Voyage en Chine pendant les vacances de la Toussaint, 15 élèves de la 3ème à la Terminale ont eu la chance de partir en Chine. Nous sommes partis le lundi 24 octobre en début d’après-midi. A Pékin, nous étions logés sur un campus universitaire : 北京华文学院. Le campus était très grand, avec un gymnase, un stade, une piscine… Le séjour a débuté par une cérémonie d’accueil, à la suite de laquelle nous avons eu un test pour déterminer notre niveau de chinois.
Certains jours, nous restions sur le campus. Nous avions cours de chinois le matin. Les cours étaient géniaux et très intéressants. Nous avons beaucoup appris, et nous sommes tous améliorés en chinois. Certains ont même pu débuter la langue, et en apprendre les bases. L’après-midi, nous avions des activités culturelles : calligraphie, peinture chinoise, atelier raviolis. Certains soirs étaient consacrés aux devoirs, alors que d’autres étaient réservés aux cours de kung-fu ! C’était pour tous une expérience unique, avec un professeur très impressionnant !
Les autres journées étaient consacrées à la visite de Pékin. Nous avons visité la cité interdite, le temple du ciel, les jardins impériaux, Wang Fu Jin, le parc olympique… Mais la visite que nous avons tous préférés était celle de la Grande Muraille de Chine. C’était un moment très fort, où l’effort physique nous a unis. 1517 marches !
Nous avons pour la plupart été conquis par la nourriture chinoise. Avec des saveurs nouvelles mais décideuses, nous sommes devenus des professionnels du riz et du thé ! Cela nous permettait de nous réchauffer, car nous avons eu très froid !
Après une dizaine de jours à Pékin, nous avons pris le train, un matin à l’aube pour Shanghai. Les journées y étaient très intenses, car le programme était très chargé ! Tour de la Perle d’Orient, balade en bateau, Petite Venise, Nan Jing Road, jardins, concession française… Nous avons vu le plus possible en 3 jours ! C’est avec grand regret que nous avons pris l’avion pour rentrer à Paris, mais avec l’esprit plein de nouvelles expériences et aventures.
Lorsqu’on me demande laquelle des deux villes j’ai le plus aimé, je suis incapable de répondre. Pékin est beaucoup plus traditionnelle, brute, mais aussi intéressante historiquement ; alors que Shanghai est très moderne, presque occidentale avec ses grands gratte-ciels et lumières. Mes meilleurs souvenirs sont liés au groupe soudés que nous formions, avec Anais J, Julia L, Océane L, Louis-Shzeng et Hanaé Z en 3ème, Jade AM, Marthe CDL, Cléa D, Ray K, Andréa P et Elisa V en 2de, Théophile C, Rémi D et Rémi Ket 1ère et Alexia K en Tale.
Un grand merci à Madame Hsiao et Madame Caporal pour nous avoir accompagnés !
Following the week long Pre-Conference in Paris hosted by Ermitage, a delegation of Ermitage Upper School students represented our school at the Round Square International Conference 2017 Louisenlund. The Ermitage delegation included: Lena D (IB2), Sarah B, Hayden P and Raphael A (IB1).
Based on the theme "The Journey That Makes Us," delegates connected with over 600 students and adults representing over 80 schools around the world. Students enjoyed a range of engaging keynote presentations followed by in-depth discussions and debates with their international counterparts. Students also spent a day in the community working on service projects as well as an adventure outing where they sailed on the Baltic sea.
Being an Ermitage ambassador at a RSIC is a wonderful achievement, where students are able to enhance their global perspectives, while expanding their networks as well. Bravo to all who participated!
Ermitage hosted a week long Pre-Conference in Paris in advance of the Round Square International Conference 2016 being held at Stiftung Louisenlund, Germany and Aiglon College, Switzerland. Ermitage welcomed over 40 students and staff from Round Square partner schools including Bayview Glenn (CAN), Billhook College (AUS), Scindia (IND), the Punjab Public School (IND), the Doon School (IND) and Saint Andrew's School (USA).
The week included an enriching discovery of Paris and northern France. Highlights of the experience included visits to the Louvre, Notre Dame and Montmartre, just to name a few, with an exciting celebration on the final evening where the group enjoyed dinner atop the Eiffel Tower and a dance party bus tour around the city of lights! For a little rest and relaxation, the group concluded their week with a 2-day cultural excursion and invigorating 70 kilometers bike tour of Normandy.
On the third day of the Germany conference, we attended the speech of Professor Manfred Spitzer, who studied medicine, philosophy, and psychology at the University of Freiburg in Southern Germany. In Harvard university, he accomplished three research fellowships in Neurobiology, Psychology, and Psychiatry. He is a regarded speaker in both German and English, as well as being vastly published for his works in psychiatry, learning, and neuroscience.
