Vie Française

This morning we attended more classes with our students. The classes are run very differently here. At Urban, the classes are mostly discussion and activity based, while here the classrooms are more classic lecture and textbook types. The students sit at desks, rather than tables or groups so it seems to be less about collaboration. However, I do not think this hurts the students, because I was told there are many super smart kids who do well in school. Also, it is different to be in a much less technology-based school. At Urban we have easy access to computers and smartboards, and it is easy to forget that luxury. Lastly, I noticed that all the students write in cursive here – and with quite nice handwriting at that! I think that students are required to learn a certain style of handwriting early and then expected to use it in school.

– Michela

Lille has treated me very well so far! The classes are very interesting but so different than Urban classes. This morning, I had an English literature and philosophy class. In English Literature, the class is reading Hamlet, which I just read in my winter term at Urban! The class is totally in English so it is very easy to understand, except the teacher has a very strong Southern accent because he is from Alabama. The philosophy class is very interesting because it is a required class, unlike at Urban. The students are learning about the origins of justice and morality. I also am enjoying my time with my family a lot. Neither my host father nor mother speaks English, so I really have to practice my French with them. My exchange student lives outside of Lille so we take a bus to and from school everyday. My host family has been feeding me extremely well and it is interesting to see the differences between meals in France and America. We eat dinner a lot later than I do at home, especially because school ends at 5:30. Also all the dinners, I have had so far have had multiple courses, including cheese at the end!


I love Lille ! I am not fond of the weather, but the scenery and cute architecture makes up for it. My homestay family is extremely nice and has great hospitality. They feed me so much I’m probably going to gain weight. It’s so great. We have breakfast at 6 :30 am before school. That usually consists of pain au chocolat, bread and jam, fruit, coffee, juice, and tea ! During the weekend, my homestay family served me a three-course lunch ! And dinner of course, is a very big three-course meal. I’ve eaten plenty of bread, chocolate, and coffee. So far, I’ve had foie gras, bœuf bourguignon and I’m waiting to try escargots !



Teachers informal collaboration in the faculty lounge.


Students attending a course on European history with Mr Tellier - History teacher and former Head of School.

Students attending a course on European history with Mr Tellier – History teacher and former Head of School.

First day of school

Today was the first day of school with our exchange students and it was a great one. I started off with an English class where the students went over descriptive words and emotions. The main exercise consisted of writing a conversation with your mom about how you choose to not pursue a higher education after high school. At the end of the class the texts were read and the students showed very creative responses to the prompts. My second class was French history, which was slightly more chaotic at first but eventually calmed down. For lunch we got to go off campus and eat in Centre Lille. In the afternoon the students had one of the two, two hour tests that they have each week so we had a study hall in the library where we were able to read the books that were available or do the homework assigned for us over break.


Some visuals

The Virgin Mary in the middle of the courtyard.

The Virgin Mary in the middle of the courtyard.


Teachers taking a selfie in the faculty lounge!


Debbie hard at work.

Debbie hard at work.

We ran into some students coming back from their lunch break at a local café.

View of the school's chapel.

View of the school’s chapel.

View of the inner courtyard!

View of the inner courtyard!


The school's hallways

The school’s hallways

The Lycée!

Bonjour Families !

Everyone is well.
We are here at the Lycee. Arnaud and I saw the students (Urban) during their break and will see them again at lunchtime.
The faculty and staff have been very nice and personable.
We took a tour of the school.
It is a building of the 16th Century. Originally the building was a convent.
I love the building ! Some of the students stated the building reminds them of school building in Harry Potter. Looking forward to the trip to Bruges.

Debbie or Deborah as the French call me !


Bonjour la France!

After a long journey we finally made it to Lille. We were welcomed with hot chocolate and fresh pastries in the school’s cafeteria. Izzy commented that the “pain au chocolat” tastes so much better here! Then our students left with their host family ready for a hot shower and a nap!  They all have activities lined up for tomorrow/Sunday and Monday school starts at 8! More to come from our students then!


One of ours … I think!


Yea, an eiffel tower!