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The French Perspective on RMHS

French exchange students and their RMHS hosts pose on the front steps.

This past month, 24 exchange students visited Massachusetts from France, providing them with the special opportunity to immerse themselves in American culture.

Throughout their 11 day stay in Massachusetts, these students had the chance to shadow their host student at RMHS, go into Boston, tour Salem, carve pumpkins, and much more.  An email interview with one of the French exchange students, Margot, brought forth direct insight on how this trip went. 

Margot began with some of the things that most surprised her in the United State’s education system.  She said “What surprised me the most about schools in America is that they finish early and that they have a lot of free time which allows them to do extracurricular sports and artistic activities.”  Exchange students only got to spend one of their days here at RMHS, but the vast differences were clearly shown despite this short time period.

The education system is very different because it seems much less stressful.

— French exchange student Margot

“The differences between the United States and France are that everything is bigger in America.  The education system is very different because it seems much less stressful.  Many teenagers get their licenses before they turn 18.  Americans live according to the sun so they eat much earlier.”  These are just a few more of the differences between France and America that were touched upon by Margot.  

The organizer of this trip, French teacher Ms. McSorley, provided further details about the students’ activities and whereabouts during their stay.  She explained, “They visited Boston quite a bit, they went to Plymouth Plantation one day, they did a duck tour, they went to Fenway Park, they had a student guided tour of Harvard University, they did the Freedom Trail, the JFK Library, and tons and tons more in Boston.” 

If I had the chance to return to the United States, I would do it without hesitation.

— French exchange student Margot

This time of year was especially great for these students to visit because they got to experience Halloween time in Salem.  Both Margot and Ms. McSorely expressed how special this part of the trip was.  Ms. McSorely said, “Their final day here they spent in Salem so I think that was for sure their number 1 because they don’t typically celebrate Halloween in France, so to see people on the streets randomly dressed up was cool.”

This visit from the French exchange students brought great opportunities to both the visiting students from France and their hosts in Reading.  Both had the privilege of learning tons about different cultures and ways of life.  Margot said, “If I had the chance to return to the United States, I would do it without hesitation.”

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