In October, Shaker High School hosted twenty three French exchange students and their two teachers for a 10-day stay. The students attend Ste Croix, a private school in Neuilly in the suburbs of Paris.
The French exchange students arrived at Shaker on Saturday, Oct. 12. Our students and families prepared a wide range of fun fall activities, including apple picking, pumpkin carving, bowling, visiting the malls, making s’mores and more. In addition, the families planned a Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate our exchange program. The exchange students visited the Capitol, the Clark Museum and Boston. On their tour of Boston, they walked the Freedom Trail and learned about our country’s history.
The abundance of fall activities and Halloween traditions was a wonderful new experience for our French exchange students, as few celebrate Halloween in France. They were able to experience the excitement of fall while staying in Latham.
“The French exchange program was very eye-opening for me as an American. I didn’t realize how different a French person’s lifestyle could be from our own,” Shaker senior Kimi Canete said. “I really enjoyed getting to know the student who stayed with me. I had a lot of fun spending time with her and her friends. My understanding of French also improved as I listened to her talk and I became more comfortable speaking in French as well. I am grateful to have been a part of this experience and I am very excited to go to France and see Clémente again in February.”
During the school day, the French students shadowed their host students. They attended classes at Shaker to see what a typical school day looks like. They also visited French classes at Shaker Junior High School.
Upon their departure from Shaker High School, the French headed to New York City for three days before returning home to Paris.
In February, our Shaker students will travel to France where they will be reunited with their host students.
“We have enjoyed having a 20 year history with Ste Croix and we look forward to continuing our exchange program in the future in order to give more North Colonie French students and their families the opportunity to participate in such an amazing and successful program,” High School French Teacher Dr. Keegan said.
“I’m so happy that I joined the exchange,” Shaker senior Zaidalyn Schiappa said. “I got a new family member and brand new best friend out of the experience and it felt like I was living an entirely new and improved version of my life. I’m so excited to reunite and complete the trip in France and I am so grateful for Shaker and the World Language Department for providing this opportunity. This is an amazing experience that everyone should have and I would make the decision to participate a thousand times over, if I could.”