First day of school

Today was the first day of school with our exchange students and it was a great one. I started off with an English class where the students went over descriptive words and emotions. The main exercise consisted of writing a conversation with your mom about how you choose to not pursue a higher education after high school. At the end of the class the texts were read and the students showed very creative responses to the prompts. My second class was French history, which was slightly more chaotic at first but eventually calmed down. For lunch we got to go off campus and eat in Centre Lille. In the afternoon the students had one of the two, two hour tests that they have each week so we had a study hall in the library where we were able to read the books that were available or do the homework assigned for us over break.


Some visuals

The Virgin Mary in the middle of the courtyard.

The Virgin Mary in the middle of the courtyard.


Teachers taking a selfie in the faculty lounge!


Debbie hard at work.

Debbie hard at work.

We ran into some students coming back from their lunch break at a local café.

View of the school's chapel.

View of the school’s chapel.

View of the inner courtyard!

View of the inner courtyard!


The school's hallways

The school’s hallways

The Lycée!

Bonjour Families !

Everyone is well.
We are here at the Lycee. Arnaud and I saw the students (Urban) during their break and will see them again at lunchtime.
The faculty and staff have been very nice and personable.
We took a tour of the school.
It is a building of the 16th Century. Originally the building was a convent.
I love the building ! Some of the students stated the building reminds them of school building in Harry Potter. Looking forward to the trip to Bruges.

Debbie or Deborah as the French call me !


Bonjour la France!

After a long journey we finally made it to Lille. We were welcomed with hot chocolate and fresh pastries in the school’s cafeteria. Izzy commented that the “pain au chocolat” tastes so much better here! Then our students left with their host family ready for a hot shower and a nap!  They all have activities lined up for tomorrow/Sunday and Monday school starts at 8! More to come from our students then!


One of ours … I think!


Yea, an eiffel tower!




From strangers to friends

I think it started for most of us with pretty awkward e-mails or messages on Facebook. Both French and Americans were looking forward to seeing each other! I was, as the other French kids, I believe, pretty nervous to go, leave my family and stay two weeks with people I barely knew at that time.

After 24 hours of traveling almost, we finally arrived in San Francisco, exhausted, and really joyful to be there!

Day after day, we started laughing more and more with our penfriends. We also discovered common interests or at least things we both like. Talking and living with an American family didn’t only allow us to improve our English but also to create connections!
As far as I am concerned, I like to think it’s the coolest part.

Emily and Sarah
Emily (Sarah’s host student) and Sarah

Thanks to them we discovered a part of America–the best one, as they enjoy to say! We all became good friends with our penfriends and that’s just wonderful! I never thought I would enjoy my trip here as much as I did. It was very complete but I’d sure like to come back!

I hope we’ll all stay in touch because it’s really worth it! I hope we’ll have the opportunity to come back and can’t wait to have our American persons in our home country!

This trip was really something and was simply awesome!

–Sarah F.

San Francisco shopping

Chloé and Hakim: On Sunday we went to Westfield Mall. We discovered the fashion in America and a typical American Mall. We went to a lot of shops : American Eagle, Adidas, Nike, Foot locker, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters. We bought lots of clothes and gifts for our families. Malls here are very different than in France. They are so much bigger.

Sarah, Chloé, Marie-Appoline, Estelle, and Victorine after a successful shopping trip

Sarah, Chloé, Marie-Appoline, Estelle, and Victorine after a successful shopping trip

Hugo:  On Sunday I went to Westfield Mall to see what a real Mall in America looks like. We took the car and I was really surprised when I saw the price of the parking. I didn’t expect it to be so expensive. Not all the things are cheaper in America!  I bought shoes at Foot Locker and I was surprised by the taxes. Indeed, in America you don’t know how much it will really cost before you pay.

To conclude, the principal difference difference between the Mall in America and the Mall in France is they are so much bigger here. We all bought souvenirs for us and our family (except for Hugo who isn’t a good son).

—-Cholé, Hakim. and Hugo

Skating in San Francisco

When I first came to San Francisco, one of the first things i noticed and liked is that
skateboarding is definitely a part of the Californian culture. From the skateshop to the
street, i will relate my amazing experience, as a skater in San Francisco.

Skates on Haight

Skates on Haight

Before leaving France, my dream was to come back from California with a board, making
sure to bring enough money and to leave enough room in my suitcase. Now that I think
about it, I feel like I made my dream jealous, with a zflex cruiser board…. some good stuff!

A flintsone and a longboard glove

A flintsone and a longboard glove

At the skateshop, i felt immediately that brotherhood that links skaters worldwide and that I love so much. No matter my age or the country I came from, I could directly feel
comfortable. And I spent maybe an hour listening to the seller telling me some stories
about his skating childhood in the seventies.

When finally I left the boutique, riding my brand new board, I realised that the entire city was an amazing spot, with its smooth roads on Golden Gate Park, or its steep hills through Haight Street, it is useless to say that I wasn’t the only skater!

Typical San Francisco steep road

Typical San Francisco steep road

As I cruised home, I was happy to learn that my exchange student’s brother was a skater.
This meant we would have fun every day after school, and so did we. Cruising and curving
around blocks, sliding at the rollerskate spot, riding fast, and downhill as the roads were closed for cars on Sundays or just popping ollies in the garage, i think we tried all types of skateboarding.

Glenn doing the cooleman slide on his board

Glenn doing the cooleman slide on his board

In San Francisco, skaters spend their lives on their board, and so skateboarding is more of a lifestyle than of a passion, and for me, it became both during this fantastic journey!


San Francisco

A view from Alcatraz (Camille) Skyline photo by Camille

S‎an Francisco is a multicultural city located in Californie, in the north Bay Area. This city is divided in 3 different parts, the golden gate park, the city center, and the residence area.

The golden gate park goes from Haight Ashbury all the way to the beach! This park contains seven museums, as the De Young museum or the science museum and it is a beautiful green park to practice sport or hang out.

Golden Gate Park by Benoît

Golden Gate Park by Benoît

Sigrid, Victorine, Estelle and Hakim on the roof at the Academy of Sciences

Sigrid, Victorine, Estelle and Hakim on the roof at the Academy of Sciences

The city center includes union square which is the shopping center of San Francisco, it also includes lots of restaurents and hotels which make it a touristic area. The city center also contains China Town, famous for its dragon gate; then  the fishermen wharf where you can find the ferry building which is full of food shops and restaurants. When you’re in the city center you can also drive through the lombard street.

The Chinatown Gate

Chinatown Dragon Gate

SF has many means of transportation‎. The most typical one is the market street rail which is a kind of cable car. There is also a subway that goes from SF to Oakland. SF has bikes that you can rent. Then, because SF is on the océan side, they have ferries to go, for instance, to Alcatraz as we did.

But the cool means of transportation in SF is obviously the skateboard (Glenn!).

Glenn and his trusty skateboard (by Guillaume)

Glenn and his trusty skateboard (by Guillaume)

—Cassandra, Sigrid and Thèma.