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The Taft French Class students pose in front of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris before it caught fire.

The Taft French Class students pose in front of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris before it caught fire.

The Taft French Class students pose in front of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris before it caught fire.

The Taft French Class students pose in front of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris before it caught fire.

Caitlyn Walsh, Reporter

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Over this past spring break French Taft students visited the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, just hours before it caught on fire during their visit.

The French class group of twenty one Taft students visited France with their teacher Katherine Jacob. The trip was meant as a way for students who had taken French class for all four years to experience the culture and put their language skills to use. It cost $3,500 per student and the group was in France for a total of nine days.

The first day of the trip the French students had the chance to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral while touring Paris. About an hour later the students unfortunately heard the news of the cathedral being engulfed in flames.

    “I just couldn’t believe that such a tragic event happened right after I had been to see it. When I first saw it on the news, I just thought my French was wrong and that I was misunderstanding what happened, but I wasn’t,” said senior Ariel Arista (Div. 914) that was a student on the trip.

     French teacher Jacob, who chaperones the France trip year after year, said that she was also shocked at the tragic event that occurred on that night.

     “The fire at Notre Dame was a tragic event for French people, as the church has incredible cultural significance. I’m so grateful my students had the opportunity to see the church before the fire, and I hope they can appreciate how lucky they were to have that experience,” Jacob said.

     The Taft students who went on the trip are thankful that they were able to see this historic monument in person over spring break and experience the culture of France.