Last day at the Igloo

Thursday was the students’ last day at the Igloo. Friday was a holiday so they enjoyed the day off with their host families. We will be leaving Saint-Brieuc tomorrow (Sunday) at 07:00AM. We will arrive in Paris around 01:00PM, visit Versailles, and then go on a boat trip along the River Seine during the sunset!

Farewell Show

The students worked on various performances throughout the program to present the host families with their skills at the Farewell Show. They also made thank you notes and drawings and hung them up on the wall for all the families to see and grab as a souvenir.

Here are all the YouTube links to the performances (+pictures below)

01 “C’est la vie à Saint-Brieuc” (Anna, Belle, Sunshine)

 

02 “Ballade japonaise” (Squinn)

 

03 “Au guichet” (Erin, Meredith B., Morgan, Noah, Rahia, Sydney, Tommy, Virgil)

 

04 “Le carnaval de Venise” (Pierre)

 

05 “Nous resterions à Saint-Brieuc” (Camille, Danielle, Jackie, Kyra, Natalia, Squinn)

 

06 “Richard Clayderman” (Vivienne)

 

07 “Formidable” (Danielle, Meredith B.)

 

08 “Abécédaire, scène 1” (Camryn, Delaney, Tanner)

 

09 “Les sorciers et la baguette” (Alex, Sunshine, Virgil)

 

10 “J’avais rêvé d’une autre vie” (Megan)

 

11 “Abécédaire, scène 2” (Camryn, Delaney, Tanner)

 

12 “Praeludium et Allegro” (Noah)

 

13 “Look outside” (Erin)

 

14 “Abécédaire, scène 3” (Camryn, Delaney, Tanner)

 

15 “The Scientist” (Anna)

 

16 “Sign of the times” (Natalia)

 

17 “Abécédaire, scène 4” (Camryn, Delaney, Tanner, Sydney)

 

18 “5 minutes lates” (Anna)

 

19 “J’aime la France” (Michael, Pierre)

 

20 “Saint-Brieuc, Saint-Brieuc” (Alex, Megan, Meredith T., Story, Vivienne)

 

21 “Canon en D” (Tommy)

 

 

Newspaper article

Shortly after our visit to the Mayor’s office, an article was published in the local newspaper. It translates into the following (thank you, Jamie for the translation!)

” In light of the 55th anniversary of the creation of [IUHPFL], 27 students and four professors participating in an immersion program in France were received at city hall this Tuesday. In Saint-Brieuc from June 9th until July 20th, they have come to take courses in French, immerse themselves in the local culture, and enjoy everyday conversation with their host families, not to mention the requisite visits to nearby tourist destinations and other activates, such as shopping and other simple pleasures.

La Marseillaise sung

Tuesday, July 4th. The American Independence Day. How symbolic it was to have welcome Americans into this city where, in 1962, the very first immersion program began under the direction of Dr. Erling Hanson, which has been continuously renewed and developed ever since. There were two memorable moments during the reception: the words of thanks given by Belle [Shelby Hart] and Michael [Kulik] and the performance of La Marseillaise (led by Shannon Swann), followed by the American national anthem, which paid homage to the famous words spoken by Lieutenant-Colonel Stanton before the tomb of LaFayette in Picpus Cemetary in Paris: “LaFayette, here we are!”.

Shortly after our visit to the Mayor’s office, an article was published in the local newspaper. It translates into the following (thank you, Jamie, for the translation!)

” In light of the 55th anniversary of the creation of [IUHPFL], 27 students and four professors participating in an immersion program in France were received at city hall this Tuesday. In Saint-Brieuc from June 9th until July 20th, they have come to take courses in French, immerse themselves in the local culture, and enjoy everyday conversation with their host families, not to mention the requisite visits to nearby tourist destinations and other activates, such as shopping and other simple pleasures.

La Marseillaise sung

Tuesday, July 4th. The American Independence Day. How symbolic it was to have welcome Americans into this city where, in 1962, the very first immersion program began under the direction of Dr. Erling Hanson, which has been continuously renewed and developed ever since. There were two memorable moments during the reception: the words of thanks given by Belle [Shelby Hart] and Michael [Kulik] and the performance of La Marseillaise (led by Shannon Swann), followed by the American national anthem, which paid homage to the famous words spoken by Lieutenant-Colonel Stanton before the tomb of LaFayette in Picpus Cemetary in Paris: “LaFayette, here we are!”.

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Shortly after our visit to the Mayor’s office, an article was published in the local newspaper. It translates into the following (thank you, Jamie for the translation!)

” In light of the 55th anniversary of the creation of [IUHPFL], 27 students and four professors participating in an immersion program in France were received at city hall this Tuesday. In Saint-Brieuc from June 9th until July 20th, they have come to take courses in French, immerse themselves in the local culture, and enjoy everyday conversation with their host families, not to mention the requisite visits to nearby tourist destinations and other activates, such as shopping and other simple pleasures.

La Marseillaise sung

Tuesday, July 4th. The American Independence Day. How symbolic it was to have welcome Americans into this city where, in 1962, the very first immersion program began under the direction of Dr. Erling Hanson, which has been continuously renewed and developed ever since. There were two memorable moments during the reception: the words of thanks given by Belle [Shelby Hart] and Michael [Kulik] and the performance of La Marseillaise (led by Shannon Swann), followed by the American national anthem, which paid homage to the famous words spoken by Lieutenant-Colonel Stanton before the tomb of LaFayette in Picpus Cemetary in Paris: “LaFayette, here we are!”.

