INDIAN LAKE - In November, Indian Lake Central School (ILCS) students traveled to France and learned from within a foreign culture. The seven day trip was sponsored by the ILCS French Club.
Alternating each year, students in Indian Lake have the opportunity to travel to Paris, France or Qu bec City, Canada. These trips are open to all students in grades 9-12 even if they are not currently enrolled in a French class.
Nineteen students made the trip to France this year. They were Jessica Bain, James Benton, Abigail Darling, Hank Evatt, Amanda Forsell, Karisa Giessen, Emma Gray, Morgan Hinckley, Sydney Hinckley, Allison LaPrairie, Zakari LeBlanc, Megan Miller, Zachary Mitchell, Allison Pine, Colleen Pine, Merrill Pine, Jenna Roblee, Vinnie Smith and Chelsea Walters. They were chaperoned by Lori Bennett, Peg Evatt, Joanna Pine, Tina Pine, Sandy Schmitt and Jane Hinckley.
The group traveled from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower to the Champs- lys es and many more in-between stops at French supermarkets and rides aboard a Bateau Mouche on the Seine river.
One of the most unique parts of the trip occurred when each of the students spent their evenings in pairs with a French family in the suburbs of Paris - Lisses, Bondoufle and Courcouronnes.
"The students always struggle the first night with communication in French with their French families," said chaperone Hinckley.
The students, however, generally responded very well to the families, according to Hinckley. They went out of their way to try new foods and take advantage of being immersed a totally foreign culture.
"All of the students enjoyed their family experience," she said.
When asked about their favorite parts of the trip, students excitedly replied: "shopping;" "the Eiffel Tower;" "the King's palace;" "Notre Dame;" "Montmartre;" "eating new foods" and "the French families."
This year's group was the largest to make the trip to France and marked Indian Lake's third year in Paris. They plan to continue the trips abroad on the current rotation plan. "We hope that every ILCS student has the opportunity to go on each trip if they'd like," said Hinckley.
These trips are not paid for by funds raised, instead each student saves their own funds - most starting a year in advance.
"This year's group was absolutely amazing," Hinckley said. "I am very proud of them for making travel a priority - this experience opens so many doors for them in terms of learning experiences, self-exploration, working together and college resumes."