Greetings from France! Currently, 36 French students are visiting Cherry Hill High School East as part of a Foreign exchange program. For the past 25 years, Cherry Hill East has been interacting with the school Paul Lapie, a high school in Courbevoie, which is located just outside of Paris, France. Every two years the French teachers from both schools organize an exchange so the French and American students can learn more about the different cultures.
Over spring break, 17 East students who signed up and are also hosting the French students will be staying in France with the same students who are now visiting them. For two weeks students from both schools stay at the other’s house to experience the life of a teenager in a different country. This exchange also provides the opportunity for both students to learn more about each other’s culture and practice the foreign language.
Gabriela Stahl (’17) said “I’m so excited to go to France! I’ve wanted to go either as an exchange student or just for vacation since I [could] remember.”
Stahl hosted two French exchange students and had a fantastic time with both. Currently, Stahl takesFrench 3H and plans to continue with the curriculum.
“I think it will be really helpful with my fluency and my career. I also just really love French,” said Stahl.
Stahl hopes to be involved in diplomacy and foreign relations as an adult. She said that she is happy that Cherry Hill East is giving her the possibility for an exchange program so she can expand her knowledge of France.
The mayor of Cherry Hill greeted these foreign students during their visit. When East students travel to France, they will also be greeted by the mayor of that particular region in France. The World Language Department is so pleased with the arrangements that both the teachers and students hope to expand their foreign exchange programs to reach all the languages at East.
Nicole Perez said she is looking forward to the great experience and wants a chance to spend time with her exchange students in their home country.”
“I am excited to visit all of the museums in France, especially Versailles!” said Perez.
Looking back on her experience, Molly Bearden (’15) said, “I enjoyed my experience last time I went [as a sophomore]. My previous exchange partner and I became good friends. She even invited me to her Chateau in the countryside in France. I couldn’t believe it! I would go to France again, for sure. [I want to] go into international business so [I want] to speak as much French as possible.”
This foreign exchange program benefits many kids looking to expand their knowledge in France and also provides a great experience.