Bonjour! This weekend was all movement for us in Paris — we collected everyone from the airport swiftly and surely, dropped our things off at the hotel, and headed straight into the city. First stop was the Jardin du Luxembourg, then it was off to Notre Dame; we walked along the Seine and did some perusing and purchasing at the bouquinistes, headed through the courtyards of the Louvre, and finished with a delicious dinner at an amazing creperie near the Champs Elysées. Everyone was pretty tuckered out after this long and eventful day so once back at the hotel, students went straight up to their rooms for bed.

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Sunday was relatively relaxing. We left the hotel and headed for the Eiffel Tower where we spent some time exploring and taking pictures. It wasn’t too crowded given it was still fairly early in the morning, but security was still in place from the Euro Cup so it took a bit of extra time to get under the tower.

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Next, we headed to the train station, where we had a bit of time to rest and find something to eat at one of the many cafes before boarding our train to Biarritz. Riding through the French countryside is always such a treat and for those who weren’t lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the train, we were lucky enough to enjoy the scenery. Once in Biarritz, homestay families met us at the train station and took their respective students home for a nice dinner, and some even got to tour around the city with their families if students weren’t too tired. Monday morning was another early start as students came in to take a placement assessment before classes began.

After class, students braved the heatwave with the school director, Philippe, who gave us a walking tour of the city and beaches so that everyone could get their bearings in their new home for the next two weeks. After the tour, everyone got to enjoy some delicious ice cream at one of our favorite ice cream parlors in town.

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Our Month and 6-Week group got a little respite from the heat as they went to the (air-conditioned) Musée de la Mer — our local aquarium & museum. It was quite relaxing and refreshing to watch the many native plant and animal life swimming in their cool waters and lending real-life illustrations of the assorted information provided by the museum.

And once again, despite the heat-wave that has descended upon Biarritz, it was a lovely evening and many went to enjoy the sunset on the beach here last night as they continue to integrate and immerse themselves in this new, exciting culture and city.

Today we have several students from our new group going for their first surf lesson here in the surf capital of Europe, while others have chosen to go on a guided rafting adventure at a nearby river. I’m excited to find out how their afternoons went and how they enjoyed these thrilling aquatic activities!