An Exchange with Eloïse


Novella Long, Staff

Eloïse Temporel is an exchange student from Brittany, France. She graduated from her high school in France this spring and is here on a gap year before college. She is staying with the Connelly family, whose children are attending the middle school.

Connor Harlan: How are the shoe sizes different?

Eloïse: Usually sizes for a woman start at 36 and go to 42; I wear a 38. It’s around a seven and a half or an eight here.


Emily Blevins: What are some hobbies that are popular in France?

Eloïse: Our national sport is soccer, like most of the countries in Europe . . . and South America . . . and Africa . . . pretty much everywhere except America!


Kelli Buckles: What is your favorite American song?

Eloïse: I don’t know; I have no clue! I like Imagine Dragons a lot, and Mumford & Sons. I like Green Day so much! “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is so good.


Clay Mount: What is one thing you dislike about America?

Eloïse: I am tired of the food; all of it is fat. I miss real bread and fresh veggies.


Kynsee Newton: How does family life differ?

Eloïse: In France, we eat together. Sometimes we eat together in my host family, and I don’t know how it is in other families. A lot of the time we eat in front of the TV and we prepare our own meals. In France, we are around the table, we eat together, and we talk about our day.


Ashton Sawyer: What is the most significant difference between France and America?

Eloïse: The cars are very different. In France, everyone has a midsized car in blue, black, or gray. Here, there are huge cars, Jeeps, and in every color you can find.


Novella Long: Do you study any English literature in France, or only French literature?

Eloïse: We study French literature, but we study the English language. We don’t study the literature.


Mr. Ingle: What are some French musicians your age group enjoys?

Eloïse: I like Stromae and OrelSan. There’s an old band I like—Telephone. It’s a rock band. Lots of people who like rap listen to 1995.


Samantha Ward: What do you think about all the churches here?

Eloïse: It’s different in France. In towns, there’s usually one big church or cathedral, but places like Paris have lots of churches.


Mallauri Cox: How do relationships differ?

Eloïse: I think that people here are really friendly, and it’s really easy to start a conversation with people. Then, to have a deep relationship, it’s hard. I start to know people, but I don’t have a group friends. I make friends, but not serious ones. It may be because I’m new. In France, it’s harder at the start. People aren’t as friendly, but once you break through, you know you have a friend.


Kaitlin Kibble: How are holiday traditions different?

Eloïse: Of course, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but we get two weeks off in the fall, and this is to remember the dead. We also get two weeks off for Christmas, and two weeks off for Easter. We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day or Halloween, but we celebrate Christmas and Easter similarly.


Noah Clayton: Why did you want to come to America?

Eloïse: I think that a lot of Europeans have the American Dream—the high school, being a cheerleader, playing a sport, the food. We all think that American people are friendly. We have a vision of the American; we want to try it. I wanted to feel American, have a host family, and make American friends. I’ve wanted to travel for a long time. Also, in France, I work a lot for academics, but here, I can try drawing and painting and photography—a lot of things I can’t try in France.


Noah Clayton: Are you upset about not being a senior here?

Eloïse: I am not upset, but I am sad. I would love to be a senior just because of graduation. Before prom, that was my dream; I don’t know why. I think it’s a pride thing. We don’t have these huge celebrations after high school in France, and I wanted that, but. . .it’s okay.


Finley Brisendine: Do you have any siblings back in France?

Eloïse: I have a sister named Rose. She is twelve.


Emma Peterson: Are there any foods you miss from France? Foods you enjoy from America?

Eloïse: In America, I like all this bad stuff. The first thing I tried was barbecue. We have barbecue in France, but here it’s good. I tried funnel cake; my first breakfast was Lucky Charms. We don’t have Lucky Charms in France. We don’t have macaroni and cheese. I miss bread—good bread. You don’t have good bread, I’m sorry. I am happy my family has salted butter; I can’t eat unsalted butter. I miss fresh veggies; I never eat fresh veggies.


Alyssa Helmes: What is one thing you like here that you don’t have in France?

Eloïse: I like high school here. You have sports, and the musical. There is life outside of the school.


Charles Tola: How do schools differ in the two countries?

Eloïse: In France, it’s just academics. Here, you have band, sports, the musical, etc. You can develop yourself. You can find what you like with clubs and fun classes, and we don’t have that in France.


Greyson Harris: Are croissants overrated or are they really a big deal over there?

Eloïse: We don’t have croissants for every breakfast, but our croissants are really good. We eat bread, like the baguette, every day. We eat croissants on special occasions.


Elise Jones: How much does French food differ from American food (portion sizes, type, etc.)?

Eloïse: You have huge portion sizes! I have so much trouble here. When I make my own food, I make my own portion, but when I go out to eat, I eat half and take the rest home. Our food in France is healthier too.