Where are you from?
I am from Paris. I was born in Paris, I lived there for 15 years, and then I moved to Tours with my family.
Why did you decide to come to the United States?
So I just finished my English degree. I want to become a primary school teacher in French schools but English speaking countries. I figured this great experience to see if this fits me. It’s a great experience and opportunity to live real American life, and I just thought let’s go and see how it goes!
How is university life different in France as opposed to the United States?
The main difference is between the students and teachers. In France, there is distance between the student and teacher, but here they are more than willing to help us and encourage us in our work. That’s the main difference I think. And there’s the difference that here we can choose our courses according to our preferences and what we want to do/become. In France, we have to decide at 16 what we want to do for the rest of our life, and I think its better here
Are there any similarities?
Lots of work obviously, and sometimes it’s hard to make friends in class because you come and do the work and then leave. So it’s the same in France…it’s hard to make good friends in the beginning
Tell me about growing up in France.
Growing up in Paris was amazing because you have the opportunity of doing anything you want to at anytime because everything is always moving and there’s always something to do. It’s a huge city and there’s always something to discover. I lived there 15 years, and I could always discover a new place or shop and it was amazing. Even Tours, even though it was a smaller city, I think living in France was like…everything – the coffee, the schools, where you live, where your friends live – is super close. Everywhere you go, you will find someone to talk to. In the US, it is huge streets and spread out, when in France, you know where you are and where you belong.
When did you start learning English?
At the age of 7 in primary school, which was like basic stuff like colors, days, etc., but since I started then, I am used to hearing English. In high school, I took specialization in English and had like 4 hours of English a day so that I could learn new words and learn about America and England and English speaking countries. And for my degree, everything is English.
What do you like about the United States?
The people are all very friendly and they are all like willing to help you in your everyday life issues and they’re sympathetic and welcoming, so you can go talk to them. I like life on campus, like eating, living, working with your friends, I think it’s amazing, and the food...the food is amazing!
Is it difficult to speak English with other American students?
Sometimes yes because when I’m tired the words are hard. I’m thinking all of them like what am I going to say, how am I going to say that. I’m thinking about the grammar and stuff, but sometimes I miss French and being around people speaking French. It’s not difficult because they can understand me, and if I can’t understand them, they can speak more slowly, but I think it’s hard because you miss your own language
What is your major?
I just graduated from my English degree and here, I’m taking Italian courses and am the French TA
Why did you want to get an English degree?
Because I love learning new languages and I think it was very interesting to learn not just linguistics but the culture and life of America and the UK. And I want to live in an English speaking country so I think it’s important to learn not just the language, but the culture and the literature of those countries.