South Hosts French Visitors
Story by: Gemma Sutkiewicz
It doesn’t matter where you are from, The French Connection has arrived in Sheboygan.
The program, that is a student exchange between a high school in Avignon, France and Sheboygan North and South High Schools, involves 43 high school seniors, accompanied by four of their teachers, who visited Sheboygan for 10 days in October.
The French teenagers stay with a host student from North or South, and his or her family.
During Spring Break, the Sheboygan host students then have the opportunity to stay with the French students and their families in Avignon.
The French Connection, in place since 1978, allows students to learn what life is like for a typical teenager in both countries.
Nicolas Mahé loves our food, as well as our school’s big gymnasium and theater. He explained that the trip was a reward for excelling in English classes in his native country.
The students all did fundraising to earn funds for their exciting tour. Mahé commented,
“My favorite thing about South High is the theater.”
Seventeen year old Fanny Jeune, noted some things were the same as back home, such as switching classes, although some things were different since her school has no pool or sports teams.
“My favorite American food is cookies!” said Jeune.
Another food she tried was root beer, which doesn’t exist in France.
However, she did not enjoy that as much as the cookies.
The French students visiting Sheboygan have participated in activities such as touring the capital in Madison, the Packer Hall of Fame in Green Bay, and the Oneida Nation.
They have also experienced typical American things like carving pumpkins and enjoying haunted houses at Halloween time. All the students had fun during Discover Sheboygan Day, where students explored Book Worm Garden, Kohler Design Center, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. After leaving Sheboygan, the French teenagers spent a few days sight seeing in Chicago.
The French Connections hopes to expand the program next year with a goal of 20 students visiting at each Sheboygan high school.
Anyone who would like to host a student in the future just needs a warm welcoming attitude. Students do not need to be studying French to be hosting one of the students.