One month away from home. One month without family. One month without friends. One month without familiarity. One month in a foreign country.
Living in a foreign country with a foreign family is a unique adventure. With a new family, one learns responsibility, independence, and most importantly: empathy. One gains the ability to see the world through not only another person's perspective, but through another country's perspective.
One also grows in maturity. One gains respect for another's experiences and learns to relate. Living in France for 1 month has been a life changing, eye opening experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.
So many lasting memories have been made this month with the students interacting with their host families. Students enjoyed teaching their host families American traditions, like making « s’mores », almost as much as the French families enjoyed sharing and teaching French traditions and cultural differences with the students. A common denominator with the SLduVar students is their appreciation for the opportunity to totally immerse themselves with their host families saying: « It is the best part of the Abbey Road experience! »
Karaoke night was a hit; not only for the singing, dancing and laughing with lots of giggles, but for the comraderie made getting to know the other “teens” in the SLduVar group. The students truly got out of their comfort zones by singing in front of a lot of strangers: fellow American students as well as other locale French persons. It was so cute to hear the very American song “I am Sixteen going on Seventeen” from the musical “The Sound of Music”. Almost as amusing as hearing the students practicing their French by singing: “Liberé, Delivré” from the movie “La Reine des Neiges!”
One of the tiniest villages in France – a minuscule 0.95 square kilometres – Beaulieu-sur-Mer is nestled in a curve protected by tall, grey slabs of the rocky foothills. The town became independent from Villefranche-sur-Mer in 1891, which was when the term Berlugan (from Beaulieu) was coined.
Across from the Mediterranean, there’s a sprawling grassy park with a century-old olive grove where summer concerts are held. At the eastern edge of town, next to the yacht-clogged little port and a row of restaurants, is another hot spot, La Petite Afrique – Beaulieu’s mini-stretch of coast and a palm-shaded beach – which boasts a microclimate several degrees warmer than its neighbours. According to local lore, it was here that the first banana tree was planted in Europe.
Today, the entire St. Laurent-du-Var group visits Beaulieu. The Photography and drawing elective group had the opportunity of visiting Beaulieu when we went to the Villa Kerylos.
The Villa Kerylos is a structure on a low rocky promontory by the sea. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century by the archeologist Théodore Reinach and is in the style of an ancient Greek villa at the time of Pericles. The Villa was bequeathed to the Institute of France in 1928. It is currently classified as a historical monument.
Saint-Tropez; Sant-Troupès in Provençal dialect;is a town on the French Riviera, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Nice in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of Southeastern France. The inhabitants of Saint-Tropez are called Tropéziens; the town is familiarly called St-Trop.
Saint-Tropez was a military stronghold and fishing village until the beginning of the 20th century. It was the first town on this coast to be liberated during World War II as part of Operation Dragoon. After the war, it became an internationally known seaside resort, renowned principally because of the influx of artists of the French New Wave in cinema and the Yé-yé movement in music. It later became a resort for the European and American jet set and tourists.
The Gare du Sud is a former French railway station located in the Libération quarter of the city of Nice in south-east France. The station was the terminus of the metre gauge railway of the Chemins de Fer de Provence rail company which links Nice to Digne-les-Bains in the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
What better place to have Abbey Road photography students explore and discover the beauty of the old architecture with modern day renovations.
As we say our goodbyes to Lexi, Cora, Shira, Addie, Maddie and Grace we can only give a big “Thank You” to Abbey Road for making these lasting friendships so precious. We say “Adieu” until we meet again!
It’s magical to see the students totally immersing themselves with host family members; feeling like they are a part of a special culture and community. Evenings are being spent out at the beach locales, or in host family homes enjoying dinners followed by lots of laughter. French is being spoken the entire time. Conversation like this does not exist in textbooks. Welcome to the real French lifestyle!
Classroom studies are not just about conjugating verbs correctly. We at Abbey Road like to immerse our students into the important things of the French people. Their love for gastronomie is at the top of the list.