French Exchange Students Visit Milton
by Rebecca Chernick on Friday, May 4th, 2012Twenty French students and two chaperones from Lycée International Georges Duby in Aix, a small city in the south of France, arrived at Milton Academy on Sunday, April 15 for a two week stay as part of an exchange program. While in the United States, the French exchange students had an opportunity to experience many aspects of American culture and Milton life. Although the visit concluded on Sunday, April 26, the Milton students who hosted the French visitors will travel to France for two weeks on May 24.
The French students spent most of their first week visiting sites in the Boston area. One day, the students toured the Freedom Trail and the State House, while another day they went Whale Watching in the harbor. The students also visited Harvard University and Harvard Square, and went to a performance by the Blue Man Group. Later, the group went to Cape Cod, biking and touring the area. Unfortunately, due to the rain last Monday, the students were unable to visit Plimoth Plantation, but they were able to stay on campus and attend Milton classes instead.
On the weekends, the French students spent time with their host families and attended many on-campus events including Arts Night, Improv Night, and the Spring Carnival, as well as shopping on Newbury Street and touring Boston with their host families.
Chloe, a French Student, said that one of her favorite activities was seeing the Blue Man Group performance. Julie, another French student, said that all of the activities were “great”, but she especially enjoyed shopping.
While the students had the chance to go on many trips, the group also enjoyed planned activities on the Milton campus in addition shadowing their Milton counterparts and attending classes and sports. For example, the French students attended a French Club meeting on Tuesday, April 24, where they participated in a trivia game about French culture.
Dance teacher, Kelli Edwards, even taught the group square dancing. She said, “They were really awesome. I think they had fun, and they picked it up really fast—faster than other groups I have taught. They just jumped right into it.”
Madame Carpenter, a French teacher who is helping to coordinate the exchange said, “The French Exchange is a wonderful opportunity for students from both countries to learn about each other’s culture and language.” The students on the exchange, both French and American, said that their favorite part of the whole experience was getting to know their foreign counterpart.
Claire Hernon (III) said, “It was really fun to meet new people—they were all so nice. It went by so fast!” Charlotte Goddu (III) agreed, saying, “I liked getting to hang out with Chloe!” Like Charlotte, William White (III) said that his favorite part of the exchange was getting to spend time with his French counterpart. William said, “They did a really good job pairing me up. He’s really willing to try American things—maple syrup, waffles, peanut butter—the works. He is also finding things that he likes, including baseball and Forbes Dining Hall.” Many other Milton students participating in the exchange expressed their enjoyment of the opportunity to get to know someone from another culture.
The trip was, in various ways, a learning experience. Mr. Kernohan, a physics teacher who hosted an exchange student said, “The students have been learning about what is different about the United States.” He said that his French student, Laura, remarked that, “Everything is bigger here. It’s like a movie.” Many of the French students agreed that there are some differences between America and France.
For instance, one French student said that Americans eat dinner very early; in France, they do not typically eat until 8 or 9 o’clock. Also, the classes at Milton are much smaller than at their school, where the classes have 30 or more people. The Milton campus is also much larger than the campus at their school.
Devon Moehlenkamp (III) said, “It’s fun learning about differences in our cultures and introducing [my exchange counterpart] to parts of our culture that she doesn’t know about.” Monsieur Morlot, another one of the French teachers coordinating the exchange program, and traveling with the group to France in May, said that the exchange is an important experience because, “Many French people are passionate about the United States, but have stereotypes about Americans. The exchange helps the students to find out if the stereotypes are true or not.”
Milton and French students and teachers alike agree that the exchange is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and learn about another culture.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=3357