November 16, 2022 Submitted by Hingham Public Schools
Hingham High School and the HPS World Language Department announce the inauguration of the Hingham – Cahors Exchange Program. Seventeen French students from Cahors France and ranging between the ages of 14 – 16 recently visited Hingham, many coming to the United States for the first time. In the spring of 2023, Hingham students will have the opportunity to travel to Cahors to reunite with the students, many of whom they hosted. Cahors is a town in southwest France, about 90+ minutes from Toulouse & about 180 miles from the Spanish border.
“The exchange has been an incredibly valuable experience for not only the students from Cahors, but for our Hingham students as well. They have had the opportunity to really use their language skills, make new friends, and reflect on aspects of their own lives in comparison with those of their French counterparts.” – Erica Pollard, K-12 World Language Director.
Each Cahors Exchange student stayed with a different Hingham High School host family. The students had a week and a half to experience American culture, including that uniquely American holiday – Halloween – as well as the sights of New England. Exchange students attended HHS for the first two days and shadowed their student hosts. The first weekend involved a “host family weekend”. Some families decided to show Cahors students around Hingham, go to sporting events, or visit greater Boston.
The next week involved two day trips to Boston where Cahors students visited several famous landmarks including the Freedom Trail, State House, Quincy Market, and Boston Common. Cahors students returned for the last day of classes at HHS before leaving Hingham for a weekend in New York City.
After much sightseeing and foreign culture immersion, Cahors students returned home to France. Twelve HHS students will travel to Cahors in April 2023, with an opportunity to stay with the student they hosted.
“Hingham High School lists ‘global citizenship’ among its core values, and, to us, those are much more than words on a page. The exchange with Cahors, France, provides a vivid example of what ‘global citizenship’ really looks like at our school. It’s not only about learning another language, studying world history, and exploring other cultures. Above all, it’s about establishing genuine connections and working to make the world a smaller, better, place.” – Rick Swanson, Hingham High School Principal.
The exchange program will return in 2025 and will continue on an every other year basis. A special thank you to French Teacher Alec Porter for coordinating the successful launch of this program. Also thanks to French Teacher Maria Zade and English Teacher Nicole Lytle for welcoming the visiting teachers into their homes.
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