July 4 – Reception at the Mayor’s office

To celebrate the Fourth of July, we went to the Mayor’s office in Saint-Brieuc. Two of our students, Belle and Michael, gave a speech in French to thank the city of Saint-Brieuc for the wonderful 55 years the program has been welcomed here. Then all the students sang both the French and the American national anthems (see videos below). Later, they enjoyed apéritif with their host families.

Belle and Michael’s speech — https://youtu.be/8xQBVMP0Kk4

The French national anthem — https://youtu.be/eFngkPxrKEk

The American national anthem — https://youtu.be/YjZMM6DXCG4

Excursion 3: Normandy – DAY 2

Arromanches

On the second day, we had breakfast at the hostel and left around 09:00am. We first stopped in Arromanches, just a few miles away from where we were staying. We could see what was left of one of the portable harbors (the Mulberry harbors) developed by the British to facilitate the rapid offloading of cargo onto the beaches.

 

American National Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer

After Arromanches, we went to Omaha Beach where one of the American National Cemeteries is located. Omaha Beach is one of the many beaches that were part of the D-Day landings that took place on June 6 1944. Those landings were the most vital part of the greater Operation Overlord to liberate France and more generally Europe from years of German military occupation. The Allies had divided the 60-mile coastal stretch chosen for the invasion in Normandy into five sectors, codenamed Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha (in the city of Colleville-sur-Mer) and Utah. British forces landed at Sword and Gold, while Canadians landed at Juno. American forces landed at Omaha and Utah. Our visit at Omaha Beach and the cemetery was very solemn. The students seemed well-aware and well-informed about what had happened there. On June 6 1944 alone, 3,686 American soldiers died on Omaha beach. A lot of them were our students’ age. In the gallery below, I included one picture taken that day during the landing at Omaha. Right on top of the cliff that overlooks the beach lays the American military cemetery where about 10,000 American soldiers who died throughout the two-month long battle are buried.

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The Caen Memorial

The Caen memorial is a museum dedicated to the history of violence and intensive, outstanding conflict in the 20th century and particularly World War II. The museum was officially opened on June 6 1988 (the 44th anniversary of D-Day) by the French President François Mitterrand. It deals primarily with World War II, looking at the causes and course of the conflict. We let the students wander around the museum for a couple of hours after a picnic at the United States Armed Forces Memorial Garden on the museum’s grounds.

Excursion 3: Normandy – DAY 1

Le Mont Saint-Michel

On Thursday, we left Saint-Brieuc at 07:30AM with our private coach bus to go to Normandy. We first stopped after 2 hours to visit the Mont Saint-Michel. Mont Saint-Michel is a tiny village on a hill by the sea with a large abbey sitting at its top. It’s partly famous for its inaccessibility come high tide. The Mont Saint-Michel area has one of highest tides in the world! At high tide, the water completely surrounds the hill and covers the only access road. The road on which I took the group picture is partially submerged for several hours a day! When the tide is at its lowest, the sea is barely visible on the horizon (it withdraws about 7 miles!) We climbed the very narrow streets and stairs up to the abbey before walking down into the village to wander in the tiny souvenir shops.

Sainte-Mère-Eglise

On June 6 1944 (also referred to as D-Day), American, British, and Canadian soldiers landed on several beaches in Normandy to liberate France from German occupation. A small town, called Sainte-Mère-Eglise, is claimed to be one of the first towns to have been liberated that day. The early landings on the town resulted in heavy casualties for the paratroopers. Some buildings in town were on fire that night, and they illuminated the sky, making easy targets of the descending men. Some were sucked into the fire. Many hanging from trees and utility poles were shot before they could cut loose. A well-known incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. The incident was portrayed in the movie The Longest Day by actor Red Buttons. Today, the replica of his parachute and a mannequin are still hanging from the top of the church, to remember the landings.

Pointe du Hoc

The Pointe du Hoc is a 100-feet high cliff. During World War II it was the highest point between Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east. The German army fortified the area with concrete casements and gun pits. On D-Day, the United States Army Ranger Assault Group assaulted and captured Pointe du Hoc after scaling the cliffs. What I think impressed the students the most were the hundreds of holes left after the impacts of explosive shells.

Bayeux

Bayeux is a town that is home to a beautiful cathedral, as well as to the famous Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth that’s 230-feet long and only 20-inches high. It was made in the 1070’s!! Almost a thousand years ago! It depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror. It consists of some 50 scenes that explain the story of the conquest. For that reason, the tapestry is often referred to as the oldest known comic book. All the students got an audio guide (they could choose between French and simplified French for kids). All of them went with kids’ French and understood (almost) everything! 🙂 The audio guide explained each scene as the students moved along the 230 feet of tapestry which was displayed behind glass in a dark room (so that the light wouldn’t damage it). Pictures were forbidden. I took the first picture below (the one of the tapestry) from Google. On the second floor there was a museum with many interesting things (a model vessel, an electronic and interactive version of the tapestry, a movie theater, etc.) to learn more about what happened between the kingdom of France and the kingdom of England during the 11th century.

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The hostel

We stayed in a hostel in Ver-sur-Mer, by Gold Beach (British landings). The rooms could accommodate from 3 to 5 students, who enjoyed being able to spend the night with their friends.