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Highlights From Previous Study Abroad Trip
The first department-sponsored study abroad trip to France took place in the summer of 2014. Six students (Kristen Brown, Sarah Gibbens, Kaylee Hernandez, Dylan King, Crystal Poenisch, and Nancy Sterniak) earned six hours of language credit studying at the Ifalpes Institute in Annecy and visiting Paris, Geneva, and other sites.
The students began their trip in Paris where they focused on sight-seeing. They visited L'Arc de Triomphe, took a boat ride on the Seine, enjoyed the art of the Louvre, rode the subway, walked through the Jardin des Tuileries, and visited La Tour d'Eiffel, both during the day and in the evening while it is lighted.
Montmartre, the artistic center of the Seine's right bank was another stop, including the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Montmartre was the artistic center of the 19th century where great painters such as Monet, Van Gogh, Dali, and Picasso lived and worked.
The group also visiting the famous Palace of Versailles, easily recognizable as a setting for many American movies. Built by Louis XIV, the Sun King or Le Roi Soleil, it is considered to be the most beautiful castle in the world.
The Paris opera house, Palais Garnier, was another stop on the tour. Once the largest opera house in the world, it took 14 years to build and finally opened in 1874. Many great operas such as Bizet's Carmen premiered there and it was the setting for the Phantom of the Opera story.
After leaving Paris the group took the train to Annecy, which is in southeastern France, and began their classes at the Ifalpes Institute. They noted that in the Paris train station, four languages are used to provide information to travelers: French, English, Chinese, and German.
Annecy is the capital of Haute-Savoie and the greater metropolitan community comprises 58,000 people. Located in the Rhone-Alpes region on beautiful Lake Annecy, the city is often called the Venice of the Alps because of the charming canal system along the Thiou River. The study abroad group has already taken a city tour and visited the Palais de l'Isle, a prison built in 1132 and the most photographed building in town.
In between studying and learning French, the students visited the Ice Cave at Mont-Blanc, the highest point in the Alps where they hiked and visited the local towns.
Another day trip took the group to Geneva, Switzerland where they visited the UN headquarters and other attractions in the city.
The last official meeting before the group left for France.
photos courtesy of UTSA students, Dept of Modern Languages & Literatures, and wikimedia commons