Recently, the 12 AS and A2 French students took part in an exchange trip to Lille, with our link school there called Lycée Margerite de Flandres, Gondecourt. This was in association with a project, funded by the Lefèvre Trust, in which the pupils carried out research on the Old Industries of both Belfast and Lille.
Our French ‘correspondents’ came over to Belfast in September and together we visited some sites relevant to the old industries of ship building and linen fabrication. Now it was our turn to go over to France for a week. The trip lasted from the 9th to the 12th March.
While in France, we got to experience many of the area’s attractions, including a visit to the mining museum at Lewarde, situated on an old mining site, at which we all, interestingly enough, walked around wearing bright yellow helmets. Of Course, we got to see a bit of Lille itself, with its beautiful architechture, and we got our own personalised tour of ‘vieux Lille’ by our exchange partners. We also spent a day in Roubaix, a town not far from Lille. Here we visited the ‘Musée de la Piscine’, an old public pool transformed into an art museum. We also did a very interesting guided tour of the town with an historian, who informed us about the history of the town and its prominence in the textile industry.
An amazing day was spent in Paris on Friday, where we got to visit the Louvre Museum, Monmartre and the Sacré Coeur and of course the Eiffel Tower, as well as taking a pleasant boat tour on the Seine.
The exchange was definitely a very worthwhile experience. It gave us the chance to be surrounded by the French language and culture. And in the process we learned more about the history of the area, including its old industries. And of course, we all made new friends over in Lille, whom we were very sad to say goodbye to!