Saturday, July 18, 2015

Last Week in Saint-Brieuc!!

Wow this last week in Saint-Brieuc flew by. And it was a busy one.  The week started off with a holiday.  Tuesday, July 14 is the French National Holiday, similar to our 4th of July celebration.  We cancelled classes Monday so that students could spend the long weekend with their host families.   The holiday finished up in Saint-Brieuc with a dance party in the middle of town and fireworks, but the students participated in all sorts of different activities with their families.

Wednesday we had our guided tour of Saint-Brieuc.  Why so late?  After 6 weeks in town, the students now know the town well enough and can understand enough spoken French to take in all of the historical details that our guide from the Tourism Office provided.  We learned about the medieval history of the city as well as many of the modern developments.  Pictures from the guided tour of the city can be found at the link below:

Guided Tour of Saint-Brieuc

After the tour, everyone quickly changed their clothes as we finally had our official reception at the Mairie (City Hall).  Below is a photo of everyone in front of the Mairie.

During the reception, Brigitte, our Onsite Coordinator and the Adjunct Mayor for Education welcomed the students and their host families.  After a brief introduction from me (Alisha), Anna Kluender and Quinn Gordon both gave speeches on behalf of the students, thanking the host families and the city of Saint-Brieuc for hostimg them this summer.  Both were phenomenal.  The speeches were followed by a reception with light refreshments.  Pictures from the Mayor's reception can be found at the link below.

Mayor's Reception

Friday morning, we held the Défilé de Mode (Fashion Show) as the last part of the Culture class.  The students showed off their new fashion acquisitions from the Soldes this summer.  Pictures from the Défilé de Mode can be found at the link below.

Défilé de Mode

We finished up the week with our Farewell Show Friday evening.  Five weeks of work in theater and choir culminated in several excellent performances.  The students in choir wrote and choreographed their own songs and the students in theater performed two plays. Many musicians and singers also performed individually.  Overall it was a great success and the students were able to display their enormous talent.  Everyone was very impressed.  Photos from the show can be found at the link below.

Farewell Show

Tuesday we head to Paris, and then three days later back to the USA.  My how time flies!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Our Last Excursion in Brittany

Wednesday, July 8 we had our last excursion in Brittany.  First stop on the list was Cap Fréhel, where we spent an hour taking in the breathtaking landscape and marveling at the power of the sea.  Before exploring the coastline, we took a picture in front of the lighthouse (or "phare" in French).  Take a look at a picture of the whole group:

After exploring the Cap, we hopped back on the bus to head to Fort-la-Latte, a Château Fort located on the coast about 15 minutes drive from Cap Fréhel.  The students explored the donjon, the oubliettes and the grounds of the castle.  Below is a photo of the group before entering the Château.

After touring Fort-la-Latte, we ate our lunch following a brief misty rain and reboarded the bus to head to Cap d'Erquy, where we hiked 1.7 kilometers to the coastline while singing songs from our afternoon choir activity and this.

We only spent a few minutes taking photos at this Cap before it was time to hike back to the bus for the next stop on our excursion.  We briefly stopped in front of the Château de Bienassis where we took a group photo and saw the only filled moat that I have ever seen around a French château.  Check out our group photo below!

Our final stop on this excursion was the Abbaye de Beauport, a thirteenth-century coastel Abbey about thirty minutes drive from Saint-Brieuc. Some students explored the grounds of the abbey on their own while others followed the one hour guided tour.  Below is a picture of the group in front of the abbey after our visit.

Before leaving the Abbey, we celebrated the birthday of Chris Metzger.  We also celebrated the birthday of Rachel Linville on Monday afternoon. Pictures from the birthday celebrations have been added to the Birthdays folder below:


We also had our last dessert exposition by the ROUGES group on Monday.  These photos can be found at the link below:

Desserts - Rouges

Finally, pictures from the entire excursion can be found at the links below:

Cap Fréhel and Cap d'Erquy

Fort-la-Latte and Château de Bienassis

L'Abbaye de Beauport

Next week is our last full week in Saint-Brieuc.  Stay tuned next weekend for an update about our guided tour of Saint-Brieuc, our reception at City Hall and our Farewell Show!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Normandy and such

What a week!  We had our two day excursion to Normandy Thursday and Friday, and it was an awesome trip.  We started out Thursday morning with Le Mont Saint-Michel where we visited the Abbey at its peak and Sarah Kay gave an amazing guided tour.  Take a look at a picture of the group below:

Le Mont Saint-Michel

Afterwards we made our way to the city of Bayeux where we visited the museum and viewed the famous Bayeux Tapestry.  The tapestry itself is history as it has survived for centuries, but the story it tells of events important to the Norman conquest is also intricately depicted in hand-stiched scenes, that runs a total of 230 feet long.

