A bittersweet “au revoir” concluded the journey of four exchange students who visited West Linn High School from Paris, France. They carry with them the memories made with newfound friends and the experience of another culture here in the United States.
“Before being in the USA my vision of this country was like in the American soap series,” 16-year-old Aude Atchori said. “I imagined cheerleaders in the college…. but now, what I discovered is so beautiful, I don’t believe it. The landscapes are like in the Canada.”
Atchori made her way around Oregon with Arianna Hall, junior, traveling to places like Multnomah Falls, Cannon Beach and Oaks Park. She is excited to return to the states and visit with Arianna, her home-stay host, who she lived with for three weeks.
The exchange students found that their home-stays matched their personalities. The organization which arranged their visit, ANDEO, used a specific survey to see which West Linn family would work for them.
“There were a lot of papers to fill in,” Laetitia Troubat, 15-year-old exchange student said. “The program searched a family for me and they found Nora [Hand, junior]. Three months later I was there.” Three months of waiting made way for three weeks of greatness, according to Troubat.
The four nervous travelers found the states welcoming. Atchori was especially pleased with her experiences.
“I find this travel interesting because the life in the USA is very different than that in France,” Atchori said. “Me, I’m crazy about the American foods: pancakes, scrambled eggs, donuts. I think their food is too rich, but I like it,” she said.
“I enjoy the system of the school, and the people are so social, nice. They don’t judge you.”
Atchori is excited to go home and share her experience, but she is just as excited to visit again.
“I can’t wait to come back. It was a great experience,” Atchori said. “I recommend coming over here to my friends because it’s an opportunity for us, to learn this language, to meet different people, to discover another culture. I’m so glad to have been in the USA.”