Students prepare for the French trip


Last year’s group of students pose on the trip.

Angela Mammel, Entertainment Editor

Sophomore Ally Olson excitedly opens her newest email, eager to talk to the family she’ll stay with in France this summer. She has been friends with her French sister for a few months, and counts down the days until she can see France with her, not through pictures or videos like in the classroom, but finally in person.

“I’m really excited to see my host family and to meet them for the first time after talking with my French sister through email, facebook and snapchat,” Olson said. “She’s told me how she likes animals and tennis, and cats are my favorite animal and she has a cat, so I feel like we’ll be friends.”

Senior Nick Drinkard went on the French trip as a sophomore, and his favorite part of it was being able to get to know his French family and immerse himself in their culture for a week.

“Getting into the French culture more on the trip was just so amazing,” Drinkard said. “Sitting at the dinner table and eating what my French family eats on a daily basis, and just being able to see the world  through their eyes and live like them for a week was an incredible experience.”

French teacher and trip chaperone Madame Elizabeth Arcangeli is enthralled by the opportunity her students can have with their host families over the summer, and can’t wait to see how their language skills will develop, as well as how they’ll grow as people.

“Students will be able to be completely immersed in French with their family and they’re really going to be honing in on their skills,” Madame Arcangeli said. “They’re  going to take what they learn  in France and bring it back to us in class, and as individuals, they’re going to grow so much. Many don’t feel comfortable speaking French 24 hours a day or living with people they haven’t known for a long time, obviously, but they’ll come out as better, stronger people, and hopefully with an unforgettable experience to remember, as well.”

Drinkard loved his trip and being able to make friends with his French brother and improve his language skills in doing so was an incredible experience for him.

“When I went on the trip, my brother and I were pretty close by the end, and my French improved enough to be able to joke around with my him,” Drinkard said. “It was so cool because it felt like I was fluent because I could talk to him so easily. It was such a cool experience to be able to become friends with my brother, and I can’t wait for the kids who are going this year to be able to do stuff like that.”

Olson can’t wait to improve in her French during the trip like this, and she knows her family will be able to help her improve in her language a lot because they also know how to speak English.

“My French sister also knows English, so I feel like in that way we can learn from each other because of that,” Olson said. “She can help me and correct me with my French, and I can help her with her English. I think it’ll be easier for both of us that way, and I’m so eager to be able to learn from her.”

In order to get students to the point where they can grow easily interact with their families, meetings are held to refresh students on different vocabulary and skills. Madame Arcangeli stresses the importance of these meetings as they help prepare students to be ambassadors over the course of their stay.

”We discuss cultural and linguistic components students have forgotten like how to greet French people or how to order off a menu, because lots of students can taken aback by being in these cultural situations, but they can’t be,” Madame Arcangeli said. “We also talk about safety, and how to be ambassadors as our school and district, but also as Americans. The goal of the trip is for students to become empowered global citizens, and to have an unforgettable experience through whole thing.”

Many students like Olson love learning more at the meetings, and are very excited to see the places they learn about here in person.

“I love learning about where we’re going on the meetings and how we really get to delve into it and learn things about what the people there are like,” Olson said. “Learning that much more about France gets me so excited to actually be there. I feel like it will be super surreal to be surrounded by this culture we’ve been learning about.”

Seeing all of the sights in France both with his friends on the trip and with his French family was one of Drinkard’s favorite parts of going on his trip.

“Everywhere around Paris was so awesome to see, and I actually had my first crepe in France in the Eiffel tower, which was really cool, and I loved seeing the city where my family lived, too,” Drinkard said. “It was a beautiful country and it was so great to spend time there, and I’m sure the people going this year will love it.”

Madame Arcangeli loves how her students become excited seeing everything around France and especially in Paris come to life.

”I’m so excited for kids to see all of the sights in France and Paris especially, because most of it will be brand new to them,” Madame Arcangeli said. “I’ve seen the Eiffel tower a million times, but the best part for me is when I see the kid’s eyes light up when they see it and they’re really there instead of seeing it through pictures and videos.”

In general, Olson is beyond excited to both see all of the sights around France and spend time with her host family on the trip. She believes this trip will be an incredible time for her, and that it will be awesome to learn about the culture she wants to continue studying in the future. in person.

“I really like France and the French culture, and continuing to learn about it is definitely something I want to do throughout high school and into college,” Olson said. “This trip will be great because I can kind of immerse myself in the culture during the summer. It’ll be an unforgettable experience.”