by Amanda Rasey, CCI Greenheart Travel High School Exchange Student in France
Since I was not involved in any clubs or sports in high school, I surrounded myself with French, and art, and history. I would kind of beat myself up for not doing what the other kids at school did, but I realized that I am my own person, and this is what I am supposed to do. I take joy in learning new vocabulary! Watching French films, watching art documentaries, listening to French music.
I don’t really know when I started my affinity with France. I have told people maybe it is because I received the movie Madeline when I was four or five years old one Christmas, or maybe it started when I walked into my grandparent’s living room while my aunts were watching the film Moulin Rouge.
A couple months ago, I got a hold of a paper I made in 4th grade. It had a picture of me in the middle, the background was blue (my favorite color at the time), also my best friend was pictured right next to me, and for some reason a guinea pig and then The Eiffel Tower. When I saw the Eiffel tower, I knew this is what I am supposed to be doing.
But my obsession didn’t really go full force until freshman year of high school when I was finally allowed to take French. I loved French class! I had the two best teachers! Just being in their class made me feel better if I had a bad day because they were so bubbly, and one of a kind. I thank them for teaching with a passion which made me more interested. Sometimes I wonder if I will end up like them teaching French, maybe they were like me when they were younger.
My room soon filled with Eiffel Towers, big, small, anything French was in my room! Every birthday at Christmas I received something involving France. People soon knew my affinity and started to support it. My mom’s friend even sent me a package with little things such as a french napkin from Starbucks and little books and magazines, I flipped out! Because to me it was as good as an Ipod.
I have always been close to the exchange students. In fact, my sophomore year my best friend was hosting a girl from France. I met her the week she came. And I swear she must have thought I was crazy at first. Because when we first met she was sitting all nice on a couch and I was about to scream of excitement! The year she came, changed me. It changed me in a good way, I was becoming more independent. I went downtown for the first time with friends, I was becoming more adventurous. I thank her for that. We haven’t really kept in touch since she left. But I want to thank her for changing my life in the way she did.
My dream is to see what it is like to live in France. To meet people. To become independent. To speak fluently…, to learn the culture I have been obsessed with since I was really young, and who knows maybe a best friend.
My Grandma told me when I was little that she would take me to France if I learned to speak French “fluently” after I graduate high school… Well this being my senior year now, we changed it a bit. I now am going to be an exchange student! I will live in the south of France near Nimes, France. I leave a week from now to start my adventure!