At­tend­ing an in­ter­na­tional school in Paris

Living France - - Insight -

Tom Couch was seven when his fam­ily moved to Paris for work rea­sons. He spent four years at the Bri­tish School of Paris and looks back at his time there

n Oc­to­ber 2008 I dis­cov­ered I would be mov­ing from Ross-on-Wye, a small town in Here­ford­shire, to Paris, the most glam­orous city in Europe. I was just seven years old, al­most too young to regis­ter the shock of such life-chang­ing news. I re­mem­ber my first ques­tion to my par­ents who were pa­tiently wait­ing for my re­sponse: “Will I have to go to a French school?” I trem­bled ner­vously. To my re­lief, I was to at­tend the Bri­tish School of Paris (BSP), an in­ter­na­tional school, home to pupils of over 50 dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties lo­cated in Croissy-sur-Seine, 14km from the cen­tre of Paris.

I re­mem­ber leav­ing, say­ing “au revoir” to a pri­mary school of less than 80 pupils and “salut” to Paris, a city home to mil­lions. It is fair to say that it was a rather nerver­ack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Be­fore mov­ing, we took a trip to Paris to look for a suit­able place to rent. Out of the many prop­er­ties we looked at, the most mem­o­rable was one with a slide of sorts lead­ing from the top floor to the one be­low. Un­der­stand­ably, my broth­ers and I were des­per­ate to stay there, but my par­ents thought dif­fer­ently. Even­tu­ally we set­tled on a house sit­u­ated in Croissy-sur-Seine, the very place where my two broth­ers and I would be go­ing to se­nior school.

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