Lee’s Summit Across The Atlantic

Story by Talon Cleveland – Staff Reporter

 Every year French students of LSR7 travel to France to experience the culture in person. Last year, Nicole Morris, French teacher at LSN, was in charge of planning and making sure the trip was executed smoothly. 

   “We started in Bordeaux, that’s our sister school. Then we went to a couple of cities that were part of the Holy Roman Empire, so there’s the Palace de Pap, the old Roman aqueducts, we saw the mountains in Essex, and we ended in Paris,” Nicole Morris, French teacher, said. 

   A total of 13 people were on the trip last year, 11 students and two staff. If you want to go on the trip next year don’t plan on going to the Roman cities. That was a one-time thing, a special gift from Morris. If you are going next year, make sure you meet the requirements before booking a ticket. 

   “It used to be French ll, but we bumped it up to French lll last year because some students were kinda struggling with communication with their host families,” Morris said. 

   Having the thirst to learn French is definitely an important quality when traveling to a French-speaking country. The need to experience different cultures is something that can not be satiated until being familiar with it in person.  

   “I want to learn more because I want to be able to communicate with more people, and I’d also like to go back to France,” Jaiden Maltbia, senior, said.  

   Having a second language in your back pocket is never a bad thing. Having the chance to hear and learn a language in its origin is a rare opportunity and it should not be passed by. Anybody wanting to learn true French needs to consider this trip. 

   “The goal is to learn the language and actually hear French. And to communicate with the people from around the world. When they stay with the families they learn what they do in their freetime, and they eat. Really just making those connections,” Morris said. 

   Learning about a different country’s way of life is one of the most fascinating things. France is a country on the other side of the world, there are very few things that we do the same because of the distance in our cultures. 

   “The French are more laid back then we are. For example, they wear the same outfits more often but they have fancier outfits, if that makes sense. They go to school in basically ball gowns. They dress up but they repeat a lot,” Maltbia said. 

   Experiencing and learning about French culture is an important part of this trip, but so is having fun. 

   “I had eleven sweet girls, it’s just fun when they see the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Just having that experience and traveling with the students. We just had a really great group and it was fun to spend time with them,” Morris said. 

   If you are going on this trip, do not restrict yourself on the experiences coming your way. Be an open book and try to soak in as much as you can, because you never know when an opportunity like this will arise again. 

   “Try to learn as much French as possible and get out of your comfort zone. Don’t just hang around Americans, and actually go around the French people. Because then you will get to learn more and experience more,” Maltbia said. 

   The best thing you can do is try to make relationships with those foreign people because that could lead to possible connections in the future. You never know, one of those people you talk to could be the love of your life or an amazing pen pal. The only way to ensure a great future is to make it yourself.


Photo courtesy of Nicole Morris