The Land Of Opportunities
By: Michelle M. and Olivia M.
In partnership with an exchange program associated with Duxbury High School, a group of foreign exchange students traveled from Lyon, France to Duxbury, Massachusetts in order to experience American culture. For many of the students, it was their first time visiting the United States. We were fortunate enough to speak with Aurore C., who was staying with junior Geraldine C.’s family.
In Lyon, Aurore attends a private school. Instead of elementary school, middle school, high school and college like in America, Aurore attends primary school, college, lycée, then university. Despite the difference in school names, she said that the biggest difference in American education is the relationship between the students and their teachers. She noticed that at DHS, the teachers have a friendly relationship with their students instead of an authoritarian role as it is in France. “In my school it is very strict,” said Aurore. Also, in her school, eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom during class is prohibited; students must wait until their five minute passing period to drink or go to the restroom.
Similar to many other foreign exchange students, Aurore takes multiple languages. French is her primary language, but she also speaks Spanish and has been taking English for five years. “In my school I have a friend who practices Spanish, English, Italian, and French,” Aurore said. Aurore said that it is easier to speak English because she watches American movies and listens to American music. “I want to speak English very well so I listen to movies, songs, TV shows, and YouTube in English,” she said. Some of Aurore’s favorite American artists are Katy Perry, Nirvana, Queen, and Lady Gaga. Aurore also enjoys the movie Harry Potter. Aurore said, “[In France] we can’t do special effects; I think its because we are a small country.”
“It is very different because we start school at eight o’clock and end at four thirty. It is complicated to have sports after school because we have a lot of homework. We don’t have school Wednesday afternoon; we begin at eight in the morning and finish at noon,” said Aurore. In her sparse free time Aurore enjoys riding her horse, Jakira. In addition to Jakira, Aurore has three cats, two dogs, a fish and three more horses.
Aurore also commented on the different food in America. “I’m sorry, but here you guys eat all the time!” she said. In France she said it is common to eat escargot, lamb, frogs, and duck; however, her favorite American food is hamburgers.
In France the legal driving age is eighteen. “It is crazy to see young people driving,” she said. Aurore added, “I like how all of the students are independent.”
In her short time in the United States, Aurore enjoyed visiting Harvard, museums in Boston, and the Newport Mansions. She was shocked at how many buildings there were in Boston because Lyon does not have many buildings. Aurore said, “France is a small country but we have a big history.”
In the future, Aurore wants to visit New York City and Las Vegas. “I want to stay in America for one year and after I don’t know, I will see,” she said.