Final Travel Journal

Bonsoir !

I can’t believe the time has come to write the final travel journal for France August. It’s been an intense, emotional, and exhilarating experience!

The anticipation to write exams was high, but we took a well-deserved break to order in some Thai food and enjoy an ice cream sundae bar! We even celebrated a 16th birthday—when in France, right?!

student holding up birthday dessert

As we all sat together enjoying our food, I couldn’t help but notice how much closer everyone was than they were during our first few days in Aix en Provence. The first few days were full of nerves and uneasiness as the group began to make friends, but now it seems as though it could have been years ago that everyone met for the first time!

I hadn’t really divulged too many details to the group about where we were going for our final banquet, and I can definitely say that they were not expecting what they saw when we pulled up to the Château Chantilly! They finally understood why they had to get all dressed up—the photo ops were incredible!

Group photo outside Château Chantilly

Dinner at the Château was the perfect end to an unforgettable trip around France. Not only was our food absolutely delicious, but we got to have a nice moment as a group to share our fondest memories and for the teachers to hand out awards based on funny and memorable inside jokes that the classes shared along the way. There was laughter and most definitely a lot of tears as everyone came to the realization that it was almost time to say goodbye!

students holding up awards

To all France August students: keep being as funny, kind, compassionate, and adventurous as you were during this trip. These qualities will take you SO far in your education and in your career. Keep travelling and taking any opportunity you can to study and work abroad, because it will allow you to constantly see and understand different perspectives and make you a more well-rounded person. Most of all, be ever-thankful for these experiences and never take them for granted (in short, thank your parents)!

To the staff who worked tirelessly to make this trip the best it could be: I am forever indebted to you. I cannot think of a better, more dedicated group of educators to enjoy this experience with and I hope you get lots and lots of sleep in the coming days!

It was my honour and privilege to spend the last month with this group to share my love for my favourite country. I hope that you have gained as many life lessons and shared as many unforgettable memories as I did the first time I visited France.

All the best in the future (like you’ll need it)!

Gillian
Program Manager

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