Located in northern France just outside of Paris, Noisy-le-Roi is a small French town with quaint streets, typical boulangeries and patisseries, small, compact houses and friendly neighbors ready to greet you. How does this city relate to us? Believe it or not, Albion and Noisy have a connection – they are sister cities.
Last week, two groups of children from Noisy-le-Roi visited Albion: basketball players from a local Noisy high school and a group of pianists from the Noisy community. Throughout the week, they toured Albion city and college, as well as performed in their fields of interests, competing in basket ball games and piano competitions.
“It was amazing,” said Alexis Amsler, 16-year-old member of the French basketball team. “We really had fun this week.”
The eight basketball players, all of whom are seniors in high school, competed in multiple games throughout the week against Albion community teams and the Albion high school basketball team. The nine pianists, ranging from ages 10 to 17, competed in the annual Piano Festival, consisting of four performances from Nov. 10 to 14. Almost all won prizes, and two received first place.
Both groups also toured Albion College for one day, experiencing classroom life as well as a typical student’s meal at Baldwin.
The Albion-Noisy connection was first established by a French committee, Le Comité de jumelage de Noisy-le-Roi-Bailly, in 1997. Made of up volunteers, this group focuses on making exchanges between the two cities on academic, athletic, economic, environmental and social levels.
All aspects of the week at Albion created a culturally enlightening experience for the French students.
“We will see the difference [in the students] in France,” said Nathalie Estelles, piano instructor from Noisy.
“It is indeed great to be able to share both sides of culture, to discover how young and older people live on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Francois Amet, vice president of Le Comité and coordinator of communication with the United States.
Exchanges with the French sister city such as those that took place this week allow Albion to continuously deepen its sense of global friendship.