The third batch of the French exchange programme departed for France on the 27th of May, 2018 from Pune. They arrived in France on the 28th of May, 2018. The group comprised of 13 students from Std X, namely – from X A- Snehan Chauhan, Aabha Galande, Krisha Surana and Saloni Jahagirdar. From X B- Naad Dantale, from X C- Yashowardhan Bapat and Sahil Purandhare, from XD- Ayushi Barve, Nandini Trivedi, Saish Ambasankar, Aditya Mohite, Sayali Bhamare and Isha Supekar. They were accompanied by two staff members- Mrs. Bharati Kudchadker and Mrs. Manisha Joseph.
The students and teachers from Vikhe Patil Memorial School, Pune stayed with their corresponding counterparts from College du Chateau in Morlaix, France. They visited France from the 28th of May, 2018 to the 10th of June, 2018. Whilst in France, they attended classes at the school every day. They participated in English, French, Spanish, Math, Science, Social Science, IT, Cookery and Physical Education classes. In addition, the students also engaged in climbing and badminton classes. The French teachers were impressed by the quick grasping skills of our students and praised their intelligence.
College du Chateau comprises of classes VI to X. There are around 400 students and approximately 25 teachers. The classrooms are hi-tech and well equipped. The library is filled with books and a special corner dedicated to India, had been created so that their students may learn more about India, the cuisine, customs, traditions and culture. Our students had lunch at the school canteen.
The students also had the opportunity to take part in accrobranches, which are tree top adventure activities at the Taule Adventure Ecopark, along with the 22 French students who will be visiting India as part of the exchange, in November, 2018. The Indian group was given a tour of the town of Morlaix. They also had a reception at the Town Hall where a local corporator received the group; he explained a little about the town and felicitated the group members. They also learnt a few basic traditional Breton dances at the school.
Whilst staying with their respective host families, our students cooked Indian food. The Indian food was relished by them.
On one evening, a program was organised at the school, where our students presented a prayer song in Marathi, a traditional Rajasthani dance- Ghoomar and also sang a medley of Hindi songs. They performed beautifully and received great appreciation and applause. The French school, on their part, presented a Bollywood dance performance by French performers, which was excellent. This was followed by a potluck dinner party at the school along with the host families.
On another day, our students presented a power point presentation on India, which showcased the culture, cuisine, monuments, education system and also provided information about our school. They also performed yoga asanas, which were received with exclamations of wonder and huge applause.
Our students behaved in an exemplary manner and were very helpful, astute, smart, active and resourceful, whenever the need arose. In addition, they have also improved their French vocabulary and grammar considerably. It was a very extraordinary, momentous and unforgettable experience, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. The icing on the cake was the press coverage and pictures that appeared in two different newspapers on two consecutive days!