French Students Immerse Themselves in Collegiate Life

Since Feb. 3, eight students and a teacher from St. Denis School in Loches, France, have experienced life at Collegiate School as part of a partnership with the school that began four years ago.
The students, two Upper Schoolers and six 8th Graders, are living with Collegiate families and attending classes with their student hosts. They joined in the 8th Grade play and have cheered from the stands at athletic events. The visitors also have taken in the sights during travels to Monticello, Washington, D.C. and Jamestown.

“The Collegiate families are so kind and our students have so many opportunities to see and do things,” said Mattieu Mosettig, the French students’ teacher.

Marie Lys de Charette, a 10th Grader, who has enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather during her stay, says what surprises her the most about spending a month here is Collegiate itself.

“The School is amazing,” she said. “It has more space, more sports and more freedom for the students than St. Denis.”

The group heads home on March 2. A few days later, 10 Collegiate 8th Graders, accompanied by Middle School French teacher Monica Johnston and Lower School French teacher Linda Combs, will travel with them to spend Collegiate’s spring break experiencing French hospitality with host families and working with St. Denis Lower School students on their English.

From the moment the Collegiate students board the plane until they return home, they are required to speak only French.

“The immersion is key for the students to get the most from the experience,” said Madame Johnston.
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