The Oasis Review

The Great Arrival of the French Exchange Students

In+the+middle%2C+junior+Isabelle+Atkins%2C+hanging+out+with+foreign+exchange+student%2C+towards+the+left%2C+Joesph++LeFletcher%2C+and+her+brother+on+a+sunny+day.+
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The Great Arrival of the French Exchange Students

In the middle, junior Isabelle Atkins, hanging out with foreign exchange student, towards the left, Joesph  LeFletcher, and her brother on a sunny day.

In the middle, junior Isabelle Atkins, hanging out with foreign exchange student, towards the left, Joesph LeFletcher, and her brother on a sunny day.

In the middle, junior Isabelle Atkins, hanging out with foreign exchange student, towards the left, Joesph LeFletcher, and her brother on a sunny day.

In the middle, junior Isabelle Atkins, hanging out with foreign exchange student, towards the left, Joesph LeFletcher, and her brother on a sunny day.

Melissa Parsons, Writer

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On Monday, February 4, 2019, a group of French exchange students stepped off their twelve-hour flights from France to Las Vegas. Host families from DO then welcomed these newcomers with open arms into their new homes for two weeks. During these two weeks, French exchange students will shadow their hosts to get a feel for the average American life.

“I think that as a language teacher that this is the most important thing that I do because it allows students to make international connections and friendships,” Madame Chavenel says.

Hosting a French student creates an everlasting bond. DO families were to pick up their French exchange students from the airport where they soon met their new friends.

“I was super excited! I was bouncing around the airport. I was actually kinda nervous, but mostly excited because we had been emailing and messaging through  Instagram,” Hailie Carraccov, freshman, exclaims.

It takes quite a lot to host a French student. You must supply them with not only a bed, but food as well. The exchange students follow you around everywhere you go, ranging from either school or out in public. However, it isn’t as bad as it seems. Former host, Carlos Nolasco, junior, speaks about his experience with French exchange students,

“This is my third year doing it. I had fun the last two times. Originally, I wanted to do it because I wanted to have someone to speak English and French with.”

The transition from France to the United States may be a culture shock in the eyes of the French exchange students. Here at DO, the atmosphere is rather laidback and much freedom is given among students. For France however, their schools can be described with two words: unbelievably strict.

“In France, we have a little high school with no gymnasium, no football field, and no dance studio. There are 8 hours of class; we start at 8 am and go till about 6 or 7 pm. We don’t have after school activities like choir or sports because we have no time. We are not allowed to use phones in class, not allowed to talk, and not allowed to drink or eat in school. School in France is mainly core classes, it is very old fashioned,” Catherine Biziou, a French exchange student comments.

Traveling to another state is one thing, but traveling to a foreign country is a different story. Families of the French exchange students back in France were saddened to see their kids go, but they know this experience will benefit their children in the end.

“My family actually encouraged me to go on the trip here,” Joseph LeFletcher, a French exchange student says.

Even though it may seem difficult to adjust to a new culture, both the host and foreign exchange students involved in the program are given the opportunity to not only form new international ties and eternal friendships but to also expand their knowledge on other cultures.

“The students are gonna make lifelong friendships. When DO students go to Europe, they will have somebody that they can meet up within that part of the world. They’ll be able to have more of an authentic French experience than having to do the whole tourist thing. Hosting a French exchange student makes experiences a little richer,” Chavenel explains.

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About the Writer
Melissa Parsons, Staff Writer

Hi! My name is Melissa and I'm a junior here at DO. This year I plan on becoming more involved in school, so I decided to join journalism. I love listening...

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