Photo Courtesy of Valette

Sophmore, Lea Valette is attending Shadow Ridge High School from France

Lea Valette – France

First, introduce yourself in a few words : 

Lea: I’m Lea, a French exchange student who is currently a sophomore. 

Why did you wanted to be an exchange student?

Lea: The main reasons were to become bilingual and to step out of my comfort zone in order to meet new people and discover a new culture. 

How are you adjusting to America?

Lea: The first month was very difficult because of the culture differences, and being away from my family was really hard, but after a time of adaptation to the language, everything is going pretty well. 

How different is your country’s education compared to America’s?

Lea: The school program is a huge difference in education here we do 7 am – 1 pm with no homework but in France you do 8 am – 6 pm with homework that usually takes 1 – 2 hours.

What are some clichés that you found out were true or false about America? 

Lea: The fact that Americans are super welcoming and always there to help you is true,  like the fact that you can arrive to school looking however you feel like; no one will judge you compared to France

What is your favorite American food? 

Lea: The typical “American burger” it’s the most famous here. 

What did you do in your free time back home and what do you do here? 

Lea: I spend as much of my free time as possible with my host family, talking and doing activities. I also go to the gym during the afternoon. 

What do you miss the most about your country? 

Lea: My sport because in the United States you don’t have the handball like in France and just my family and my friends.

What is something that is harder than you expected? 

Lea: Being homesick was harder than I thought it would be since people mostly talk about the positive aspect on social media so you don’t expect it to be so hard in the first month. 

What is something you like more in the US than in your country? 

Lea: The mentality is totally different and very cool here.


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