Students Say ‘Oui’ to Meeting New Friends

Students Say ‘Oui’ to Meeting New Friends photo thumbnail139024

Bayport–Blue Point High School recently welcomed 30 students from Toulouse, France to kick off the fifth annual “Invasion Française” cultural exchange event. 

The families hosting the French students welcomed the group and their three teachers to a Thanksgiving themed dinner, which was held in the Bayport-Blue Point High School cafeteria. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Timothy P. Hearney started the dinner with a welcome speech, followed by BBPHS French teacher Madame AnnMarie Allen providing some background into how this experience had come to fruition. 

The visiting students attend Sainte-Marie des Champs, a private school based in Toulouse. During the French trips in 2017 and 2019, students from Sainte-Marie des Champs hosted the students from Bayport-Blue Point High School. According to Madame Allen, both her and Sainte-Marie des Champs English teacher Madame Cabriens have developed a friendship by bringing students from SMDC to BBPHS throughout the years. 

The Bayport-Blue Point students were quickly able to connect and start a conversation with their French friends. During the dinner, parents mingled and were able to meet their guests, as well as the teachers from France. Additionally, various administrators, staff members and members of the Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education chatted with parents and students throughout the course of the evening.

“There were smiles everywhere, which is a sign that the objective of this experience – to focus on and appreciate the similarities, while reflecting on the differences that exist in our cultures – was being met,” said Madame Allen. 

Upon departure from the BBP community, students from both countries shared what they had done together – including a “pizza & s’mores” party, visiting a haunted house, pumpkin picking, visiting the Sayville Apple Festival, and boat rides to Fire Island. The French students were excited to have been able to experience the American way of life for a few days, and BBP parents and students were sad to say goodbye to their new “family member.” According to Madame Allen, many are already looking forward to bringing back this experience next school year.