An end to foreign exchange trips for schools? What a shame

The Queen gave royal assent to the Brexit Bill last week, making it possible for Parliament to trigger Article 50 – thereby cutting thousands of high school kids off from a good time in a foreign land [Image: Getty].

Clearly Rosie Millard doesn’t understand what foreign exchange trips are all about. This Writer enjoyed several as a teenager.

They’re not about the experience of living in a foreign country, with a native family, at all. They’re about spending a week or so sightseeing with your mates instead of your family, trying to do as many of the things you’d be forbidden from doing in any other setting.

I was rather good at all that and as a consequence I enjoyed myself very much. If anybody reading this was on an exchange with me – particularly the ought-to-be-infamous 1987 experience – please feel free to back me up on it.

One good thing about Brexit is that it might mean the end of the dreaded French Exchange week, which is without question the most torturous moment of a teenager’s life. My own long week consisted chiefly of hiding from a bickering family in a bedroom in Vanves (an utterly unremarkable Parisian suburb), watching the town clock strike the quarter hour, and crying.

Hence why I rather feel for 14-year-old Manon, who is currently staying chez nous. Manon doesn’t appear tearful, thank God, but she is totally mute. Does she like London, Weetabix, the family dog, Katy Perry? Who knows? All interrogation is met with the same shy smile.

Source: There’s one good thing about Brexit that has been overlooked – the end of the dreaded foreign exchange trip

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5 thoughts on “An end to foreign exchange trips for schools? What a shame

  1. Barry Davies

    We had “educational holidays” which seemed more for the benefit of the teachers who were “supervising” us to have a paid for bonking holiday.

  2. plhepworth

    A wonderful experience for me was an exchange visit to France as a 14-year old under the auspices of BR/SNCF. Bread & chocolate for breakfast, potage, diluted wine, shuttered windows, absence of carpets and wallpaper, enlightenment about the function of NATO. How times have changed though – nothing was thought unusual about my travelling back on my own.

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