The Irish Experience
3e International Class
2 November to 14 November
The International section is lucky to have a partnership with The Teresian School in Dublin, Ireland. This year, five students from Dublin came to visit Collège Mignet for a week. They attended classes and stayed with their partner. Then it was the turn of five of our 3e students to experience life in an Irish school for a week.
Here are their reports :
"When I was told that I was going to Ireland I was extremely happy ; I imagined what it was going to be like, whether I was going to like it or even if I would like to live there.
When I walked outside of the airport, it was raining, obviously, but I was expecting it. I met the generous and welcoming parents of my pen pal Claudia.
During the weekend, Claudia and I went by tramway to the city of Dundrum to a shopping center. I was excited finally be able to buy my favorite brands which don’t exist in France such as Hollister, Abercrombie&Fitch, Topshop... Saturday evening, I tried on the school uniform Claudia had lent me. I had a white shirt with a long kilt which had to cover your knees. I whore black shoes, a grey jumper and attached my hair in a pony tail according to the rules.
I woke up Monday morning excited, yet a bit stressed to experience a typical private Irish school. It was an only girls school. Compared to College Mignet, Teresian School is much smaller. Claudia’s friends were very welcoming, yet often hyper. I found their schooldays exhausting. They have 6 classes in the morning and 3 in the afternoon with 30 minutes to eat which makes 9 different classes throughout the day.
On the Wednesday afternoon, Claudia brought me to Dublin so I could visit and discover Dublin. I think that Dublin is a very attractive and beautiful town. The last day, Tara (Claudia’s mum) brought us to a room filled with trampolines which was very amusing, so on the way back, I slept.
Even though France and Ireland aren’t that far apart, there are many differences such as they drive on the right side of the steering wheel, the schools aren’t mixed, they have a morning prayer, they have uniforms, they have to bring their lunchbox to school because they don’t have a canteen, their houses are a bit bigger and have carpet floors and finally they have subjects we don’t have such as religion, human education and politics.
As a conclusion, Ireland was fantastic and I will keep an amazing memory and I would love to go back someday. I was very sad to leave because Claudia and I had a great relationship."
"Last week, I went to Ireland, in Dublin with four other French girls for a week. We had a lot of fun and we went to school. It was a private and catholic school for girls, and it was very different from our school. Firstly because it was smaller with only two hundred students. There was usually one teacher for fifteen students ! We also had to wear a uniform, which is a kilt, a jumper, a shirt and socks. I really enjoyed to wear it,perhaps because it was the first time I wore one. There is no canteen as here, so we brought our lunch box and we had 30 minutes to eat in he hall or in classrooms. They go to school from Monday to Friday, every day from 8:40am to 3:40pm. Each class only lasts 40 minutes and there is a break around 10:00am. I learned that after the first year of secondary school, you can chose two options like art, music, business or languages. They also learn Irish. It was surprising because it is really different from English. The teachers were very nice (with a few exceptions) ! We also visited the city of Dublin and ate there. It was a great experience, and now I find that Dublin is a very nice city even if the weather is not always good !
Thank you again for organizing this exchange !« Anaïs Picart »Before going to Ireland, I stressed about not understanding anything due to the accent. It was my very first school exchange outside of France. My Irish exchange, Charlotte, came first so it definitely reassured me because I got to know her. I was lucky to get along so well with her ! I usually do the road to school alone so it was very exciting to not be alone and to sare my daily routine !
On Saturday, my dad drove us to the airport. At first everything was going perfectly and smoothly until they said that my age didn’t correspond to my ticket and they said that I had to be accompanied. I started stressing and thinking I would not be accepted on the plane. But everything went fine, we changed my ticket to accompanied and I stayed with Anaïs the whole way. When we arrived in Dublin, it was already dark. There was Charlotte’s father and sister who gave me a warm welcome.
On Sunday, I watched Charlotte play grass hockey, it looks great and I still wonder why we don’t do this sport in school ? In the afternoon, I went shopping in Dublin. When we arrived, it was raining heavily. Dublin is a beautiful city, it has all the stores, it’s cute, there’s a river... In other words, Dublin is a very modern city that kept its charm of the past. Before going to bed, I tried on the uniform, it was an exciting and fun moment ! I first put on the buttoned-up shirt, which is something I would never wear ! Then I learned how to put on the kilt, and again, I never wear skirts ! We ended up the uniform with a plain coloured sweater and white knee-high socks. I looked different from my usual me, I seemed more serious and innocent.
Monday, I woke up at 7am because they start school at 8:40. I ate cereal, took a shower, put on my uniform, did my lunch-box and went to school by car. Instead of having a school agenda, to sign in, they have to do a code and scan their finger prints. Before going into class, the students go to their locker and take their books knowing that they have three books per class. Every Monday, they have assembly with their year where the teachers tell what they are going to do throughout the week. The school is much smaller then ours and it has primary school, middle school and high school all in one building ! The classes are 40 minutes long and there are only 15 students ! For example in Spanish, we were only 7 and the classroom was the size of a bedroom ! I was surprised at how much they eat per day ! In the morning break they eat a sandwich, then they have lunch, after another sandwich at the end of the day and finally dinner. The rest of the week was the same except on Wednesday they have a full day and they always finish at four.
Friday night, with Claudia and Alexane, we went to Jumpezone ! It’s a room full of trampolines where you can jump on the walls, we had a blast except for Claudia who got a sore ankle.
On Saturday, before going to the Airport, Charlotte’s parents took us too Scrumdiddly’s which is a famous Irish ice cream shop. Finally they drove to the airport, this time everything went perfectly. When it was time to say goodbye, I starting crying because I spent the week in a such lovely city and it felt like I would never see them again. When I came in France, it felt like it was just a dream."