He began his speech by showing us an image, representing the same neuron of a dog over a period of time, in three pictures. He asked us what we saw. I was not sure what he meant, because I had perhaps seen this once or twice in my life, however he then added red and blue arrows to the image, showing changes in the neuron. He explained to us that the red arrows represented the synapses that were gone, while the blue ones pointed the new ones, also referred to as connections. In consequence, he said that if the existing connections were not used, and trained, they would disappear. From what I understood, an example which would fit this case, is the learning of a new language, because as you learn, new connections form in the neurons.
“You don’t have a brain, you are your brain,” is what Professor Spitzer explained when speaking about it. He further explained himself, by saying that you can get transplant of a heart, kidney, or even a liver, and it won’t change you. You will have another person’s organ functioning in your body, however your self will not be changed. However, the brain is everything that makes you, and so that it why he considers it as a person being its own brain. He explained that the way the brain learns the most, is by itself, for instance when a baby learns to walk, or speak. The major things you know have been self-taught. In addition, he added that the brain learns best at an early age, due to the fact that it is extremely fast at the youngest ages. He explained that the brain was so efficient at the early age, that it could rewire itself to adapt. He talked about the case study of a young girl, who had half of her brain removed. Her brain rewired itself, and adapted to the case, and she did not even see the difference. Although her language sensor was gone, she could speak two languages fluently. The speaker said that the myth of having a brain without space for more storage anymore was nonsense. When speaking of the brain adapting, he said that if a young child were to have eye sight problems, the parents should patch his weak eye an hour a day until age five, to ensure that the brain uses the eye, and does not ignore it. He accentuated the fact that the more you learn, the more you will be able to learn. However, he did say that if you do not learn much by the age of 25, such as a second language, you are more likely to fall in dementia.
He spoke a lot about stress and the causes of it. He defined stress as being a subjective feeling which you cannot do anything about, because of total lack of control. Not knowing what stresses you, is the very source of that stress. When “multitasking,” which is actually impossible, you become less effective and so your stress level rises. True multitasking would be the action of “following two strings of information” at once. For instance, listening to two people speaking, reading two books, or watching two films. The speaker said that “company buffers stress,” and so being with family, friends or other people can reduce it. Stress can be accentuated with loneliness. In fact, the greatest killer, is loneliness.
He explained that as humans, we were meant to live together, in company, which explains why being alone is a cause of stress. There are colors associated with stress, and also with creativity. Red is associated with anxiousness, and blue or green is associated with creativity. When anxious, you are more attentive to small details, you pay more attention. Which makes sense because stress is like a button, as explained by the professor, which maxes out energy, cardio, and brain. While it decreases digestion, growth, immune defense, and reproduction. In fact, he said that every time he takes the plan, he wishes the pilot is in depression and has anxiety, as he will be more likely to be careful with small details. On the other hand, a study was made which was meant to see the effect of nature on creativity. The outcome of it, was that people who had been walking in nature, were much more creative than those who had walked indoors. In fact, nature decreases stress levels.
The doctor spoke of the effect of technology on the learning outcome for students. The more sophisticated a textbook is, the less likely the student is to remember the content. He explained that the use of technology in class considerably decreased the effectiveness and success of students. In addition, he mentioned that typing your notes, was not as well remembered by the brain as hand writing it. Making the physical effort to write, helps the brain learn better.
In summary, the speech was about the learning process of the brain, the outcomes of stress with the way to reduce it, and the effect of technology on learning. When talking with many people during the conference, they said they had not enjoyed it much, however, I thought it was such an amazing talk, which taught me so much in such little amount of time. It truly made me think about it, and I now feel more aware and keen about psychology.
Voilà, on y est. Après quelques années d’apprentissage du chinois à l’Ermitage, les élèves vont pouvoir se rendre dans l’Empire du Milieu. Dans le cadre de la découverte de la langue et de la culture chinoise, L’Ermitage - Ecole Internationale de France – organise un séjour en Chine durant les vacances de la Toussaint 2016.
L’immersion dans la société chinoise d’aujourd’hui commencera dans la capitale Beijing, ville olympique. Lors du passage à Beijing, nous logerons à Beijing Chinese Language et Culture College. Le matin, les élèves suivront des cours de chinois (oral et écrit), et l’après-midi participeront à des activités culturelles, tels la peinture chinoise, un atelier raviolis… Bien sûr, l’occasion entre autres de nous rendre sur La Grande Muraille, et de visiter la Porte de la Paix Céleste (Place Tian’an men) avec la fameuse Cité interdite. Après l’exploration du Nord de la Chine, on va poursuivre notre voyage vers le Sud, Shanghai, capitale économique de la Chine : Tour la Perle de l’Orient, Concession française, La petite Venise...
