Friday 19 September 2014


Does your school offer the chance of a school exchange trip? When reader Priya was offered the chance to take part in a school exchange to France, she jumped at the chance… read on and see how she got on!

Priya says:
I decided to get involved in the French Exchange trip as some friends - and my teacher - recommended it! It was a cultural exchange, but there was plenty of sightseeing involved and I was particularly excited to go to Paris. I had already met my exchange student, Axelle, when the French students came over here in March, but I was really looking forward to seeing her again, and almost all of my friends were going on the trip too.
The journey was amazing - we went by coach and we had to go underground on this very big vehicle which had the capacity to carry all the coaches! I go to a girls school and we combined with a local boys school for the exchange trip. It was so much fun - we had a sweet fight, played card games and told spooky stories in the blackout! My first impressions of France were that everyone seemed much more relaxed about time and driving and drinking and smoking… their health, I suppose.
I missed home a bit, and I was away for Father's Day which was strange. Axelle's house was big and I had my own room, which was great. The garden and the adjoining land was massive, but you still feel a little like an outsider in the family home - this was never intended by the families, I think it was just a state of mind my friends and I had now and then. It may have been because we couldn't speak the language as fluently as we'd have liked… we craved time with our classmates just so we could have long or complicated conversations! This wasn't hard to handle, though, and luckily it was the closest we came to feeling homesick.
I loved the excursions and my favourite place was the Eiffel Tower and the view from the top; we saw some amazing art galleries;  I also loved visiting all the little towns and villages and getting to meet new people… oh, and eating macarons! It all felt so different - it wasn't just that I was overseas, but also that I was visiting all these iconic places without my parents, but with some of my best friends instead. I will never forget any of it - the journeys, the places, talking to my French family and the fact that I got to live like a French girl for a week - it was pretty amazing.
If you get a chance to go on a school exchange, I would advise anyone to take that chance. You will get over any fears and worries - just do it, because life is short and an adventure like this is something you will NEVER forget. I loved meeting Axelle and her family. It's not often you get to experience true family life abroad, so it felt like a real gift and a rare opportunity. I thank my lucky stars I got to go!

Cathy says:
Have YOU ever been on a school exchange - or if not, would you like to? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. Languages are a big interest of mine, and I've therefore been lucky enough to go one 2 exchanges! I went to Versailles, France when I was 13 and Modena, Italy back in February, and both were amazing. My Italian exchange partner was practically fluent in English (though I spoke to her in Italian when I visited her) and due to this and our many similarities I gained a good friend through my exchange - I'd definitely recommend doing one if you have the chance!

    1. Oh wow that's amazing i have to admit i wouldn't mind doing another exchange but i shall have to see what happens!

    2. Definitely go for it if you can! :)



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...