Foreign Exchange Students
by Brett Williams, Staff Writer

If you hear a different accent ring out through the halls of WGHS, you might have just run into one of our foreign exchange students. Every year, families in our community host students from different countries who then attend West Geauga High School. Our normal students seem to be curious about these exotic new people. We have asked two of our exchange students, Alix Boulard of France and Marcos Moreno of Spain, a few questions so that you can learn more about them.

Alix Boulard
Q: How old are you?
A: I’m 17 years old. (Birthday July 14th, Bastille Day)
Q: What grade are you in here at WGHS, and what grade/class are you in in France?
A: Here, I’m a senior, as well as in France, but since this year does not count, I’ll have to do it again.
Q: How long are you staying here?
A: I’m staying here for the whole year.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was actually born in NYC, so I have dual citizenship. My parents moved back to Paris when I was 2 ½, so I have no memories of that.
Q: Describe where you live, geographically.
A: 9 years ago, we moved outside of Paris because it became hard to live there with 3 children. The town is called Fontainebleau. Napoleon used to live there. It’s very beautiful, a pretty town in the middle of the forest.
Q: What is your family like?
A: My dad is a journalist; he often goes to the states and my mum, an English teacher. She also takes care of the music school (voluntarily). I have 2 younger brothers; Louis is 16. Hector is 13. Both tend to get in trouble in school, so I guess I’m the good kid in the family. We have 5 chickens for eggs and 1 cat, and every year we raise a rabbit and before winter we eat it.
Q: How is France different than America?
A: Everything is different here: people lifestyle, houses, school, food, sports…
Q: Is understanding English difficult for you?
A: I understand pretty much everything, but sometimes I have trouble with vocabulary.
Q: Who are you living with now?
A: Right now I’m living with Shelby Hall.
Q: What do you miss most about France?
A: The things I miss most, I guess, are my family and my friends. I’m also really angry, because I’m missing the Rugby World Cup, which we are hosting right now. I love rugby.
Q: What do you like most about America?
A: Hmmm…I really don’t know…
Q: Have you experienced American activities?
A: Well, yes. Every day. School. (duh)
Q: What do you do for fun in France, and how does that compare to what we do here in America?
A: Here, apparently the big night is Friday night, with the games and stuff. For us it’s Saturday night (we have school on Saturday mornings). But we don’t have football games or anything. So we would hangout in a café, a party at someone’s house, or in Paris. During weekdays, it would be hanging out in town, sit at a café and just talking and drinking espressos basically.
Q: How did you become involved in the exchange program?
A: I have always wanted to go for a year abroad since my parents started sending me to America to practice my English (almost every year since 5th grade).
Q: After this experience, would you like to visit America again?
A: Oh yeah, definitely!

Marcos Moreno
Q: How old are you?
A: 15 years old.
Q: What grade are you in here at WGHS, and what grade/class are you in in Spain?
A: I’m in 11th grade at WGHS. In Spain I would now be in 1st Bachillerato.
Q: How long are you staying here?
A: For 10 months, until June.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from Madrid, Spain.
Q: Describe where you live, geographically.
A: I live 5 miles away from the center of Madrid in a town called Pozuelo de Alarcon.
Q: What is your family like?
A: There’s not a big difference between my real family and my family here. They are very nice people.
Q: How is Spain different than America?
A: It’s not too different. The biggest differences may be some laws, school rules, and the style of my life.
Q: Is understanding English difficult for you?
A: It’s not really difficult. As everyone who studies a language should know, the hardest part is speaking and being understood by others.
Q: Who are you living with now?
A: I’m living with a host family, the Reicherts.
Q: What do you miss most about Spain?
A: My friends and my family.
Q: What do you like most about America?
A: It’s a hard question, but I will say the people. They’re all very kind.
Q: Have you experienced American activities?
A: Yes, I went to Homecoming. I enjoyed it.
Q: What do you do for fun in Spain, and how does that compare to what we do here in America?
A: I usually meet with my friends, and we play soccer, go to the movies, play videogames and skateboard.
Q: How did you become involved in the exchange program?
A: My parents told me about it. I thought it was a good opportunity, so I said yes.
Q: After this experience, would you like to visit America again?
A: Sure. I’m really enjoying this time I’m spending here and I wouldn’t have any doubts to come back if I had the opportunity.