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A New Way to Summer

contributed by Sherry X.
Every fall, the Grier community delights in hearing how Grier students spent their summers. Grier Senior Sherry. participated in a study-abroad program with Tufts University. Here, Sherry shares her experience in her own words:

Every time I travel, the world feels closer to me. I would say that the four weeks in France with the Tufts Summit program is definitely the highlight of my summer and makes me more qualified as a global citizen.
My séjour took place in the gorgeous region of Lake Annecy, which is on the East side of France, surrounded by the Alps and close to the border with Switzerland. I feel extremely fortunate that we had some time to explore the exquisite region by hiking in the beautiful Alps, chilling out by the gorgeous lake, and experiencing French culture through different festivals.
 
I participated in this program through Tufts University’s European Center and I studied French and International Relations classes at a priory that is celebrating its thousandth anniversary this year. The classes are college-level courses that include a combination of project-based learning and learning through lectures. After class and on weekends, my classmates and I spent time with our host families. This was also the time to enjoy all the fromages, soirées, and la coupe du monde.

What made the program even more exciting were the weekly excursions. Each week, the program organized day hikes or overnight hikes in the Alps and trips to well-known nearby cities, such as Lyon and Geneva. We visited the famous United Nations and the original site of League of Nations in Geneva, the Red Cross Museum, and the Basilica de Fourviere in Lyon.

Over the past month, I have witnessed many big events that occurred in France. In particular, the second weekend of my stay was filled with excitement. There is la fête nationale (a.k.a The Bastille Day) with all the beautiful fireworks, amazing food, and infinite amount of bisoux. The day after Bastille Day, France won their second World Cup after 20 years without a win. I witnessed the entire game with my host family and their friends, followed by a spectacle of crazy parades and fireworks on the street. Then, we were able to see one part of le Tour de France, the famous annual men's multiple stage bicycle race of France that has one étape that took place in the city of Annecy this year.

This was definitely an enriching summer experience that broadened my perspective even more, and truly helped me to become immersed in French culture and gain more interest in the French language.

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Photos courtesy of Sherry X.
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