Blueprint Magazine

The student news source of Pinnacle High School

Blueprint Magazine

Blueprint Magazine

Bonjour! From Bordeaux to Phoenix

French Exchange Students Bring New Perspectives to PHS
Taken by Caden Kubitz

In the bustling hallways of Pinnacle High School, 5000 miles from home,  a group of students from Bourdeaux, France embarked on a unique journey to experience the American dream.

French students Isra Taleb and Maissara Seddak enjoyed many activities and experiences during their stay, but the standout experience for both included attending an NBA game, a typical American event that left them captivated.

“I think personally . . . it was to see an NBA match …. I think I really became a fan of basketball,” said Taleb. “Everything was so impressive, the shows, the cheerleaders. I’d say the thing I’m waiting for the most here is seeing the cheerleaders…Everything about what we saw was so American, and I just love it.”

Their interest in experiencing the American lifestyle extended beyond the school walls. The duo explored various aspects of American culture, from shopping to trying out new activities like Topgolf and line dancing all organized by their freshman host, Paige Kroening. The Kroening family was one of the many who volunteered to host the French students.

One of the most notable differences Taleb and Seddak observed between France and America was the school environment. In France, the school day is more structured and rigid, with strict rules about attire and behavior. In contrast, American schools offer a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing students to express themselves freely.

“In France, this is not allowed. Like, they kick you out of the school if you wear sweatpants or pajamas,” Seddak said.

Despite the language barrier, which they overcame due to their early exposure to English in primary school, the students found American high school a welcoming and enriching experience. Particularly impressed by the personalized and welcoming environment of the school, they enjoyed finding each classroom decorated uniquely reflecting the teacher’s interests.

“I just love it. Everything feels right here,” Taleb said.

America proved very exciting for the French students and surely left a long-lasting impact on their lives.

“Even the way the school works, how the people are. Sometimes I just wish I was born here. Everything is just perfect,” Seddak said.

PHS French teacher John Trenton spent a couple of years and worked with many others to bring this cultural experience to Pinnacle.

“It’s just not about students and practicing French, It’s also about getting experience with another culture,” Trenton said. “And really kind of, you see it on TV, you see different stereotypes and things like that. I’m having the students come and see what it’s like living in America.”

Ultimately, Trenton hopes to continue this exchange every two years and foster a connection between the school in France and PHS.

“The goal for the program was to make a long-term connection with the sister school and make this exchange program happen every two years or so,” said Trenton.

Overall, the exchange was exciting for Pinnacle students and, of course, the French students, who made memories and friendships to last a lifetime.

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About the Contributor
Zaynab Chaudhary
Zaynab Chaudhary, Staff Writer, Online Editor