Au Revoir to French exchange students
Au Revoir to French exchange students

Fifteen French exchange students bid "Au Revoir" to Country Day as they prepare to return their home in Colmar, France on Thursday. Nov. 2. The students, along with 15 Country Day students, are participating in CCDS' first international exchange program. Country Day students will visit their exchange partners in March.

During the school day, French students shadowed classes and attended these mini courses designed for them:

English: Deborah Floyd, in keeping with the Halloween season, talked to the students about Edgar Allen Poe's poem, "The Raven," and helped them understand its meaning.

Computer Science: Marcus Twyford had the students do an Hour of Code, the international movement to spark interest in computer science and demystify computer coding. He asked one student to make a sandwich using step-by-step instructions, like one would use for coding. Twyford, who lived in Canada for 20 years, spoke some French to the students.

French: Students fanned out to French classes in all divisions.

Chemistry: Paula Butler taught the students about the effects of changing pressure on different objects, by using a bell jar to create a vacuum and then studying how balloons, suction cups and marshmallows behave under low pressure. They also observed an imploding pop can, using the principles they explored with the bell jar.

Theater: Lisa Bodollo gave the students a tour of Keeler Theater and had them participate in two theater games involving props and improvising short skits.

History: Marygrace Tyrrell reviewed key events in United States history, as they pertained to Cincinnati and France. They discussed German immigration in "Over-the-Rhine," differences in architecture and urban design in Cincinnati and Colmar, and the rise of the right in European and American politics.

At the end of the day, French students met for a conversation with Head of School Tony Jaccaci. Click here for a video of the meeting.

Jaccaci asked them about their experiences here. Among the biggest surprises? The relationships among the CCDS teachers and students. Small class sizes. Americans brush their teeth before breakfast and have larger houses than in France.

Among their favorite experiences? Some of the students went with their hosts to a Bengals football game and Kings Island. They told him that France doesn't have theme parks, and they'd have to go Germany to visit one. Some said they enjoyed getting to know their host families and learning about the culture. Unlike CCDS, the students do not use laptops or tablets throughout the school day, but wish they did.

The students got to experience an American Halloween. The seniors accompanied their three senior CCDS partners on the Halloween Walk at the Lower School. They also attend a Halloween costume party in a neighborhood where they could go trick or treating.

Several outings were organized, including field trips to Findlay Market for "A Taste of the World Tour," National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Rookwood Pottery. Some of the students attended the Upper School play, "You Can't Take it with You."

The French students, who attend St. Andre School in Colmar, arrived Oct. 25 after visiting New York City.

The 15 students who hosted French students here and will now go to France in March are: Seniors Megan Jarrell, Ruth Kramer and Tabitha Kleiner; juniors Molly Briggs, Mary Harten, Nellie Shih, Sean Stewart, Jack Sullivan and Valen Zalants; sophomores Katie Ashwell, Will Beyreis, Brian Butler, Duncan Laird, Anushka Nair and Renee Twyford.

-Cindy Kranz

Click here for slideshow.