A College Preparatory Private School with Two Campuses in Suffolk, VA. Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12.

Upper School Students Spend Spring Break Abroad

Upper School students pose for photo outside the Louvre during Spring Break trip to France

Spring break 2023 was an exciting time for nearly a dozen Upper School students, who had the opportunity to visit France and Italy with their classmates.

Interested Upper School students have the opportunity to travel abroad each year. As a result of the pandemic, this was the first time this trip has taken place since 2019.

Upper School French teacher Laura Heffernan and Latin teacher Slavic Dudkovsky sponsored the trip this year, which began in Paris with a walk around the Latin Quarter near the Seine River to allow them to explore the city. Students then climbed the hill to Montmartre to visit the Basilica of Sacré Coeur, while taking in the stunning views of Paris.

Students were able to visit many of the famous landmarks and tourist attractions one would typically associate with Paris. They ventured to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, viewed the Arc de Triomphe and shopped on the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysée. They also took an evening riverboat cruise on the Seine, where they were able to see the beautiful illuminated monuments.

Since Paris is home to the works of some of the world's most famous artists, our Saints spent a day visiting the famous Louvre Museum, which is home to the Mona Lisa, the Wedding at Cana and numerous other masterpieces. They also stopped at a smaller museum, l'Orangerie, where they viewed Monet's Water Lilies and a traveling exhibit by Matisse.

The second part of the trip included a train ride through the French countryside and down to the French Riviera, where they spent three and a half days in Nice. They were able to walk around the old town and stroll the boardwalk, soaking in the 70 degree weather, gorgeous palm trees and bright blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. They also toured the Marc Chagall museum, spent some time shopping and had picnic lunches on the beach.

While along the coast, the students visited several different areas, including the medieval village of Eze, which is perched up on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. There, students enjoyed shopping and visited a perfume factory. They also stopped in Monaco, where they saw the outside of the famous Monte Carlo Casino and toured the old part of the city, which is home to the Prince's Palace of Monaco, first built in 1191. After Monaco, students took a train across the French-Italian border and went to the town of Ventimiglia. During their brief stop there, they enjoyed the boardwalk and made sure to purchase a huge box of pastries to enjoy on the train ride back to Nice.

Speaking of food, the students were able to sample several different dishes throughout the trip that were new and different to them. They tried escargots, boeuf bourguignon, octopus salad, savory crêpes, guinea fowl, gelato, crême brulée and other delicacies popular in France.

"This was such an amazing experience for the kids," said Mrs. Heffernan. "My French students gained so much confidence speaking in French with the local people we encountered, and the people were so kind and patient with them. Even the students who don't study French gained so much from this trip. Everyone learned about taking public transportation, trying new foods, appreciating art and experiencing different cultures. I even had one student's mom tell me her daughter now wants to live in France in the future!"

We're so thrilled our students can once again enjoy this enriching experience! Next year, students will have two opportunities to travel internationally. Mrs. Heffernan and Mr. Dudkovsky will be sponsoring a trip to Spain during Thanksgiving break and there will also be a trip to Italy during spring break. To learn more about the upcoming trips, please contact Mrs. Heffernan or Mr. Dudkovsky.



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