Spending a 12 months within the US After Excessive Faculty: “It is Just like the Motion pictures”

HER OPINION – Educated at a high school in North Carolina for ten months, Léane, now bilingual, tells how staying in the language in the United States changed her life.

After completing her bachelor’s degree, Léane left for the United States at Smithfield Selma High School in North Carolina. The Nacel organization, which offers formulas from 7,000 euros. Motivated by the desire to go abroad since the second class, she shared the daily life of an American family from August 2017 to June 2018. Before leaving, Léane already had a good level of English: she read and watched movies in that language , which allowed her not to get lost once there and to obtain a J-1 visa issued by the US government for young people between the ages of 15 and 18. For Le Figaro Étudiant, she recalls her experience.

“Most young people play sports to try for a university scholarship” thin

WHAT I LOVED: “Sport was highly valued”

I played sports every afternoon, after classes that ended at 2 pm. In varsity I played volleyball, basketball and softball i.e. girls baseball. In the United States, sport is really important because college is very expensive: most young people play sports to try for a scholarship. I really enjoyed that sport being so valued. I wanted to discover the American high school atmosphere and I was granted. It’s a bit like the movies with cheerleaders walking around in uniform.

This immersion allowed me to gain confidence. Before, I was a shy and reserved person and now I have no problem reaching out to others. When you find yourself alone in a foreign country, you have to get used to a new lifestyle and make new friends. I had to take it upon myself to talk to the others.

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WHAT SURPRISED ME: “Religion is very present”

“I am not a believer but I would like to go to church”thin

•I was impressed by the place of patriotism and religion in society. Every morning in high school, we would stand in front of the American flag with our hands over our hearts and recite, “I swear allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the republic it represents, one nation united under the authority of God, indivisible , with freedom and justice for all.” Even though the schools are secular, everything is linked to religion. For example, we used to say a prayer before every game. With my family, we went to church every Sunday. I’m not a believer, but I liked it to go there. I met groups of young people there who were in the same school as me, we talked a little.

LAST LIKE: “I really missed French food”

After three years of dreaming about going out, I knew my luck in every activity and loved it all. So there really weren’t any negatives, even if I missed French food a lot. Before I left I was afraid I would get homesick once there, but in the end this was not the case. It’s a bit like having two lives in two different countries. At the end of the stay, I was looking forward to returning, but at the same time sad that the experience was over.

WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW: “I’m Majoring in Languages”

I’m in the first year of a language license at the University of Lyon 3. I study English and Italian. I’m still not sure what I want to do later on, but as I enjoy languages ​​and travelling, maybe I could focus on international trade. Anyway, I plan to return to the US this summer to visit my host family.

Useful information

Visa: To study at an American college, you must obtain a J-1 visa issued by the US government, accessible to young people between the ages of 15 and 18, a good academic record, a correct level of English and a medical certificate filed on the day. The procedure to obtain it usually takes less than two months.

The cost: A year of immersion in the United States with Nacel is possible from 7,000 euros (monthly fee, accommodation and return ticket). This price includes accommodation with a host family, travel expenses and tuition at an American school.

Other organizations: Other language travel organizations offer similar formulas, such as AFS, PIE, STS or Terre des Langues.

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