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Travis Hall

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An experience like this doesn’t come by too often for the average high school student: A chance to venture out your nation’s bubble and experience the culture of a different country.

 

For a select few, this once in a lifetime opportunity was made possible through a school exchange program in which students from both schools visit each other’s countries. This program enables students to fully immerse themselves into the culture of their language of study, allowing them to apply what they have learned.

 

The exchange program at Timberlane has been going on for a 3 years now and the French students are back once again. Timberlane French department has partnered with a small school in St Dizier called Estic St Dizier, which is made up of just over 500 students.

 

“It’s life changing for the students. It helps them build confidence and gives them a view of what life is like in other parts of the world,” explained Madame Runnels when I asked her about the program. “It gives them the opportunity to make new friends in another country and shows them that no matter where we are from we are all the same.”

 

15 students arrived in the states on October 11, with open minds and were enthusiastic to experience things they don’t have in their home country of France.

“It’s a really fun experience to be able to show someone our everyday life as Americans and to be able to hear the differences in cultures between France and the US,” said Paris, an American host to one of the French students.

 

I had a chance to talk to one of the French students and when I asked her what her favorite part of the trip was so far, she replied “The best part was when I went to Hampton Beach because it was when I discovered the US for the first time and where I met such amazing and kind people.” She continued to speak about her fun experience at the mall when she bought her “Michael Kors boots” and was filled with excitement the whole time.

 

Throughout their visit, the French students had many exciting trips, including a trip to Plymouth Plantation, Boston and a trip to New York which was their last experience of America, where they then flew back to France. In a quick 2 week span, they were able to truly experience the everyday life an American and gained a greater understanding of our culture.

 

Thrilled, nervous and anxious, the 15 Timberlane students will reverse roles and fly over to France for an experience they will never forget. They will spend a week absorbing the French culture and will visit the iconic beauties France has to offer such. The rewording trip will include a visit to Saint-Dizier, Reims, Nancy, and Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and local cafes.

 

Opportunities like this one may never be passed up as it is a priceless adventure that many people don’t have the chance to partake in. It’s moments like these that strengthen the character of an individual and make them well rounded.

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