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Bronxville Union Free School District

Bronxville School Families Create Bonds with French Exchange Students

The Bronxville School hosted 18 students and two teachers from France, from Oct. 11-22, as part of an exchange program that encourages cross-cultural experiences and immerses students into the history, culture and customs of others.

A number of Bronxville families hosted the exchange students in their homes and planned group activities during their stay, some of which included visits to the Statue of Liberty, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the Empire State Building, Times Square and a tour of the United Nations. While in school, Bronxville High School students welcomed their guests into the school culture and the French students taught the younger students about their country’s geography, food, fashion and culture.

“It’s an eye-opening experience that fully encompasses the Bronxville Promise as our students learn to be engaged citizens of the world, think critically and step up to a leadership role,” said Toby Gillen, a middle school and high school French teacher who has been organizing the exchange program for the last decade.

During their visit, the exchange students taught seventh-graders how to make crêpes, tasted French cheese with students from the middle school’s French Club and explored French fashion with a group of eighth-graders. In addition, they taught a geography lesson to third-graders who are studying different countries around the world. At the high school, the French students discussed with their hosts the differences between an American and French high school experience and college application process and created a journal about their trip in Courtney Alan’s art class.

As part of the exchange program, a group of Bronxville High School students will travel to France at the end of March where they will stay with host families for 10 days in Caen and four days in Paris.

“Bronxville students will visit a high school while in France and learn about their academic experiences,” Gillen said. “Our students are much more motivated to speak French in class since they know they will need it when they go to France.”

Some of the sites the students are expected to visit include Omaha Beach, the WWII Memorial in Caen, Mont Saint Michel, Château de Caen, as well as a guided tour of The Louvre and Palace of Versailles. They will also take a French cooking class and tour many of the classic Paris monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, the Arc de Triomphe and more.

  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image