What is PCE? (Downloadable Interest Form)

7 07 2010

Latest Update – To Sign Up:

Click this link to download the Parent/Student Interest Flyer. Complete the form and return it to Mrs. Debra Armstrong (the French teacher at PHS) by January 15, 2011.

General Overview

The Ponchatoula Cultural Exchange (PCE) is a unique international program for students ages 16-18. It operates on the belief that intercultural exchange fosters invaluable personal and educational growth in young adults and gives students a fun, hands-on opportunity to explore the world around them. This exchange takes place between international sister cities: Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and Fontanil, France. Students DO NOT have to know French to participate!

Background Info

Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and Fontanil, France, have been international sister cities since 1989. Since that time, several informal exchanges between adults and students have taken place, and in October 2009, a group of Ponchatoula residents visited Fontanil to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our relationship.

Volunteers from each town are now working diligently to establish two-week, high school student exchanges every summer. These exchanges will be centered around homestays in both cities and will involve fellow teenagers with similar interests (i.e. cinema, sports, shopping, etc.). As a result of this experience, students will gain new opportunities, foster positive, international relationships and hold memories that will last a lifetime.

Who Can Participate?

Students must be 16-18 years old at the time of the exchange to participate, but support from community members of all ages is welcome. Not only are we looking for students but also host families, general volunteers and sponsorships!

How Much Does It Cost?

One of the best things about PCE is that it’s affordable! The only costs for traveling students are a plane ticket, travel insurance, and souvenirs/spending money!

Those families hosting a student provide them with free room and board (so just estimate having one extra mouth to feed for two weeks).

Contact Information

Visit our site, send us an email (ponchatoulaculturalexchange@gmail.com), or give us a call (985-981-1339) to find out more.

Fontanil, France




3 responses

26 07 2010

I was one of the people who was blessed to go to this beautiful little town in October 2009. The people are so friendly and the experience was amazing. If you have any questions about the trip, please let me know.

22 11 2010
Anita Brandon

My daughter attends Ponchatoula High and would like to go on the trip this summer. I have to admit, I’m a little leery about letting my sixteen year old visit another country. But I wouldn’t want her to miss out on a great learning experience either.
Any reassurance would be appreciated.
I would like to hear from others who have taken this trip.
Both pros and cons.

28 11 2010

Hi Anita! That is completely understandable. Here are a few pieces of information that might put you more at ease:
1. While this is the first year we are sending teenagers from Ponchatoula to Fontanil, Fontanil already conducts a similar exchange with a high school in the northeastern part of the U.S.
2. I have visited the town myself and know several other people who participated in the trip to Fontanil last October for our 20-year sister city anniversary. I’d be happy to put you in contact with them and/or Evelyne, the president of the Sister City Committee in Fontanil (she is organizing the exchange on the French side and also lived in Ponchatoula for a few years while her son attended PHS).
3. If we get a group of students together who all want to go to France at the same time, I or another responsible adult could chaperone.
4. If you would like to accompany your daughter to France and be home-hosted as well, this can be arranged.
5. You and your daughter are welcome to just host a French student at your home.

I hope this helps, and please let me know if you would like to be put in contact with any of the people I have mentioned above. I hope to hear from you soon!

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