Newbridge school exchange as part of French friendship project

Cultural exploration

Jenny Dillon

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Jenny Dillon

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editor@leinsterleader.ie

Newbridge school exchange as part of French friendship project

The signing of the recent twinning agreement

Local students have been involved in exchange programmes with French town Agentré-Du-Plessis, which recently signed a formal twinning agreement with Newbridge, writes Jenny Dillon.

Agentré is located in the region of Brittany, near Rennes. The bond between the two communities was forged with a trip organised by Newbridge Rugby club several years ago.

A number of rugby players travelled to France and stayed with French families who opened their doors for the Irish guests.

SEE ALSO: Newbridge signs official twinning agreement with French town

Many of the Irish rugby enthusiasts kept in contact and organised visits to reunite with each other. Now, four years on, annual trips are organised between the two towns and a number of romantic relationships bloomed due to the link.

The Irish group usually travel to France in the month of July and festivities are organised for Bastille Day - an important event in French history. There is a huge fireworks display in St.Malo.

The French then come to visit Ireland in March and have participated in the Newbridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the last three years.

Last year, four Newbridge College TY students travelled to France and stayed with host families. They went to a French school for two weeks, not attending classes, but teaching English to the younger students instead. They all said they had a great experience that they were glad to include in their TY portfolios.

They returned the favour by allowing French students to stay with them. The teenagers attended classes in Newbridge College and a partner was assigned to show them the ropes. Those involved in the twinning are excited for what’s yet to come. Anyone who would like to get involved is welcome to get in touch.