French Foreign Exchange 2019

Leiann David

The Foreign Exchange Club hosted French students this past month for about two weeks.  They arrived late on October 15th, evidently exhausted and a little bit anxious about the experience they were about to have. Traveling to a foreign country, not being fluent in that language, and staying with an unfamiliar family can be jarring at first. The main focus of the hosts that night was to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment. Each American student used different methods to communicate, but ultimately, didn’t want to confuse their guests too much. Many students spoke slowly with one another, taking their time to answer and ask questions. By the end of their visit, the French students were much more comfortable speaking English than when they arrived. 

The exchange program at Curtis has always been praised by students for being an incredible and eye-opening experience. Living with someone of a similar age from a foreign country creates strong bonds between many students and is uniquely unforgettable. During their time in America and, subsequently, France, students learn a great deal about each other’s country. Culture, architecture, and the school system are all different in Europe so there was a lot to share about the way each person lives. Many students have said that being part of any one of the four exchanges offered has given them a new best friend in just a matter of two weeks. The saddest part of the trip was the departure and many tears were shed, although the students will all be reunited with one another in April, on the other side of the pond.