Trips and expeditions

15 April 2024

HelKats in Lyon

Years 10–11 students from St Helen’s and Abingdon went on an amazing French study trip to Lyon, France.

Over the Easter holidays, linguists explored French culture and art, tasted amazing foods, discovered stunning architecture and historical buildings, and so much more in the city of Lyon.

Enjoying reading students’ journal entries from throughout the trip to find out more about what got up to:

Day 1

We arrived at the airport after a short bus journey, still not fully awake, to check-in. Luckily, check-in was fast and we were soon boarding the plane, eager to depart and experience France. The plane ride was fast, and soon we were bundled into a taxi and driving through the streets of Lyon. After dropping off our bags at the language school, we were ushered onto a boat to take a scenic tour of the river Saone which traverses through the city. The architecture was beautifully crafted, and we were informed of the history of the city.

After, we headed back to the language school to meet our host families. They were all lovely, and very welcoming! They took us home and introduced us to the rest of their family, before giving us time to settle before dinner. They gave us some celebrated Lyon dishes to try, and soon we headed to bed, eager for what the next day would bring.


Day 2

On the second day, we woke up at our host family’s house, had breakfast and promptly left to catch the train. We went via Metro to the Place de Terreaux, where our school was, and we stayed in our lesson from 9am to 12pm.

After our lessons finished, we were given free time to walk around the area near the Place de Terreaux to find our lunch. We ended up having pizza – which isn’t very French, but oh well – and then met back ready to go to the stadium Olympique Lyonnais. We travelled via Metro first, followed by the tram, and then got a guided tour around the stadium. We got to sit in some of the stadium seats, which were heated as it was VIP, and stand near the sidelines of the pitch. We not only got the chance to go into the changing rooms but also sit in the players’ assigned seats. The tour then finished and we made our way to Place Bellecour square – the biggest square in Europe. We went around shopping for a while before heading home to our host families. We finished the day off by having savoury and sweet pancakes for dinner, made fresh at the table, before heading off the bed.


Day 3

On Tuesday, we visited the Westfields shopping centre in Lyon after our morning lessons. After shopping, we joined the rest of the group and ate crêpes together. When we were done eating, we all went to Musée Lumière – a museum dedicated to the Lumière brothers and their inventions.I It was very cool to learn about them in the place they used to live. Afterwards, we went back to our host family’s apartment to celebrate Saint Emmanuelle’s Day with them and play card games. It was a very fun evening and a good way to learn more about the culture in Lyon.

Imi, Emily and Katie

Day 4

After our morning lessons – and a game of Blooket at break time – we quickly grabbed a baguette in the Place des Terreaux areas before our guided visit of Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. We looked at a range of paintings and artefacts, from the Pharaohs to Picasso. There, we had some time to do a flash writing task to imagine ourselves in one of the paintings. Afterwards, we walked to the Vieux Lyon, the old town, for a bit of sightseeing and an ice cream, crêpe or waffle.

Day 5

On the final day, we did not have any lessons but, after packing our bags for our afternoon flight, we met our guides who took us on a final tour of the city across the two rivers and up the hill of Fourvrieres.

It was great to see all participants growing in confidence, whether in lessons,  when ordering food or following the guided tours in French.

Mrs Burrows, Head of French

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