October half term saw Hamptonians enjoy a number of overseas trips, Alex Fagan and Oscar Leonov report on the French trip to Nice:

After a short flight, 14 of Hampton’s GCSE and A Level French pupils arrived in Nice, ready for five days’ immersion in the Southern French city’s culture and language. On Sunday evening, we met our host families with whom we would spend our mornings and evenings for the next week, experiencing real-life conversations with locals and sampling classic Niçoise cuisine.

Every morning, we would gather at the Alpha-B Language School for a formal learning experience with French teachers. The Fifth Years improved their oral and written skills whilst also learning more colloquial French, including the “hip” practice of “verlan”. Sixth Form pupils were stretched in classes including adults from across Europe, helping them to push the limits of their understanding of the language.

Each afternoon, we participated in activities that introduced us to the culture and sights of Nice and its surrounding areas. These included a walking tour of “Vieux Nice” (Nice’s old town) and a visit to the world-famous ice cream parlour, Fenocchio Glacier, with some of the more adventurous pupils trying watermelon and cactus sorbets. We also visited the opulent city-state of Monaco and its Oceanographic Museum, which is built into a sheer cliff face and houses over 4,000 marine animal specimens, as well as the Matisse Museum, where we saw some of the fauvist painter’s most famous works and learned about the stories behind his art.

On our penultimate afternoon we enjoyed a boat trip from Nice’s port to neighbouring town Villefranche. One highlight was listening to the guide point out houses of the celebrities who live on the Côte D’Azur, including Elton John, although sadly we can’t report any sightings of the celebs themselves.

Fifth Year, Joseph Castelino, felt he dramatically improved his French whilst enjoying many world famous sights: 

My favourite part of the trip was going to Monaco, because I got to see Formula One’s most famous racing circuit while practising my French.

 Thank you to Miss Byrne and Miss O’Connor for organising such a fantastic trip.

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