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The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper

Reflections on the French Exchange Program

Thank+you+to+Anna+%28age+16%29%2C+Chloe+%28age+15%29%2C+Titouan+%28age+15%29%2C+Wandrille+%28age+15%29%2C+Maxime+%28age+14%29%2C+Benoit+%28age+14%29%2C+Mathias+%28age+16%29%2C+and+Maxime+%28age+15%29+for+participating+in+this+interview%21
Thank you to Anna (age 16), Chloe (age 15), Titouan (age 15), Wandrille (age 15), Maxime (age 14), Benoit (age 14), Mathias (age 16), and Maxime (age 15) for participating in this interview!

For two weeks in April, CCHS was a host school for several exchange students who had traveled from Notre Dame du Grandchamp, a high school in Versaille, France. These students stayed with a host student who had visited them in France in February.

During their trip, the students explored New York City and Washington D.C. as well as Concord. Titouan, who initially thought that Concord was in the same area as Boston, was surprised to discover that Concord was not a city and was actually 45 minutes away. In New York City, he thoroughly enjoyed watching Hamilton. Maxime’s favorite experience from the trip was watching a Celtics playoff game.

In fact, American sports were of great interest as they are more present in American culture than in French culture. Mathias explained that they don’t have school teams in France and that the emphasis on sports is a custom that France could adopt. However, the students had many critiques about American food. Anna mentioned that American food is “too greasy and too salty.” Mathias believes that the US could benefit from having “more natural or organic food.” Maxime also noticed that in America, “everybody turns on the light and nobody turns off the light after they leave the room,” saying that the US could take on a bigger focus on ecological resources. Chloe observed that in the US, “everything is bigger,” for example, houses have “bigger rooms” and “bigger chairs”. On the other hand, Maxime, who had visited New York and Miami before the trip, wasn’t surprised by the vastness of the US, though he was impressed by the number of dogs he saw in Massachusetts. Benoit was also surprised to find that American casual is very different from French casual. He saw many Americans wearing activewear for a whole day whereas in France athleisure would be reserved for the gym and they would be wearing jeans instead.

Reflecting on their experiences participating in the exchange program, the students felt awkward at the beginning of their trip because they weren’t familiar with their host families. Over time, however, they became more at ease with each other. Chloe became so close with her exchange student that she is inviting her to attend a Fête de la Musique festival with her in June in Paris. Chloe also noted that people in the US are much nicer and more welcoming than in France, at least in terms of being able to “speak very easily with people no matter the grade”. Maxime noted that the relationships between students and teachers in the US are “very cool, much more than in France.” Anna agreed that Americans are nicer and have easier communication, and she shared a sweet story from her first day in the US in which her host student’s grandmother gave her a great suggestion for an order at Dunkin’.

In addition to exploring the culture and lifestyle of Americans, the French students greatly improved and enhanced their English speaking skills and are now able to communicate more fluently with the discovery of new vocabulary and slang during their time here.

Though the students have returned to France by now, we hope that they will never forget the friends and memories they have created here and feel thoroughly satisfied with their experience. In fact, we would love to welcome them back and hope that the exchange program continues to thrive for many years to come!

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Hannah Daniel, Co-Editor-In-Chief
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