Student go gallivanting in France for three weeks
Park City High School students said bonjour to three weeks of immersion in another country.
From June 29-July 23, 11 students, eight from Park City, traveled to France for a study abroad trip led by PCHS French teacher Bernard Rizzotto.
After seeing the sights in Paris, they continued to Saint Malo, a medieval walled city, for the majority of the trip.
Students stayed with host families and got the opportunity to practice their French because nobody else in the house spoke English, Rizzotto said. He added that for many of the host families it was their first exposure to American students.
"They got to be part of the fabric of the city very fast," Rizzotto said.
He reported that several of the students picked out favorite corner cafes and ice cream parlors which were frequented throughout their stay.
"We would go to the beach as well, that was probably their favorite," he said.
But the trip was not all play. Students attended class for three hours a day and then participated in excursions to different parts of the country.
The students knowledge of French varied from beginner to advanced. Rizzotto said that while some of the novice speakers were quiet at first, as the weeks progressed they became quite chatty.
"When they came back they had much more fluency in the language," Rizzotto said. "It gave them confidence in the language and confidence in themselves."
They had to make other adjustments as well.
"When you arrive in a country everything is different, from the stores you go into from the sound around you," Rizzotto said. "That was one of the challenges, to cope with this overwhelming sensation."
Everyone came to enjoy themselves and when it was time to leave it was a tearful goodbye, Rizzotto said, adding that it was such a hit there is a similar trip in the works for next year. It will combine the French and Spanish departments and include trips to both France and Spain.
Rizzotto said not only does a semester abroad look good on a college application, but "it makes for citizens of the world."
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Park City leaders have written another chapter in the reopening of the community even as the novel coronavirus continues to spread. The Park City Library on Monday became the latest municipal facility to welcome people inside again.