15 students from the « Lycée La Fontaine de Paris » visit Singapore as part of the exchange programme with the MOELC.
On 6 March, 15 Secondary Three and Secondary Four students from the “Lycée Jean de La Fontaine de Paris”, accompanied by two of their teachers and a 3rd from the MOELC (Ministry Of Education Language Center) of Singapore, were received at the French Embassy to attend presentations on the political economic, cultural and education aspects of Singapore. This was followed by snacks.
The MOELC was founded in 1978 to allow Singaporean students to learn a 3rd language, after their mother tongue and English. Following a Franco-Singaporean agreement signed in 1980 to promote cultural, scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries, the French government has been sponsoring an annual exchange programme with French high schools for 15 to 25 Singaporean students of the MOELC. The objective of the exchange programme is to allow a complete immersion of the students, so that they may improve their language skills and appreciate the authentic environment in which they find themselves throughout the entire duration of their stay.
One of the objectives of the visit of these French students to Singapore is to learn mandarin and be exposed to the Chinese culture. Mandarin lessons are taught by MOELC teachers during the students’ stay. Each French student stays with his / her Singaporean counterpart’s family and goes to school with his / her counterpart. The students also visit some historic and touristic sites of Singapore such as the Singapore Flyer, Chinatown and Little India, the Singapore Zoo, Botanic Gardens, Sentosa Island, etc.
There are currently two French high schools who are partners of this programme; the "Lycée La Fontaine de Paris” and the “Lycée Magendie de Bordeaux”, who send their students to Singapore every alternate year. By the same token, students from the MOELC go to Paris and Bordeaux in alternate years; 15 Singaporean students stayed in Paris in November / December 2012 as part of this exchange programme.