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Adele Benson

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Dites Bonjour à Nos Amis Français

French Exchange Students Returning Back to France

French Exchange Students Returning Back to France

French Exchange Students Returning Back to France

French Exchange Students Returning Back to France

Our annual French Foreign Exchange Program recently brought a new group of students to our Xavier campus for two weeks. This year’s bunch was from St. Bruno, a school near Lyon, France. All of the students were Freshmen and were younger than those who have previously visited Xavier. So, their confidence in practicing their English speaking skills was not as strong as previous exchange groups. Be that as it may, these brave, young French students stayed with Xavier host families during their stay, and although there was a language barrier, both French and American participants were able to communicate and form lifelong bonds of friendship.

The American life experience was much different from French life for these students. For starters, in the French education system, high school does not start until tenth grade. Although the French students were Freshmen, in France they were still in middle school. Another distinction was the idea of school sports. In France, there are only city club sports teams, not school teams.

French students Eva Combet at the Escape Room.

For some students, like Eva Combet, traveling to the United States created some anxiety as they did not know what to expect. Eva said, “I was nervous to come to America because I do not know much English.” Although language proved to be an obstacle at first, with the help of trusted friend Google Translate, families were able to communicate with their French students easily and quickly.

American host students and their families confronted differences as well. Hosting French Foreign Exchange students allowed those taking French at Xavier to better understand French culture and language. Beatrix Shilling said that “…the first two days were a little awkward, we both made an effort to talk with each other and by the end of their stay, we were inseparable. She became my little sister for the time being.” This sort of friendship is exactly why Xavier’s French Foreign Exchange program is so important. All students were able to form relationships through activities like laser tag, bowling, and even by participating in an Escape Room. Rylie Lima said that “I plan to stay in touch with my student, Lina, through Snapchat,” showing the long-lasting impact of the two weeks.

French and American students bowling together.

Some of the American students are traveling to France at the beginning of June to similarly broaden their view on French culture and strengthen their French language skills. We can only hope that their experience will be just as rewarding. Opportunities like the French Foreign Exchange Program are great experiences offered by Xavier to give students a more worldly and well-rounded view of life. So, Saints, get out of your comfort zone and take on these opportunities! These experiences may influence your life in unexpected ways!

 

 

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About the Writer
Adele Benson, Writer

I am a Junior at Xavier College Prep. I play on the Xavier Girl's Water Polo team and am swimming on Xavier's Swim team as well. I lived in Manhattan Beach...

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Dites Bonjour à Nos Amis Français