A journey of a lifetime.
A journey of a lifetime.
Tessa Gibson

From France to West High: French students adjust to American ways

From France all the way to West High, three students left their home country for Iowa City

Being an exchange student is truly an unforgettable experience. New culture, new traditions and new people. There are certainly vast differences between cultures. Three French exchange students have left their home country to travel to Iowa City in order to learn about the American lifestyle. Each student has their own unique takeaway and opinion of the American life.

Elie Nahra:

French student adapts to American highschool. (Tessa Gibson)

WSS: What was your first impression of the United States?

Elie: It’s good and it’s different. 

WSS: What are the main differences between school in France and school in the United States?

Elie: The eating times, there are a lot more classes here than in France, we have rules about telephones in class. 

WSS: Why did you want to travel to the United States?

Elie: To discover new things.

WSS: What are the differences between the relationship of students and teachers in the United States compared to France?

Elie: It’s more friendly and the students are closer to the professors than in France. 

Mathis Hudelle: 

French student takes on West High School. (Tessa Gibson)

WSS: What was your first impression of the United States?

Mathis: My first impression is that it’s really different compared to France. You know, there’s a lot of parts that are not the same.  Everything here is bigger than it is in France. 

WSS: What are the main differences between school in France and school in the United States?

Mathis: Everything is different too. Schools in France do not have the same structure. Our schools are smaller. Our classes are longer. We are not as close with our teachers. 

WSS: Why did you want to travel to The United States?

Mathis: It’s an exchange that I have waited for for a long time, about three/four years. It’s a type of exchange that we do a lot, every year we have a station where we exchange at my highschool. And to discover another culture and to train myself to become better in English. 

WSS: Are there any activities that you want to try here?

Mathis: Next week we are going to see a hockey game and I went to a basketball game. 

WSS: What are the differences of the relationship between students and teachers in the United States compared to France?

Mathis: You have to be respectful, you can’t talk to your teacher in a bad way. You can’t stand up during class. In my high school, you cannot use your phone in the corridors, you can only use it outside. 

WSS: Do you travel often?

Mathis: Yes, because in my family we like to discover other cultures other than our culture. That is something that is really good because in the world people do not have the same mentalities. They don’t think like others. It’s really interesting.

WSS: Do you have a favorite class at West High School?

Mathis: I like the English and chemistry classes with Veni because the teachers are really cool. 

WSS: What are the differences between language learning programs in the United States compared to France?

Mathis: We begin to learn how to speak English in fifth/sixth grade but it’s like a child’s English like present tense, etc. Then when you grow up you can continue to learn English. For example, in my high school this option is called Cambridge and it’s a way to learn to speak English with stronger expression. 

 

Keira Durand: 

Keira loves both French and American school. (Tessa Gibson)

WSS: What was your first impression of the United States?

Keira: It’s all very big. 

WSS: What are the main differences between school in France and school in the United States?

Keira: I like the two. But there are many more freedoms in everything you do at school here. We don’t have the freedom to dress in pajamas at school. I will try to come to school here in pajamas one time before I leave. 

WSS: Why did you want to travel to The United States?

Keira: The culture and I wanted to know how you live here.

WSS: Are there any activities that you want to try here?

Keira: I want to go to basketball matches in the evening. You guys go out more than us in France.

WSS: What are the differences of the relationship between students and teachers in the United States compared to France?

Keira: You guys are a lot closer to your professors. And the professors accept a lot more things than in France. For example, the other day there was a girl who had her feet on the table and in France that would not be allowed. 

WSS: Do you travel often?

Keira: I have already been to Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Tunisie and England. 

WSS: Do you have a favorite class at West High School?

Keira: Yes, the French class and I really like physics class. 

WSS: What are the differences between language learning programs in the United States compared to France?

Keira: We start English when we are in CP so we start around six years old.

 

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About the Contributor
Tessa Gibson, Profiles Editor
(she/her) Tessa is a senior this year and this is her 3rd year on staff. She is the profiles editor and one of the social media editors. She loves reality tv shows and ice cream. 
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