After trips to Patisserie Bechler in Pacific Grove and Paris Bakery in Monterey in recent years, CHS French teacher Suzanne Marden is planning a student trip to Paris over spring break next year.
Marden describes the trip as the “Midnight in Paris” tour in which they will see the EiffelTower, the Arc de Triomphe, The Champs Elysées, The Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, Monet’s Gardens, Chartes and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
“They will see everything shown in that movie except the Rodin museum and the dead American authors,” Marden jokes.
It will be an eight-day trip led by Education First Tours and based out of Paris with a few day trips to other towns in France from April 10-17, 2014, and students will have to miss one day of school.
EF Tours has planned the trip to be all-inclusive so that the travelers don’t have to worry about finding hotels, transportation, food, museum tickets or anything other than just enjoying the experience of France.
“It’s all laid out,” sophomore David Warner says. “We just get to go with what they give us, which should end up being pretty stellar.”
So far, there are 16 students signed up for the trip, but there is still room for more.
“I have thought about taking a trip to France for several years,” Marden says, “but after seeing movies like ‘Taken,’ I never felt ready to adventure overseas with students. This year, however, I have the gift of having many of my students for several years, and therefore, I feel more comfortable traveling to Paris with them.”
Many of the students heading to France have had Marden as a teacher for up to five years.
“I hope students realize that they know more French than they think,” Marden says, “and also that they have more to learn…. One of the gifts of learning a language is the ability to appreciate a different culture from the root of that culture. Personally, I spent seven years learning French and earned a French Literature and Civilization degree before I actually went to Paris. I don’t want that for my students.”
Several students also feel the trip will help them to assess their skills.
“After so many years of French,” says sophomore Noa Daniels, an Honors French IV student, “I think it will be a good way to really see what I’ve learned.”
The trip is expensive at a total cost of $3,275 for students, but Marden says that for an all inclusive package such as this, which includes everything from airfare to food to museum passes, it is quite reasonable.
“I just know that it seems good since, for a summer of work, I’ll be able to see a ton of places around France,” Warner says.
Marden notes, “They will speak French with French people and get to experience French life—this is priceless to me.”
While the trip is intended for the students in the French classes, students who are extremely interested in going on the trip can talk to Marden about the possibility of going on this once in a lifetime trip to Paris, but must do so as soon as possible because the sign-up deadline is May 31.