Ahh, gay Paree. France’s capital is known for its food, fashion, culture and art, making it a diverse and exciting destination for teachers of many different disciplines to bring their students. However, if the members of your class have never been to the City of Lights before, it can be hard to know where to start – which is why I say begin at the beginning. |
What I mean by this is it’s important to build a base of Parisian history – after all, the famous sites are well-known for a reason, and students who have never been to the city before are sure to want to tick them off their bucket lists. Read on for two of the most iconic must-sees your class should visit on a first time school trip to Paris.
The Eiffel Tower
When you think of France, you’re likely to conjure up an image of the Eiffel Tower. It was the brainchild of Gustave Eiffel. He submitted his design to a competition held by the government for an iron tower that was to be built on the Champ-de-Mars to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Engineers Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin along with architect Stephen Sauvestre headed the project and construction began in 1887. It was completed in 1889 and has since become a symbol of France.
No school trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Bring your students here for a living, breathing history lesson of France and the city itself – and, if you and your class are feeling energetic, a hearty walk up its hundreds of steps.
The Arc de Triomphe
Like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is another memorial monument and another important stop on a school trip to Paris. It was built between 1806 and 1836 in honour of the soldiers who died for their country during battle, specifically those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. The names of the battles and the generals who died in them have been carved across the top of the arch and on the inside.
Although a slightly more sobering addition to your itinerary, bringing your students to the Arc de Triomphe is another tangible and valuable introduction to France’s history.
Making a School Trip to Paris a Reality
No matter what subject you teach, one thing is for sure: you’re busy with marking, lesson plans and, most importantly, shaping the minds of the next generation. To make the most of your class’s time in the French capital (and so you don’t have to deal with all the fiddly details), I highly recommend seeking out a specialised educational travel tour operator to help you organise your school trip to Paris. With that task off your plate, you’ll have a lot more time to whet your students’ appetites for your upcoming visit to the City of Lights.
A first time educational excursion to France should include all the iconic must-sees Paris has to offer – and the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are two great places to start.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning a school trip to Paris, an Iceland geography trip or a trekking expedition to India, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group
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