In June US Spanish teacher Diana Moss, K-Gr. 5 dean of students Joe Connolly and several students headed to Switzerland to visit with the students from College de Gambach in Fribourg, who visited Harker during the spring semester, and to brush up on their French language skills. Not to mention immerse themselves in the country’s vast culture and beauty.
Students who embarked on the trip were incoming sophomores Shivani Bigler, Neda Ghaffarian, Neha Kumar, Daniela Lapidous, Jay Reddy and Shreya Indukuri; incoming juniors Michael Patland, Jason Young and Michelle Vu and incoming senior Kendra Moss.
The group had plenty to do once they touched down and met with their host families, with whom they stayed for the duration of the trip. Visiting the city of Lausanne by train, the group visited the Olympic Museum to view the vast archive of Olympic memorabilia and learn more about the history of the games. Then it was off on a boat ride across Lake Geneva to the Nestle Food Museum in Vevey, where the students attended a cooking class. Nestle was founded in the city more than 140 years ago and is headquartered there to this day. Following the visit, “you would think all we’ve done here is eat!” Diana Moss exclaimed. “Fortunately, we’ve had plenty of walking too!” The next day, the group went to a cheese factory in Gruyeres, a city so famous for its cheese that the food was named after it.
All the while, the Harker and Gambach students got better acquainted as they shared more and more about one another’s cultures. “All the Harker students and Swiss students are getting along so well,” Moss reported from Switzerland during the trip. “It makes me so proud of them!” Moss was also impressed at how well the students were able to communicate with one another. “Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of our trip has been watching our students interact with the Swiss students,” she said. “The Swiss are amazing linguists, moving between one language to the next with ease, but we are proud of the great efforts and growth our kids are making with their French.” While there, the group was even featured in a local newspaper covering their visit (see photo).
Before leaving, the Harker and Gambach students enjoyed a fondue party before the Harker students departed for the weekend. The whole group reunited and said their goodbyes in Zurich on Monday before majority of the Harker students flew back home. Moss and her daughter Kendra stayed behind to spend some more time exploring Europe. “It was a fabulous experience staying with a family that spoke very little English because it encouraged me to fully immerse myself in the French language,” Kendra said. “Switzerland was just as beautiful as one would imagine it to be.”