Dear parents, guardians, family, and friends,
Our time in Saumur has come to end with a whirlwind of activities and preparations. Early this past week we had our final three classes, a guided tour of Saumur, and practiced for the farewell show. Yesterday students thanked host families for their warm welcome and put on a terrific show. Next Monday morning your sons and daughters will say their final (sure to be emotional) goodbye to their families and then we will head off to Paris for our three day excursion before returning to the USA. I’ve been asking students how they feel about their final days and I was met with many a resounding: “What! Only three more days in France for Paris? Let’s do another two weeks!”
As usual, here is a brief overview of the week that will be followed with details and pictures:
- Final Week of Classes (Monday-Wednesday)
- Guided Tour of Saumur (Monday)
- Farewell Show (Thursday-Friday)
Final Week of Classes
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday final classes were held at the Institution Saint-Louis. Students turned in their final projects for each class and their projects for the program magazine that we distributed to host families during the farewell show. That all sounds perhaps a bit dreary though and it wasn’t: as these pictures below can attest to the fact that students were rather amusing themselves this last week!
Guided Tour of Saumur
On Monday we had a terrific and energetic tour guide who met us at the Chateau of Saumur to give students a guided tour of the city. Students are already familiar with Saumur, but this tour helped to give them details and sights that they may have overlooked. During the tour we discussed the history of Saumur (a city, she explained, that in its early days was prone to flooding and attacks), saw a very old chapel for traveling knights, and climbed one of the city’s original tower defenses.
Since the start of the program instructors have been working with students to put on the farewell show for the host families: songs, sketches, theater pieces, and a magazine. In the first few weeks students selected the songs and plays that they wanted to perform and drafted sketches and articles. They’ve made a lot of progress in French since then and this last week they were prepared to give an entire show in French! On Thursday and Friday we spent the day practicing the performance (with a cookie/candy break of course!) and then gave the show from 8pm to 10pm on Friday evening. The students did a terrific job: they amused the families with their plays and sketches and touched their families with heartfelt song performances. At the end of the show there were more than a few tears shed when the students sang Toi + Moi (You + Me) and descended from the stage into the audience to hug and dance with family members.
I’d like to take a final moment to thank you all for checking out, supporting, and commenting on the blog. Your sons and daughters have grown a lot during their time in France and I’d like to thank you all for making their total immersion experience possible! It’s been a pleasure to work with your students and share their experiences – I look forward to posting pictures and details of our final excursion in Paris next week!