In 1992, the French department pioneered the first student exchange program at The Bishop’s School. Under the leadership of Brigitte Kyle, the program became a vital part of the French curriculum, creating lasting friendships among the participating French and American students and families. Lycée du Grésivaudan de Meylan
Situated against the Alps, just outside Grenoble, the Lycée du Grésivaudan de Meylan (LGM)
, an academically challenging high school that serves Grenoble suburbs, continues to prove itself an exceptional partner for our biannual French student exchange. Grenoble is a culturally dynamic city with a distinguished international university, an important research center, archeological sites and an art museum boasting the second largest collection in France (after the Louvre).
Gaining New Perspectives
La Jolla in October and Grenoble in March provide the backdrop for a full month of Bishop’s students refining their linguistic and cultural engagement with French, and new perspectives from which to ask questions of their own cultural values and interests. French courses at Bishop’s − and the hosts’ classmates − benefit from LGM students’ in-class assistance modeling pronunciation and style, and introducing new expressions and cultural perspectives. In the fall, the Bishop’s families have the opportunity to host French students from LGM for two weeks. In addition to their time at school, they have the opportunity to enjoy California. The morning of their departure, tears flow on both sides, but it is only an “au revoir” and the adventure continues in the spring when Bishop’s students travel to Grenoble to spend two weeks with the French families.
When Bishop’s students visit their French friends in Grenoble, they have extensive opportunities for French conversation practice and authentic cultural discussions, through classes at LGM, as well as family dinners and activities. With two chaperones (currently French teachers Nadine Haymaker and Brook Haley), the Bishop’s students visit historical and cultural sites in Annecy, Lyon and Grenoble, shop the pedestrian-friendly streets, rest at cafés and feast on regional specialties. The most recent trip included snowshoeing in the Alps; abbeys, cathedrals and basilicas; Roman amphitheaters, Alpine caves and a chocolate museum; and shopping in Lyon. On weekends, the students' hosts invite them to go skiing or to visit other areas such as Provence or Paris.