Ce séjour est proposé à tous les élèves de l’Ermitage, à partir de la classe de 3 ème jusqu’à la Terminale. Les candidatures des élèves qui suivent les cours de chinois restent prioritaires.
In May 2016, Ermitage Foundation 3 students Marc B, Miguel S, Natalia C, and Amber W visited the Herlufsholm Skole in Naestved Denmark for a 5-day student exchange experience. This exchange has continued between Ermitage and Herlufsholm and has become a highlight for our Middle School students.
While in Denmark, the group visited the 450 year old school, Copenhagen, the Rosenburg Castle, saw the crown jewels, visited the Tivoli Amusement park which was where Walt Disney got his inspiration for Disneyland, and Mons Klint which is a beautiful limestone cliff on the eastern edge of Denmark. During this time, the Ermitage students were housed by their Danish friends so that they could have a taste for home life.
To continue the exchange, in September 2016, Ermitage welcomed the 4 Danish students where they explored the château of Maisons-Laffitte, hiked up to second floor of the Eiffel Tower (all 669 steps), visited the Musée D'Orsay, took a canal tour on the Seine, and ate some delicious crêpes in St. Germain-en-Laye. Ermitage students welcomed their Danish friends into their homes as well to further introduce them to French culture.
As a parting gift, in celebration of International Peace Day on September 21st, Herlufsholm passed along "Gilley the Peace Bear". As guardians of Gilley, Ermitage students are to write their reflections on peace within an accompanying book, which will later be shared internationally as Gilley continues his journey to other Round Square schools... next stop, the Felsted School, United Kingdom!
Applications now available for ICU2 2016! Learn about past trips under the ICU2 tab of this blog... will you be part of the 2016 team? Applications due November 25th to firstname.lastname@example.org
Les inscriptions sont maintenant ouvertes pour ICU2 2016! Plus d'informations pour tous nos voyages sous l'onglet "ICU2"... N'attends pas, rejoint l'équipe ICU2 2016? Date limite pour les inscriptions le 25 novembre à email@example.com
A delegation of students participated in the Round Square International Conference 2015 hosted by United World College Singapore. Our school was proudly represented by the following students: Margot FND5, Cedric FND5 , Ajoa IB1 and Daphné 2nde. Under the theme Act Now-Change Tomorrow, over 1000 student delegates from around 150 schools from all continents converged to display their talents and creativity. Students were pushed out of their comfort zones, made new connections, discussed current issues, collaborated, visited interesting cultural sites and enjoyed the many tastes of Singapore. Welcome back travelers!
We were happy to continue our annual group exchange with the Herlufsholm Skole Denmark. Ermitage students visited Herlufsholm in spring 2015 and have now hosted their Danish friends for a 3 day exploration of Paris and Maisons-Laffitte this fall, including cultural visits, favorite French foods, and even sitting in on some of our classes. Looking forward to the next exchange!
"There is one thing that I love doing, and that’s going on trips. When it was clear that I had this chance I went for it. The moment I realized I was going to Japan was when I was walking into the plane, a huge grin on my face, nothing can compare with this moment of bliss, mixed with nervous anxiety. That’s the thing when you go to a complete different country, where you know no one, you don’t understand the language and traditions. You feel like a baby, that needs to be reassured, cradled, but you also have this furious thirst for adventure, knowledge, this desire to pushes your limits.
Japan has taught me oh so many things: to be humble, respectful and selfless. The more I see, the more I discover, the more you realise, you are part of a whole, and it will keep getting bigger and bigger. The more people you meet, the more you learn, the smaller, more insignificant you become and the less you realise you actually know. For me those are the basics of going on an adventure: losing yourself in others. If there is one thing that I must choose to represent Japan in its whole, with all its complexity it would be without doubt the people I met during my stay. Each and every one of them is, to me, what made this trip truly exceptional. Each and every person that you will meet will be unique, and you should treasure those precious moments.
I already went on several exchanges before, in the USA, in, India, but it was always with other students. Organising my own trip and going on my own, truly gave me a sense of independence. Representing my school for the first time, in this unknown school was such an exceptional experience. I can’t be grateful enough to the people that helped me before and during my stay. I had to resume what this country and its people gave me I would compare it to meeting a 35 year old adult with two very different personalities. One side of him is passionate, innovative, hard-working and excels in everything he does. The other is calm, conservative, well-assured and stubborn. When going to Japan I was faced with the two sides of his persona, both striking and inspiring they have left in me a powerful desire to aspire for great things, and to do so with confidence in who I am and what I am capable of doing. If there was one thing that I want to say to anyone that wants to go on an exchange, at the other end of the world, next door, for a week, or months: just go for it, go share your awesomeness!"