Falling for France

Students join school trip to Europe


Photo by Kristina Colburn

Seniors Vanessa Baez and Kaitlyn Colburn stand in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Twenty-four students and chaperones from Texas High School toured around France for 10 days.

Story by Sophie Keller, Web Master

The air is muggy and thick with jet lag as students take what is for some, their first steps on international soil. They have no idea what awaits them in the days to come.

On June 20, 2022, 24 students, parents and teachers landed in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France. The trip was arranged by Texas High French teacher Parker Wright through EF tours, taking students all throughout the south of France and more: from Paris to Bordeaux, San Sebastian to Monaco.

“I decided to do the trip because I’ve spent a decent amount of time abroad and I talked about being abroad in my class, but I want the students to be able to experience it as well,” Wright said. “I like the idea of broadening minds and exposing the students to different cultures and worldviews, and I think it was a good opportunity.”

Although most of the students on the trip took Wright’s French class at one point or another, actually being there was a culture shock. It was nothing like what they expected.

“Paris overall, I thought we would really like it and it was like, not really [that great],” senior Yuritzy Pina said. “But when we went to the smaller cities, it was just way more fun than I thought it would be.”

That being said, it really was an amazing experience. The students had a lot more freedom to roam and explore than one might expect. 

“I think the students really liked being able to go off and just go,” Wright said. “I had students that would just go off and find something, and they’d bring me back a picture. I just liked that they were able to take advantage of the free time. I did not expect it to be so good to have so much free time and for that free time to be really unstructured. [It was] really just go and do, go experience things, so that was really nice.”

Some got to make memories that they will likely never forget: swimming in the Mediterranean, hiking mountain trails in San Sebastian, getting ice cream in every city.

“A bunch of students went to the torture museum [in Carcassonne], and I just loved the reaction when they got back in the bus,” Wright said. “Half of them were speechless, the other half couldn’t stop talking. And then they’re all like, ‘I wish we got to spend more time in that place.’”

While students had a blast on the trip, the first few days weren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Jetlag mixed with the heat and chaos of Paris made for a rough start to the trip. Going straight from the airport to the Louvre wasn’t helping anything either. Thankfully though, things started looking up once everyone got some much needed hours of sleep. 

“I would change going to Paris for the first day,” Pino said, “just because of jetlag, and we had just got off the airplane.”

Despite the rough start though, everyone really did have a great time, and some are even thinking about joining the next France trip in 2024. Wright can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for them on trips to come.

“It showed them something outside of our small town, you know, gave them an opportunity to see something that could maybe give them drive to go on and do big and amazing things later on.”