Category Archives: Student Reflections

Day 3: Learning and Growing

Today students attended classes with a new french buddy from 8:05am to 12:00pm. They attended English, French, Literature, Spanish, Physics, Chemistry, PE, and more. They got to see what lectures are like, how classes with 35 students work, and what an assessment at the Lycée might look like. We will hear today from Moira L. and Simrat K. as they share their reflections from the day. Moira’s reflection is in French so I hope you dust off those French skills!

Moira shares (en français):

Comme nous nous trouvons dans un autre pays, il va sans dire que nous devrons attendre des différences quant à ce que nous mangeons. Voilà ce que j’ai remarqué : d’abord, les français chauffent le lait qu’ils prendre avec les céréales. Je ne sais pas si c’est que les vaches françaises sont traitées différemment ou le fait qu’il est chauffé, mais le lait a un goût étrange. Mais c’est pas mal ! Ce n’est que différent. Aussi les français mangent bien plus souvent que nous aux États-Unis, et évidemment il faut plus de temps. Chaque fois que ma correspondante et moi rentrons à la maison on prend un goûter. Normalement c’est quelque chose de petit et de doux tel qu’une tartine ou bien un pain au chocolat. Et bien sûr on sait tous qu’en France ils prennent plusieurs plats pour le même repas. Au déjeuner à l’école il faut prendre une salade, un yaourt ou un fruit, un plat principal et un désert ( ce qui est normalement un petit chocolat ou quelque chose comme ça ). Quant au dîner, on prend autant de plats qu’au déjeuner. Mais à ce point je n’ai pas trop faim. Je finis toujours de dîner avant le désert parce que c’est trop de nourriture pour moi et que je ne veux plus bouffer. Ça fait environ trois jours dès qu’on est arrivées à Rennes et je ne crois pas que j’ai même terminé un repas, sauf mes petits déjeuners. Chez ma correspondante on peut sauvegarder les restes mais je me sens mal quand il faut les jeter à l’école. Je devine que c’est pourquoi ils mangent pendant deux heures. Je pourrais finir tout mais je m’arrête après une demi-heure ; je n’ai pas envie d’attendre lorsque je mange. Une autre chose bizarre que j’ai remarqué : pour prendre du jus en France, il faut ajouter de l’eau à quelques gouttes du sirop aromatisé. Je n’ai jamais vu une telle chose aux États-Unis mais enfaite il me semble que c’est plus pratique parce qu’il nous permet d’aller au supermarché moins souvent pour acheter du jus. Surtout, j’aime bien la cuisine française et je ne crois pas que j’en aurai marre bientôt, donc je suis vraiment contente et reconnaissante d’être ici !

Photo credit: Moira L.

Photo credit: Moira L.

Simrat shares:

Today we had our first day in classes. Everyone was very sweet and I made some very good friends. What I found most amusing was the PE class. I was told by my host sister that they were doing gymnastics in class but little did I know they would be doing backflips around the room or making pyramids. It was wonderful and I had a very great time!!

Above are some pictures taken by our group over the last few days. We hope you enjoy!


Day 2: Wednesday’s Are Half Days!

Each day, students will share some aspect of their experience in France. Earlier, we heard from Lydia G. and Roanna Z. Below, you’ll hear from Annabel H and Chloe G.

Annabel shares:

After we finished the tour of the Lycée and our host sisters were finished with classes, many of us went with them to their sport. My host sister, Mathilde, rides horses. Because I also ride horses, I was very interested to see how french equitation compared and contrasted to what I grew up with in the US.

As I watched the lesson, I was confused at first because I am not familiar with many of the french words for horse-related things. However, as the lesson went on, I found that I was able to infer meaning based on my own experience. By the end of the lesson, I was able to see how similar it is to what I was been taught. It was a really fascinating experience to watch something I knew translate across culture and language but remain familiar.

Chloe shares:

Wednesday is a half day for the students at Lycée, and my host sister took me to the stores here. Luckily, today is the first day for the January promotion, and almost everything is on sale!

We also toured the school with Monsieur Février and learned that unlike us, each class consists of about 30 students. Their school is huge, and sometimes people don’t know each other’s names.

It is beautiful to walk among the streets in Rennes.

Day 2: Tour of Lycée Saint Martin

Today, students spent the morning with Monsieur Février learning about the history of the Lycée and better understanding what a day in the life of a student here looks like. Here is Lydia G. and Roanna Z.’s summary of the tour:

We’ve spent lots of time talking about the differences we’ve seen between the Lycée and Porter’s. Student have also engaged in conversation where they talk about the cultural difference that they’ve observed. There is lots to explore and lots to think about.

Sunrise in Rennes

As Lydia and Roanna shared, tomorrow they will participate in a full immersion day. They will attend four classes from 8am to 12pm and shadow a new French buddy. They will be the only Porter’s student in the classes they’ll visit so they will be fully immersed in either French, math, English, Spanish, geography, history, or PE classes for the morning. It should be a great day!

Day 1: Tour of Historic Rennes

Each day, 2-3 students will share an aspect of their time in Rennes with you. Today we will hear from Mary C., Dani. Z, and Carlyn K.

Mary and Dani share:

After our first night with our host families, we arrived at the Lycée for our first meeting as a class. After sharing some stories about out experiences during the night, we came to the conclusion that the French eat really big dinners. We all had a really nice time with our host families and enjoyed getting to know them. We then met with the principal of the Lycée and had hot chocolate and croissants. Afterwards, Monsieur Février, the teacher who is in charge of exchange programs, came to our class to explain some of the rules of the Lycée, as well as review french vocabulary about houses. After our lesson in the morning, we went to lunch. For lunch we had to wait in a line that went outside of the cafeteria in order to get our food. While we were walking over to it, the entire line of people stared at us.

Buildings in Old Rennes

Lunch was very different from lunch at Porter’s because there weren’t many options and you could only have a certain amount of each thing. After getting our food we were all a bit nervous when we realized that we would have to split up and eat with french students that we hadn’t met before. Our nerves calmed once we sat down and the students started to talk to us. When we were finished with lunch we went outside where we talked with our host sisters and other students. It was really funny because the large crowd of french students listened really intently to everything we said.

Group Picture in Old Rennes!

Carlyn shares:

This afternoon we took a tour of the Ville de Rennes. It was a chance for us girls to gain historical background to the place we’d call home for the next two weeks. It was a great commencement to our trip. A little jet lagged, but determined, we were able to see a good portion of this beautiful city. We even got to do a little bit of shopping before returning to our host sisters. This was a great first day and there are many more to come. Au revoir et bonsoir!

Carlyn’s taking it all in!

Carlyn’s street view