CHESTER, Vt. – This year, nine students and two faculty members of Green Mountain Union High School pioneered an exchange program with Lycée St. Joseph La Pommeraye, a high school in France. The 2018 St. Joseph La Pommeraye exchange program was an opportunity for our students to better understand French culture and gain fluency in French language through practical experience. This opportunity broadened their cultural horizons, cultivated problem-solving skills, and created lasting international connections. Noelle Gignoux, a senior, spent a semester at St. Joseph’s the previous school year and helped instigate this program with the support of faculty advisors. Both schools hope for this international exchange to take place every two years.
For two weeks in February, 10 students and two teachers from St. Joseph’s came to Green Mountain and stayed with host families in the communities of Cavendish, Chester, and Grafton. Nine students from Green Mountain went to St. Joseph in the northwest of France from April 5-19, where each stayed with a local family, toured the Loire Valley, took part in daily school life, recreational activities, school-sponsored group excursions, as well as experienced the rich French culture. In addition, they were able to spend two nights in Paris and explore the city before their return to America. Faculty advisors Mrs. Pamela Johnson-Spurlock, school librarian, and Mrs. Brennan, food and culture, history, chaperoned the trip.