Our final stop on day 1 of the excursion was La Pointe du Hoc, which was our first stop on our World War II part of the excursion.  It's really striking to see the effects of history, still present today, the craters left by bombs, and remains of German bunkers. 

We finished up day 1 at a hostel in Lion-sur-mer.  After dinner we walked the two minutes to the beach and played soccer and frisbee until the tide came in.  Some students even went for a dip.

Day 2 of the excursion started bright and early with breakfast at the hostel at 8am.  We then climbed back on the bus to make our way to the Caen Memorial, a museum dedicated to World War II history and its effect on our world. 

Le Mémorial de Caen
After lunch at the museum, we headed to the American Cemetery, first hiking down to Omaha Beach.  We had watched a film at the Caen Memorial which depicted the debarkment on D-Day at the beaches on the coast of France. Standing there looking at the same waves and sand that were once the site of an intense battle and where many lives were lost, was incredibly moving.

Following some time on the beach, we climbed back up to the cemetery, where the students visited at their own leisure.  At one point you could hear bells chiming that sang out the Star-Spangled Banner.  It was a touching experience.

Our last stop on this excursion was the German Cemetery.  The contrast between the two World War II cemeteries was striking.  While both had a somber tone, the German cemetery was much darker and simpler, with flat headstones, while those at the American Cemetery were upright and bright white, much like at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.  Both cemeteries were a stark reminder however of the number of lives lost, and the price that humanity paid during this war.

Photos from our excursion in Normandy can be found at the link below.


Earlier in the week, we celebrated the birthday of Abby Jones and we tasted delicious desserts made by the Blanc group.  Photos from the birthday celebration have been added to the birthday folder at the link below.


And photos from the desserts can be found here:


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Excursion #1 and Breton Dancing!!

Friday,  June 19 we had our first excursion to the cities of Dinan, Dinard and Saint-Malo.  In Dinan, our first stop was the Place de Duguesclin where we admired the statue of Bertrand de Duguesclin who defended the city of Dinan from the Normands in the 14th century.  We then made our way over to the Saint Sauveur Basilica where his heart is interred.

The Statue of Bertrand du Duguesclin

After the visiting the Basilica, we hustled our way over to the Château of Dinan for a personalized guided visit.  We visited the crypt, the tower of the Duchesse Anne and other parts of the château used for defending the city from invaders and also from a potential revolt from its residents.

Following our visit of the château, we took a scenic walk across the ramparts of the ancient walled city and eventually made our way down a cobble-stoned street lined with Timber-framed houses from the Middle Ages to the port of Dinan to meet our bus.

The Chateau of Dinan
Our visit continued with our next stop in the small city of Dinard for lunch on the beach.  The city has been a hot spot for English tourists for decades, as well as some notable celebrities.  It's biggest claim to fame is being the possible inspiration for the Alfred Hitchcock films "Pyscho" and "The Birds".  The students frolicked on the beach and enjoyed the sun after finishing their lunch. And staying true to its legendary history, more than one student lost a snack or a half of a sandwich to the seagulls perched nearby observing inattentive tourists.

After lunch, ice cream and the beach, we climbed back on the bus to head to the walled port city of Saint-Malo.  We strolled along the ramparts and enjoyed the seaside view and the fresh ocean breeze. We lucked out on this trip and arrived during low tide, and were thus able to make our way over to Grand Bey Island  where the tomb of the 18th century French writer Chateaubriand is located.

Below you'll see a picture of the students in front of a statue of Jacques Cartier, who was a Breton explorer known for his discovery and claim of Canada for France.  We finished up our trip to Saint-Malo with some shopping and ice cream at the delicious Sanchez Artisan Glacier in the center of town.

The Statue of Jacques Cartier
Pictures from this excursion can be found at the links below:

Monday, June 22, we tasted some homemade French desserts prepared by students in the Blue group and their host families.  As you can tell from the photos in the link below, they were delicious.  :)

Wednesday, June 24 we had our Soirée Danse Bretonne where we welcomed a group of traditional Breton Dancers who played traditional Breton folk music and taught the dances to the students and their host families.  Everyone danced and danced and danced for nearly two hours.  Many a dancer was left with worn out pinkie fingers and calves by the end of the night, but with big smiles across their faces.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Almost Two Weeks in and whilrwind of birthdays!!!

