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Milton hosts 20 French students

Pau%2C+France%2C+is+located+in+the+Southwest+region+of+the+country%2C+near+Spain.
Pau, France, is located in the Southwest region of the country, near Spain.

Pau, France, is located in the Southwest region of the country, near Spain.

Pau, France, is located in the Southwest region of the country, near Spain.

Caroline Franklin, Editor-in-chief

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Hailing from Pau, a city in southwestern France, 20 students have come to Alpharetta to study and observe at Milton for two weeks. Flying in on the 13th, the French students will be departing on Friday, the 27th of October.

“We have had an exchange for over 15 years,” says  Madame Davison, “This is something that I inherited from the previous French teacher, and I felt that it was very important to continue.” In May, following the last day of school, students who are currently hosting French students will travel to France to experience Pau.

When discussing their tenure at Milton, the students from Pau marvel at the freedom that students have in class. Eating, drinking, cell phone use, and moving around during class are not permitted at their home school- ImmaculéeConception. “The first day I was like, completely lost, because it was so different than what I am used to.” says Bastien Paternoster, French student, “I saw people eating snacks in class, and I was like- wow, you can eat? I was so shocked. We don’t snack- I had snacks the first day I was here and then I did not appreciate dinner!”

Upon arrival, the students were whisked off to the homecoming football game and invited to the dance the next day. In addition to the dance, the students got to experience everything iconic about Atlanta:  the aquarium, the Coca-Cola factory, the Civil Rights Museum, and Lenox Mall.When asked about his favorite activity, Paternoster says,“Everything has been great, there are too many choices. Everything is just so different, this is such a difficult question!” Iona Hondareyte, another French student, agrees. They are amazed at the intricacy and work that it took to create that iconic experience at the Coca-Cola Museum. They enjoyed the aquarium’s beauty, but ponder about the fairness of the conditions that house the animals.

The subject material they will experience at Milton varies. The students follow the schedule of their assigned host, experiencing the host’s days with them. Like many other European students, they take their classes in block schedules, and take the same classes for years, delving deeper each semester. “They find it very funny that American students have the same schedule every day, and Madame Davison was surprised with the note taking in French schools!” exclaims Isabelle Piou-Labat, a teacher who is visiting with the students. “There is also not much interaction between the students and the teachers in France, but here there is lots of that. So, I think that the French, when they come here, they appreciate what they see- and school, in their opinion, is much more relaxed,” reveals Davison.

Though the environment at school is much more relaxed, the French students have noticed the different study habits of Milton students. “I was shocked at the students who revise (study) during lunch time, because in France, we just have lunch. And if we had to revise, we would eat first.” Paternoster alludes to his host, Maria, “She had to rush to study for Chemistry yesterday, to understand everything before the test, which is really different.”At Milton, the exchange  students are welcome to participate as much as they would like to. “In previous years, some students wanted to take tests, just to see how they did!” says Madame Davison.

“They basically just live with us because we don’t adapt our schedules for them. They follow us,” explain Zoey and Maria, who are hosting Hondareyte and Paternoster, respectively. They describe the bond that has formed between the hosts and the students “It’s like having sisters,” Paternoster,  after only a week in America, explains.

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Milton hosts 20 French students