A Week without Walls for IB DP students - Exploring Switzerland and France

A Week without Walls for IB DP students - Exploring Switzerland and France


On April 19th through 26th, Grade 11 spent the week abroad on a trip in France and in Switzerland. The goal of the trip was to learn more about the culture of the countries as well as the most important international scientific collaborations in Europe.

And what a trip it was! From the world famous CERN, a gigantic particle accelerator where scientists have fun striving to uncover the secrets of matter, to the ITER project, a more somber site where countless people are trying to mimic the nuclear furnace found in stars to produce energy, all while touring through the French countryside in Provence, and visiting some iconic landmarks, like the Gorges du Verdon. Not a single person was left unimpressed, scientific inclination irregardless.

That doesn't mean that the trip was meant purely for science. Time spent on various types of transport ensured we could actually talk, without being distracted by the buzzing  miscellaneous gadgets, and strengthen our friendships. Thank you to Mr. Ricketts and Mrs. Gerybienė for chaperoning and Dr. Griggs for planning the trip


By Lukas, grade 11 student


 Read below some more impressions of students about the places they visited:

 Geneva:  “Green and gorgeous”. “Busy but serene and gives the impression of an ideal city".

CERN:  “The very context (of CERN) was impactful; giving the sensation of seeing the frontier of humanity.”

Lyon:  “The medieval architecture was sterling.”

Lumiere Institute:  “Historically fascinating”

 Aix en Provence:  “Difficult to navigate, it felt like trying to complete a labyrinth with a Mediterranean feel.”

ITER:  “A definite highlight – listening to a physicist so lively, I forgot not to care.”  “ A physicist that balanced crude wit with an oratory brilliance not commonly found.”

Greoux les Bains:  “Thermes troglodytes, Celts, Gallo, Romains:  could, should have spent more time.  Very photogenic.” 

Moustiers Sainte Marie:  “So tied to nature.  I got to engage in something that was not man – made for the first time on our trip.”  “Panoramic view from chapel was near religious.  Astounding.”

Georges du Verdon:  “A highlight – mother nature at her most breathtaking.”

Avignon:  “Interesting medieval architecture”. “Free time was from 11 – 12:30 but the restaurants didn’t open until 12”

Manosque:  “Public toilets – vile” “I second that notion.  Some nice and narrow streets though.”

Paris:  “Absolutely delightful!”