Belleville West’s Adventures to France and Germany

Ella Morris and

On June 7, 2022, Belleville West’s foreign language classes embarked on a week-long trip to France and Germany. The group visited several towns and cities in both countries starting with Paris, the city of lights.


“We were in Paris for three days, and my legs hurt so bad,” junior Amina Karabas said. “First day we went to the Eiffel Tower, and a whole bunch of other monuments. The second day we had free time, and we went around and shopped.”


Then the students visited The Louvre, the most famous museum in the world. There they saw the many sculptures, paintings, drawings, and archeological finds the museum has to offer. Students typically favored the Mona Lisa over all else. 

“The day we saw the Mona Lisa was the longest day, though,” Karabas said. “The Louvre is so big and my feet were so tired.”


Of course, the students tried many new foods in both France and Germany. However, several students opted to try one of the most infamous French dishes while in the country, escargot (snail).


“I tried snails, and I did like it,” Junior Sadie Meinen said. “I don’t know how I felt about the texture. It was a little weird, but it tasted good.”


When asked about their language fluencies in France, students had only praise for all that West’s curriculum has taught them.


“Some of them didn’t even know I was American until I pulled out the bank of America card,” senior Jake Moreland said.


The students ended their portion of the trip in France with a visit to Strasbourg, a French city that sits near the German border. Its culture and architecture stem from both French and German influences, transitioning the students to their next location, Germany.


“In Germany, I saw mountains for the first time there, and the landscape there is green and misty,” Junior Madeline Moreland said. “It was really cool.”


Though, French students had a harder time with their language fluency in Germany, of course. Menus and street signs were a challenge for those familiar with and used to the French language.


“In Germany, it was very difficult to read anything,” Madeline Moreland said.  “I looked at a menu and I was like, ‘you know what? maybe I’ll just… not.’”


Germany had many beautiful sights to see such as castles and mountains. Students also had the opportunity to see the Dachau concentration camp, a very moving sight to see.

“We saw the Holocaust museums. That was probably my favorite part of the whole trip, actually,” Karabas said.


The trip concluded on June 15th, and the students flew back home to the United States. Many are eager to visit the country again next year when another trip to France will be held.


The students will participate in a variety of visits and cultural activities,” Ms. York, Belleville West’s French teacher says. “There are so many amazing destinations on this trip including Nice (in the French Riviera), glamorous Monaco, Aix-en-Provence (hometown of artist Paul Cézanne), the walled city of Carcassone, Bordeaux, and of course Paris, the city of lights! Everyone is so excited (including me) for this amazing trip!”