Foreign exchange stint in France inspires, matures senior
February 27, 2017
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To many Roseville High School students, RHS is like a home. For nine months they find themselves eating together, learning together, and growing as a community. To RHS senior Shoana Hunt however, her home for the past five months has been in France.
Last August, Hunt left on a foreign exchange trip where she studied abroad in Chambéry, France.
Hunt was inspired by RHS French teacher Suzanne Hoffman to embark on her foreign exchange trip.
“It was last year in December of 2015 and Mrs. Hoffman was talking about exchange students she just brought it up one time. I figured ‘why not ask more about it’?” Hunt said.
Hunt had long dreamed of visiting France in order to enhance her knowledge on its culture and language.
“I fell in love with the language when I was in seventh grade,” Hunt said. “English learners want to go to England and I’m a French learner, I wanted to go to France.”
While in France, Hunt experienced life like that of a regular French teenager. Hanging out with her host family and newfound friends, Hunt explored a vast new world.
“I went to school everyday and I tried out a couple of extra curricular activities,” Hunt explained. “I hung out with my friends and we did a lot of studying. We also went to the movies or out for coffee once in awhile.”
Beyond her student life, Hunt got to experience many firsts across the Atlantic Ocean.
“Seeing snow for the first time, going sledding for the first time, and just being able to laugh and joke with friends and family in another language that isn’t English,” Hunt said. “I felt really proud of myself being able to do that.”
Hoffman believes that Hunt’s French excursion has definitely elevated her knowledge of French culture.
“She’s matured a lot and she definitely understands a lot more French than she did,” Hoffman said. “Her comprehension level has really increased a lot, and she definitely has a really strong understanding of French culture.
While she was away, Hunt’s friends and family had to adjust during the lengthy time she was gone, particularly her mother, Kris Hunt.
“It was kind of nerve wracking,” Kris said. “I was kind of a wreck. I just couldn’t focus on anything except double checking all her stuff.”
Kris felt consoled when her daughter returned home safe and sound.
“It was funny when she came back, half of me was so relieved she was okay, and another part of me saw that she came back more mature and different in some ways and grew overall as a human being.” Kris said.
Hunt’s friend, RHS junior Emily Botnen, missed Hunt but is glad she experienced new things.
“To have such a good friend leave so soon was a bummer,” Botnen said. “And even though I know that it was an amazing experience for her, were all really glad to have her back.”