College Life at MSM

Queensland Government's Swiss/ Quebec Student Exchange Program

Several of our Year 12 French students were successful in gaining a place on the Queensland Government’s Swiss/Quebec Student Exchange Program over the 2019/2020 holidays.

The girls themselves would like to share insights from their enriching experiences in French speaking countries.
Caitlin Harley:
Over the December/January holidays, I was fortunate enough to take part in a French language exchange to Baie-Comeau in Québec, Canada for six weeks. I met a new family, spent more time with my exchange partner Laurie, made new friends and improved my French while I was over there. I found it interesting seeing the differences between Brisbane and Baie-Comeau, despite the relative similarity between Australia and Canada. Some of my favourite moments of the trip were ice-skating in the park, watching hockey and spending time with Laurie’s extended family over Christmas. This was such an amazing experience that I will hold with me for the rest of my life.
Holly McGrath:
On the 31 November I travelled to Switzerland to undergo my two-month French exchange. When I arrived in Switzerland, I knew straight away it was going to be one of the best experiences of my life. I learnt very quickly that this exchange was much more than the language, it was about the culture, family and the friends you make. My host family was lovely, and I settled in very quickly. I enjoyed going to school in Switzerland too. It was very different because we got to wear free dress and it was co-ed. The food was delicious, and I loved trying all the special Swiss cuisines like cheese fondue, raclette, rösti and Swiss chocolate. One of my favourite parts of my exchange was seeing snow for the first time and skiing; which was totally surreal to me as I had never seen snow before. The whole drive to the ski resort I was looking out the window to the beautiful view of white mountains. I do have to admit speaking French was extremely challenging at the start however I tried to speak as much as possible and by the end I could go anywhere by myself and talk to anyone in French. Also, my host partner (Maite) was very caring which really brought us closer and we became the best of friends in Switzerland. I know for sure I will be going back to Switzerland and visiting her. If you are thinking of doing this in Year 11, I definitely recommend it, you don’t need to be the smartest in the class or have the most confidence. If you love French, you will enjoy it the most.
Bryanna Ducie:
During my exchange, I stayed in a little town called Morges on the Leman Lake, right on the border between France and Switzerland. It’s a gorgeous village surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards, the beautiful lake with docs of colourful sailing boats and a panoramic view of the Swiss Alps. In the beginning it was terrifying, as my ability to speak in French was not amazing, so it was extremely difficult to communicate with people. It took a while to get used to, but after the initial shock of arriving, I soon began to meet so many wonderful people and fully enjoy the experience. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel around Switzerland. We went to all the towns around the lake to see the castles, gardens and Christmas markets beside the water. We also went to the beautiful cites of Bern (the capital of Switzerland) and Lucerne which was my favourite. My host family surprised me by taking me to Paris for three days before Christmas, which was unbelievable, and I had the best time. The family also owned a chalet in Champery in the Swiss Alps, where we spent the entire Christmas holidays skiing. I’m so glad that I decided to participate in the exchange program, as I have gained so much not only through the improvement of my French language and the experience of travelling and experiencing the culture, but also because I have become so much more independent and learned about myself as a result.
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67 Elimatta Drive, Ashgrove, QLD, 4060
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