French Exchange Students Tackle American Lifestyle

Rhonni Witham and Dylan Perkins

Exchange programs are just an extended version of learning that offers students insight into different culture and values around the world. For this spirit week, we had the privilege of hosting foreign exchange students from France. They were a passionate, exciting group of kids that were deeply fascinated with the American way of life. We had a chance to catch up with a couple of the exchange students, Maya and Robin.

Maya and Robin come from the Southeastern portion of France that has easy access to the beach, similar to Ipswich. When we asked them why they were interested in our nation, they said that the culture differed greatly from their own, and that they were looking to improve their English. We also wanted insight into their first impression of America, when we asked they said “America is a lot bigger than France. Seeing how people on the streets walk and dress is very different. The landscapes are beautiful.” They also said, “They were deeply fascinated with the city of Boston, because they had never seen a place like that before.”

There are many positive aspects that we can gain as a school from hosting these now many cultured students. We also got the chance to speak with Mr. Craven, who has been at the head of the newly developed exchange program: “Unlike other schools, we do not use any type of organization to receive our exchange students; the only thing they pay for is the plane ticket as well as spending money.” This offers the French students a more cost efficient option for studying abroad as well as developing a better one on one relationship with the French schools overseas.

Mr. Dalton also had some great words to say about the program when we got the chance to sit down with him. He said this vision started for him when he went on the Student Leadership conference to Costa Rica. He said that he really saw the value of getting an education that involves all different types of cultures. He also believes it helps our students understand and better formulate relationships with people from other cultures which he views as an extension of furthering one’s education.

Mr. Craven as well as the high school administration hope that eventually we can send students abroad to help strengthen our relationship with the French and potentially extend our exchange program to other places in the world. All in all, the exchange program is an extremely positive learning experience for our students as well as those abroad. It allows the students from France to see how American students and schooling differs from what they are used to.img_2477-1