​Sexta in France a.k.a. Journey into the unknown

Long days of planning, discussing, transferring money around accounts and arguments about which days we will spend where, ended up in an amazing trip for us, the awesome French students - Mikuláš, Mája, Sára and Vláďa. We traveled solo for four days to Paris, so we could get to know the culture of this magnificent capital city before we made our way to Brittany, near the sea.

Vive la France! Jumped out at us at Paris CDG airport after a short and distressing flight, in which Vláďa had to face his struggles of being isolated from the rest of the group, sitting on the other side of aisle. This made him so stressed, that he had to rest his mind by making up a plan of how to disguise himself as luggage, allowing him to ride on the collecting belt. Luckily, we managed to stop him and avoided being embarrassed within 30 minutes of being in Paris. Without any complications, we made our way through the Parisian traffic to our flat near Notre Dame. Our host Fabien arrived by scooter - and we finally connected to the internet. But it did not last too long and we hit the streets. On the first evening, we admired the inside of Notre Dame, something the amount of tourists did not allow us to repeat. Later on, we acknowledged our geographical position as well as our age on ID cards, which saved us around 50€ on entries. The Centre Pompidou gallery of modern art and Les Invalides offered us views into different times and places. We were charmed by Napoleon's tomb, and the paintings of Henri Mattise and street art were all over the place. The only thing that discouraged us was a long line in front of Orangery, which looked longer that the actual tour. Nevertheless, after four days we fell in love in Paris, but our wallets told us that it was time to leave for Rostrenen in Brittany.

We travelled in an incredibly long TGV to St. Brieuc, where we met our correspondents. After an hour’s travel, we greeted Mr. Dayot, who is deputy headmaster of Notre Dame de Campostal - our program HQ for the next two weeks. Our host families welcomed us warmly and facilitated our accustomisation to France, where English is not very commonly used. Immediately, we were pulled into conversation, allowing us to show off what Mrs. Trnková had taught us - based on the reaction, it seemed like we passed. Throughout our whole stay, we discovered differences in French lifestyle. Well, especially the huge amounts of pancakes and bigger pauses between meals. Because we are used to eating 5 times a day, it was a bit difficult to accustom ourselves to eating only 3 times a day. However, it was balanced by the quality and quantity of French food, especially the dinners. On the other hand, these were really late in the evening, because school always ended at 17:00, even on Fridays, which was a huge difference to our 15:10 and 12:40. We attended Maths, Economics, but most importantly English lessons. Moreover, teachers prepared private lessons for us, which taught us a lot, because we learned not only about grammar, but also about the songs of France in the 20th century. We went on several trips, mostly to western Brittany. We enjoyed our stay, mostly getting to know Brittany's culture, where we again and again tried the salty pancakes with salty butter. We also visited a farm and heard French reggae at an Open Air Festival.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay to the full. Our thanks are owed to Mrs. Trnková and Mr. Dayot for making this possible, to Fabien for letting us stay in his flat, to Lycée Compostal for letting us stay in their classes. And finally to Mathilde Arhantec, Margaux Leroy, Élise Prigent a Amélie Dayot for letting us stay in their families and for taking care of us.

Majda Kolomazníková, Sára Paštiková, Vladimír Kuliš, Mikuláš Plešák