Some Schnitzel and our Sondage

‘Bonjour’ or maybe we should say ‘guten Tag’! Today was once again a very exciting day in Strasbourg… and Kehl!

We started the day with some preparation for the Euroscola day. We worked in our topic groups and discussed the feedback we got from others the night before. We were also given our ‘sondage’, our street survey, to practise and create our own questions which we would later ask to the citizens of Strasbourg.

In the morning we went over the “Pont de l’Europe” and went to Kehl, a city in Germany. Kehl is located just over the border so it was so easy to get there and we took the tram all the way from Strasbourg’s city centre. Thomas taught us about the French and German history of the region and some basic words in German to help us order lunch. Many of us had Schnitzel for lunch along with other German specialities. ‘Ich möchte ein Schnitzel bitte’.

We then walked back over the pedestrian bridge, ‘la passerelle des deux rives’, to France. Of course, we stopped in the middle with one foot in France and one foot in Germany. It was cool to be in two different countries, which have two different languages at the same time!

Then it was time to get back to Strasbourg for our street survey, our ‘sondage’. Our teachers took us to two of Strasbourg’s busiest squares to speak to the locals. Our questions were about Scotland and Europe and there were certainly some interesting answers! Someone thought that Scotland was in the Mediterranean, that Dublin was our country’s capital and we are infamous in Strasbourg for our ginger hair, whisky, bagpipes and of course, the rain.

We then had some free time to buy souvenirs and then headed back to the hotel to discuss our survey answers and share what we found out with the others.

After dinner, we took a long walk to “la Petite France”, the old part of the city which is a UNESCO world heritage sight. Thomas told us lots of more information about the area with some of his ‘fun facts’.

Again, we are all exhausted after a day full of languages, politics and great food. Le marchand de sable va bientôt passer, bonne nuit tout le monde!

 

Our Euroscola Day

This morning was an early 6am start as we were headed to the parliament. We all looked very smart and ready to be MEPs for the day. We went to the parliament on the coach and then arrived with plenty of time to pass through security.

We were welcomed at the parliament by the ‘animatrices’ and then headed off for coffee and pastries with our fellow students from across Europe. We got the chance to have an informal chat before we headed to the hemicycle.

Beth and Blair presented our group to the other schools and told them a little about our time so far in Strasbourg. They did an amazing job and presented completely in French.

It was then time to pose our questions to a Spanish MEP. What an opportunity! Rowan asked a question about climate change in French. Amazing!

It was then time to head off to lunch and do our Eurogame where we had to team up with young people from other countries to form multilingual European teams of 4. The question were challenging, and even harder because they were in over 17 languages!

Then we went into our discussion groups. We had already researched and prepared our French, Spanish and Italian vocabulary for the different topics and we were ready to go. The discussions were really interesting and it was great to hear different opinions from many countries across Europe.

When we all returned to the hemicycle, we heard from the ‘presidents’ and the ‘reporters’ in each group. They reported back what was discussed in each group and we got to vote on the final proposals.

It was then time for the Eurogame finals. Kyla was one of the finalists and got changed into her lovely blue hoodie and skip cap. Unfortunately she didn’t win but we are super proud of her for making it so far!

It was an exhausting, but amazing day in the parliament and we were ready to head back to the hostel for some time to relax and have dinner.

Them we ceilidhed! We were even joined by some of the French teachers from our school visit yesterday. It was great to celebrate our achievements over the past few days and enjoy ourselves while sharing some Scottish culture.

To finish off, we watched the photos from the week!

It’s been an amazing trip to Strasbourg and we are ready to begin the long journey back home on the coach. À demain!

School Visit and Documentaries

We started the day early and headed on the coach to the small town of Bischwiller, just outside of Strasbourg. We headed to Lycée Jean Maurois, a secondary school linked with Glasgow City Council.

When we arrived, we had a lovely little reception waiting for us with cakes, coffee and tea. We had taken shortbread and Irn Bru for the French students to try too. We got chatting and began to make some new friends.

At the interval, we performed the Gay Gordons with the French students, teaching them all about the Scottish ceilidh dance and performing in front of all the school’s pupils.

Then we got to work on our Strasbourg challenge. We had prepared questions on our themes – Strasbourg, une ville européenne, Strasbourg, une ville touristique, Strasbourg, une ville gastronome, Strasbourg, une ville historique and Strasbourg, une ville multiculturelle. We used the iPads to film our interviews and got some great information from the French students.

The French students had some questions for us too. They wanted to know all about Scotland and had prepared some interview questions for us in English.

Then we headed off to experience a French class. We were in Spanish classes, English classes, geography classes or even philosophy classes. It was really interesting to see how different school is here.

Then we had a traditional Alsace meal of choucroute in the school canteen. The school made this lunch especially for us and it was great to try something traditional from the area. We had lunch with the French students and exchanged numbers and email addresses. Some of them will hopefully join us at our ceilidh on Thursday night at the hostel too! It wasn’t goodbye, it was ‘au revoir’.

Then we headed into the town centre of Strasbourg to finish our documentaries. Everyone took the challenge very seriously! Shooting on location, we interviewed bakeries, restaurants and even spoke to the guides in the tourist information centre. We also had to get as many subjunctives as possible into our films and we got very creative! Our finished documentaries look amazing and we’ll be showing them to one another tomorrow night.

We also had some free time to do some final souvenir shopping and have a last chance to look around the city. The Christmas markets are so beautiful!

This evening, after some Euroscola preparation, we headed to a little bar for our quiz night. With rounds on geography, movies and even our teachers, it was challenging and lots of fun!

Now we have headed to bed early as we will be up bright and early tomorrow for our Euroscola day. We all feel prepared and can’t wait for the trip’s main event. À demain! ¡Hasta mañana!

Street Surveys and the Council of Europe

We started our morning with the preparation for our ‘sondage’. We practised our questions and created our own question, ready to head out to the streets of Strasbourg and speak to people about their opinions on Scotland, Europe and the EU.

In our groups of two or three, we headed into the city to the Christmas markets to find people who were happy to answer our questions. The streets were busy and the pupils even managed to find Spaniards to interview! We braved the weather and were really impressed by everyone’s confidence. It was really interesting to hear what people think.

We then had some free time to look around the markets, do some souvenir shopping and try some of the regional festive foods. It was a lovely cultural experience.

This afternoon we visited the Council of Europe, a European Institution based in Strasbourg that we will still be part of after Brexit. We had a guided tour, were shown a presentation on what the role of the council is and we had a question and answer session with our tour guide. It was really interesting and made it clearer what the role of the European parliament is for our visit on Thursday.

Then we headed back to the hostel and prepared for tomorrow’s Strasbourg challenge. We’ll be working with the pupils at the French school to create our own mini documentaries.

After a delicious French dinner, it was time to head out to visit la Petite France – the old quarters of Strasbourg known for its stunning buildings. Thomas and Nelly gave us a tour and told us the history of the region. We even did the Gay Gordons on ‘les ponts couverts’ in preparation for tomorrow’s school visit.

Then it was time to head to a local French bar, owned by a friend of one of our accompanying teachers, Ishbel. She befriended the owner when she spent a year abroad in Strasbourg. It was cool to see how international friendships can be formed during university and last a lifetime!

We are now back at the hostel and in bed, ready for an early start and another busy day tomorrow!