On an overall review I thought my French exchange was a really great experience.

To start off, my exchange student was a very nice person who fit into my school very well, there were no problems with his arrival and he was able to do everything in my school and in Ireland thanks to TY Europe. He was in Ireland for eight weeks and was able to play matches with my rugby team which was incredible for him and he was very thankful for that as I assume it was a difficult process for him to be insured to play with my rugby team.

For my trip everything went well, the flights went smoothly and the family were very welcoming and at the start they even spoke English to me just to explain everything going on to me so I could understand, the family then proceeded to begin to explain words to me in French so I could learn, the family really wanted my trip to be a success and I am thankful to say that it was definitely so.

Thanks to TY Europe there were no problems with me joining the school for the six weeks and there were teachers even there to help me when I needed it, for example a teacher changed my timetable so I would have a more interesting experience and so I can meet new people. Although having student exchanges was abnormal they were very welcoming. I also wanted to thank TY Europe for processing my IRFU licence and my insurance so I was able to to play rugby with a club over in France, this was a really positive experience for me as learned a lot of new words in French but I also began to fit and make new friends through the club in France which was incredible.

My French exchange was an incredibly enriching experience for several reasons. Firstly, the immersive environment significantly enhanced my language skills. Speaking French daily with native speakers, both in casual settings and formal situations, allowed me to practise and improve my fluency and comprehension rapidly. This constant exposure to the language also helped me to develop a more authentic accent and a deeper understanding of colloquial expressions.

Secondly, the cultural exchange was invaluable. Living with a French family provided first hand insight into French customs, traditions, and daily life, which textbooks and classrooms can't fully capture. This immersion fostered a greater appreciation for French culture and history, making me more open-minded and culturally aware. Moreover, the relationships I built during the exchange were deeply meaningful. I formed strong bonds with my host family and new friends, creating a network of connections that transcended geographical boundaries. These relationships enriched my experience, providing support, companionship, and a sense of belonging.

Lastly, the exchange boosted my confidence and independence. Navigating a new country, adapting to a different lifestyle, and overcoming language barriers were challenges that made me more self-reliant and resilient. Overall, my French exchange was a transformative journey that broadened my horizons, enriched my personal and academic life, and left me with cherished memories and lifelong connections.

John France 2024

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