Bonjour Rangeview

Feature Photo By: Amor-Leigh Wilson – Junior Gustav Blanchard is one of a few foreign exchange students in Rangeview High School. To find out how you can become a foreign exchange student in France, visit: http://www.ef.edu/pg/student-exchange/france/

By: Amor-Leigh Wilson, Review Staff

Have you ever wanted to know about another country other than America? Since the beginning of August, Rangeview has been harboring a piece of Paris, France. Gustav Blanchard is the  junior who has completely uprooted his life in France for a new one in America.

According to Blanchard, he feels that he has adapted to the American culture very well. While some things come as a second nature to Gustav, there are still a few things that continue to shock him.

Blanchard continues, “When you guys stand [for the pledge] and say all that stuff, it is different,” adding, “The way people dress is baggier and chill. Like in France… It’s like the same attitudes but different styles. ”

For most, this school year is just like any other year with diverse languages, people and teachers that surround the students.

It is not like this for Blanchard; he has no choice but to see all the differences between the United States and France. So much so that Blanchard has actually found a sense of patriotism for his own country.

Blanchard comments, “I don’t think I really felt French, not until I came to the U.S.”

Moving from a French private school to an American public school, some details stick out more than others such as differences in food.

Colorado was not Blanchard’s first choice; he actually didn’t have his mind made up about where he wanted to go. But when a host family in Colorado opened their doors to the French native, Blanchard jumped at the opportunity.

Blanchard seems to be adapting pretty well into the American culture; some people don’t even realize that he is from another country. This seemed to be the point for Blanchard because according to him he wants to adapt to the new culture he has been submerged into.

Senior Jahniyah Bijou begins research about life outside of college. It is never too late to become apart of a foreign exchange program; there are many agencies that offer the program to college students as well.

According to junior Sheilah Rakotovau,“Gustav doesn’t seem like he is from another country. He just seems pretty quiet.”

Some people may wonder why anyone would want to move halfway across the world for educational purposes. For Blanchard, it is a lot more personal than just moving to a different place.

Understandably, Blanchard misses many things about his hometown of Paris. He stated that he desperately misses his after-school meet ups with his friends at the local cafe.

Blanchard states, “In France everyone would go to the cafe after school and just hang out until they needed to go home.”

Other than the traditional after-school meet ups at the cafe, Blanchard also misses his family and friends. More specifically, his younger sister: Marguerite.

Blanchard comments, “I’m older [than my sister] and I wanted to be able to welcome her into my college but I came [to the U.S] so I couldn’t.”

Before arriving, Blanchard made his plans to venture out into America; he thought long and hard about what his reasons for this change were.

Blanchard’s reasons are as follows: to meet new people, speak English with fluency, learn a new culture, and be independent (venture out on his own). For Blanchard it is way more personal, as he wants to be able to do these things while he is still young. Gustav believes that with youth comes open mindedness.

Junior Jamie Cueva, a new friend of Blanchard, stated, “When Gustav and I talk he asks me a lot of questions about music, TV shows and stuff like that. I feel that the American culture interests Gustav as much as the French culture interest me.”

According to Blanchard, Rangeview is not that bad of a school for his first American public school experience.

In sum, when it came down to speaking briefly about Rangeview, Blanchard said, “…it is very big and the people are different. I don’t know if it is a Rangeview thing or an American thing, but you guys are very friendly.”

If you are looking to become a foreign exchange student, visit http://www.ef.edu/pg/student-exchange/france/

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