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 The Adventure of a Lifetime

Xavier Catholic College Senior French students have just returned from a trip of a lifetime. On April 2, 15 students and four staff from the college embarked on a much awaited whirlwind tour of France, a tour that had been 18 months in the planning.

After landing in Nice, the group set out to explore this amazing Mediterranean city in the heart of the French Riviera with its long promenades, pebbly beaches and charming markets. In the three days allocated to this area, the students were treated to a visit to Monte Carlo to tour the grounds of the Grimaldi royal palace, witness the changing of the guards and walk the Grand Prix strip. Next on the agenda was a trip to Cannes, to view the Palace of Festivals where the annual Cannes film festival awards are held and to search for the handprints of their famous actors on the celebrated boulevard, la Croisette. The little town of Antibes was also a highlight of the tour with many students opting to visit the celebrated Picasso museum.  

The second phase of the tour was spent in Avignon, north of Nice, with students spending five days in home stay with families from the college’s sister school, Lycée, Saint Joseph, a fellow Jesuit school.  During this time, there were daily excursions to neighbouring attractions such as the Pont du Gard (an ancient Roman aqueduct), the Haribo Lolly Factory and even a visit to an authentic amphitheatre to watch and participate in a gladiator show.

After a tearful farewell to homestay families, the group took off on the TGV (a train travelling 360 km per hour) for the last phase of their adventure to the city of light, Paris. The pace was fast and furious as the aim was to see as much as possible in the few days remaining. The programme here featured visits to Notre Dame, the basilica of the Sacré Coeur and the Place du Tertre (for a feast of frogs legs), the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysées, the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre in addition to a visit to Euro Disney. The tour of the battlefields of the Somme on the eve of the 100th anniversary celebrations was one of the highlights of our tour. We again give many thanks to the Hervey Bay RSL for their generous donation enabling us to include this very special tour as part of our itinerary. 

This trip was an adventure of a lifetime which provided students with many and varied opportunities to use their language skills in the ultimate authentic setting. As one student put it, ‘this is just like a giant classroom.’ ”

It was a pleasure to accompany such a motivated, enthusiastic and well-behaved group on tour. They were truly outstanding ambassadors for our school. Many, many thanks must go to the accompanying staff, Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Kerry Swann for their patience, support and the sheer hard work they put into making this tour such a memorable time for all involved.  


Loretta Swann – Director – Humanities/Arts/LOTE      

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