French exchange students adapt to Carlmont culture


Rachel Matatyaou

Chloe Moneron, a foreign exchange student from France, answers questions about her day to day life in the United States.

Rachel Matatyaou, Publicity Director

Parlez-vous français? Because they do.

For two weeks, 11 students from the outskirts of Paris, France are living with students attending Carlmont.

Carlmont’s French Department began hosting students from France in 1999, initiated by French teacher Katya Burton.

“I have coordinated French students coming to Carlmont for two weeks every spring for the past 18 years. Carlmont students interested in hosting fill out a host family application. Then, they peruse full informational dossiers on the French students to see which student most closely matches their interests, activities, and personality,” Burton said.

Some of the students who are hosting exchange students include Jasmine Cassidy, Andrea Brehovska, Emma O’Connor, Julia Clark, Sofia Van Looy, and Luke Hendriksen.

Hosting someone is beneficial not only to the foreign exchange student but also to the host student. Though it would be a big commitment, Hendriksen knew the overall experience would be worth it and was eager to learn more about the language he was studying.

“I decided to host a foreign exchange student because I thought it would be cool to have a person who lives in an entirely different country live with me and introduce me to their culture and way of living,” said Hendriksen.

The foreign exchange students have the opportunity to immerse themselves into their host’s daily life by accompanying them during their school day and extracurricular activities. By doing so, the exchange student will gain a better understanding of American culture and the English language.

Spanish II teacher Eva Parker said, “The best way to learn a foreign language is by living in the foreign country.”

Each foreign student brought a workbook called “Living and Learning in the United States” with them in which they answer questions daily. Questions vary from the setting, to what they did that day, to new terms or sayings they have learned or heard.

Exchange student Chloe Moneron was surprised by the contrast between America and France.

“Living here is different from home because people are not the same. They are more open and more tolerant. Also, in France school is more strict. We can’t eat, drink, or use our phones. We also have a stricter dress code,” said Moneron.

Burton hopes her French students take this opportunity to further expand their understanding of French culture and ultimately become foreign exchange students as well in the coming years.

“Hosting is a wonderful opportunity that host families have found to be a positive and rewarding experience. Many host students go on to stay in France with the family of the students they hosted,” said Burton.