French exchange students arrive


Caroline Cooney

French exchange students pose for a photo while watching the football game against Palotti on Oct. 14. The exchange students will be in the U.S. for two weeks before returning to France on Oct. 21.

After an eight-hour flight from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France to Washington D.C., 16 French students and two teachers arrived at JC on Monday, Oct. 10 around 11 p.m.

French exchange students from the Lycée Ribot school located in Saint-Omer, France will be in the U.S. for two weeks. In the spring of 2017, JC participants in the exchange will visit France.

Host students and their exchanges have been in contact since last spring when they started to Skype. This has allowed students to build relationships with each other and to feel less nervous about meeting face to face for the first time. “I feel like I knew her well already. This made me somewhat less nervous because I didn’t feel like I was going into it blind,” junior Josie Cohen said.

The students from Lycée Ribot visited JC for the first time on Oct. 11 and will follow their host students’ schedule on days they are not sight-seeing. While they are here, the students will visit and tour various places in Washington D.C., Annapolis, Baltimore, and Lancaster.

According to French teacher Regina Ferry, this trip is special not only because they are going on an exchange trip, but also for historical reasons. “They come from the very same high school attended by [Archbishop] John Carroll, his cousin, and his brother in the 1700s,” Ferry said.

During their trip, the exchange students will visit Georgetown University located in Washington D.C. because of its affiliation with Archbishop John Carroll, who founded the school in 1789. They will also walk through the Smithsonian Museums and see the monuments.

The students will visit a variety of places including the Maryland State House in Annapolis, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and Amish farms and restaurants in Lancaster. The exchange students will also visit New York City once they leave JC and stay there for two days.

For many French students, this is their first time in the U.S. While they are excited to visit and tour the sights of America, they are interested in discovering and learning more about American culture.

“[America] is totally different from France. It is like the movies, [but] there are less people,” exchange student Marie Dumolin said. “[I’m looking forward to] the food and the people. I love the way you live. I want to try eating big hamburgers and see the Statue of Liberty. I want to get to know interesting people.”

So far, the French students have enjoyed their experience at JC.“I liked the Diversity Assembly. In France, we do not get together and say what we think. We think in our minds but not aloud together. I think it is nice to put it out there,” Dumolin said.

The French students have also noticed differences in the school setting. “Your timetable is different. We have different classes all day and only two hours of sport per week. In France, we also don’t have [a] uniform and we keep our bag with us,” exchange student Julia Gourmez said.

“The lockers are very different, yours are very small. We take our bags to each class, and we do not take our books. Also, our teachers are not as close as yours to their students,” Dumolin said.

The French exchange students are not the only ones expecting to learn from this exchange program. Host students anticipate learning more about the French way of life from their exchanges.

“Overall, I’m looking forward to learning about their culture and learning [how] to speak more French, especially slang which will be useful when I go to France in the spring,” Cohen said.

Lauren Becker is a News Editor for The Patriot and