On Saturday, October 14, 2023, the long-awaited day had finally arrived. Precisely at 7:40 AM, the travel group set off for France on an overnight train. After a short nap, the group caught their first glimpse of France. In the morning, the travelers made their first stop in Strasbourg. To pass the time, the 4th-grade class took a quick tour of the historic old town. They then continued to Paris via the TGV. Upon reaching Paris, the group embarked on a brief tour. Their first stop was the Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre, which offered a magnificent view of Paris. After a short break, they moved on to iconic landmarks. With the wonderful weather, the group enjoyed an even more breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. Following this, they boarded another TGV to their destination, Vannes. After a warm welcome from the teachers at the partner school, they checked into their hotel rooms and had dinner together.
Monday marked the first day at school. The journey took about an hour to Qustembert. Our tour guide/teacher at the school warmly welcomed us and introduced us to "Lycée Gén., Tech. Pro. Marcellin-Berthelot" school. In the morning, workshops focused on plastics technology were presented to us. Afterward, the French and Austrian students engaged in an exchange and got to know each other better. To foster better acquaintance, the students had lunch together and participated in 3 hours of lessons. In the evening, they returned to the hotel for dinner.
On Tuesday morning, the students traveled to Questembert by bus, where the French teacher was already waiting for the group. He started with a treasure hunt as they made their way to the location where the students played Boule Bretonne, a very popular game among the local people. Afterwards, the students went to another location where they danced in a traditional Breton style to Breton music. Finally, they went to the city hall where the mayor of the city awaited them. He delivered a speech, and the students received some snacks and drinks. Following this, the students went to the partner school and spent 3 hours there.
Wednesday's excursion took the group to the Plage de Conleau peninsula despite the inclement weather. For lunch, the tour group enjoyed traditional crêpes at the market hall in Vannes. After this refreshment, they participated in an English-language tour of the old town.
On Thursday, October 19, after breakfast, we were picked up by the partner class with a bus. Our next stop was a company specializing in custom plastic manufacturing called SMM (https://sne-smm.eu). There, the students received an English-language tour of the company. Following this, we visited the expansive Kerhillio beach on the Atlantic. We then explored the Carnac stone rows (Alignemnts de Carnac) and took plenty of photos. The social conclusion of our trip was a shared bowling session in Vannes.
After five wonderful days, the travel group set out on their journey back on Friday. A brief stop in Paris, where the students enjoyed some escargot, was the final exciting event for the students of the Department of Industrial Engineering. It's worth mentioning that all students managed excellently with their English skills learned at the HTL. After this successful trip, the fourth-grade class is already looking forward to the reunion in Hollabrunn in April and would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the French class and, in particular, to the teachers of both nations who made this fantastic trip possible.
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