Students spending a year in the U.S.

Claire Bigrigg, Staff Writer

Could you imagine picking up your life and moving to a whole new country for a year? 

Well, this is what student Anna Chretien is doing. 

While the school does not have an exchange student program at this time we do have kids that are experiencing American School for the first time at GlenOak. One of them is Anna Chretien.

She was born in Canton, Ohio, but at only nine months old, she moved to France with her mom so she could live with her dad and be raised inside of France.

“My favorite thing I’ll say is people generally, they are welcoming, nice and helpful,” Chretien said.

An example of people being nice and helpful is that teachers in France tend to be more strict on students compared to teachers here in America.

Although there is a lot to enjoy about America, one thing that Chretien does not like much is American food.  

“The food is not good, it’s too ‘fat.’” Chretien said. “My favorite meal from France is raclette, it’s melted cheese that you eat with baked potatoes and some good fresh meat on the side.” 

American food is much different from any other country. The portions are big, there are more preservatives, sugars, etc..

“The portions are huge. Also, the way Americans cook. One thing that shocked me was the fact that you put your eggs in the fridge,” Chretien said. “To me having healthy food is important and there is none here,”

American schools are much different from French schools. For example, GlenOak has to school from 7:25 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. while schools in France go from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

In France, there are four years of middle school and at the end there is an exam that determines if one will move on to high school. 

There are three years of high school in France, at the end of high school students receive a general baccalaureate; however, if you don’t pass you usually have to retake the entire year.

Another thing French schools have that American schools do not is that they get two-week vacations every six to seven weeks. 

In France, Chretien used to play badminton and played it for seven years.

“I can’t play it here because they don’t have teams or even the badminton sport,” Chretien said.

Unlike in America, badminton is a very popular sport as well as other sports like Volleyball and Soccer.  Soccer is one of the biggest sports in France, and is very similar to American football. 

Chretien has noticed some differences in Americans’ lifestyles compared to the lifestyle in France. “Americans are really busy, it’s really hard to find time to do things here,”  said Chretien. 

Chretien has had to adapt to the differences between the two countries schools.

“I have to wake up earlier which sucks. I used to have decent outfits and now I only wear leggings and sweaters because no one cares about how I dress,” Chretien said 

Chretien moved back to America last July, and at the end of this upcoming July, she will be leaving to go back to France. While she is very grateful to get the opportunity to see American culture and experiences she is very excited to go back to France. She misses her family, the food, and her home.