My best years of school! The transition to adulthood, thanks to Denis Cettour, our John Keating who offered us our own “Dead Poets Society”, thanks to our“chalet” manager, Mr Brobst, who made me discover Rimbaud as well as Springsteen, Antonin Artaud and Tom Waits, thanks to the mountain and its nature which during bivouacs and snowy days showed us the ways to freedom, thanks to the friends who formed a family. This is where a friend made me discover Boris Vian, who became my favourite author, and “l’Existentialisme est un humanisme” of Sartre that I presented with success in the French bac as an off-program work. Two unforgettable years, indelible, which erased all the mediocre others. Education with rules and respect for the child I was.

Alexandre Carré
Class of 1988
Nationality: France
Journalist, humorist

I spent 4 years at Sainte Croix des Neiges (last years of high school), I was a boarder at the “chalet” Edelweiss and then Ermitage. I was very quickly integrated in the boarding school, thanks to the teachers close to the pupils and thanks to the children themselves who were helpful and supportive when one of us felt homesick. The rapport between the pupils was strong and warm. The environment, the ski and sports in general were great! It was a community from all backgrounds, from all religions, a real melting pot rich of different cultures. I made very good friends that I still see nowadays. Well done to my parents for sending me to Sainte Croix des Neiges, I believe today that I have succeeded in life!!!

Frederic Flipo
Class of 1984
Nationality: France, Australia

When I arrived at Sainte Croix des Neiges from Spain, I benefited from a very strong academic structure and dedicated teachers who helped me pass my Economics BAC and prepared for business school. I will never forget the superb environment, the feeling of camaraderie, the skiing, the football matches and pupils from around the world (Ivory Coast, Guinea, Lebanon, etc.). I just have one regret: to have stayed for only a year!

Pascal Belda
Class of 1984
Nationality: France, Spain

When I arrived from the Lycée Français in Copenhagen, Denmark, I was warmly welcomed by the management team, staff and pupils of Sainte Croix des Neiges… as if I had been there forever! I have a long and special relationship with Sainte Croix des Neiges! I spent a number of very special years at Abondance, it’s like a family… We come from very different backgrounds but all have a strong feeling of cohesion. It runs very deep. The teachers at Sainte Croix des Neiges taught me discipline and the desire to succeed and excel. They guided me in my business venture and their advice continues to serve me today!

Félicien-Laurent Konan-Banny
Class of 1998
Nationality: France, Ivory Coast

Originally from the Abondance valley, I started at Sainte-Croix-des-Neiges in 2010 with the aim of achieving a scientific Baccalaureate. These years were very beneficial for me, on the social side, as I met people coming from different horizons, and on the academic side, thanks to the excellent educational supervision and the preparation the Baccalaureate. At the moment, it was difficult to realize how lucky we were, but over time, we understand that the whole set-up around us throughout these years really helped us reach our ambitions. Thanks to the school, also very dynamic in sports, I had the chance to participate in very nice extra-curricular activities, such as freeride skiing, canyoning, climbing, caving, rafting … and so on! A “mountain” of very beautiful memories. Following my high school degree, I decided to go on an adventure in Canada to fulfil my childhood dream of becoming an airplane pilot. I started my pilot training in Quebec, Montreal and Vancouver. After 2 years, I got a flight instructor qualification. After about 1000 flying hours and my instructor experience, I was hired by an airline company called Air Inuit operating a range of aircraft, from light aviation turbo prop to 737 boeings.

Tony Maxit
Class of 2013
Nationality: France (living in Montreal)
Airplane pilot and flight instructor

Now that my transition year has finished, I can now honestly say that my time at Sainte Croix des Neiges was my best experience of the year and perhaps even my life! I have to say a big thank you again for everything you did for me and the Irish students. It was an experience I will never forget. Thanks to you and the others, my French is much better now and I have more confidence in taking my BAC in the future. I have also improved on the slopes and now ski faster than my family!!!

Michael Dalton
Class of 2016
Nationality: Irland