Notre Dame et Radford: cinq échanges

The cake celebrating the fifth reciprocal visit from Lycée Notre Dame

The cake celebrating the fifth reciprocal visit from Lycée Notre Dame

By Michele Sharp, Head of Languages

Principals and languages staff from both schools

On Thursday we farewelled our French friends from our sister school in Le Mans, France. Radford families welcomed 12 students into their homes for this fifth reciprocal visit from Lycée Notre Dame.

We were thrilled to see their accompanying teachers Brigitte Charpentier and Véronique Giordano, and to welcome their principal, Monsieur Xavier Leroy, on his first visit to Australia. My thanks go to the Language Department for their support of this exchange, in particular Mesdames Bateman and Lefebvre for their superb program, which allowed our French visitors to experience Australian culture and the Radford learning experience.

A highlight for me came at the farewell party on 28 February. The French students wrote and performed a song for us about their experience at Radford. It displays the excellent connections that are formed through language learning and exchange programs. 


French visitors present their thanks in song

Voilà les paroles de la chanson, attention il y a probablement des fautes d’anglais

(Here are the words of the song, there may be some errors in English)

(Couplet 1)

A big trip in Australia,
A little group in Canberra,
We were just some strangers in a new world,
But despite our lack of knowledge, thanks to the Radford College,
We have spent a nice week in your company! 


Thank you very much (2 times)
To our friends of this country,
Now we’re like a family,
Your welcome will let us good memories!

(Couplet 2)

We thank a lot Fiona Godfrey,
And of course Jen Batemen as well,
And all the families very kind who welcomed us,
Truth Compassion and Wisdom,
Now we don’t want go back home,
We will miss the kangaroos and the platypus!


We look forward to our next exchange with Lycée Notre Dame, and wish our friends a good time in Sydney before they head home to France.

By Radford’s French Language Captain, Joshua Daffern

This year, Radford College and Lycée Notre-Dame in Le Mans, France, celebrated the fifth exchange trip between the two schools. During Weeks 3 and 4, Radford students in Years 10–12 hosted twelve students from Le Mans. The students from Le Mans were immersed in Australian culture, experiencing all the little quirks that make Canberra and Radford so special.


When our French guests weren’t joining the host students in the classes, they were visiting some of the Canberra region’s most interesting places. The students from Le Mans learned about Australia’s past at the National Museum, experienced farm life at the Pelican Sheep Shearing Farm, were taught about Australian politics at the Old and New Parliament Houses, and explored the Australian bush at Tidbinbilla. Students studying French in the Secondary School at Radford also had the opportunity to learn about French culture from our French guests.

We are sure that our guests from Le Mans have had an enjoyable stay. Radford College looks forward to welcoming our friends from France back to Australia in the years to come. This exchange would not have been possible without all the help and enthusiasm from Mrs Godfrey, Madame Bateman, Madame Lefebvre, Ms Sharp, and all of the languages staff at Radford.

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