By 2011 the popularity of the exchange had grown. We needed the 2009 team and an additional member of staff (Mr Duncan) to accompany the 39 pupils. This time we decided to fly from Edinburgh to Paris, where we were met by the French bus drivers. The programme was more or less the same as the 2009 exchange.
A Pupil account
The second official French Exchange took place with 39 pupils from S4 and S5 taking part, accompanied by 4 members of staff: Mrs McCartney, Mrs Maix, Mr Duncan and Mr Grewar. The exchange, which runs every two years between Madras College and Le Collège France Bloch-Sérazin in Poitiers, France, was once again a tremendous success.
After a short coach ride to Edinburgh Airport (and the added drama of a lost passport) the group eventually made it to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Here we were met by the friendly drivers of the ‘Rapides du Poitou’ coach company who drove us to Poitiers. Thanks to a road blockage of the city bypass, the group was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the famous sights of Paris.
The programme for the week was packed full of fun activities: including a tour of the town of Poitiers itself, a visit to the 'Futuroscope' cinematic theme park, as well as the aquarium, shopping and sightseeing in the town of La Rochelle Particularly spectacular were the châteaux at Chenonceau and Villandry in the Loire valley, including beautiful gardens and even a maze. The weekend was spent together with the host families. All the pupils had a wonderful time, and their conversational French has improved greatly. The cultural and linguistic experiences gained from this are sure to have been invaluable and the friendships they have made long-lasting. À la prochaine!
by Eleanor Cruickshank