 It's been quite the week!  So much has happened and there's still so much yet to come!

First off, in the past week we celebrated the birthdays of Brahm, Grace M., Morgan, Bailey and Nathalie.  The stagiaires celebrated with fake champagne and Orangina while snacking on all sorts of delicious cookies and treats.  Pictures from all of the birthday celebrations can be found at the link below.


On our orientation day, the students had the opportunity to repeat an activity that we had done during orientation in the Bloomington.  Each student presented their partner, sharing their goals for the summer and important things about themselves.  Pictures of all of the students can be found at the link below.

All About Me Poster Sharing

We got off to a great start with our first day of classes and the stagiaires are now fully immersed in the francophone world from all sides.  You can take a peek inside some of the classrooms in the photos below.

On Friday we had our first group optional activity. Everyone went bowling and had a blast.   All of the stagiaires played better than the profs.  Pictures from bowling can be found at the following link.


Tomorrow we have our first excursion and next Wednesday we'll be welcoming Breton dancers to teach everyone about traditional Breton culture.  Stay tuned for more photos after those two events next week!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A long day of traveling

After two flights and a bus ride, we have finally arrived in Saint-Brieuc.  The flight across the pond was long, but smooth.  Heathrow airport was a bit of a maze, but we made it through together with plenty of time to relax in between the flights.  And the last flight was just a hop, skip and a jump across the English Channel.  We quickly found Sarah Kay and Jamie upon arriving in Paris, and our bus driver was even early to meet us.  It was a challenge to load all of those suitcases under the bus, but luckily they all fit. AND no luggage was lost en route!   By the time we got on the bus, everyone was exhausted and fell right asleep.  The proof is in the picture  :)

They all groggily greeted their host families when we finally arrived in Saint-Brieuc at 8:30pm (earlier than expected) and jumped head first into their French immersion.
Today the stagiaires rested up at their host family's home and tomorrow we have our first day.  We're getting off to a running start already!  More news to come as program activities get underway. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Meet the Instructors!

From Left: Jamie, Martin, Sarah Kay, Alisha

Sarah Kay Hurst is delighted to be a returning Instructor for the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages in Saint-Brieuc for the summer of 2015! She is extremely pleased to be the Grammar for Communicative Purposes instructor and to coordinate many aspects of the experience as Logistics Coordinator. Teaching is her true passion and she delights in the creativity, courage, and bright minds and spirits of the high school students who choose to undertake this incredible journey. She cannot wait to go back to Saint-Brieuc with this program and meet all of the new students! During the academic year, she is an Associate Instructor of French at Indiana University and is pursuing a doctorate in French Linguistics, focusing on lexicology and lexicography (words and dictionaries). Previously, she taught high school French in Colorado, her home state, although her family is British and she is a dual citizen. In her free time, she can generally be found dancing!

Martin Maillot is a new Instructor for the Saint-Brieuc Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages for the summer of 2015, but he has previously worked as an Instructor in the summer of 2014 in Saumur. He will be the Culture instructor and Financial Coordinator for the Saint-Brieuc team this summer. As a native of France, he is delighted and proud to share the language, culture and history of his country with the students. He is enthusiastic about helping high school students acquiring knowledge and expressing their talents. During the academic year, he is an Associate Instructor of French at Indiana University. He is interested in a variety of topics: history, historical linguistics, language contact, and creoles.

Alisha Reaves is super pumped to be returning to St. Brieuc this year with the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages as the Public Relations Coordinator and teaching an Introduction to French Linguistics. She is a doctoral student pursuing a degree in French Linguistics with a specialization in Second Language Acquisition. How people learn a foreign language is her passion. Alisha originates from just outside of Washington, DC in Woodbridge, VA and loves everything international, thus was fortunate to grow up around a variety of cultures that gravitate towards the nation’s capital. In her free time, Alisha loves watching foreign films, spending time with friend, working out, and she recently picked up her viola again after 8 years.

Jamie Root is stoked to reprise his role as Student Coordinator in Saint-Brieuc and is looking forward to the challenge of bringing Literature back to the site. Originally from just south of Buffalo, NY, Jamie made his way to the Midwest in pursuit of a PhD in French Linguistics. While he is currently specializing in North American varieties of French, specifically those spoken in Louisiana, he is also passionate about topics in both historical French and Germanic linguistics. When not teaching French at IU or working on research, he can most often be found either swing dancing or enjoying the occasional video game. Jamie is very excited to be returning to Saint-Brieuc with such an amazing team and cannot wait to meet all of the new students and share with them his love of both the French language and the French and Breton cultures.