The Elland-Riorges Experience

 The French Youth Connection


Where Culture and Adventure go hand-in-hand.





For over 30 years the Elland-Riorges French youth exchange has been introducing many groups of 12 to 18 year-olds to a rewarding and satisfying friendship with similar aged correspondents in Riorges, France.



The benefits of forming this kind of relationship are many.

It is a unique experience, in that you stay with a family and take part in their everyday living.

Your French correspondent can then return the visit and stay with you in England. Alternatively, your chosen correspondent can come to stay with you in England first.

All the visits are supervised by experienced adults and include day trips to local venues ranging from museums to swimming pools and can even include a day or two in your correspondents school gaining an insight into their way of learning. Each trip is different to the last but all take in a visit to the local mayor's office, the Hotel de Ville in Riorges & the Town Hall here in Calderdale.

Travelling to Riorges can be by coach and ferry, coach and air or by Eurostar & TGV. All the excursions internally in France, are normally by coach or private car, as are the local English excursions.

Most of the students come from different schools and backgrounds locally and soon form their own groups organising local events like barbeques, tenpin bowling, dances, evenings out, trips to theme parks, the list is endless and all are supported both by their parents and the adult side of the Elland-Riorges Association.

At the end of the day a valuable insight into living with people of a different culture, which cannot be gained by just 'going on holiday', leaves you with many memories and, in most cases, lifelong friends whom a lot of the past students visit time and again.


Over the thirty years, we have had hundreds of students taking this first, perhaps daunting, step, but don't worry. Like most ventures into the unknown, friendships soon blossom and a unique bond forms between the French and English students. Even local youngsters, who may not have met each other previously, find themselves in an ever widening circle of friends and shyness becomes a thing of the past.

What happens next?

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