France: Language and Culture

This four-week trip offers French language students the opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture through travel and a three-week homestay. The trip will begin in Normandy where signs of the longstanding French/American alliance surround us. We will then move to Paris to visit the famous monuments of the City of Light. On our way from Paris to Tours we will enjoy time in Monet’s magnificent garden at Giverny. Finally, a three-week homestay in the small city of Tours will provide students the chance to improve their French and make lifelong friendships.

In Tours, students will hone their language skills through daily classes with Terre des Langues, our partner in Tours, and through afternoon cultural activities and site visits. Students will also travel on day-trips and afternoon excursions, such as a visit to the magnificent chateaux of the Loire Valley, learn about making cheese, and take a boat ride and picnic on the Loire river. They will also have an entire weekend with their homestay family, where travel away from Tours may be possible (with advance permission from the faculty leaders). Students will return to Deerfield with increased command of the french language, and a deepened understanding of culture, grounded in connections made to a family in France.

This trip is open to current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students who are currently enrolled in French II or above and who plan to continue to study French at Deerfield after our return.

To apply for this program, students should complete the online application by October 29. Financial aid will be available on a limited basis with priority given to students who have not previously received aid for a Deerfield trip.

Proposed Itinerary:*

June 1-2: Travel from Boston to Paris

June 3-5: Normandy

  • Visit to WWII Museum
  • American and German WWII Cemeteries

***This portion of the trip will be unplugged***

June 6 -8: Paris

  • Musée D’Orsay
  • Le Louvre
  • Eiffel Tower
  • A boat ride down the Seine at night
  • Dining, shopping, and ample time to study the beauty and architecture of the “City of Light”

June 9-June 30: Tours Homestay

  • Three-week homestay in Tours
  • Morning language classes Terre des Langues Language School
  • Afternoon explorations of Tours and surrounding sites such as the castle of Chenonceau
  • Visit goat farm and learn about cheese making

June 30: Travel from Paris to Boston

*This itinerary is subject to change

Program Notes:

  • Please note: This trip conflicts with the June 8 ACT and may conflict with the June 1 SAT (depending on flight schedules)
  • Students must commit to using French as their primary language of communication for the duration of the trip.
  • Please be aware that several segments of the trip will be unplugged, as we bond as a group and with our homestay families. Limited electronic devices, such as a “dumb phone,” will be provided and permitted but access to other electronic devices and internet will be limited.
  • Students will stay in hotels while traveling, and in the home of a host family. During the homestay, the majority of meals will be prepared by and shared with the homestay family.
  • Students and faculty leaders will update families and friends at home through our Notes from Abroad blog. Check out previous posts for a better understanding of the travel experience.
  • Families are responsible for transporting their students from U.S.-based airport to their home destination for the summer.

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