Earlier this year, students from La Petite Ecole, a Saturday school for French nationals based here in Leeds, travelled to Lille and Brussels to build partnerships and links with other supplementary schools. Today’s blog is written by some of the students who took part in the trip.
Lycée Hôtelier de Lille
Our first stop was the catering school, Le Lycée Hotelier, where we met French students training to be waiters and chefs. They taught us the differences between Russian, English and French style waiting. We were shown around the excellent facilities where the students train every day.
We were also able to chat with our French counterparts and compare their school system to our own here in Leeds. One interesting difference was that the French students are allowed to leave school whenever they please! We also weren’t aware that catering schools even existed in France but we were surprised to see how beautiful the dining hall was and it made us understand why French cuisine is so renowned across the globe!
We spoke to the students in French as it was the best way to communicate – it definitely made us realise how lucky we are to be bilingual.
Overall we very much enjoyed our trip to the catering school and we hope to now be able to forge more links with the students there.
Another place we visited was a charity called Singa. It helps support refugees in towns in France and across the world, such as Paris, Lille, Lyon and many others.
We talked with some of the organisers and learnt a great deal – for example we learnt that the country with the most refugees is Turkey. It was also interesting to learn about the difference between integration and inclusion and realised how important it is to support refugees to integrate into their country of arrival.
Trip to the Lille town hall and interview with Marie-Pierre Bresson
Our final stop was the beautiful town hall in Lille where we met with Marie-Pierre Bresson, elected member for International and European Affairs and Tourism for the town of Lille. We found the conversation very interesting and learnt about how one of her objectives is to reduce the number of cars travelling on roads and to create a more eco-friendly city.
We very much enjoyed our time in Leeds’ partner city of Lille. It’s a city which is enriched by its heritage, cuisine and art & music.
To conclude, the trip to Brussels and Lille was a great success. We would love to have another opportunity to travel and experience the same type of adventures. We think that to make the trip even more successful next year, we should forge more links with the Lycée Hotellier school and Singa charity.
In general, the visit definitely encouraged us to continue speaking two languages.
For more information about La Petite Ecole, click here.