Visiting French students Emma and Thomas Pollina with host Girton student Matilda Dimsey. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Forty secondary school students and four staff from Girton Grammar school’s sister school in France, Sainte Ursule, have arrived as part of a two week biennial exchange.

This is the seventh exchange of its kind between the two schools. The students are staying with host families and Girton staff will be attending classes as well as touring Bendigo and the region as well as visiting Melbourne.

Girton Grammar School  headmaster Matthew Maruff said that student exchange programs are an ideal way for young people to experience a different culture, different education system and strengthen ties that bind schools on opposite sides of the world.

“These exchanges allow for wonderful collaborative learning and give students a chance to take their language studies beyond the classroom,” Mr Maruff said.

“We have a strong French language program at Girton and the exchange experience often creates international friendships for life.”