The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Enchanté Exchange

French students come to South

This summer, South’s French classes will have the life-changing experience of living and learning in France from June 3-17, Emma Hanna, exchange program Co-Sponsor and French Teacher, said. South works directly with a school in Lyonne, France, to provide students with a cultural and language exchange outside of the country, Hanna added.

This year marks the return of the program following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Matt Bertke, exchange program Co-Sponsor and French Teacher said. Preparations for the trip, including applications, started in September, Bertke said. The program began with French students experiencing American life, visiting from April 11-25, Bertke explained.

“[We try] to give them a typical Chicago high school experience,” Bertke said. “They spend a couple of days at South, but they also spend time exploring Chicago, Northwestern, [and we paired with] the sports marketing class to go to Wrigley Field and see a baseball [game].”

In France, students will attend school in Lyonne, and visit Paris and Brussels, Belgium with a student-based itinerary, Hanna said. The only way to truly experience French culture is by learning the language with French natives, Hanna added. South students live with the same French students this month, Hanna said.

“The goal is to open the opportunity up for language growth and personal growth,” Hanna said.

Beyond just meeting new people, the program gives students the chance to learn more about the world and expand their horizons. For junior Jasmarie Alcaraz, this will be the first time they leave the continent, or even the country.

“[The program is a] very good opportunity to broaden my horizons, learn more about French culture and just be in a different setting that is completely new to me,” Alcaraz said. “[I am excited to] learn the language I have been studying for the past few years and fallen in love with.”

Sophomore Kira Gallenback is looking forward to learning more about herself.

“[The program is] a really good way for me to branch out socially in a new environment,” Gallenback said. “It’s going to help me better my language and make new friendships with people outside the school, and even the country.”

The program has been the highlight of many high school experiences, and strong bonds have formed between the exchange students, Hanna said.

“[The students] will always have somebody in France that they have a connection to, which is powerful,” Hanna said.

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