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!

Travelling and arriving in beautiful Strasbourg

Our journey down to Strasbourg was certainly long but we made sure we had lots of fun along the way with films, plenty of stops and even some foreign language presentations. It was a good chance for us to get to know one another better.

When we arrived at our hostel in the city at 3 o’clock we were all relieved to have somewhere to have a shower and rest our heads. We were shown to our rooms and given a chance to unwind.

Before dinner, we had a team-building activity. We had to create sketches in our foreign languages where we imagined we met one another 20 years in the future. There were lots of funny situations including an astronaut, 14 children, heart surgery and even marrying a French actor. Everybody’s language and acting skills were absolutely fantastic.

Afterwards we headed for our buffet. There was a huge choice tonight and everyone found something they liked to eat. The food in France never disappoints.

Then we headed out to see the beautiful city of Strasbourg by night. Thomas and Nelly told us lots of facts as we went on our walking tour – the upside down trees, the site where the French national anthem was first sung and of course, the stunning cathedral. It was a great chance to see the city and we can’t wait to see it tomorrow in the daylight too.

Now everyone has headed off to their rooms. Tonight’s comfortable beds will be a huge step up from our journey on the bus last night! We are all looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Just as a reminder: Thomas’ number is +447471019801. Feel free to get in touch in the case of an emergency.

À demain! ¡Hasta mañana! Bis morgen!