Lucie leeft haar 'exchange dream' in de USA
Name: Lucie Tanguy
Home country: France
On exchange in: Iowa, USA 16/17
Tell us Lucie, how come you decided to study abroad?
I’ve always loved English and think it’s prettier than French. One day I found a Facebook page from a girl from my old school who was an exchange student in America for a year. When I saw it, I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do. Living a year in America, as an American teenager, in American high school with an American family, and at the same time get the opportunity to become bilingual was just beyond perfect. And here I am, two years later, living the dream of my life!
What’s the best thing with your experience?
Wow, plenty of stuff. If I must pick one, I’d say the fact that I met a lot of people. I’ve met friends for life and it feels like I’ve known them forever and not just for eight months. That’s the beauty of being an exchange student!
Was it easy meeting new friends?
I’m not going to lie – it wasn’t that easy. I think it is because I am a very shy person at first, so it was really, really hard for me to talk to unknown people in another language. So it took me quite a while to make real friends, maybe two months before I got to know everybody (I go to a small high school) but I have a lot of friends now. Two months may sound like a long time, but it actually isn’t since you meet new people every day. I am lucky to be in a small high school where everybody knows everybody.
Would you say that you have developed as a person during your stay? In what way?
Yes, this journey has made me more independent which I believe is important for all teenagers to become. I’ve also gotten better self-esteem by being so far away from home. I believe I will be more self-confident and not as shy as I used to be when I am back home.
Travelling to another country and discovering new things everyday has made me realise that this is what I want to do in the future. I want to travel the world, learn more about different cultures, meet new people, learn more languages etc. I would like to move back to the US, maybe to California, for collage studies, or move to a Hispanic country to learn Spanish or maybe to Sweden to learn Swedish. I don’t know quite yet, we’ll see!
What will you miss the most when you’re back in France?
I’m going to miss everything since I love every aspect of my new life, but what I’ll miss the most is my host family. I don’t even consider them as a host family anymore, I see them as my second family. We get along so well and our personalities are so much alike. We have the exact same humour and laugh at the same things. They treat me like their own daughter and it will break my heart to leave them.
What would you recommend to other people that wants to study abroad?
Don’t hesitate! It may seem scary but it’s the best decision you can do. It is so rewarding – you learn so much about yourself and the world which is awesome. You become independent and learn how to live far away from the people you grew up with.
Remember that you also get a chance to fully be yourself since no one knows you and this means that you will get real friends that appreciates you for who you really are. And don’t forget to be open-minded! Everything is so different here in comparison to Europe but that’s what will make your exchange year so special – say yes to everything and try a lot of new things.
Apply for a high school year in the USA
Follow Lucie’s journey on her Facebook page
Do you have your own exchange story to share?
Send an email in English to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will get in touch!