One of the coolest opportunities I had while I was an assistant in France was to go along on the class trip to York, England. For free! I went with 52 French high school students and 4 teachers, spoke more French than English, and discovered the unique charm (and the strong accents) of Yorkshire.
We took a coach from Douai all the way to York, with a trip through the “chunnel” on the way. It was so creepy! Nothing like I expected: the humongous coach pulled into what felt like a storage trailer along with an SUV, the door was shut, and we couldn’t see anything except the orange glow coming from the fluorescent lights inside our little storage unit. Thirty minutes later, there was light, and we were in England!
The students did homestays, and I stayed with the other teachers at an awesome little bed & breakfast. The hostess was a fabulous cook and we were treated to yummy goodness each night at dinner! I’m talking three course meals, table service, etc. It was a nice place to go back to after the long days we had exploring with and chaperoning the students!
Some of the highlights of the trip were visiting Howard Castle, seeing the Bronte parsonage, hiking the moors near the parsonage, touring the city of York, and a stop in Canterbury on our way back to France (we took the ferry to cross the channel this time).
Overall, one of the best free trips I’ve been on! (Not that there are many free trips I’ve had to compare it to, but that’s beside the point.) I had the chance to explore a lot more of England than I had seen before – London in 2006 – and I bonded with my students and coworkers (with a month of work left)!