A group of foreign exchange students from Strasburg, France, visited Andover a couple weeks ago to experience our lives and cultures. They departed Monday, May 5th.

Exchange students from France enjoy a goodbye campfire before bidding Andover adieu. (Courtesy Photo)
Exchange students from France enjoy a goodbye campfire before bidding Andover adieu. (Courtesy Photo)

Whilst here, the 24 students were housed by students taking French at AHS. According to Mr. Hall, a French teacher of Andover High, the exchange students engaged in a variety of activities, from visiting aquariums and museums to staying at AHS during school hours and spending time with their host families.

Julien Muller was one of the chaperones who came overseas to watch over the foreign exchange students. He observed how his students acted and adjusted to our culture: “They have adapted well and realize that your culture, especially here in Massachusetts, is not so different from back home.”

Emily Schwartz, a junior at AHS, spoke about how the experience was unforgettable. Though she stated she was initially a bit apprehensive and anxious about housing a total stranger in her home, she quickly got over that.

Junior Courtney Carver, left, with Carla, one of the French exchange students who visited AHS. (Courtesy Photo)
Junior Courtney Carver, left, with Carla, one of the French exchange students who visited AHS. (Courtesy Photo)

“As soon as I met Capucine, we embraced like we had been friends for years,” Schwartz said. She continued, explaining how she also got to know and further develop  friendships with the other exchange students, as they performed a variety of fun activities together.

One of the students from France, Bastien Schibi, enjoyed the trip here in America. “I definitely like it here better than France,” Bastien admitted. “The school hours are better and the people are much nicer. I would like to come move here when I am done with my studies.”

Senior Rachel Harris with two French exchange students, Thibaud and Nicholas. (Courtesy Photo)
Senior Rachel Harris with two French exchange students, Thibaud and Nicholas. (Courtesy Photo)

Another AHS junior, Dan Harvey, expressed his feelings toward the program: “The time they spent here was incredible. Over the course of 10 days, I bonded and created a close friendship with my student.”

He then stated, “The hardest part was not trying to communicate or understanding them, but saying goodbye.”

By Alexandros Giannakopoulos