Monthly Archives: January 2017

Our Last Day in Paris

Today, the students capped off their experiences in France by creating independent research goals, and then exploring, in pairs, the places in Paris they knew would inspire their questions, thinking, and reflections.

From left to right, Jane Maeng (’18) and Macy Reid (’18) visit, in Jane’s words, the “young” 125 year old church, Sacré-Coeur.


Our final dinner in France. We celebrated at the Café Le Buci with NYU Paris student and Porter’s Ancient Callie Brzeziński (’16), third from right in the first photo below.



Gaelen Carroll (’18) reports to the group on her day of research in Paris.


Maya Butensky (’18) investigated the contemporary music scene in Paris, and encountered a musician. She writes, “he told me about his life and asked me if I wanted to play.”

Paige Madigan (’18) lights a candle in remembrance of her grandfather and uncle at Notre Dame.



New City, New Friends

Porter’s students have been walking, boating, busing, and traveling around France’s capital city these past few days, absorbing as much of the Ville Lumière as our short visit will allow.

Today, artists and community organizers (as well as siblings!) Nicolas and Louise Harlet brought to light for us the complicated landscape of contemporary Paris. They guided us through topics including community art, immigration, Nuit Debout, and environmentalism, introducing us to grassroots efforts dedicated to building a more progressive France.



The morning conversation with Louise and Nicolas was generously hosted by Trinity in Paris Director Francie Plough Seder (pictured at center), who happens to be the sister of Porter’s faculty Carol Plough.


Our final walking tour, organized by Nicolas and Louise, began in the Stalingrad neighborhood of Paris, continued along the Seine, and ended at the Place de la République.






Paris at Midday

We arrived at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood around noon today, finally setting foot in our final destination: Paris!

To kick off our Paris schedule, we headed to the Mona Bismarck American Center, where Porter’s Ancient Danielle Berger Fortier (’97) serves as Director of Exhibitions and Programs. The Center welcomes Parisian audiences to American art, artists, and themes. She was happy to speak with the students about Mona Bismarck, the Center, and Porter’s memories!

Ancient Danielle Berger Fortier discusses how she works to bring exhibitions into the historic space of Mona Bismarck’s home.



We get our first glimpse of an icon!


Pictured clockwise from the lower left: Jane Maeng, Katherine Bishop, Lyrik Garyk, Maddy Tamms, and Viola Corning (’18) put their cultural and linguistic skills to use at a Parisian restaurant.


Group arrives in Paris

The group arrived via train in Paris this morning and they were met by Porter’s faculty member and Director of Inclusion and Equity, Susan Martell. Susan is joining the class to help facilitate  the theme of the group’s work in Paris around the complexities of race and identity in France currently.


Paris – Here We Come!

Early this morning, Porter’s students and faculty gathered at the train station in Rennes to bid our hosts adieu. Lycée Saint-Martin faculty members M. Février, Mme. Thomas, and Mme. Bodin guided our group aboard the high speed train (le TGV) and waved goodbye as we departed the station.

At left, Maddy Tamms (’18), pictured with her host sister.


Students will devote some of the two-hour ride to journaling about the impact Rennes has had on us.

Macy Reid (’18) reflects on the previous week.


We plan to arrive in Paris for lunch, so look forward to tonight’s post on our first afternoon in La Ville Lumière.

Au Revoir Rennes!

Our students are making the most of every last moment in Brittany today!

Katherine Bishop (’18) with her host sister. Katherine attended her host sister’s soccer game and then the pair visited Dinard today.


Macy Reid (’18) captured these scenes in Dinan today. She writes, “Dinan is located along a river which has on either side steep terrain, so there are a lot of bridges and hills in the town.”




Maddie Duchesneau (’18) on an outing to Rennes’ soccer stadium with her host sister. Maddie’s host family took Maddie to the athletic complex because, she explains, “they knew I loved soccer.”



Our Last Day in Brittany

Tomorrow, we are off to Paris! In the meantime, our students’ adventures with their host families, in and around Rennes, continue.

Nancy Zhou (’18) spending the weekend out with her host family.


Many students are traveling to the beautiful city of Nantes today. The city is the administrative capital of the Pays de la Loire region.


Second from left, Maddie Duchesneau, and second from right, Lyrik Garyk (’18), enjoy a meal with their host students.


Viola Corning (’18) spotted a rainbow in the French countryside.





Saturday Reflections

As our time in Rennes draws to a close, we are spending it in the the good company of our new friends and appreciating all that Brittany has to offer!

A Saturday night dinner with hosts. At far left Lauren Boyes (’18), third from left Gaelen Carroll (’18), fourth from left Lillian Parrotta (’18).


Nancy Zhou (’18) visited the church in Dinan today.

Church Dinan

Jane Maeng (’18) took a walk on La Baule, the largest beach in France (pictured center).


Paige Madigan (’18, at left) attended a professional soccer match between the Paris Saint Germaine and Rennes teams.


Maya Butensky (’18) visited the town of Vannes.