New Caledonia Tour

New Caledonia is a beautiful French-speaking tropical island only a four hour flight from Melbourne. Its sunny weather, close proximity, beautiful beaches and French language opportunities make it a perfect place to visit with Year 9 Languages students.

This year, seventeen students and two teachers were lucky enough to spend a week visiting Noumea, the capital, and only, city of New Caledonia. Mme Antal spent a lot of time organising the trip for her Year 9 students, but was unfortunately, unable to travel due a knee injury. Ms Dickson and Mrs Hooper were happy to take the group. We left from Melbourne Airport on Wednesday the 14th of September, arriving to balmy weather and great hotel accommodation that evening. Our first meal was some tasty take away pizza on the beach as the group got to know each other and shared their excitement about the week's program.

Our first day started at the language school were the students were divided intro three classes along with students from University High, Montmorency and Balwyn. Classes went from 8.15 to 11.45 every morning and were conducted entirely in French. The topics were relevant to their time in New Caledonia and suited to their language level. The teachers were fantastic: very encouraging and engaging.

The first afternoon was spent trying to buy lunch in French-speaking cafes and then one a tourist train tour of Noumea. The sights were incredible as we looked across the waters, seeing many tiny islands, several of which were uninhabited.

Upon returning to the hotel, the students were picked up by their host families for the week. With two or three students per family, it was a great way to experience life in Noumea, speaking French with the hosts but with the comfort of knowing you had a friend with you.

Day Two and we met back at the language school to hear some great stories about what they ate and what they talked about with their families. That afternoon, we visited the Tjibaou Culture Centre were we learnt about the lives and traditions of the Indigenous tribes, the Kanaks. The Kanaks make up about half of the population of New Caledonia. While many live in Noumea, there are some groups living a traditional island tribe life.

Day 3 was spent on the beautiful Amedee Island which was a 45 minute boat ride away. On this island of paradise, we snorkeled with tropical fish and green sea turtles, swimming alongside them in clear water. We ate a delicious buffet lunch, toured around on a glass bottom boat, walked the circumference of the island in only 10 minutes and made the most of the day It was a wonderful day spent with the group.

Day 4 was spent with the host families, visiting markets, music concerts an classes, beaches, kite-surfing competitions and other activities. Day 5 we returned to classes and then made the most of the sunny afternoon on a tiny island called 'Iles aux canards".

The week flew past and before we knew it, it was the final day. Saying goodbye to the host families was difficult for some students who had formed very special bonds.

The trip was a huge success and a very positive experience for all involved. The seventeen students made the most of every opportunity and made their teachers incredibly proud. They learnt so much and improved their French comprehension and confidence in speaking.

Ms Dickson and Mrs Hooper would like to thank all the students involved:
Daisy Assauw, Abby Bachrach-Cox, Sienna Beaves, Anna Chapman, Srijan Diptiman, Jack Dunn, Alex Enever, Angel Lignos, Lachlan MacDougall, Luciana Martinez, Estella Murphy, Damien Ross, Hannah St John, Chloe Swan, Lucy Van Amrooy, Sophie Van Doorn and Alex Zhang
They would also like to thank Mme Antal for all her efforts in organisation.
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