Report Troyes February 2018

By , March 6, 2018 13:48

Sunday, February 18 –  Thursday February 22, 2018

The second international exchange between PCC Het Lyceum, Georg-Büchner-Schule and Lycée Les Lombards on the topic Health started this week. On Sunday, the visiting students arrived on the train station in Troyes, where they met their French hosts for the first time in real life. Before that, they made digital acquaintance, through social media.

Monday started with a welcome speech by the French teachers and warming-up activities to get to know each other. All teachers and students introduced themselves. Also, the headmaster of the school held a short welcome speech for the German and Dutch guests.

Students learned about a quote from a famous French author from the early-twentieth century, Marcel Proust, who said: “To know someone else, you have to know yourself.” Then they answered questions about the thesis and themselves and discussed the answers with each other. E.g. What quality do you like most about yourself, what quality do you like most in other people and so on.

Alors on danse …

To break the ice the students and teachers learned some Latin dancing. Rumba, mambo and salsa moves were used to improve communication in a healthy way. Thanks to Mr. Marvin’s enthusiasm the students were less hesitating to use the English language after dancing with each other.

Next, the students presented the results of their investigations on clichés about the other two countries participating in the program. The prejudices on clothing, sports, food habits, school system, way of living, cultural differences were shown. The other students judged whether the preconceptions were based on truth. They used red or green plates to show if they agreed or disagreed. This week’s goal is to help diminish the clichés amongst our students.

After the lunch break in the school restaurant we went to the city hall for an official reception with the first assistant mayor. He welcomed the group with a speech. After that a Dutch and a German student thanked him and the city for their hospitality on behalf of the visiting groups. Claire, a Dutch student emphasized the 60th anniversary of the twin city cooperation between Troyes and Alkmaar by saying Twinning is winning!

City rally

During today’s last activity, the visiting students got to know Troyes. They explored the city center In small groups. They were instructed to find and to photograph places related to our project’s theme health.

Tired and full of new impressions and a little less nervous than before, the students went off to their hosting families or to the boarding school.

Art and nature: ingredients for mental health

We went to Lac d’Orient by bus, where the group was split up in two. One group went to the Forêt d’Orient. The original plans were: orienteering in the forest, learning about the environment and working together on assignments about nature and nature’s relation to health. Unfortunately, the forest soil was too wet and soggy due to bad weather conditions earlier this month, and the plans had to be adjusted.

The students worked together to build a piece of art with materials which they had collected in the forest, enjoying some fresh air in a healthy environment. Their patience and persistence resulted in a beautiful statue of leaves, twigs, wild boar’s droppings, mushrooms and different kinds of moss.

After this, the students enjoyed a typical regional lunch and got a chance to warm up. When lunch was finished, the students spontaneously took initiative to do some singing and dancing together. This way, students from different nationalities taught each other about songs from France, Germany and The Netherlands.

Ball games for physical health

The second group was involved in sports activities in the morning. They played kin ball, a game played in teams with a huge ball, and tchoukball, a variation of hand ball. These games were new to most of the students. Hardly anyone was familiar with the rules before today, so cooperation was needed to master the games.

In the afternoon, the groups switched and did the other activity.

Show yourself in workshops, presentations and a talent show

Today students chose one out of three workshops: making moisturizing cream in the science lab, making masks or drama.

Healthy skin, healthy look

In the science lab of Lycée Les Lombards students were taught how to make hand and skin moisturizer. They learned that the ingredients had to be heated to the right temperature in order to mix well and to obtain a smooth cream. They talked about the importance of skin and about durable ingredients. Finally, they concluded that a healthy lifestyle and taking good care of yourself is important for a healthy appearance.


The workshop on drama was about setting up different scenes. For example: a day at the beach, where students acted as if playing ball games, sun bathing and applying sunscreen, swimming in the sea. They also showed a train station scene: people saying hello and goodbye, hugging, waving, running for the train and even someone performing suicide. A third scene showed a wedding ceremony, with the bridal couple and all the guests posing for the wedding photo.

In this workshop, the students had to work together to set up a plan. Also, they became more aware of their social environment, their empathy was called upon and they were asked to show more of themselves in a playful way.


In the workshop on making masks the students were asked to think about themselves, with Proust’s quote in mind and the questions they talked about on Monday. With materials like paint, paper and glitter they made masks that showed their ‘real’ faces: how would they want to be seen by others and which of their qualities would they like to show to the outside world.


When the workshops were done, the students were given the opportunity to present for the group the outcomes of their effort and to explain what they had learned.

In the meantime, a journalist came to interview our students. The article she wrote is published here.

Then, they all wrote a postcard to someone else in the group. By doing this, all participants had a souvenir of this international exchange.

The last activity was the great talent show. The Dutch group danced, the Germans sang a German song, some French students did acrobatics, someone else played bass guitar. After the show, Latin music was played, the students recalled the rumba, salsa and mambo moves and the exchange ended with a dance.


Movie Troyes


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