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(Photo by Megan Mehta)

(Photo by Savannah Sander)

By Megan Mehta, Naperville Central 

Last April, Naperville Central High School participated in the French Exchange program, in which French students came to America in pursuit of exploring the American culture and way of life. But recently, it was their American host’s turn. Over a dozen students went to Lille, France to explore and immerse themselves into the French language. One of the few who went, was Naperville Central junior, Savannah Sander.

Sander has been taking French for the past four years, and has grown to love the language. Although she has been to France before, she thought that the exchange program would give her a better experience about daily life in France, and a better understanding of what students go through.

Throughout the trip, Sander noticed many different things about France, specifically how different the schooling system was compared to how it is here in the states. Everyday students would have a different schedule. The schools didn’t have too many resources and didn’t have many clubs or activities.

“We have so many resources available to us at Central, that the school that I went to didn’t have.” Sander said. “And for them, like the school makes an effort to have us involved and be a part of the student body, but there it isn’t like that.”

Not only did Sander get a better understanding of the education system in France, but she also created special bonds with her host family that she won’t forget.

“Conversations with my host family were always so fun because we had to do crazy stuff to communicate since my host mom didn’t speak English. I think we got really close because of that,” said Sander.

(Photo by Savannah Sander)

The Saint-Chapelle in Paris, France. (Photo by Savannah Sander)

Along with visiting the school and Lille, students also got the chance to visit Paris for a few days. Most of the time spent in Paris was towards visiting museums and seeing all of the churches and local shops.

“It was really hard to choose which place was my favorite, but we did see his one church with gorgeous stained glass windows that I will never forget.” said Sander.

Now, Sander is home; recounting some of her best memories of the trip.

“I definitely got what I wanted out of this trip, and more. I was able to use my French in action and I got to see my host family.” Sander said. “I definitely didn’t expect to get as close with the people on this trip as I did, and I think that no experience will ever be the same as this one.”


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