French Exchange Students Reflect on Wilson



On Wednesday March 11, Wilson bid farewell to the 15 exchange students visiting from France. Accompanied by three teachers, the students lived with host families from Wilson for 10 days. These students are from Montreuil, a suburb outside of Paris on the metroline, and attend Jean Jaures High School. Their high school has approximately 1,800 students and like Wilson, is very diverse. Most of the students are in their seventh year of studying English and did not have a difficult time communicating with the people they met on the trip. This is the ninth year Wilson has participated in the exchange program, usually sending Wilson students to France, where they visit classes in the morning and work on other projects in the afternoon.

Of the 15 students on the trip, six of them had visited the United States before. They explained that they saw what they expected to see on the trip, including Wilson and the famous buildings they’d seen in movies, like the White House, the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and more. They explained they were surprised by all the extracurricular activities and opportunities that Wilson provides. At their school they have different sports and clubs for music, art, and cinema, but it is less developed and is not as important as it is here. Their favorite of Wilson’s other activities that they saw was the choir. They also explained that they loved immersion day and participating in the dance competitions.

The most surprising thing to many of the students on the trip were the portions of the food served here. Significantly larger than what is served back in France, the students were astonished by how much the Americans could eat. They also felt as if the houses here were larger here, but explained they didn’t visit many different neighborhoods in the city.

Although it was difficult for them to adjust to the weather, they were all eager to visit again, as they thoroughly enjoyed their trip here.