French students win the opportunity of a lifetime


Photo by Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor, Sports Editor

An opportunity of a lifetime. Traveling across the world to the beautiful country of France. Living life like the French will be the life of five students this summer.

Hayley Harrison, Carter Hatton, Sydney Partin, Sarah James, and Sarah Kubican won a free trip to Normandy, France, this summer.

“I think it is so great for students to experience another culture first-hand,” said French teacher, Mrs. Kohler. “These students are not just going to be typical tourists. They are going to be staying with French students and their families.  They will eat at the family dinner table every night and experience French home life.  They will get to sit in on classes in our sister school. They will see another culture from a very different perspective than those who stand in line for the Eiffel Tower or walk down the Champs-Elysées.”

It all began when they entered a contest called the Freedom Prize. In order to enter the students had to nominate someone for the Freedom Prize; the students had to write five essays, draw pictures, and make a short video.

The students nominated motivational speaker, Manny Scott, who visits people to talk about what it’s like to get out of poverty. His life story was featured in the film, ‘Freedom Writers’ starring Hilary Swank.

Due to the school’s relationship with Lycée Sivard de Beaulieu High School, a sister school in Carentan, Normandy, the students were invited to attend the 75th Anniversary of D-Day events in Normandy because of their dedication on the project.

“The students who have taken part are changed for the better by experiencing the culture this way,” said Kohler. “It makes them more aware of the world around them for the rest of their lives. I think that is vitally important for everyone.”

The trip will be the first through the 12th of June 2019.  Including a homestay in Normandy with students from Sivard de Beaulieu High School, and then a few days in Paris before returning home.

“It is an eye-opening experience for students. When I took students on the same type of trip in 2014 and 2016, they thought they would like Paris most of all,” said Kohler. “The truth was, there were tears in every eye as these students left their counterparts in Normandy.  Carentan and Lyceée Sivard de Beaulieu High School became like home to these kids.”

Being presented with this trip has led the students through a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, and will offer the students the chance to immerse themselves in the French culture.

“I always think that everyone at some point in their life should go somewhere, do something, and expand their mind,” said Sarah Kubican. “So just being able to go somewhere and see how other people live, what all is out there, and the history behind it all means a lot.”

This expedition has granted some students with their first time ever traveling out of the country.

“This opportunity means the world to me because I intended on trying to go to the 2020 trip to Europe, but the cost was more than expected and being that close to college was not practical for me,” said Sydney Partin. “However, this opportunity arose in my French class and I couldn’t resist to not try to win. Now this trip is a reality.”