OPRF French Exchange 2020
March 27-38, 2020 – 12 Days, 10 Nights
Estimated Price $2,700 (airfare dependent)
The first student information meeting is on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. A parent information meeting (mandatory) is on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
Day 1, Tuesday: USA & France. Fly overnight to Paris.
Day 2, Wednesday: Paris & Chambord. Bienvenue à Paris! Your private coach will greet you at the airport. Board your bus and drive to the Loire Valley. Visit the magnificent Château de Chambord, known as the "greatest château in Loire Valley" with its 426 rooms and 282 fireplaces! Enjoy dinner with your group at a local restaurant with authentic French cuisine. Night accommodation in the Loire Valley.
Day 3, Thursday: Chenonceaux & Amboise. This morning after breakfast, board your bus and drive to Chenonceaux. Discover the Château de Chenonceaux, not only remarkable for its architecture and history, but also for the fine quality of the collections. Explore the many gardens and see the maze, rebuilt exactly from Catherine de Medici’s plans. Continue to Amboise. Visit the gothic Château d’Amboise. Situated in the Centre Val de Loire region in the town of Amboise, this medieval fortress was replaced by a royal residence during the reigns of Kings Charles VIII and François I (late 15th - early 16th century). A number of men and women of letters from Europe as well as artists stayed at the Court of Amboise, including Leonardo da Vinci who was buried in the château’s chapel. Next, at Clos Lucé, the former residence of Leonardo Da Vinci, see some of his marvelous inventions and works. Stop at La Cave Aux Fouées for dinner: enjoy the unique, friendly atmosphere of this caveman restaurant and taste the fouée, a small, leavened pocket bread baked in a flash. (subject to availability). Dinner and night accommodation in the area.
Day 4, Friday: Paris. This morning after breakfast, board your bus and drive to Chartres. Upon arrival, take some time for lunch and discover the town at your own pace. Later, follow your local guide on a walking tour of Chartres including the Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, drive back to Paris and start your exchange program. Upon arrival at our partner school, Lycée Rabelais, have a short orientation and meet your French correspondents and start the exchange programs.
Day 5-11: Exchange Program & Paris. While living with a host family, you will discover that French is more than a just textbook language as you fully immerse into the daily life of your family and school community, apply your language skills in real-life situations, and experience life as a true local.
- Saturday, March 21st: Paris. Local excursions, dinner and overnight accommodation with host families.
- Sunday, March 22nd: Le Marais. Hidden treasures of the Marais. Treasure hunt in the Marais and Beaubourg neighborhoods. Visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
- Monday, March 23rd: Le Musée D’orsay Quartier Latin. Visit morning classes at Lycée Rabelais / Presentation of the Musee d’Orsay. Visit to the Musée d’Orsay and the Luxembourg Gardens where we will picnic in the park. Walk through the boulevard Saint Michel, visit La Sorbonne and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Pass by the Pantheon to Rue Mouf etard for some shopping and to see where Mme Mazumdar lived as an 'au pair'.
- Tuesday, March 24th: Paris. Visit to Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur, a tour of the Rodin Museum, a visit to the Eiffel Tower, and a tour of Paris by River on Bateau Mouche river cruise along the Seine.
- Wednesday, March 25th: Train visit of the Château of Versailles: unescorted visit of the State Apartments and the Hall of Mirrors. Created by the French monarchy at its apogee, Versailles was the seat of government and political capital of France from 1682 to 1789 (with the exception of the Regency period). Its reputation is due to the extraordinary complex made up of the château, its gardens and the Trianon.
- Thursday, March 26th: Le Louvre. Discover Paris of the XIX century. A visit to Assemblée Nationale et Palais Bourbon and the Louvre. We will view several collections of French painting and see the most famous, La Joconde.
- Friday, March 27th: Le Champs Elysées. A visit to the Passages couverts, Quartier de l’Opéra and the Grands Magasins for last minute shopping. A walk down the Champs Elysées and climb to the top of the l’Arc de Triomphe.
- Saturday, March 28th: Departure. Depending on flight times, coach transfer to Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport. Direct flight Paris to Chicago. Parents will meet students at the international terminal ORD.