The Fullerton College French Club said ‘bienvenue’ to high school students from France.
The French Club hosted 28 students for the afternoon on Feb. 26. This is the second year that high school seniors from Lycée Notre Dame de Bel Air in Tarare, a city 28 miles west of Lyon France, have come to the campus.
The club’s president Kennedy DeVries organized a scavenger hunt that allowed the French visitors to see the campus while being paired with an FC student. Clues in French led students to locations such as the library’s front desk and to the site of the new Humanities building.
Students shared in a sing-a-long of the French Classic “La Vie En Rose” and “Les Champs-Elysées.” Students also sang “It’s a Small World” in English and French.
The students also participated in a question and answer sessions in which each group got to practice the other’s language.
Valerie Antoniazzi and Laurence Bimbert are English teachers at the French high school and started the exchange program over 10 years ago to help their students with their English skills.
“The language is not only in the classroom, but they can actually communicate and feel more confident to speak in class and to speak when they meet people who speak English,” Bimbert said.
Antoniazzi and Bimbert stated that for many of the students, this is their first time speaking English outside the classroom.
The seniors expressed their surprise at the variety of cultures in California and have been welcomed by those they’ve encountered.
“Being welcomed is great because they are more confident and in the future, they will be more tolerant, open-minded and eager to travel more and meet foreign people,” Antoniazzi said.
Valencia High School in Placentia works with Antoniazzi and Bimbert to organize activities, travel and accommodations for the student. To further the cultural experience they are each staying with a family where English is the only language spoken.
Before they return to France, the students will complete their visit to California with trips to the Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Park and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The French Club meets every other Wednesday in building 500, room 523 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.