MI students’ arrival at the Geneva Airport where they were met by their French hosts on April 5. Courtesy photo of City of Thonon website

MI students’ arrival at the Geneva Airport where they were met by their French hosts on April 5. Courtesy photo of City of Thonon website

Mercer Island High School students return from France

Twenty-six students participated in a student exchange to Thonon-les-Bains, France from April 5 - 15.

  • Friday, May 3, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Twenty-six (26) Mercer Island High School students recently returned from a 10-day spring break student exchange to Mercer Island’s sister city, Thonon-les-Bains, France. The student exchange was organized by the Mercer Island Sister Association (MISCA).

MISCA was started in 2000 to advance educational, cultural and other relationships between Mercer Island and Thonon les Bains, France. In addition to organizing the student exchanges, MISCA hosts French movie nights, French conversation groups, French art lectures and other French-related events. It will be organizing an adult delegation to Thonon in 2020 to celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary.

During its student exchange from April 5-15, Mercer Island students stayed with French high school students and their families. The Islanders attended high school classes with their French hosts and spent three days touring the interesting historic and tourist sites in and around Thonon.

The student exchange is the first half of a family-to-family exchange program. In October, the French students will come to Mercer Island to stay in the homes of their correspondents, completing the exchange and deepening the connection between the two cities.

“The amazing thing about this trip is how clear the differences are between a normal tourist trip like going to Paris (which I’ve done before) and coming to a place like Thonon where the experience is much more cultural and in-depth, “ Simon Hermelee said in a statement. “It’s been an amazing trip – and I’ve seen a lot of really cool stuff.”

In addition to touring Thonon and its historic highlights, the students toured the Evian water factory and took a boat ride to Lausanne, Switzerland, where they visited the Olympic Museum and the Charlie Chaplin museum. They were welcomed by the mayor of Thonon at an official reception in the Hotel de Ville, and enjoyed a raclette dinner with all the students and families. On the weekends with their families, they went on excursions, some of them skiing in Chamonix or snowshoeing in the French Alps.

“Thonon’s really a beautiful city,” Aimee Graesser said in a press release. “There are flowers everywhere. A lot of the old buildings have been really well-preserved. Many have been turned into cool museums and things like that. It’s really cool getting to know the history of the town.”

Students on the trip include: Dyani Aguila, Irene Argenti, Caitlyn Barber, Callahan Dawson, Morgan Dawson, Luca Debray, Norah Evans, Harry Gollin, Kate Gormley, Aimee Graeser, Mackenzie Hamilton, Eleanor Hargraft, Simon Hermelee, Carolina Keith, Grace Lenington, Anna Perry, Colson Rimmer, Sean Ronaldson, Bennett Samuelly, Jarrett Sato, Caden Schreuder, Katie Stoops, Madeline “Maddy” way, Bill Wang, Kieran Watson and Tessa Werdel.

Photo courtesy of 
                                Jane Meyer Brahm 
                                Mercer Island students toured the Evian water plant in France - the largest water bottling facility in the world. The 26 students recently returned from a 10-day spring break student exchange to Mercer Island’s sister city, Thonon-les-Bains, France. The student exchange was organized by the Mercer Island Sister Association (MISCA).

Photo courtesy of Jane Meyer Brahm Mercer Island students toured the Evian water plant in France – the largest water bottling facility in the world. The 26 students recently returned from a 10-day spring break student exchange to Mercer Island’s sister city, Thonon-les-Bains, France. The student exchange was organized by the Mercer Island Sister Association (MISCA).

More in Life

Friendship Circles to host their 8th annual Walk, Run, and Community Day

The event will take place on Sept. 22 at Luther Burbank Park.

Photos courtesy of Celeste Gracey
                                Chris Adams, right, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 32 years ago. He’s now using his experiences to help people with this chronic illness through the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. The foundation is hosting an education event at the Meydenbauer Center Sept. 15. Adams owns Barre Rev on Mercer Island with his spouse Kaelyn.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation event on Sept. 15

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meydenbauer Center.

Photo by Nityia Photography
                                Dora Gyarmati.
Redefine goals based on virtues to find joy | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and wellbeing.

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone | Book Nook

A monthly column from the King County Library System.

Ready or not, college is arriving | Guest article

How parents can help their students embark on a college career.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.
Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

Leaving for college anxiety | Dear YFS

A monthly advice column about issues faced by Islanders.

Author Claire Gebben gives blacksmithing a go at Bruce Weakly’s private shop on Whidbey Island. Gebben sought to learn the art of blacksmithing to better understand the life of her great-great grandfather, who immigrated to Cleveland in the mid-1800s. Photo courtesy of Claire Gebben
Island author Gebben’s work named Indie Book Awards finalist

“How We Survive Here: Families Across Time” reveals genealogical journey.

Advice for addressing marijuana use in college students | Dear YFS

Dear YFS is an advice column with reader submitted or posed questions from the Island.

Rev. John Go, his wife Mia Park, Grace (13) and Gloria (9) come to Mercer Island from Portland, Ore. Photo courtesy of Mercer Island United Methodist Church Facebook
Mercer Island United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor

Rev. John Go moves go Mercer Island from Portland, Oregon.

Mercer Island seniors sing from their songbooks in the Fellowship Hall at Covenant Living at the Shores on July 17. Madeline Coats/staff photo
A monthly sing-a-long program uses music to support patients with memory loss

Music Mends Minds places emphasis on music therapy as a way to delay neurodegenerative dementia.

Discussing sustainable sustainability on the Island

A column on the importance of protecting the planet and how to go about doing that.