French Exchange Students Say “Bonjour” to West Linn High School

Whether it is trying a bacon maple bar from Voodoo Doughnuts for the first time  or exploring a new land, these exchange students are ready to take on a new country. Amaury Quintric, Clement Bienvenu, Lea Fernandes and Lina Roselie, come from a small suburb outside of Paris, France, are staying with host families and will go to school at West Linn High School during the school week and on the weekends explore around the area with their host families.  These students are visiting WLHS for three weeks, and heading back to France on March 18.

Many of the exchange students were surprised by the American culture; mostly by how much Americans eat.

“In France most of the time we just eat breakfast, but in America everyone eats breakfast, lunch and dinner,including snacks,” Fernandes Said. They have enjoyed trying new foods such as Panera macaroni and cheese and Voodoo Doughnuts.

“The doughnuts were really good and there were so many kinds of them,” Quintric said.

Along with residing in a new country, these students are also adjusting to a new school.

“It is a big change to go from a small school of 500 and then go to a school of 1,500. There are a lot more kids,” Bienvenu said. “Your school is just…. wow. It is so nice and so big. There are also more things to do here.”

At their school in France they do not have that many electives or activities such as sports or clubs.

The hardest part of adjusting to a new country according to the students has definitely been the language barrier. Although they have been learning English at school for the past five years there are still some things that were hard to pick up. They all miss their families, even though they are having a blast in America.

“I do miss the baguettes, the bread is really good at home,” Roselie said.

Even though they might miss their home country, these students said they would like to live in America someday.

“Everything is bigger in America, like the houses and there are Starbucks everywhere here,” Fernandes said.”The biggest thing is that there are so many more opportunities here and more to do here than in France.”

Even if the students don’t live in America later on, this experience will stay with them forever.