Strengthening cultural relations

Published 7:01 pm Friday, May 3, 2019

A relaxed gathering of students from both Lycee Jean Talon and Southampton Academy. — Submitted Sherry Ferguson

Southampton Academy students again host visitors from France


Only a few short weeks ago, the bond between Southampton Academy in Courtland and Lycee Jean Talon in Chalons, France, was reaffirmed with the second visit by representatives of the latter school. As in the first visit exchange during April 2017, those ambassadors were students and teachers.

Just last year, a handful of SA pupils in Sherry’s Ferguson’s French classes were able to visit their counterparts to strengthen their developing language skills and learn first-hand another way of living. Ferguson had indeed originally organized the program as a way to expose her French III and IV students to a real-world language and culture experience. Following up on an online opportunity, applications were made and Southampton Academy welcomed the guests for a little over a week.

The latest visitors followed their hosts through their school day, learning about one another as well as whatever subjects they were studying at the time.

At center is Sherry Ferguson, who teaches French at Southampton Academy. With her are Agata Fisson and Angelique Bedet from Lycee Jean Talon. The latter two accompanied 17 students for the visit they made in mid-April. — Submitted Sherry Ferguson

During an all-too brief interview, various students replied to questions such as why they wanted to visit. Their replies included “Improve my English” and “To have fun.”

Reportedly, they did. Later in the week, everyone went to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg as a way of introducing early American history in a visual way.

Asked if the visit was a successful one, Ferguson agreed: “Yes. The students bonded quickly. You couldn’t tell the French from the American students. They were just kids.”

She later added, “They enjoyed their stay. There were a lot of tears when they left.”