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French exchange creates connection

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French exchange creates connection

The French exchange students and hosts enjoyed winter activities during their visit Feb. 15-26.

The French exchange students and hosts enjoyed winter activities during their visit Feb. 15-26.

Photo submitted by Libby Cohen

The French exchange students and hosts enjoyed winter activities during their visit Feb. 15-26.

Photo submitted by Libby Cohen

Photo submitted by Libby Cohen

The French exchange students and hosts enjoyed winter activities during their visit Feb. 15-26.

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For many of the students participating in the French Exchange this year, their interest was sparked by a want to expand their experiences and learn more about the culture directly. After taking French for so many years, they look forward to being able to see how they can put all the time invested into studying to use outside the classroom.

Pour plusieurs des élèves qui participent à l’échange française cette année, leur intérêt a commencé par le désir de diversifier leurs expériences et apprendre directement de la culture. Après avoir étudié le français pendant plusieurs années, ils ont hâte de continuer leurs études dans le monde réel.

For junior Pia Schultz, their trip in the spring will be the first time she will have traveled outside of the continent, a whole new experience in and of itself.

Pour Pia Schultz, le voyage au printemps sera la première fois qu’elle aura quitté l’Amerique du Nord, une expérience totalement nouvelle à tous les égards.

“I’ve never been to France, Europe or even anywhere outside of North America, so I thought it would be really cool to get to travel there and I thought I would be able to learn a lot if I were to participate in the exchange. I also feel like I’ve been taking French for a million years and I should do something with it or else I’m just gonna stop and not use it,” Schultz said.

“Je ne suis jamais allée en France, en Europe, ou même à l’extérieur de l’Amerique du Nord, alors j’ai pensé qu’il serait très cool de voyager en France, et j’ai pensé que je pourrais apprendre plus de choses si je participais à l’échange. J’ai aussi l’impression d’avoir étudié le français depuis un million d’années et je devrais l’utiliser pour quelque chose.” Schultz a dit.

Junior Libby Cohen will also be traveling to France for the first time this spring and looks forward to specifically being able to experience the culture firsthand. Both Cohen and Schultz are also hosting French students at their homes as part of the exchange.

Libby Cohen voyagera aussi en France pour la première fois ce printemps, et a hâte spécifiquement d’apprécier la culture directement. Cohen et Schultz ont aussi accueilli des élèves français chez elles.

“I wanted to make sure that they get to see the different parts of Minnesota, which I think we’re doing pretty nicely. Also just that they get to see what it’s like to experience a winter here, and the different things like that,” Cohen said.

“Je voulais être sûre qu’ils peuvent voir les régions différentes du Minnesota, et je pense que nous le faisons très bien. Aussi, il est bon qu’ils puissent voir un hiver dans le Minnesota et d’autres choses comme ça.” Cohen a dit.

Hosting the exchange students entails for some extremely busy days. Cohen has tried to fit lots of activities and new things in for her student to see and experience.

Accueillir les élèves français rend les jours très chargés. Cohen a essayé de montrer beaucoup d’activités et de nouvelles choses à sa correspondante.

I hope they got to see how true their American stereotypes or their preconceived notions will turn out to be.”

— Pia Schultz

“I really liked the first day they were here, we got to do a bunch of stuff. We went out to breakfast and then we went to Minnehaha falls which was really cool but cold. Then we went to the boy’s hockey game. So it was just a ton of things to bring her to in one day which was really cool,” Cohen said.

“J’ai beaucoup aimé le premier jour où ils étaient ici, parce que nous avons fait beaucoup de choses. Nous avons mangé le petit-déjeuner au restaurant et nous sommes allées au Minnehaha Falls, qui était très intéressant, mais il faisait très froid. Puis nous sommes allées au match de hockey des garçons. Alors, c’était beaucoup à faire dans un jour, mais c’était super,”Cohen a dit.

“So far we’ve also gone snow tubing and ice skating, which are really big winter things. We also went to Can Can Wonderland and we’re planning to go to a movie. We also went to a restaurant, had some very American hamburgers, just stuff like that,” Cohen added.

“Jusqu’à maintenant nous avons aussi fait du tubing et du patin à glace, qui sont très populaires en hiver. Nous avons aussi visité Can Can Wonderland, et nous regarderons un film au cinéma. Nous avons aussi mangé des hamburgers très américains; nous faisons des choses comme ça,” Cohen a ajouté.

Beyond trying new foods or seeing huge amounts of snow, Schultz also hopes that the exchange students will learn more about what the American culture is like, and that some of what they thought they knew before might change.

À part d’essayer la nouvelle nourriture ou voir une grande quantité de neige, Schultz souhaite que les correspondant.e.s apprennent plus de la culture américaine, et que quelques choses qu’ils ont attendu de la culture américaine sont différentes.

“I hope they got to see how true their American stereotypes or their preconceived notions will turn out to be, and I hope they get to see if any of them will be changed. I also hope they just enjoy their time here in the United States,” Schultz said.

“Je souhaite qu’ils voient si les clichés des américains ou idées reçues sont vrai ou pas, et je souhaite que quelques idées reçues changent. Je souhaite aussi qu’ils apprécient leur voyage aux États-Unis,” Schultz a dit.

The exchange is a time for a huge amount of learning on both sides. Though the French students are here to primarily speak and learn more English, the hosting students have still been able to learn and practice their own French much more.

