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News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

News, Opinion, & Multimedia for Tamalpais High School

The Tam News

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French exchange students come to Tamalpais High School

Twenty-five students from Lycee Saint-Criq, a high school in Pau, France, came to Tamalpais High School from Oct. 5 to 19.

Tamalpais High School welcomed some new faces to campus on the morning of Oct. 6. Twenty-five students who traveled from Lycee Saint-Cricq, a high school in Pau, France, landed at San Francisco International Airport. Their arrival marked the beginning of a two-week journey in the U.S. as exchange students. 

From Oct. 5 to 19, the French students stayed with Tam students who are enrolled in French. Later in the year, the same Tam students will be traveling to France for two weeks from March 30 to April 13.  

The French students were selected to be a part of the exchange program because of their enrollment in a special school program. Elodie Gallazzini, English teacher from France, explained how students qualified for the trip. 

“They are part of a special program in France called the European Section. They are really interested in English so they take more classes in English and have two extra hours of English every week,” she said. 

These students have different schedules and classes than the average student at their school.

 “This opportunity will provide the students with more knowledge about the English language and it will also be a positive thing on their resume if they want to pursue or study in English,” Gallazzini said. 

The students were obligated to go on the trip and ultimately didn’t have the choice to come or not, but they traveled as a class with their teachers. One selected student, Flaive Michel, had mixed feelings about the trip.

“We did not choose, the teachers made us, but we were all very excited. I was also nervous to meet my partnered student,” Michel said. 

It was Michel’s first time visiting America, and not only was she traveling without her family, but she also was exploring a country where she may struggle with the language. Fellow classmate Paul Laurain-Poeymiroo voiced his opinion on the benefits of this trip. 

“It’s a good opportunity to see your culture because it’s completely different from our culture, you have a different way at school. I like this system better,” Laurain-Poeymiroo said. “It also has helped my English. It is very important to know English in the world, you guys speak it everyday, but for everyone else it is important to learn.”

Maeline Castagnet, another student in the program with a wider perspective due to the fact she had previously visited Miami, Fla., and New York City, N.Y., was able to compare her experiences between California, New York, and Florida. 

 “It is so different, it’s almost like different countries,” Castagnet said.

 In fact, California is only 37 percent smaller than France and the United States as a whole is about 18 times bigger. The U.S. in comparison to France is completely different in many aspects. The 25 students’ knowledge of American culture has grown and the trip has given them the chance to enhance their English speaking skills. 

In a few short months Tam students will be taking on the same adventure on a journey back to France to visit their new exchange student friends.

“I am ecstatic for my trip to France and just excited to immerse myself in their culture,” Finnegan McGrane, a student at Tam who will be traveling to France said. 

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