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Ask Away: 5 Questions for a Senior Preparing for a School Exchange Program to France

 

We’re asking students, teachers, and counselors five questions on how languages play a role in shaping personal and professional success…

Meet Abigail—a high school senior learning French who is considering entering the medical profession.

Abigail "Ask Away: 5 Questions" banner image with portrait photo

1. Why French?

I chose to speak French in the year going into my eighth grade year. When taking an introductory course in seventh grade, I felt like I picked up French easier than Spanish. I also found that the language was much more beautiful than Spanish; “la vie en rose” drew me in from the minute I read it.

At that time, I was also researching possible career options. One organization that made me very interested in French was Doctors Without Borders. If I were to become a doctor, participating in that organization would give me much pleasure in life.

2. Does your school provide any experiences outside the classroom where you can use your language skills or celebrate French culture in a different setting? Tell us a little about that!

The school that I attend does not have a very large French program; there are about one hundred students all together. When there is an opportunity to use my French skills I take it.

This year I am participating in a school-to-school exchange with a French high school located in the Loire Valley. In April I will live in my exchange partner’s house and get to experience daily life for her and her family.

I am also a part of the Foreign Language Honor Society. In this society, we are planning to take a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts and listen to a tour in French.

One other thing that I participate in is the National French Contest; a test that is taken every year across the country to better promote the French language.

3. As a high school student, why do you feel it’s important to learn another language?

I feel that it’s important to learn a language because it connects people.

There are kids my age living across the ocean and doing the same things as I am. I want to know more about them and how their life can differ from mine.

It also brings tolerance for other cultures. If you better understand the language, you can better understand the people, therefore understanding more about their culture.

4. What advice would you have for other students who are looking for ways to use and practice their language(s)—any tips?
Abigail poses with her two siblings on a pier
Abigail (right) with her siblings

Some advice I would give other students looking for a way to use and practice their language is to participate in the activities that are given to them.

If you have a French movie night, go and be there because the littlest things—like watching a movie in French with English subtitles—go a long way in understanding.

5. What’s next on your journey with the French language?

The next step with my French journey is to maybe to have a French minor. I could also use my French to study abroad in college.

BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite word or expression in French and why?

My favorite word in French would have to be pamplemousse. This word that translates to “grapefruit” just rolls off the tongue easily.

 

Are you interested in French language scholarships, university programs, or student testimonials? Visit our Lead with French page to learn more.  And don’t forget to share your language learning story @LeadWLanguages on social media!