L’échange est une occasion de beaucoup d’apprentissage, pour les deux groupes. Les élèves français sont ici pour parler anglais, mais leurs correspondant.e.s américain.e.s peuvent apprendre et pratiquer leur français. “We’ve actually learned a lot of new French words too. We learned how to say waffle, which is ‘gaufre’. I also feel like I’ve been getting better at speaking French, just like conjugating verbs because I’m not very good at that. I’ve also learned the difference between ‘notre’ and ‘nos’, which was something I didn’t really understand before,” Schultz said.

“Nous avons appris beaucoup de nouveaux mots français aussi, comme le mot ‘gaufre’. Je me sens aussi que je parle mieux, comme en conjuguant des verbes, parce que c’est une chose que je ne fais pas bien. J’ai aussi appris la différence entre ‘notre’ et ‘nos,’ ce que je ne comprenais pas bien,” Schultz a dit.

Although hosting a student and fitting in so much constant activity can also bring on some challenges with time management, especially around homework.

Accueillir un.e correspondant.e et avoir beaucoup d’activités pose des difficultés avec la gestion du temps, par exemple avec les devoirs.

“The biggest challenge probably is to finish homework. I always feel bad because it’s so boring to do homework with me, so I just tell [my exchange student] like ‘Oh you can watch a movie if you want’, but that’s not fun. So I feel really bad about it, but I need to get my homework done. So that’s really difficult,” Schultz said.

“La plus grande difficulté est de faire mes devoirs. Je me sens toujours mal parce que c’est tellement ennuyeux de faire les devoirs avec moi, alors j’ai dit à ma correspondante ‘Tu peux regarder un film si tu veux,’ mais ce n’est pas très amusant. Alors je me sens très coupable, mais il faut que je fasse mes devoirs. C’est très difficile,” Schultz a dit.

“The hardest part about hosting is being able to get our homework done. For us juniors, we also have the history paper due tomorrow, so it’s really hard to fit in time to finish that,” Cohen added.

“La partie la plus difficile est de faire nos devoirs. Pour nous en première, nous avons aussi un grand projet pour l’histoire, et c’est très difficile de trouver le temps pour le finir,” Cohen a ajouté.

For the French exchange students, their preparation revolved a lot around the weather. Though France is not very warm in the winter either, they definitely do not get the temperatures Minnesota gets.

Pour les correspondant.e.s français, leur préparation dépend de la météo. Il ne fait pas très chaud en France pendant l’hiver, mais il ne fait pas aussi froid que le Minnesota.

Exchange students Jade Isla and Ariane Fuilla-Weishaupt both packed accordingly.

Les correspondantes Jade Isla et Ariane Fuilla-Weishaupt se sont toutes préparées pour la météo.

“For my preparation before coming, I had to buy ski pants and snow boots. There were a lot of things that I already had before so I also just brought those things,” Isla said.

“Pour ma préparation, j’ai acheté des pantalons de ski et des bottes de neige. Il y avait beaucoup de choses que j’avais déjà alors je les ai apportés.” Isla a dit.

“The main thing we knew before we came here was that the weather was going to be a lot worse, [we knew] that it would be so cold. But I didn’t have to get anything new since I already used snow boots at home,” Fuilla-weishaupt added.

“La chose principale que nous savions avant d’arriver au Minnesota était que le temps serait bien pire et qu’il faisait très froid. Mais je n’ai pas dû acheter des vêtements nouveaux, car j’utilisais déjà les bottes de neige chez moi,” Fuilla-Weishaupt à ajouté.

As far as preparation goes for speaking the language, the students were well equipped. Exchange student Sabrina Bouzidi explains the special program the students are part of.

Les élèves étaient très préparés à parler la langue. Sabrina Bouzidi a expliqué le programme spécial auquel les élèves participent.

“We have wanted to come for a long time, and we are in a special class, it’s a reinforced English program that we have participated in for about for four years. So we get 2 more hours of English than the other students. We have to take biology in english and we also take one more hour of normal English,” Bouzidi said.

“Ça fait longtemps que nous voulions voyager aux États-Unis. Nous suivons un cours spécial en anglais renforcé depuis quatre ans. Nous passons deux heures de plus que les autres élèves. Nous suivons la biologie en anglais et nous passons une heure supplémentaire en anglais,” Bouzidi a dit.

The exchange students were excited about many different things, but one of the most popular among was their visit to the Mall of America.

Les correspondants étaient très enthousiastes pour beaucoup de différentes choses, mais une des plus populaires était leur visite au centre commercial Mall of America.

“We were so excited to be able to come here. I’m very excited for the mall of America. I have even written a list down of all the stores I want to go to like Urban Outfitters,” Isla said.

“Nous avions très hâte de venir ici. J’ai très hâte de visiter le Mall of America. J’ai écrit une liste de tous les magasins que je veux visiter, comme Urban Outfitters,” Isla a dit.

Along with getting to go to many activities around the Twin Cities, part of the exchange students’ experiences includes going to regular classes.

Les correspondants ont fait des activités aux Twin Cities, mais une grand partie de l’échange ils iraient aussi aux classes en lycée.

“I went to Forensics science and it was really hard to understand everything. It was interesting, but very hard,” Isla said.

“Je suis allée en classe de sciences criminalistiques et c’était très difficile à tout comprendre. C’était intéressante, mais très difficile,” Isla a dit.

This story has been translated into French by Max Moen with support from members of the French 5 class.

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