Saumur – last day :(

We were shocked to wake up to some clouds but luckily it didn’t last long! We visited the Ecole Nationale d’Equitation Le Cadre Noir in the morning and had lunch overlooking la Loire and the beautiful chateau of Saumur. The students were spending their last euros and the owner of the chocolate shop was very happy!

It was nice to hear about their weekend in their host families. Some went to the beach, some enjoyed the rides at la Fete des Fleurs and some enjoyed too much sun.

Being the last day it has been great to hear them so positive about their trip. They finally got over their nerves and are looking forward to their next trip to France.


On Saturday, whilst  a couple of students had already started their long weekend with their host families, we had a lovely day in Nantes.

We started the day with a little trip on the marine creatures from the giant carousel at Les Machines de l’Ile 


Our guide at the Machines de l’Ile workshop showed the students the prototype of a giant tree that will soon be built in Nantes. They all asked us if we could take them back in 2019 to be able to climb on top of this full size tree of 35 meters high!

We then had a nice lunch by the river Loire and headed towards the city centre for a bit of shopping. We were lucky to see, as we left, one of the giants from Royal De Luxe: La grand-mère. Here is a video of the parade.

The students have gone back to their families and will probably enjoy “la fête des fleurs”, a very popular fair in Saint Macaire en Mauges.

Bon week-end!

Le jour J au Puy du Fou

Wonderful, hot and sunny day at the Puy du Fou, arriving at 10am and leaving at 6pm after a day of amazing ”spectacles”!

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We saw the Vikings invading – quite appropriate on this day – and watched an incredible show of birds, some flying just over our heads!

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A great day enjoyed by all – hopefully not too many red faces tomorrow from the sun today.


Jour 2 – Au collège

The sun has been out all day and our students have done brilliantly on their first full day in France.

We started the day in lessons when our students were split into groups and experienced lessons in French, Spanish, art, history and English.

Working hard

Working hard

After the hard work, it was time for a well-earned lunch in the great canteen.  Our students were a bit nervous about what they were likely to get (“will there be frogs’ legs???”), but luckily it was “le jour des frites”, but they also had the choice of various starters, cheeses and desserts to go with it.


Don't look so worried Bibi!

Don’t look so worried Bibi!


Bon appetit!

Bon appetite!

Not a snail in sight!

Not a snail in sight!

We ended up with a two and a half hour lunch break (take note please, Monsieur Woodlock), plenty of time to get to know each other and there are two very easy ways to do this: football and flirting.  Both activities were embraced wholeheartedly by our students as you can see from the pictures.

Joel's charm working a treat with the French girls.

Joel’s charm working a treat with the French girls.

L'entente cordiale

L’entente cordiale



Not quite the world cup, but an international match nonetheless

Not quite the world cup, but an international match nonetheless

After that we walked down to the sports hall where the PE teacher and some students had organised an afternoon of sport including basketball and obstacle course .  Many of our students had not brought sports kit, so we had Bibi in her leather jacket crawling under a bench while tied by the wrist to her French partner.  Not one of her favourite moments so far!



"Do I have to do this?"

“Do I have to do this?”

PE kit??? What's that?

PE kit??? What’s that?

Friends for life

Friends for life

Did we include this in our risk assessment?

Did we include this in our risk assessment?


Good shot!

Good shot!



Well done to everyone for giving it a go.  Not everyone was keen on the basketball – Jasmine played nearly a whole match with her hands in her jacket pockets, making catching the ball somewhat tricky – but there’s nothing like a three-legged race to bring nations together.















A very hot day forecast tomorrow which is great as we’re off to the Puy du Fou; always a highlight of the week.





A demain


Bonjour de France!

After a very smooth crossing and a rather short night for some students (n’est-ce pas Lewis!) we finally arrived in Saint Macaire at lunchtime.  The journey on the coach lasted 4 hours and seemed to go quite quicky. Some students were brushing up on their French and others were perfecting their make-up!

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Our students, quite nervous but also excited at this stage, were greeted by their exchange partners and left the school to get back to their host families.



Here the French don’t have lessons on Wednesday afternoon so the families had organised activities for them all. No chance to have a nap!

Rhodri managed to get some sleep on the coach. I wonder who was keeping him awake last night!

Rhodri managed to get some sleep on the coach. I wonder who was keeping him awake last night!

The boys were going swimming in Cholet and most girls were meeting up to go shopping! Can’t wait to hear all about their first day in France!

A demain…