Meeting the French exchange students


Making new friends. FACES offers a remarkable opportunity for students from France and Bradenton to connect and build a strong relationship. Host students showed the French students what life would be as an American teen. “I was more excited than nervous. It has been an awesome experience.” stated Olivia Lutete.

Sandra Martinez, Staff Reporter

FACES is a program that sets up cultural exchanges and trips both to the USA and France. It allows French students to experience typical high school life in America and vice versa for American students. The average stay of an exchange student is about two weeks. For the time that they are here, they stay with a host family and attend school with the students. They also get to visit some of Florida’s most famous attractions and experience new things.

Face Mask – Sabrina Koshedub-Colaco, and Olivia Lutete do face masks together. Colaco’s family has hosted for the past six years. “I just thought it would be a cool cultural experience since there is a lot to learn about other people. It is a lot of fun, being able to learn what she thinks about my regular life from her perspective, ” stated Colaco.

There are six exchange students and two chaperones from Lille, which is located in the north of France. They arrived in the afternoon of Feb. 14. When they first got here, both the hosts and the students were nervous to meet each other finally.

Jade Faquez, one of the exchange students, was quite nervous about being here. Since they were in a new place and away from their family, it felt scary but exciting. However, now she has gotten to know her host family very well and states that she is happy that she decided to come to Florida as an exchange student.

“I was a little nervous. This was the first time that I am so far from my country. I am also here without my family in a different place with people I don’t know,” stated Faquez.

New Experiences- Dagyn Tow and Jade Facquez visit a cultural art show. They saw many paintings that represented kindness and equality.  “My favorite thing was seeing all the culture and equality because it really inspired me,” stated Faquez.

During the week, the exchange student follows the student around during school and maybe after during their extracurriculars. They get to experience high school here in America, which is quite different than school in France, as the teachers in France are more strict. The students are not allowed to leave the classroom while the teacher is giving a lesson. They also are not allowed to have any type of food or drink in the school, compared to most classes here.

On the weekend, the student shows the exchange student some of the most popular areas around Bradenton. One of the most common places that the exchange student is shown is the beaches on Anna Maria, in addition to seeing alligators.

The hosts planned out the activities that they wanted to take the exchange student as well as the places that they are wanting to take them. They have plans to go to the beach, Myakka, and museums.

Freshman Dagyn Tow is one of the hosts this year, this is her first year hosting and she plans to do it again.

“I love getting to know her; she is basically one of my good friends already. I love showing her everywhere here,” Tow stated.