My French Exchange Experience at CHS – Toby (Year 10)

By Toby, Year 10

After hearing about the opportunity to take part in the French Exchange to Caen whilst in class, I knew I wanted to go! I haven’t been on many trips with CHS due to Coronavirus and was gutted when I couldn’t go to France in Year 7, but I felt like this one was for me. The thought of having someone living in my house for a week did make me a bit nervous, I have to admit, but I was sure it would be an amazing experience.

The trip helped me loads with my French, especially with learning a lot of new vocabulary and a much improved ability to speak in general conversation without much thought. The trip allowed me to properly immerse myself in French culture such as new foods, experiences, traditions and general lifestyle, which I feel that you don’t get properly when staying in a hotel or resort. I got along so well with
my exchange student Thomas and his family were so amazing, and also hilarious! We are already thinking about meeting again in the summer!

The amount of things I had in common with Thomas definitely surprised me, we loved nearly exactly the same music, hobbies and we shared very similar personalities in general, he was basically the French me! His language ability amazed me and allowed us to always have great conversations in English whilst he was in Manchester and for him to teach me so much when I was in Caen.

When in Caen, we went to some amazing places. With the School, we got to visit a famous market in the town, where I bought some incredible traditional French food; The actual beach where the D-Day landings happened as well as visiting a bakery where we got to make and try delicious pastries. I also got up to loads with Thomas, some of my best moments were looking over the whole of Paris when visiting the very top of the Eiffel Tower, going to Parc Festyland with all of his friends and going on the most amazing ride, as well as eating an amazing Goute (like French afternoon tea but less formal), on the hottest day of the trip.

I would definitely encourage others to go on the French exchange, it was truly an amazing experience and I feel as if I’ve made a lifelong friendship.