at first sight and “I think I got really lucky to have such a great match! She had three welcoming and funny sisters and her parents made me feel very comfortable and at home with them. As a whole, my exchange family really took care of me just as if I was a member of their family.” She keeps a great memory of the trip.
Finally, they all got to go on holidays with their exchange students for two weeks during which they did a lot of different activities at various places in Australia. Even though they would have loved to stay a little longer, it feels good to be back home after awhile! On top of that, the exchange students came to visit Paris. They had a really good time together just as the La Tour students and they could certainly learn more about French culture.
-By Juliette de C.