On October 19, 2015, 26 high school students from Lycée Léonard de Vinci in Saint Germain en Laye, a suburb of Paris, accompanied by two of their teachers, Gwenaelle Rey and Guillaume Pinaud, visited the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN). They were given an overview of the school, took a tour, and enjoyed a lunch of apple onion soup with dried apple crisp garnish, beef bourguignon, roasted potatoes, vegetable medley, green salad and pumpkin crème brûlée, prepared and served by EASTERN’s Culinary Arts students. This visitation was possible through a partnership with Jenkintown High School, which hosts the students and places them with local families for two weeks during the school year. The Jenkintown students will go to France next year and will be hosted by the visitors’ families.
All of the student visitors from France were industrial technologies students, so the visit to EASTERN offered them the opportunity to see the differences and similarities of a career and technical high school in the United States. Throughout the tour, they met and interacted with students from all EASTERN programs.
“It was a pleasure having the student visitors from France today. I am impressed with the strong emphasis that Jenkintown School District has with study-abroad programs,” said Tom Allen, EASTERN’s Executive Director. “This visit occurs every other year, and we always look forward to it.”
The Jenkintown Language Exchange Programs are intended to give Jenkintown students an opportunity to establish friendships with French or Spanish speaking students of similar age, host those students in their homes, and experience school and family life with those students. Through Jenkintown High School, the students also spent time visiting the National Constitution Center, Franklin Institute Science Museum, and a walking tour of Independence Hall, historic Philadelphia, South Street, and Society Hill. Students also visited New York City.