by The Milton Measure on Friday, April 26th, 2013
During the past two weeks, Milton students participating in the French Exchange Program have hosted students from the Lycee Georges Duby School, where they will visit in France next month. Each Milton student involved in the program is paired with a French counterpart, with whom he or she will stay for two weeks in France. Before the French students arrived in Boston, many of them communicated with their Milton counterparts through email and social networking sites like Facebook.
While visiting Boston, the French students participated in many “touristy” activities, visiting Plymouth Plantation, the John F Kennedy Library, the State House, and the Freedom Trail. The students also went whale watching and visited Faneuil Hall and the South Shore Plaza.
Outside these school-sponsored activities, Milton students have taken it upon themselves to immerse their exchange students in American culture. For example, Joy Ikekhua (II) brought her exchange student into Boston for a fun filled day around the city. When asked if it was difficult to balance school work with time with her exchange student, Joy replied, “Yes, to an extent, because I worry that I’m not spending enough time with her or I’m spending too much time with her and ignoring my school work. It would definitely be nicer if I didn’t have to worry about classes or school, but I’m so happy to get to know Mahe and to experience things from a new perspective.”
JP Panariello (III) showed his exchange student, Nans, what life is like in Boston by bringing him to a Red Sox game, a Bruins game, and the Boston Marathon. In addition, JP and his family have kept up their weekday routines to show Nans the weekday schedule of a typical American family.
JP admits, “It’s a little stressful to balance the exchange student and school life, but I’d say it’s manageable. He knows that we have a lot of homework and that I have soccer practice outside of school, so if on some nights I can’t spend too much time entertaining him he understands. But my sister and parents are being very helpful when I’m busy so that has made it a lot easier.”
This year, Milton students will make their way to France on May 23rd and return June 6th, the night before graduation. “I’m a little nervous to go visit them in France, but I go to France with my family pretty frequently so it’s not going to be a huge change for me personally,” said JP. “I’m excited to spend more time with my student Nans and see how his family and daily life are different from mine, and I’m hoping to learn more about the language and the culture and really improve my French.”
Madame Carpenter noted that Milton has been participating in this program for about ten years now. Many of the Milton students are eager to stay with their exchange students in France and explore the culture there at the end of next month.
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