France - Le Collège Georges Besse - Loches

Since the teachers who ran the French exchange in Poitiers retired, Mrs McCartney decided to start a new exchange with le Collège Georges Besse in Loches, the town which is twinned with St Andrews. This is a town quite close to Poitiers so we were able to do do many of the same visits: to Chenonceau and Villandry and to Futuroscope. And in addition visit the historic town of Tours as well as Loches itself.

The exchange ran in 2013 and again in 2015 with 4 teachers and 40 pupils. It was very successful with several pupils planning independent visits to their partners in the coming year.

Organised by the modern languages department, pupils have the opportunity to stay with a French family and experience life at a French school: Le College George Besse.  The system is very different in France, where the pupils attend school from 8am to 5pm and have a half day on a Wednesday. 

During the visit, with their hosts, Madras pupils experience French culture and cuisine and enjoy the sights of the local area including:

  • two of the most famous (and most beautiful) chateaux in the Loire Valley, 
  • historic city of Tours, taking in the Cathedral and Botanic Gardens,
  • a Virtual Theme Park known as Futuroscope.

Some pupil quotes about their experience:

“It was tricky at first, but I really found that my French improved over the week.” 

“I have gained confidence in speaking to strangers both in English and in French”.
My partner and I will definitely keep in touch!”

“One of my best experiences so far”

Pupils and exchange partners in La Rochelle - 2011
Pupils enjoying the sun and sights - 2009

Why go on the French exchange?

  • Students get the opportunity to experience a different educational and cultural environment
  • Students discover that French is not just another school subject, it becomes more real to them and their motivation is increased
  • Students gain confidence with their speaking and listening skills
  • Students establish friendships, some of which are long lasting
  • Students learn to overcome linguistic difficulties, which gives them a real sense of achievement

Click on the links below to see pictures and details about recent exchange visits to France.